Emerging From the Smoke-filled Room

Kevin McCarthy doesn’t look mad or frustrated, or worried. He’s smiling and laughing, he at least projects the look of someone who’s still confident, sensing a certain inevitability. This after six rounds of voting without a final result. He’s not giving up on his dream, though, the country be damned.

The question becomes, What is he going to have to promise to the holdouts? What concessions is he going to have to make in order to get him to 218? The Republican caucus is chomping at the bit to push its archaic, tired agenda, to be in power again, and we should be very concerned about that. They show us every day that they have nothing to offer but rank incompetence and the tired old deregulation and lower taxes (for whom?) schtick.

But the scariest thing is what McCarthy is going to have to promise the 19 far-right nut bags who are making life difficult for him at the moment. What procedural compromises are coming, what job description and functional changes are coming that are going to make it easier for certain factions of the party to have their way and erode the voting process for future elections, for example?

What guard rails is McCarthy gonna promise away just so he can get the job he thinks he deserves?

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