In what may well go down as one of the most humiliating days for any member of Congress in the history of the American republic, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) failed to win the 218 votes needed from the House Republican caucus that would have made him the next Speaker of the House.
According to NPR, McCarthy now holds a dubious honor.
Tuesday’s vote was the first time in a century that the election of a House speaker took multiple ballots to complete. The longest vote in U.S. history took place in 1855, lasting 133 rounds over two months, from December 1855 to February 1856.
McCarthy faces a Republican bloc of critics who want changes to the way the House operates. Although he’s given in to many of their demands, he remains short of the votes needed.
Instead of celebrating their return to the majority on the first day, McCarthy and other GOP leaders were sorting out how to respond to an open rebellion that showcased division and cast doubt on their ability to govern.
Right-wing members of the GOP caucus vowed Monday they would not budge and will never support McCarthy.
For his part, McCarthy suggested he would not withdraw his name from consideration, even though that might be the only way he can prevent further humiliation, telling reporters:
But according to Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the only person to blame for McCarthy’s predicament is McCarthy himself.
Raskin, who served on the January 6 House Select Committee, mocked McCarthy via Twitter, reminding him that the reason for his failure lies with the person he sees whenever he looks in the mirror.
“This once-in-a-century humiliation of a party’s nominee for Speaker is chickens coming home to roost for McCarthy, who whitewashed right-wing insurrectionism on the House floor. Nobody’s getting killed now, but the House GOP now sleeps in the bed they made with Trump and Bannon.”
Exactly. Perfectly stated. Thank you, Congressman Raskin, for saying what we were all thinking.