Valued commenter Jim, Foolish Literalist shared a link in the thread downstairs to a Puck article about an outburst from normally buttoned-down GOP Rep. Vern Buchanan, who’s allegedly outraged at losing a Ways & Means committee chairmanship to a gross MAGA choad.
Just how angry was he? Well, a source on the House floor during the vote told me that while McCarthy was gaveling down the votes, Buchanan walked up to McCarthy and said, “You fucked me, I know it was you, you whipped against me.” He then proceeded to chew out McCarthy’s deputy chief of staff for floor operations, John Leganski. It was shocking to see such fury from Buchanan, who’s known for being mild mannered. Indeed, I heard that the tirade was so heated that the Speaker’s security detail stepped in with a light touch. (McCarthy’s spokesperson Matt Sparks disputed this detail saying, “at no point did anyone have to step in.” A spokesperson for Buchanan declined to comment.)
As expected, it looks like McCarthy was playing both sides of the fence to get his hands on the Speaker’s gavel, promising feral Freedom Caucus reps powerful committee positions while denying he was making such promises to reps like Buchanan, who are in Congress mostly to advance plutocratic tax and deregulation policy.
Meanwhile, White House officials see the paper cuts accumulating on McCarthy’s hide and are helpfully squeezing lemons over and pouring salt into the wounds. Politico:
The White House is escalating its fight with newly empowered congressional Republicans, with officials Tuesday calling on House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to “come clean” about secretive deals he made with hardline members that helped him eventually land the top job.
“An unprecedented tax hike on the middle class and a national abortion ban are just a glimpse of the secret, backroom deals Speaker McCarthy made with extreme MAGA members to end this month’s chaotic elections and claim the gavel,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement shared first with POLITICO. “It is well past time for Speaker McCarthy and the ultra MAGA Republican House members to come out of the dark and tell the American people, in-full, what they decided in secret.”
McCarthy’s desperation was on full display as Congress opened. Being Speaker of the House was his lifelong ambition, and he would and did dance to any tune and jump through any number of flaming hoops set between himself and that gavel. After more than a dozen serial humiliations, he realized his ambition, but now we get to see the terms of that deal. Friends, it will be ugly.