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  • Writer's pictureNorth Shore Democrats of Travis County

GOP family feud playing out in Austin, Washington, and around the country

by Mike Killalea, NSD president

The GOP cannot keep its collective hands off one another’s throats, it seems. The worst is in Washington, where our federal government is paralyzed amid a cacophony of crises, at home and internationally.

The chaos in the US House of Representatives is embarrassingly writ large. Having kicked Kevin McCarthy from his long-sought and prized slot, thanks to Florida Man Matt Gaetz, the gang that can’t shoot straight first dissed Louisiana’s Steve Scalise. Scalise, self-described as former KKK wizard “David Duke without the baggage,” is no great loss as Speaker.

Next up is Ohio’s MAGA Jim Jordan, noted bomb thrower and Trump sycophant. At this writing, he’d failed twice to get the gavel. And his support among Republicans appears to be waning even further. Reportedly, Jordan adherents sank to threatening their fellow caucus members. Well, that backfired, and he lost (1).

This makes 16 failed GOP attempts to elect a speaker in 2023. Twenty-two Republicans turned thumbs down on Jordan in the second vote, four ore than in the first ballot. Three of them were Texans: Kay Granger of Fort Worth, Tony Gonzales of San Antonio, and Jake Ellzey of Waxahachie (2).

All 212 Democrats, meanwhile, remained solid behind Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York. Jeffries received more votes than anyone else in the speaker race.

Austin shennanigans

Closer to home, open warfare continues between House Speaker Dave Phelan and Lt Gov Dan Patrick. And the bitter feelings over Attorney General Ken Paxton lingers (3).

Paxton said he will file criminal complaints against the group of state representatives who led his impeachment trial. He accused the lawmakers of violating a state law by releasing his personal information (4).

Most recently, reports Lone Star Left’s newsletter, four Texas House members have banded together to cause chaos within the House Republican Caucus. Those members are Tony Tinderholt, Steve Toth, Nate Schatzline, and Brian Harrison. Earlier this week, Tinderholt, Toth, and Harrison banded together to call for the suspension of the House Parliamentarian Hugh Brady (3).

The complainants charged in a letter to Phelan that Brady had a conflict of interest. This because he is a partner at Brady & Peavey, which allegedly does business with the city of Austin, and partner Peavey (no first name provided in the letter) is a registered lobbyist (3).

Lone Star Left summarizes the situation thusly: “They’re saying conservative priorities were killed because Brady didn’t rule in their favor when Democrats called points of order after GOP bills broke House rules.”

GOP politics are a circus without a ringmaster.


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Eileen W
Eileen W
Oct 24, 2023

The Republicans want to disrupt government - state and federal. This is the authoritarian playbook. Cause chaos and then send in their authoritative leader, which at the moment is dTrumpf.

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