GOP Chaos Over Speaker Vote Brings Rare Unity To CNN, Fox News & MSNBC; Kevin McCarthy Fails On Third Ballot To Clinch Post

GOP Chaos Over Speaker Vote Brings Rare Unity To CNN, Fox News & MSNBC; Kevin McCarthy Fails On Third Ballot To Clinch Post

January 3, 2023

“We still have absolutely no idea how this will end,” declared CNN’s Jake Tapper Tuesday as the House of Representatives looked to come up short for the third time to vote in a Speaker.

Suffering humiliation on humiliation, GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy saw 20 far right members of his fractious caucus put their third ballot support behind another top Republican. With business for the new 118th Congress frozen until a Speaker is selected, McCarthy had 202 votes to 212 for House Democrats caucus chair Rep Hakeem Jeffries and 20 votes to Republican Rep Jim Jordan – with the later a top McCarthy ally who has urged members to vote for the California Republican.

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“This is an utter, unmitigated disaster,” Karl Rove exclaimed on Fox News Channel earlier today as Republicans self-cannibalized themselves. “Chaos tends to bring about chaos until it no longer brings about chaos,” the ex-White House chief of staff and George W. Bush operative added to Fox’s John Roberts. “We’re a long way from the point at which chaos stops bringing around more chaos.”

While the Speakership outcome is uncertain, one thing is clear – the chaos was like a second Christmas to cabler newsers. The trinity of CNN, MSNBC and FNC were in rare programming agreement with all covering the live events on Capitol Hill on this first working day of the New Year. As political divisions has deepened in America over the past several years, the echo chamber of cable news has seen CNN and MSNBC going to gavel to gavel with the likes of the January 6th Committee hearings, while FNC basically ignored the parts of the proceedings.

Not today as more and more Republicans jumped into the Anyone But Kevin boat.

In fact, for most of the day, the only noticeable element of their trio’s coverage that differed was FNC referring to “Others” as having votes besides Jeffries and McCarthy.

Going with GOP Rep. Andy Biggs getting some support from colleagues on the first ballot, CNN and MSNBC had Jordan by name on screen. Fox News had actually had all votes besides those for Jefferies and McCarthy as Others all day, even as hosts like Neil Cavuto noted on-air that it was Rep. Jordan receiving the rebel votes.

Following a motion by Republican Rep. Tom Cole, the House has now adjourned until noon tomorrow. As hosts and reporters on all the cable newsers mentioned over and over again today, this is the first time in 100 years that a vote on a new Speaker has gone past a first ballot.

Undoubtedly bringing glee to President Joe Biden and Democrats as the nation enders a new period of divided government with the GOP hold a slim Houser majority and the Democrats barely controlling the Senate, the vote will go to a fourth ballot on Wednesday.

“Nothing is changing, in fact …it is going in the wrong direction,” Jake Sherman said on MSNBC from the corridors of the Capitol to Nicole Wallace as the third ballot wrapped up just before 5:30 PM ET Tuesday. “The definition of insanity Nicole, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Not going to be different, I don’t care how many times they do it,” the Punchbowl News co-founder and MSNBC contributor went on to say.

“Insanity is a good word to use when we talk of this group,” ex-GOP operative Wallace replied to Sherman of her past party partners and the ever-increasing demands on McCarthy by the likes of the Freedom Caucus and others.

As members left the floor Tuesday, the horse-trading that has characterized McCarthy’s latest attempt for the Speakership since the results of last year’s midterms will now start up anew as Republicans look to minimize the damage to their hold on the House before it has even formally begun. Of course, in an already heavily compromised situation, the pliable McCarthy could read the writing on the wall and step aside for a compromise candidate.

As Anderson Cooper inquired on Tuesday hours into the fiasco: “I keep asking the same question, what is the next step here?”

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