Moderate Republicans had a brief moment in the sun when they made sure Trump loyalist and election denier Jim Jordan wouldn’t be elected House Speaker.
The MAGAs are back to flexing their muscles now with one of their own in the Speaker position.
Louisiana Republican Mike Johnson was elected Speaker on Wednesday, ending more than three weeks of manufactured drama pretty much where it started.
Chris Graham on new House Speaker Mike Johnson
A small group of MAGA loyalists that includes Bob Good, who represents the Fifth District, Albemarle County down Route 29 to the North Carolina border, engineered the overthrow of Kevin McCarthy, the Trump ring-kissing transactionalist who had served as Speaker for a mere nine months.
This precipitated three weeks of House Republicans stepping on their own dicks, beginning with Jordan, the former college wrestler, going to the mat three separate times in his bid to become Speaker, and taking the fall in each.
And that only came after Steve Scalise tried and failed, and preceded another doomed brief candidacy for a guy named Tom Emmer.
Neither of those guys even got an up-or-down vote on the House floor.
Emmer’s flame burned out on Tuesday, and after he dropped out of the race, Johnson, like Jordan, a Trump loyalist, who served on the former president’s impeachment defense team in 2020, then joined a group of 147 Republican lawmakers, including Good and Ben Cline, who represents the Sixth District, basically the I-81 corridor from Winchester down to Salem, in voting against certifying the 2020 election results on Jan. 6, 2021, hours after a Trump-inspired mob sieged the U.S. Capitol.
Today is another one of those dark days in American political history with a guy like Mike Johnson elected House Speaker.
“House Republicans tripled down on MAGA extremism and elected Congressman Mike Johnson as the next Speaker,” Fourth District Virginia Democrat Jennifer McClellan said in a statement on the vote. “A leading architect of former President Trump’s plot to overturn the 2020 election and a staunch defender of the deadly January 6th insurrection, Johnson is now the face of the Republican Party. He supports criminalizing abortion nationwide, stripping the LGBTQ+ community of their rights, and slashing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Endorsed by the former President himself, Johnson is just the latest MAGA extremist to be propped up by the House Republican conference.”
Naturally, the likes of Cline and Good are overjoyed that one of their own is in a position of power in the House.
“I support Mike Johnson as our Republican nominee for Speaker because he is a strong leader with a proven track record of defending the Constitution, freedom, and our conservative values. Let’s get the House back to work for the American people,” Cline wrote on Twitter.
“The election of Mike Johnson as Speaker represents a new day for America,” Good said in a statement. “The people’s House has been restored with a true conservative leader. He is a humble servant, and will bring a new level of trust and integrity to the Speaker’s chair. May God bless Speaker Mike Johnson, and may God continue to bless America.”
America will need those blessings from this god person.
The first order of business for Johnson: getting the House back to work, after 22 days of nothing getting done because Republicans couldn’t decide amongst themselves who they wanted to be their leader.
“Congress has a long to-do list,” Seventh District Virginia Democrat Abigail Spanberger said. “We are now nearly three weeks out from a government shutdown that would devastate Virginia’s families, federal employees, and economy — meaning it is urgent that we pass bipartisan legislation as soon as possible to keep the federal government open. In the weeks ahead, we also need to pass a bipartisan 2023 Farm Bill, fund our troops, strengthen our border security, and combat fentanyl. And we must provide strong support to our allies in Israel and Ukraine.
“As the representative for Virginia’s Seventh District, my top priority remains getting things done for the Virginians I serve — and I urge Speaker Johnson to work with both Democrats and Republicans alike to make long overdue progress on these critical issues,” Spanberger said.