Kevin McCarthy Is (Politically) Dead

Laura Jedeed
5 min readOct 3, 2023

No Survivors

Kevin McCarthy holding a gavel but with a red filter and X’s for eyes and a sad dead mouth
Wikimedia Commons, altered by author

Despite McCarthy’s shitassery, I don’t think the Democrats will torpedo the government by getting behind Gaetz’ motion — they are, by and large, politicians and not warriors. *They might abstain, which would do the same thing, but the results would be catastrophic for the country and they know it.

-Me, three hours ago

Narrator: The Democrats absolutely did torpedo the government by getting behind Gaetz’ motion. A few hours later, for the crime of uniting with Democrats, eight Republicans united with the Democrats to make McCarthy the first Speaker ever ousted via resolution.

Oops.

My knee-jerk reaction was to blame the Democrats for this. Some kind of latent centrist instinct, I guess. Like, isn’t it more important to govern than to have petty vengeance? Wouldn’t it be good to debate the budget instead of indulging the GOP’s humiliation fetish for days, possibly weeks?

Wrong again. Two reasons:

  1. Debate wasn’t going to happen anyway. As outlined in the earlier article, the Freedom Caucus is refusing to budge
  2. Fuck ‘em
“Let them fight” GIF

Kevin McCarthy fucked around, and now he’s finding out. He tried to appease the unappeasable Freedom Caucus, spat in the face of the semi-appeasable Democrats by pushing a bullshit impeachment inquiry, and, when his liberty bois turned on him like they were always going to, flat-out refused to offer any concessions to the Democrats to stay in power.

Like the Freedom Caucus itself, McCarthy wanted credit for taking a hard-line stance against cooperation without suffering the obvious consequences of his refusal to cooperate. I suspect he made the same mistake I did: with their backs against the wall, he thought, the Democrats would make whatever sacrifices needed to be made in order to keep the wheels of government turning and prevent someone farther right from taking up the…

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Laura Jedeed

Freelance journalist, filthy pleb. Politics mostly. Find my work at NYMag, Politico, Rolling Stone, New Republic, and Substack: https://laurajedeed.substack.com