Our 2020 book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses the state of the parties. The state of the GOP is not good. Disarray threatens the GOP's tenuous grip on the House.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is gunning for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, attacking the embattled GOP leader from the right and aligning himself with insurgent conservatives in Congress who are threatening a government shutdown.
What started as a private strategy session last week between DeSantis and House hardliners has now erupted into a frontal attack on McCarthy. On Monday, DeSantis ridiculed McCarthy’s record on government spending and accused him of being complicit in running up a massive federal debt balance. On Tuesday, the governor’s campaign sent out an email admonishing McCarthy all over again while urging House Republicans to buck the speaker in the current government funding negotiations.
Tensions are flaring inside the House Republican conference as it barrels toward a government shutdown, with the infighting spilling out into public view and growing increasingly nasty.
“This is stupidity,” New York Rep. Mike Lawler said of GOP hardliners’ demands on spending, prompting the Republican freshman to privately float a new plan to work with Democrats and force a vote keeping the government open past September 30.
At the center of much of the drama: Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, attacking Speaker Kevin McCarthy in personal terms. But he’s also engaged in social media spats with fellow hardline conservatives who helped broker a House GOP plan to fund the government first revealed on Sunday evening.
Rep. Byron Donalds, also a Florida Republican, shot back at Gaetz’s criticism of the plan, writing on social media: “Matt, tell the people the truth. … What’s your plan to get the votes to defund Jack Smith? You’ll need more than tweets and hot takes!!”
Rep. Chip Roy, a conservative from Texas who helped reach the deal, also slammed hardliners’ opposition, saying on a conservative radio show: “I don’t know whether we’ll have the votes or not, because I’ve got a lot of conservative friends who like to beat their chests and thump around going, ‘Oh, this isn’t pure enough.’ “