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David Nir @DavidNir
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Man this is making me angry. You have Chuck Schumer, who's constitutionally incapable of standing up to Trump and is determined to sell us out to Facebook, waltzing to another term, while Nancy Pelosi, who passed freakin' Obamacare, is getting challenged…
Thread. So the #FiveWhiteGuys leading this brigade against Nancy Pelosi more or less have an Underpants Gnomes strategy. Let's take a look at what they're up to.
Pelosi is guaranteed to pass her first hurdle: a vote of the Democratic caucus. In Dec. 2016, Pelosi turned back an insurrection by OH Rep. Tim Ryan, one of the #FiveWhiteGuys, winning 134-63. She'll win again this time—no one is even running against her…
These Pelosi enemies know this. It's why they're trying to change the rules for the caucus vote from requiring a majority to requiring 218 votes. That's been led by CO Rep. Ed Perlmutter, another of the #FiveWhiteGuys
Pelosi supporters have pushed back sharply, and the proposal should be doomed for the same reason Pelosi will win the caucus vote: She has majority support…
Once Pelosi wins that vote, then it's on to the House floor once the new Congress is sworn in on Jan. 3. There, the rules are different. You need a majority, which is 218 if every member is present and actually votes for a candidate
If anyone is absentee, or if any seat is vacant, that reduces the majority needed. Also, if someone votes "present," that has the same effect. Good background in this CRS report:…
In other words, Kevin McCarthy can't get elected speaker over Pelosi unless enough Democrats actually defected to vote for him (thus ending their political careers), or voted "present," or a combination thereof. This is exceedingly unlikely.
But "present" votes by Democratic dissenters could actually help Pelosi: It would lower the threshold she needs while allowing them to say they didn't vote for Pelosi
If the House winds up at 234D-201R (a likely scenario), Pelosi could therefore afford to have up to 32 Dems vote "present," and she'd still beat McCarthy 202-201. However, the rebels have been swearing they won't do this
So the only choice for them, if they manage to stick together, is to vote for a third candidate on the House floor. That means, if there are 234 Dems and everyone shows up on Jan. 3, they'd only need 17 dissenters to hold fast
The problem is—and this is where the Underpants Gnomes come in—they have no third option to vote for, by their own admission…
So they could all vote for someone who isn't actually running, like WI Rep. Ron Kind did in 2017 when he voted for TN Rep. Jim Cooper (🙄)…
But note that roll call vote: Only four Dems wound up not voting for Pelosi on the House floor, even though 63 voted against her in the caucus. Yes, there's more of a groundswell now, but not voting for Pelosi for speaker when Dems were in the minority was a freebie
So the #FiveWhiteGuys are asking their band to stick together in the face of what will be intense pressure and to vote for the equivalent of Mickey Mouse. That might not be so easy.
But let's say they pull it off. What happens then? There's another vote. And then another, until someone takes a majority. This has only happened once in the last century, in 1923, when it took nine ballots…
Even then, Republican Frederick Gillett was still elected speaker after promising some procedural reforms. If they get this far, will the rebels make a show of force and then settle for some sort of compromise like this? Or will they push harder?
If they continue to insist that someone other than Pelosi be speaker, they'll have to find someone—remember, they don't have an alternative candidate—willing to actually run for speaker They'd also need Pelosi to blink and tell her supporters to stand down.
It could cause a prolonged mess, it will definitely yield #Democratsindisarray headlines, and it will cause a lot of bitterness if a tiny minority of the party stymies the will of the rest of us
But as I say, the #FiveWhiteGuys and their cabal face some real obstacles to forcing a deadlock, and Pelosi is of course busy working to secure her own support. For the sake of the party and the country, let's hope she succeeds. /end
Update: The #FiveWhiteGuys are trying to bluff their way through this Pelosi challenge. They claim 17 members support them, but Politico could only confirm 12…
Wow. F**k this guy. If he means 2002, when Pelosi took over from Gephardt after the elections, we had 205 seats. And even if he means 2006, when Pelosi became speaker, we had 233 seats—the same number we're on track for now
So is Seth Moulton just an idiot, or does he have a Trumpian relationship with the truth? Because trying to slam Pelosi in this way is both fact-free and stupid.
Add Kathleen Rice to the "genius-or-liar ?" brigade. Democrats just won the most House seats in a single election *since Watergate*
These people are exposing themselves as clowns:

Moulton: "We have 30 fewer seats since Pelosi took over" (no)

Rice: "We didn’t pick up as many seats as we thought we were going to get" (absurd)

Ryan: "There’s plenty of really competent females that we can replace her with" 🙄
Pelosi is busy out-maneuvering Moulton
Someone turned out to be an idiot, but it wasn't us
Oooh, this event will be fun…
It sounds like this insurrection is already collapsing…
So the one person who might give the #FiveWhiteGuys & their cabal an alternative to vote for in the race for House speaker is already complaining about how hard the job would be. I've never heard Pelosi complain
The speaker of the House is not a "figurehead"…
Yep, this anti-Pelosi rebellion is already starting to come apart…
The problem with whip counts like these is that they don’t distinguish between those who merely say they won’t vote FOR Pelosi versus those who say they won’t vote “present” (ie, intend to vote for another candidate)
This is an important distinction because,based on present projections of Dem caucus size, Pelosi can weather up to 30 “present” votes (since those don’t count toward a majority) but only 15 votes for another candidate.
The good news is, the rebels still have no one else to vote for
Last week, I wrote a thread about how the anti-Pelosi rebels are mounting an Underpants Gnomes strategy in the race for speaker of the House. I've now written a post that lays this all out in greater detail & includes some more recent updates…
You can sum up what Gnome King Seth Moulton and the #FiveWhiteGuys are up to like so
Hah, @ArjunJaikumar just made a great point: If McAdams loses, then the anti-Pelosi rebels are at 15—one fewer than they need. But if he WINS, then they're at 16—and would need *17* because McAdams isn't included in the current projection of House Dem caucus size (233)
Yesterday: 1 candidate running for speaker, 1 considering

Today: 1 candidate running (that'd be Pelosi)
It sure does seem that Pelosi is going to emerge from this looking stronger than before
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