Republicans Routinely Undermine Their Speaker – By Design

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks at a news conference on the steps of the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, July 29, 2021, to complain about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the leadership of President Joe Biden, and guidelines on face masks by the Centers for Disease Control. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

At a glance

  • The humiliating days-long spectacle of allowing the top candidate for House speaker to go down in flames in failed vote after failed vote is an unprecedented public display of intra-party dissension – at least this century. But it’s not entirely unexpected.
  • House Republicans have a recent history of engaging in bruising battles with their own leaders that wounded previous GOP speakers and left others rushing for the exits.
  • Perhaps this propensity to hobble those entrusted with authority comes with the territory – distrust of governmental power is an integral part of the modern GOP’s DNA. But this week it hasn’t been a pretty picture.

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