Welcome to the revenge of the Republicans you’ve never heard of before – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Welcome to the revenge of the Republicans you’ve never heard of before

Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia came out of the woodwork and won 81 votes against Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio last week — despite not campaigning at all for the job.

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Rep. Jim Jordan’s speakership bid has been thwarted — for now.
It’s the result of an unexpected revolt by Republicans you probably never hear about.
And it’s a stunning turnaround for a party long driven by its loudest and most bombastic voices.

Kevin McCarthy’s sudden ouster from the speakership was initiated by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, one of the most bombastic and media-hungry Republicans in Congress.

But two weeks later, Gaetz’s preferred successor — Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio — is having his own speakership ambitions thwarted in a humiliating fashion by Republican holdouts who are suspicious of his tactics.

Call it the revenge of the Republicans you’ve never heard of — the ones who aren’t regularly featured on Fox News, who don’t have massive social media followings, and who aren’t known for styling themselves as right-wing crusaders.

They’re lawmakers facing competitive re-election races. They’re members of the old guard. And they were stalwart allies of McCarthy when he was speaker.

They are what Gaetz has derisively deemed “NPCs” — an insult and video game reference that means “non-playable character” — due to their mild tempers and avoidance of bombast.

—Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) May 28, 2023

For now, Jordan’s campaign to become House speaker has hit the skids, and the Ohio Republican endorsed the idea of temporarily granting more power to Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry — a mild-mannered Republican from North Carolina — though that plan also appears to be flailing.

If Jordan’s speakership bid ultimately fails, it will signify a stunning turnaround for a party that’s been in thrall to its loudest voices since the ascent of Donald Trump in 2015.

Rep. Austin Scott, candidate for speaker of the House

Perhaps the first sign of this revolt came last Friday, when Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia challenged Jordan for the GOP nomination for speaker.

Scott, an extremely low-profile House Republican who’s been in Congress for more than 12 years, was among those who remained suspicious of Jordan’s pugilistic tactics and his allies’ derailment of House Majority Leader Steve Scalise’s own bid for speaker, even after Scalise had won the nomination.

—Rep. Austin Scott (@AustinScottGA08) October 13, 2023

It’s worth underscoring just how low-profile Scott is.

One House Democrat told Insider that they had “never” heard of him before he announced a bid, and Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado — one of the most celebrity-minded Republicans in the House — even liked a tweet declaring that “they’re just making up congressmen” when Scott announced his bid.

—Sam Alberti (@sam_alberti) October 13, 2023

The Georgia Republican announced his candidacy the day of the vote, did not do any sort of campaigning, and even told reporters that he wasn’t really interested in the job.

81 House Republicans — more than a third of the conference — voted for him anyway.

Not the usual holdouts

This week, Jordan has struggled to win the approval of the holdouts in his conference. 20 House Republicans voted against him on Tuesday, 22 voted against him on Wednesday, and even more were expected to vote against him on a potential third vote.

When McCarthy struggled with a similar number of holdouts in January, they were some of the party’s most bombastic, Trump-aligned members — Gaetz, Boebert, Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, and so forth. 

Jordan and Rep. Kay Granger of Texas, the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee and one of the Republicans who’s refusing to support him.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

With most of them being aligned with House Freedom Caucus, they had a relatively coherent set of demands in exchange for their votes — perhaps the most consequential of which was allowing just one member to call for McCarthy’s ouster. Eventually, he gave it to them, and he managed to become speaker.

But this group of holdouts is different —  none of them are particularly well-known outside of their districts.

They include:

Freshman New York Republicans who flipped Democratic seats in 2022, like Rep. Anthony D’Esposito.Members of the Republican Governance Group, like Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas.Members of the key committee in charge of government spending, like chairwoman Rep. Kay Granger of Texas.

In other words, they’re an eclectic mixture, each of which have different grievances with Jordan. And some of them say they’re facing intimidation and death threats for the refusal to back the Ohio Republican, who’s been endorsed by Trump.

Backbenchers get ambitious as Jordan’s media-driven tactics fail

Part of the issue for Jordan has been the way he went about all of this.

Rather than engage in lengthy deal-making, he has chiefly relied on the tactic of pressuring potential holdouts to vote for him, positioning himself as the choice of the Republican base as his allies direct angry calls and messages towards their offices.

That’s even included apparent pressure from Sean Hannity, the Fox News personality who enjoys outsize influence in the Republican Party’s media ecosystem.

—Juliegrace Brufke (@juliegraceb) October 15, 2023

In some cases, it appears to have backfired, with holdouts leaking the threatening text messages they’ve received while declaring that they won’t bend to “intimidation and threats.”

—Rep. Kay Granger (@RepKayGranger) October 18, 2023

All in all, it’s the strategy of someone who’s long been ensconced in right-wing media, but less in the nitty-gritty of legislative deal-making. In fact, Jordan hasn’t passed a single bill during his entire 16 years in Congress.

Meanwhile, Jordan’s high-profile flailing — and Austin Scott’s unexpectedly strong challenge — seems to be encouraging other no-name Republicans to come out of the woodwork.

Rep. Jack Bergman, a Republican congressman who represents Michigan’s upper peninsula and is flirting with a speakership bid.

Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

A spokesman for Rep. Jack Bergman — a Republican congressman who represents Michigan’s Upper Peninsula — told multiple outlets in a statement that the congressman is being encouraged to run for speaker by some of his colleagues.

“If as a conference we see [Jordan] can’t get the necessary votes to become Speaker, General Bergman is prepared to step up,” said spokesman James Hogge.

And Rep. Dan Meuser of Pennsylvania, another backbencher, has told multiple reporters that he may also run if Jordan goes down.

 

 

 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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