Looks like the Republicans might have a slim majority in the next Congress - and if they are lucky, it might be as large as the Democrats' current 5 votes.
But what's going to be the largest voting bloc in the new House? Certainly the conservative and moderate and mildly progressive Democrats! Under Nancy Pelosi's leadership, they are more numerous and better disciplined than any of these Republican factions -
And the biggest trouble-makers of all, who already have a 1960's-style list of "non-negotiable demands" -
There's some partial overlap among the factions listed above. Though they all can be counted on AGAINST Nancy Pelosi and any other Democrat for Speaker, none of them can be counted on to support one another. Some blame McCarthy for the "red wave" washout, as if he were responsible for the Roe v Wade reversal or for Trump's making himself and election denial the biggest issues in the election.
McCarthy wants to be Speaker as badly as Clay wanted to be President. And he might have no more success. But at least McCarthy has never painted himself into a corner by saying "I had rather be right than Speaker".
McCarthy believes in "harnessing the power of our entire conference" but Pelosi has her doubts. QAnons and insurrectionists too?
It's hard to see House Republicans uniting FOR anybody, but McCarthy has the best claim for now because of the dark money that flows through him from megadonors to candidates.
Trump announced his requirements on McCarthy, meaning no praise for DeSantis and no bipartisanship?
Can McCarthy avoid the fate of Boehner and Ryan?
Still, McCarthy's best bet might be to hope to have one LESS than a majority. Then nobody will bother trying to replace him as (minority) leader - as long as he keeps doling out the dark campaign money.
The Speaker doesn't need to be a member of the House. A non-member can be elected, though won't have a vote. If Democrats are a slight minority and can't elect a Democrat Speaker, they might be willing to give an edge to one of the least objectionable Republicans in order to avoid something worse. That would exclude all of the current Republican House leadership - Republicans won't find any Democratic support for a Trump endorser or endorsee, or election denier, or insurrection apologist.
But what about
And don't forget the following who - along with Cheney and Kinzinger - voted to impeach Trump after Jan 6. Some of them might make good Speakers.
None of these will ever be acceptable to the Trumpists, insurrectionists, and fantasists in the GOP. But if all the Democrats get behind them, they'll only need a few GOP members to join them.
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