J. Scott Applewhite Associated Press Kevin McCarthy as he leaves the House of Representatives after being dismissed from office, at the Capitol, in Washington, last Tuesday < p>The question, thrown out on Tuesday evening to the leader of the House of Representatives, Republican Kevin McCarthy, who had just been thrown from his chair by his peers, shed light on the whole origin of the problem.
“When you look back, do you see anything you could have done differently? asked CNN reporter Ryan Struyk of the new ex-speaker.
“Yes,” replied the Republican from California, who, after a historic vote on Tuesday, was removed from office at the call of an ultraconservative, Trumpist and radical faction very active within his party. “I helped several of them [these protesting elected officials] to get elected, and I certainly should have relied on other people. »
The chaos that has settled in the heart of the seat of American executive power since the return of the Republicans to the House, with a tiny majority, reached a new climax this week with the fall of Kevin McCarthy. He is the first president in the history of Congress to be dismissed from his prestigious position by a majority vote of the deputies.
What is happens after the impeachment of Kevin McCarthy?
The number 1 of the Republican Party in the House had been living in a house of cards since his painful and complicated election last January: 15 rounds of voting were necessary to rally a hard core of Republicans to his candidacy. Elected party officials affiliated with former President Donald Trump's Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement, on the whole, guided more by anger and frustration than by the search for compromise, for the most part, and who come a once again to demonstrate, through this spectacular dismissal, their destructive potential, both of the country's democratic institutions and of their own party.
“Ladies and gentlemen: here are the MAGA Republicans of the 118th Congress,” summarized Tuesday evening in a press release the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Jaime Harrison, at the conclusion of the incredible day in the House. “Since the Republicans won the majority in January, we have repeatedly witnessed irresponsible, incompetent and chaotic leadership subjugated to Donald Trump and willing to make a mockery of our institutions. » He added: “Enough is enough!” The American people expect a government to serve them, rather than the ego of Donald Trump and that of the MAGA extremists in Congress. »
The criticism is harsh. But it now seems shared by strong figures of the Republican elite, such as Newt Gingrich, former President of the House. On Tuesday, the veteran of American politics called on his people to keep Kevin McCarthy in office and instead to expel from the party the architect of the impeachment plan put to the vote: Florida elected official Matt Gaetz.
Strictly Trumpist, opposed to McCarthy since the start of the new parliamentary session, Gaetz took exception at the end of last week after denouncing the compromise between Republicans and Democrats which made it possible to avoid the last minute and for 45 days the closure of part of the American government for lack of an agreement on the budget. He had threatened to take revenge by demanding the head of the speaker. He got it.
“Chaos is never America’s strength”
“Instead of taking positive steps to advance the conservative agenda, Gaetz went from television show after television show, in a self-serving manner, to attack his own party and repeatedly threaten to oust McCarthy from his post as president,” denounced Newt Gingrich in the pages of the Washington Post .
Instead of taking positive steps to advance the conservative agenda, Gaetz went from TV show to TV show, self-servingly attacking his own party
Coming from this Republican who was one of the founding fathers in the late 1990s of the climate of polarization between Democrats and conservatives, a climate which has only grown since then on the chessboard American politics, the burden is doubly formidable.
Newt Gingrich acknowledges having also opposed decisions taken by his party, such as the tax increase desired at another time by George H. W. Bush, but also recalled that his “rebellions” had always respected the point of view of the party. majority of the Republican caucus. “House Republicans have more important things to do than entertain the ego of any one member,” he said.
Two hundred and ten of 222 Republicans opposed firing McCarthy. The scorched earth policy implemented by Matt Gaetz worked thanks to the tiny vote of eight elected officials from his clan. By adding to the Democratic minority, which decided to vote for the departure of the President of the House, they thus confirmed the precarious status of the elected official.
For former Vice-President Mike Pence, who aspires to win the Republican ticket for the next presidential election, it is “chaos” that took over politics on Tuesday, to now place Congress in the ground. unknown. “Chaos is never America's strength and it is never the friend of America's struggling families,” he said while attending a meeting at Georgetown University in Washington.
The Republicans will have to find a new leader when work resumes, and above all do so in an environment where reaching a consensus as well as a compromise remains difficult, in the heart of a chamber where a handful of elected officials, subject to the ideological diktat of the electoral base venerating Donald Trump, have obviously become ungovernable.
And the depth of the chaos remains unfathomable: on Tuesday, a Republican elected official from Texas, Troy Nehls, announced that he was going to nominate Donald Trump for the post of president of the Republican majority in the House.
The ex-president has been in a New York court since Monday, where he is attending the fraud trial targeting his real estate empire. He faces other charges, including one for inciting an insurrection against the Capitol.
“President Trump, the greatest president of my lifetime, has a proven track record of standing up for priorities for America, and he will make the House great again,” Nehls said.
Under the U.S. Constitution, you do not have to be a member of Congress to become speaker of the House, but such a scenario has never occurred in the history of the country.