Kevin McCarthy’s hopes for becoming House speaker are in trouble after falling short on numerous ballots. But whatever happens to the California Republican, we already know this: The extreme MAGA caucus will essentially be pointing a gun at the head of the House GOP leadership for the next two years.
House Democrats will have to do all they can to minimize the damage. According to Democratic aides, this will turn partly on their ability to put effective political pressure on the 18 House Republicans who were elected in 2022 in districts carried by Joe Biden two years earlier.
That pressure would ideally persuade some of those Republicans to break with their GOP colleagues and join with Democrats to block the worst MAGA designs.