Smith Helpless as McCarthy Nosedives

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-4), the dean of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation, this afternoon morosely observed the implosion of his choice for the speakership of the United States House of Representatives.

Kevin McCarthy.

Apparently politically dead on arrival for a sixth straight time.

Tom Kean, Jr. of New Jersey, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and others likewise looked on helplessly as the GOP continued to exhibit fracture – spun by U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin as the vigor of democracy – on the subject of the hour, namely one man’s fast-fading dream for the speakership.

In the same U.S. Capitol desecrated by a Donald Trump-incited mob two years ago, it had the feel of a one-finger-on-the-piano-key Bertolt Brecht play on the order of Two Penny Opera than it did Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

Gallagher robustly channeled optimism as McCarthy nosedived.

“The people,” he exclaimed, citing the supposed winners of the GOP’s inability to plant a speaker on the rostrum.

But Kean Jr.’s and Taylor Green’s choice, McCarthy, hadn’t just measured the drapes, but actually moved into the speaker’s office, a now infamously precipitous act, as McCarthy – a Republican representative from California – tonight lost his bid for the speakership for a sixth straight time.

Heading a group of 20, U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, Republican of Texas earlier this afternoon put the name of fellow Republican, U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, into nomination for speaker.

“They want a new face, vision and leadership and I believe that new face, vision and leadership is Byron Donalds,” said Roy, who had previously backed U.S. Rep. Jim Jordans for speaker.

This afternoon, Roy doubled down on behalf of Donalds, and celebrated the inclusion of two black American bids for speaker (Democrat Hakeem Jeffries and Donalds).

Jordan’s initial endorsement proved complicated, because – as U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) noted – Jordan didn’t seek the speakership.

Jordan backed embattled McCarthy for the job.

Searching for 218, McCarthy once again could not afford to lose four votes, and on the sixth ballot, Donalds – his name put in nomination by that clutch of GOP lawmakers on the right – had received five votes and counting.

A pair of insiders were overheard to grimly remark:

“Such shows how the Senate is the great deliberative body, and the House is the whack-job of representative government, as intended by the Founders.”

“Yes, the juvenile Davy Crocketts better suited for uncouthly swinging muskets than cloakroom back-stabbing.”

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