Wait, exactly how will we do this?
Same plan - better preparation, better focus, more participants
Unseating the Speaker of the House may seem to be a daunting task.
And ordinarily that would be the case. But Kevin McCarthy is unusually vulnerable from the right, left and center.
McCarthy has traded away his power and authority in exchange for the support of minority MAGA extremists. Plum committee assignments have been their reward, pushing aside more senior members who expected those seats. Consequently, he’s not trusted by either the formerly “Never Kevin” Republicans, or by mainstream establishment Republicans.
Meanwhile, Democrats also don’t trust him. His Republican predecessors Paul Ryan and John Boehner, were at least respected by their Democratic colleagues for their intelligence, humor and authenticity. Agree or disagree, they were men who kept their word. Not so Kevin McCarthy, who is held in contempt as a weak leader, nakedly opportunistic, having neither principles nor integrity.
In my last post “We’re still here!”, I wrote at some length (sorry about that) to summarize all that we did from December 5 to January 7, enumerate things we learned, and specify how we can be better prepared for the next round.
Today, I’ll be more succinct in describing exactly how this will work.
Feathers of Hope, unlike most other Substack publications, is not intended to be a showplace for one writer's work. Nor is it meant to be a newsletter, or a forum for debating issues. Posts here are not intended to stoke outrage or elicit sympathy.
This site is "a meeting place for activists and their supporters". It's purpose is to facilitate doing something about an issue rather than just talking about it. Currently that issue is the Speakership of Kevin McCarthy.
How to unseat the current Speaker of the House
Because he is so vulnerable, almost any crisis could result in some member bringing a “motion to vacate” the office of Speaker.
Under rules passed on the first days of the 118th Congress, any single member of the House, Republican or Democrat, can bring a motion to remove the Speaker at any time. Under normal circumstances, the majority party would simply vote the motion down and that would be the end of it. But McCarthy doesn’t enjoy that kind of confidence.
The crisis most likely to trigger a motion to vacate is the debt ceiling vote.
MAGA extremists have made this a center-piece of their agenda. And they are using the threat of a motion to vacate to force McCarthy into a doomed negotiation bid with the administration. When that inevitably fails, expect them to force McCarthy out and nominate one of their own for Speaker. A repeat of the 15-ballot chaos of January 3 - 7 is a distinct possibility.
Our job is to get there first. Rather than waiting for the MAGA faction to bring a motion to vacate, it should be brought by a moderate.
There is nothing about the coming crisis that is not forseeable. Everyone who understands the stakes knows that creating a world-wide economic earthquake is madness. So the obvious solution is to stop it as early as it’s feasible to do so. That means the establishment, moderate wing of the Republican party will themselves need to wield that motion-to-vacate threat. And then, if necessary, use it.
As we learned in January, McCarthy can only spare 5 votes to remain Speaker. Or, from our perspective, we need only persuade 5 Republicans to end the circus and vote with Democrats to elect a moderate Republican Speaker.
Better yet, though probably less likely, 110 Republicans could vote with 108 Democrats, thereby creating a true governing coalition. This would have the obvious advantage of providing cross-party voters the safety of strength-in-numbers. And it allows the farther left and the farther right members to abstain, or vote with their party, avoiding any appearance of selling-out. Best of all, it would empower moderates of both parties to work with the Senate and President to address our very real problems.
Moderates being moderate, we can expect them to procrastinate and look for ways to avoid taking a bold step. That’s where we come in.
Once again, we will be a force helping to tip the scale away from the MAGA faction, by doing what we did the first time around. But this time we’ll be better organized and better prepared.
Write to and call media personalities in order to get the idea of a cross-party alliance into the national narrative. But this time, we’ll be contacting a broader range of outlets and personalities. Never-Trump conservatives will be included along with our natural allies. Once the moderate members sense they have support from ordinary sensible Republicans, their reluctance to reach across the aisle will diminish.
Write to and call moderate Republican congress members. But this time, we will have done serious research and know without doubt which members to target, and the best way to reach each one.
Write to and call Democratic congress members. But this time, in addition to leadership, we’ll contact rank-and-file members most likely to be open to a cross-party alliance.
Most importantly, we start working right now.
I know some of you are very supportive of our effort, but don’t want to write or make phone calls yourself. So I’m asking you to please volunteer for ONE of these specific tasks:
Research and compile a list of news/opinion outlets and/or personalities, both liberal and (not-crazy) conservative, for us to contact.
Research and compile a list of Republican moderates who understand the importance of raising the debt limit, and the seriousness of failing to do so. Also, research and identify a potential Republican candidate to succeed McCarthy as Speaker.
Research and compile a list of rank-and-file Democrats confident enough and bold enough to vote for a Republican for Speaker.
Please contact me directly - JerryWeiss@substack.com - to volunteer, or to ask about what doing so would entail. Thank you for being a part of this hopeful enterprise.
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