January 3, 2023 — The Lincoln Project releases the following statement regarding the failed votes for Speaker today:

“The GOP civil war is in full swing. The MAGA caucus has the Speaker’s race held hostage, placing the nation in a dangerous moment in American history. This is a direct consequence of what happened on January 6th and with the rise of the post-fact, post-conservative, and post-Republican MAGA nihilist caucus.

“After January 6th, rather than condemn Donald Trump and commit to making sure he and his followers were punished, the so-called ‘adults’ inside the GOP were too weak and scared to do the right thing by challenging the MAGA forces in the party. They instead handed over their party to the elements that just weeks before attempted a violent coup to overthrow the 2020 election.

“Kevin McCarthy pledged to his donors that he could control the MAGA tiger and give them the House they wanted – full of tax cuts and plenty of business friendly policies. Instead, he made compromise after compromise, making himself look weaker and pathetic, all in a quest to become Speaker. The tiger ate him, instead.

“The MAGA GOP doesn’t care about policies, they only want to win and fight their weird culture war to roll back individual rights and attack free and fair elections. Congressmen like Matt Gaetz are not interested in representing their constituents, only personal power. They’re already promising to drive the country off a cliff by blocking a debt ceiling bill, just to hang it around Joe Biden’s neck. Considering an election denier like Jim Jordan as a viable Speaker shows how demented the MAGA base has become.

“So now we wait and see – do we go closer to the abyss and let MAGA take over the Congressional agenda? Do we see a Congress that is more and more extremist and counter to the founders ideals?

“It is a bare-knuckle brawl for power – and given Democratic control of the White House and Senate, all the GOP can do is cause chaos — it is a brawl that is not going to end well for America. No matter who wins this leadership fight, our country loses — because half of Congress, give or take a few votes, is no longer interested in doing the job they’re all cashing checks to do.

“Republicans and independents who still believe in democracy – who put party over country when they voted this fall, must be vocal and tell the GOP to not give in and hold the line in favor of democracy and find consensus in a leader who believes in American democracy and our democratic institutions.”

The Lincoln Project is a leading pro-democracy organization in the United States — dedicated to the preservation, protection, and defense of democracy.

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