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Our Culture Inchoate: Pelosi is Out #24

Updated: Oct 16, 2019


JOSH TANNER (JT): Viewers, if I didn’t watch this myself I would not have believed it. Congresswoman Honoria Torres, a three term democrat from New Jersey, has just defeated the current Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, for the speaker’s gavel.

A floor vote was called at 1002am, and the speaker looked very confident but surprised that the entire republican contingent was present for the vote. And as soon as the voting started, she knew she had a problem.

Every single republican voted for Honoria Torres. That’s 197. There are 3 vacancies, but with 235 democrats, Pelosi had a 17 vote cushion… which evaporated when 30 democrats joined with the entire unanimous republican caucus, fracturing the normal voting discipline that soon-to-be former speaker Pelosi is noted for.

Torres needed 218 votes, and she got 227. There were no abstentions, and all hands were on deck.

As soon as the vote was finished the body of legislators bolted for the doors, some to their offices, some to waiting cameras.

Ah! Joining our House correspondent, Camille Cartwright, right now is house minority leader, now the de facto majority leader second in command to the new speaker, republican Kevin McCarthy.

Cut to hallway…

CAMILLE CARTWRIGHT (CC): Representative McCarty…. What the heck happened?

REP KEVIN MCCARTHY (KM): That was exciting, wasn’t it?

CC: Exciting? It all happened so fast! Did you see this coming?

KM: (laughing heartily) Of course, Camille. Pundits are going to have a field day, but they do have some culpability here.

I do not want to detract from a hard-bargained victory for speaker-elect Torres. She is a great friend, a reasonable voice, a thoughtful partisan, and I believe she will get much accomplished.

CC: But, but, but…

KM: This has been in the works, very quietly, since March, Camille. The timing, today, was fortuitous. Speaker Pelosi has, to put it kindly, been losing a step or two. In recent days she has gone toe to toe with President Trump not on substance, but on Twitter, which is his strength not hers, and showed a thinner skin than he, which is saying something. The difference between her leadership and his is that hers is reactionary, not substantive. Say what you want about the president, he calls it like it is, and is getting things done. All she can do is obstruct.

Again, I do not want to take away for speaker-elect Torres. She will be speaking to the House at 200pm today. Will you watch?

CC: What? What? What happened?

Back to studio…

JT: Ladies and gentlemen, this is unprecedented, and quite a roller coaster ride. Three term congresswoman Honoria Torres from New Jersey has just defeated one of the most iconic female leaders in our nation’s history, Nancy Pelosi, a person who made US history as the first female speaker, and who then endured several terms as minority leader just to regain the speaker’s gavel for a second time just a few short months ago, in the 2018 election seen by most as a repudiation of President Trump.

I don’t know where to begin in analyzing this…

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