The Race for House Speaker Has Republicans “Audibly Crying”

The GOP just entered full meltdown mode.

<a href=http://www.apimages.com/metadata/Index/CQPHO-AP-A-POL-DC-United-States-Boehner-Resignation/3613e10e6974428b835f0217a039e280/2/0>Bill Clark</a>/AP

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The House GOP now has a full-blown leadership crisis on its hands. As Republican lawmakers gathered on Thursday to elect a new speaker, John Boehner’s presumptive heir for the top spot, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), unexpectedly bowed out of the race, telling his colleagues he was “not the guy.” Boehner—who reportedly joked recently, “I had this terrible nightmare last night that I was trying to get out and I couldn’t get out”—was forced to postpone the vote for his successor. Lawmakers who were present for the closed-door meeting reported a scene of “chaos” that included “audible crying.”

Boehner, who promised before the 2014 election that he would tame his fractious party, shocked the capital last month by announcing he was resigning from Congress. But there were still plenty of candidates to fill the top job—or so we thought. McCarthy, as the House GOP’s No. 2 man and a prodigious fundraiser, immediately became the front-runner for Boehner’s job, despite speculation that he would have no easier time wrangling the Freedom Caucus, the rebellious group of right-wingers who frequently were a thorn in Boehner’s side.

With McCarthy out, it’s unclear who will fill the leadership void. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who was not previously thought of as as a serious candidate for the job (apparently even by himself), is still in the running. And the Freedom Caucus has put forward Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) for the speakership. But neither Chaffetz nor Webster appear to have enough backers to win the speakership. Meanwhile, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), who is highly regarded by his colleagues, has made it plain that he has no interest in the job. At the moment, it looks like Boehner’s nightmare may indeed come true.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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