Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) got his wish— Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has been booted off the Speaker's chair. But was it the right move?
This is not a question of whether or not McCarthy's removal was justified for the reasons Gaetz gave, but if this will hurt Republicans more than it helps.
To reiterate, Rep. Gaetz's rationale was that McCarthy did not release the January 6th tapes, did not push for single-subject spending bills, and did not fight hard enough to prevent Democrats from voting on bills in line with the Biden Administration's agenda.
This is all well and good if it would start draining "The Swamp", but there is just one problem:
Republicans in the House are holding the majority by the thinnest of margins.
221 Republicans versus 212 Democrats. That is just nine seats.
And as the votes indicated, only eight Republicans, including Gaetz, voted to remove McCarthy.
As anyone who follows politics has observed, Democrats are much better at voting as a united front than Republicans, and they were more than happy to see McCarthy gone because now they have a chance to replace him with Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and potentially render the Republican majority meaningless.
Let us not forget that the Senate remains in Democrats' hands, and there is a Democrat in the White House. Even if Gaetz himself got his mitts on the Speaker's gavel (unlikely, given how much of a headache he has given many Republicans, including some of his fellow Floridians), any pro-conservative bill is going to die in the Senate or get vetoed by Biden (and an override would be even less likely in the latter case).
So what does getting rid of McCarthy really accomplish?
For the Democrats, some good optics: the Republicans are fighting among themselves instead of pursuing their impeachment inquiry into President Biden, and they will be divided on who to replace McCarthy with, especially because he was trying to work with "extremists" like Gaetz (who hated McCarthy's guts anyway).
Remember, McCarthy only got in after 15 votes.
Let's see how Republicans will fare in Congress come 2024.