Rep. Matt Gaetz is now receiving praise from Michelle Cottle of the New York Times — a pretty clear sign that his antics are serving the lefties he claims to oppose.
Mainly at issue: the Florida Republican’s constant threats to impose a vote of confidence on President Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), which would achieve nothing, with a small but real risk of ending up ceding control of the House to the Democrats.
And a guarantee that it would hamper the work of the House when Congress has to pass a resolution to avoid a federal shutdown.
McCarthy, who has done much for conservative causes, is proposing a continuing resolution, or CR, that would keep the government in office until Oct. 31 while cutting most nondefense discretionary spending by 8 percent and restoring some border controls of the Trump era.
Gaetz isn’t the only hard-liner saying it’s not enough, but he’s the most obnoxious — and the one who rushes to the cameras every chance he gets.
Talk, but don’t act: McCarthy has already challenged Gaetz to file the “vacation petition” he keeps talking about.
Meanwhile, the activist arm of the solidly conservative Heritage Foundation supports McCarthy’s CR, a joint product of the House GOP’s Main Street and Freedom caucuses.
No, it doesn’t go as far as it should: Washington desperately needs to put its books in order.
But blowing up the Republican majority in the House is a step in the wrong direction, especially when the Senate and White House are in Democratic hands.
Gaetz’s game here seems neither practical nor principled, but simply a play for social media successes and self-aggrandizement. (He vehemently denies reports that he is considering a run for governor of Florida.)
A shutdown would sharply distract attention from President Joe Biden’s disasters, from open borders and the growing illegal migrant crisis to still-high inflation and soaring gas prices, And growing evidence of his corruption uncovered by other House Republicans who are actually doing their jobs.
We expect that most of the rebels who refuse to vote for the CR will calm down and put party and principle first: the Republicans’ best bet here is to put the ball back in the Senate’s court and let the Democrats decide if they want a government shutdown.
But for now, Democrats are laughing, with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (B’klyn) calling it a Republican “civil war.”
The reality must emerge at some point: Gaetzian narcissistic nihilism only guarantees a loss for the team and for the nation.