Yesterday I posted this thread on Twitter (I refuse to call it X) about the ongoing battle for the Speakership of the U.S. Congress. Jason Shepherd urged me to post it here as well. I thought that was a good idea so here goes. I’ve added some context since I’m not limited to 140 characters like I am on Twitter.
Let me explain why calls from constituents, fueled by outside groups and MAGA influencers, has thus far failed to deliver the votes to elect Jim Jordan Speaker of the House.
This is coming from a former State Legislator, not some random clown (with apologies to Three Year Letterman).
First of all, we need to keep in mind that this is a Caucus and House of Representatives election, not a vote on a bill. The dynamics between the two are very different and you need to keep that in mind.
When you call a Congressman’s office and say “WE THE PEOPLE demand you vote for Jim Jordan, you work for us” know that Members of Congress aren’t scared – they hear from constituents all the time. They take your call under advisement, but what is most important in this election is the discussion within the Caucus and directly with Jim Jordan.
Members of the Republican Caucus want to know if they can trust Jordan. Is he willing to fight for issues that are important to them and their constituents? Can he negotiate a good deal with the Democrats, the Senate, and the President?
To be elected Speaker, your colleagues have to like you, trust you, and believe you. Relationships matter, and my guess is, being on the outside looking in, that Jordan is lacking on that front within the GOP Caucus.
Therefore, no amount of phone calls, emails, or tweets will make a Member of Congress vote for a person they don’t want to. Jordan needs to earn their trust and “we the people” have no impact on whether or not he can convince his Republican colleagues to trust him. You may consider it petty but how Jordan has interacted with his colleagues in the past matters a whole heck of a lot here. Not because his colleagues are necessarily looking for revenge, but it goes directly to trust. Is he a man of his word or does he run to the press to thump his chest and talk about how he’s more conservative than his colleagues? Believe it or not, folks don’t like being knifed in the back by a person who is supposed to be on the same team they are.
On that point, supporters of Jordan, like our very own Marjorie Taylor Green, and the man who caused this whole mess, Matt Gaetz, are out there raising money off this. I’ve received emails from them talking about how the “Uniparty” and the “RINOs” are working with Democrats to block Jim Jordan. In reality, MTG and Gaetz are helping tank Jordan’s candidacy.
I guarantee you it’s not lost on other Members that the Hateful Eight (led by Gaetz) themselves worked with Democrats to remove Kevin McCarthy from the Speakership. Now Gaetz is fundraising off of the chaos he caused and throwing them under the bus? Give me a break.
The Congressional GOP Caucus is in a real mess right now. Jim Jordan lost votes on the second ballot and if there’s a third one today, it’s likely he’ll lose more votes. At this point, I’m not sure anyone can unite this Caucus. At a critical point in American and world history, the House Republicans have failed us all. I really hope they turn this around, pronto.
By the way, the caucus dynamics I just described explain why Colton Moore and Charlice Byrd’s demands for a special session to impeach or defund Fani Willis were doomed from the get go. If you’re a Member of a Legislative Caucus and you want that Caucus to do something, you have to work within that Caucus and try to win folks over to your cause. Sending out a press release without speaking to a single Caucus Member first is a great way to kill your idea.