26 Comments

Good article. I love your point about moderates outing for him early and then against, giving the appearance of slipping support. Bope this group does become a counterweight to the extremists. The GOP must see the damage these wackos are doing to their brand.

Expand full comment
author

Hey Tom! What's up, my man?

I honestly thought they'd have noticed long before now that MAGA was just using the GOP as cover for their subversive activities. It's pretty obvious now who are the real RINO's.

Expand full comment
Oct 23, 2023·edited Oct 23, 2023Liked by Jerry Weiss

I called all 8 of the names of the Republicans who may be willing to work with Democrats in a bipartisan coalition and spoke to an actual person 7 times and they were all very pleasant. I left a voice mail message to only one representative. Thank-you very much for providing these names and numbers to us.

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Victoria.

We're getting closer to success every day. As predicted, Tom Emmer just acknowledged that he also has no chance of getting 217 votes. We all know that old saying about how doing the right thing comes only after trying everything else. I'm pretty sure we're about at that point.

Expand full comment

And yet there are 5 new names this evening from Republicans and these are MAGATs to the extreme.It is just so dangerous for our country to go without one half of its legislative branches at this fractious time with all of the turmoil and chaos in the world.Citizens who pay attention are outraged.

Expand full comment

Austin Scott and Tom Emmer are the only two non-election deniers willing to serve. As the party WHIP, I believe Tom Emmer is the best choice and electable. IMHO.

Expand full comment
author
Oct 24, 2023·edited Oct 24, 2023Author

Thanks for your consistent support Judith, both here and on other forums.

It should be clear by now (Tom Emmer just dropped out) that no candidate can be elected with only Republican votes. That's why we're counting on traditional Republicans to finally make their move, agree to a rules change that will allow the House to function and work with Dems to elect a non-MAGA Republican Speaker

Expand full comment

Thanks, Jerry. We CANNOT have a MAGA speaker. My head is spinning. Going back to why I thought and think you did too that Don Bacon was great choice.

Expand full comment

Am I correct, it takes a rules change to allow non-MAGA speaker?

Expand full comment
author

Leader Jeffries has been very clear that the issue is not about any particular individual. It's about the need to have a rules change so that legislation with majority bipartisan support can come to the floor for a vote: "Our preference is to re-open the House in a bipartisan way, so we can govern in an enlightened way.," he said.

In other words, Democrats will only support a non-MAGA Republican for Speaker if there is an accompanying rules change. Exactly how that would proceed as a parliamentary matter is something that I trust Mr. Jeffries' team well knows (but I do not).

Expand full comment
Oct 24, 2023Liked by Jerry Weiss

Good afternoon, Jerry. After a break, for a month or so, from making calls to Republicans, I’ve been at it, again. It was frustrating, because I felt the Rs I was calling didn’t have the guts to do the right thing. But things seem to be changing.

In the past two days, I have called all 38 Congresspeople on your list. I spoke directly with staffers at 34 offices, leaving voicemails at the other 4. Btw, thanks for the one-line script. That made the job so much easier. When I finished a few minutes ago, I made one final call to the office of Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries to let him know what I had done and to urge him to continue working to create that bipartisan coalition to get Don Bacon nominated. That, because it doesn’t seem at all likely that Tom Emmer can get the necessary votes. Obviously, it’s urgent that a new Speaker be elected, so that the House can finally get on with the important work of We The People. But that doesn’t mean that a “make-do” candidate should be pushed through; and I get the feeling that many representatives would vote for Emmer, while holding their noses, just to get this over with. That’s NOT how it should be done. I read about Tom Emmer on Wikipedia a little while ago, and he doesn’t appear to be the right person for the job. He may be an adequate Whip, but not Speaker material.

Thanks so much for everything you’re doing, Jerry.

P.S. Congressman Mike Simpson’s D.C. phone number is (202) 225-5531, which will take you directly to voicemail.

Expand full comment

Would Don Bacon accept the nomination? I was under the impression that he would not especially if not on the “list of nine”? He was my first choice (as if it mattered!).

Expand full comment
author

I don't know whether he would accept the nomination himself or not. But he is clearly the main force behind the pro-coalition faction on the Republican side, and his choice would likely be decisive.

Mr. Bacon originally proposed this idea even before the marathon balloting that brought us Kevin McCarthy in January. Asked in November 2022 who might be an acceptable compromise candidate, he smiled enigmatically and said "we have a list of some people."

Expand full comment

Thank you!

Expand full comment
author

You are an inspiration, Robert. Never doubt that our voices matter. Every elected representative knows that one call speaks for a hundred others who didn't call.

Expand full comment

RE a bipartisan coalition speaker:

I agree that this is an ideal solution, but I don’t understand how it would come to pass. All career risks aside, the 5 (min) moderate republicans could meet with and compromise with Dems and propose a moderate Republican speaker, but how do you get that person as speaker designate, a prerequisite to a floor vote? I guess they would have to lie about supporting someone else? Or if they claim undecided, the other speaker designate might risk a floor vote if he’s got almost 217 (eg 210)? Either way, they might as well just vote for Jeffries, and switch to Dem or Independent, because they will never win another primary as Republicans. All seems highly unlikely.

