US politics: eight Republicans oust McCarthy

Republican Kevin McCarthy was ousted as Speaker of the US House of Representatives on Tuesday — a first in US history. Eight hard-right party colleagues led by Matt Gaetz voted against McCarthy, as did all the Democrats. McCarthy has said he won’t run again for speaker. The House of Representatives won’t be able to take any decisions until he is replaced.

La Repubblica (IT) /


La Repubblica describes the move as fratricide:

“The US is without a speaker in the House of Representatives at a time when it was supposed to pass the budget bill for funding the government, including military aid for Ukraine in the crucial phase of the counter-offensive — and all because a small minority of extremist and Trumpist Republican congressmen voted yesterday to remove the Speaker of their own party. ... A fratricidal internal struggle that shows how the dominance of the former president and new candidate for the White House is dividing not only America but also his own party. ... The madness that has gripped the party once led by Lincoln is paving the way for autocrats like Putin and Xi.”

Paolo Mastrolilli
De Volkskrant (NL) /

Systematic sabotage

The extremists are causing chaos again, writes De Volkskrant:

“The ousting of the speaker is triggering another leadership struggle in the House of Representatives. It took McCarthy 15 rounds of voting back in January to win his post: an example of the division within the Republican Party and the willingness of the radical right to openly sabotage day-to-day politics. Donald Trump even cheered them on in recent weeks: ‘Unless you get everything, shut it down!’ he demanded. Then on Tuesday he acted as if nothing had happened on social media. ‘Why is it that Republicans are always fighting among themselves?’ he asked rhetorically. ‘Why aren’t they fighting the Radical Left Democrats who are destroying our country?’”

Thomas Rueb
De Standaard (BE) /

All about raising his own profile

De Standaard points to contradictions regarding the policies advocated by Gaetz:

“The Republicans traditionally favour low taxes and a small state apparatus. But Gaetz likes to tell his voters that his own Republicans are almost as profligate as the miserable Democrats. ... The irony is that Gaetz gets so worked up about the government deficit getting out of hand, even though it was precisely during Donald Trump’s presidency that it grew most rapidly. Yet Gaetz voted for Trump, of all people, to become Speaker in January. ... This shows how little Gaetz really cares about coherent balance sheets and how he is just focused on sabotage and raising his own profile.”

Steven De Foer