Expand full comment
author
Oct 25, 2023·edited Oct 25, 2023Author

This is pretty deep into the weeds of parliamentary procedure, Rob (uptowngirl?). And I'm no expert. But I believe that a vote is called for by introducing a privileged motion on a matter of high priority, namely, the election of a Speaker.

I'm sure that Leader Jeffries' team knows how to do it. More importantly, if there is an agreement made between Democratic leadership and traditional Republicans there would almost certainly be many more than 5 or 6 R's in the coalition. There were 149 who voted for the debt ceiling increase last Spring, and 126 voted for the Continuing Resolution that avoided a government shutdown on October 1st.

There probably wouldn't be that many joining Dems for the coalition agreement, but a few dozen would not be surprising. Mr. Jeffries is not seeking to become Speaker this session. Republicans hold the majority and are entitled to keep the Speakership. As he puts it, "We aren't election deniers."

Also, there's a widespread misperception that every Republican represents a district where MAGA dominates and can be taken out in a primary. In many districts that simply isn't the case.

Expand full comment

Ok, I hope you are right! It seems crazy that if the GOP can’t elect a speaker, we could just stay stuck in this loop. Just what the right wing crazies want- maximum obstruction!

Re: uptowngirl (aka UG), she was my wife’s first horse. Perhaps my account is somehow associated with her email address.

Expand full comment
author

Great name! I referenced it because there was an identical question in the comment section of a Washington Post column today, from wwuptowngirl.

Expand full comment

Well Jerry, I see they went with a Trump endorsed guy. I'm not surprised. I don't even blame the politicians. There exists a minority of voters out there who, by virtue of where they are concentrated, dominate the current GOP. I recall a long ago lesson. As the parties became homogeneous, it became much easier for extremists to run things. If you have one party with a tiny majority, then a small majority of that party can dominate the agenda. Once the Caucus has decided, they can impose discipline on the rest, punishing those who stray. So, less than 30 percent of the entire elected body can run things. In the end, it is not process that makes me weep. It is that so many Americans cannot identify their self interests even if they had GPS and a guide dog. I am deeply ashamed to be an American.

Expand full comment
Dec 16, 2023Liked by Jerry Weiss

I appreciate your balanced assessment. MAGA and the extremists need desperately to be exposed and discredited.

Expand full comment

Excellent piece, as usual. What bothers me is that the surreal actions of our elected officials obscure the underlying tragedy. A significant portion of the population remains loyal to a vision of authoritarian, if not theocratic, rule. While America is deemed an advanced nation, it is steeped in a set of backward and dangerous myths. If we cannot reach the people out there, we may well fracture into competing cultures.

Expand full comment
author

You are right to be worried, Tom.

IMHO, the best way to reach "the people out there" is to stop declaring so many red congressional districts as unwinnable. Run and finance good Democratic candidates in Republican strongholds.

We have a winning story to tell, and President Biden has concrete accomplishments that will affect the lives of so many working class citizens. But if there's no organization and no candidate to spread the word locally, they'll keep looking for a strong leader to follow, no matter what that leader says, just because there's a projection of strength..

Expand full comment

I'm not so sure that MAGA is "in retreat"; for all the criminal prosecutions and way-over-the-top rhetoric, Trump's still filling arenas and hate-fests like TurningPointUSA and still on a roll. It's almost like a cult that is reinforced by its own madness and paranoia.

For me, his talk of "vermin" and "poisoning the blood of America" just validates my belief that much of America is in the grip of yet another fascist period (like McCarthyism) but this time there are very few Profiles in Courage to stand up and call it out. So on it goes. "Neo"-Fascism: the same old poison in new bottles.

The cowardice of the Republican Party; the politics of hate and resentment; the cult-like loyalty to the supreme leader; the enablers and apologists and opportunists; and the endless propaganda machine keeping his followers in a fever - clearly we're in a period analogous to Germany in the 1930s (when Hitler's slogans were "Germany First" and "Make Germany Great Again") and that did not end well.

The question is:; how to break the trance? Liz Cheney rang the bell about "sleepwalking into dictatorship" but it didn't seem to get much traction.

And the Dems aren't having their finest hour; they're fragmented and wobbly.

So how to create a Bluenami and crush Trumpism in Nov. '24?

Jerry, you and your colleagues are certainly fighting the good fight, but still I worry about what's coming.

I had put my own Substack newsletter on hiatus, but now I'm ramping it up again, trying to raise the alarm - neo-fascism on the march in America, and we need all hands on deck to sound the warning.

https://neofascism.substack.com/p/sleepwalking-into-dictatorship

Expand full comment

Thank you for this timely recap. Very much appreciated. Very best wishes to everyone for a Happy New Year.

Expand full comment

thank you for this. I shared to Facebook and some Indivisible Groups therein.

Expand full comment