The chaos caucus may have miscalculated.
It’s a tiny subset of House Republicans, being termed the “Gaetz Eight” after they conspired with Representative Matt Gaetz to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy from his role as House Speaker. Now those co-conspirators —Bob Good, Nancy Mace, Andy Biggs, Matt Rosendale, Tim Burchett, Eli Crane, and Ken Buck — are seeing backlash from donors and supporters.
Gaetz’s antics have earned him the frustration of his colleagues before, but this time he’s hurt their ability to force through partisan legislation, and contributed to the image of a party too divided to function. For those who joined him in the disruptive display, it’s proving to have a detrimental effect on their donor dollars — and their Congressional connections.
Mace, for one, has been dumped out of both the Main Street Caucus and the Republican Governance Group, and she’s facing a primary challenge from her own former Chief of Staff. Good is also facing a primary challenge, though he’s also angered colleagues in other ways, including endorsing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for president instead of Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, Burchett has described the current situation as having “some very wealthy folk” cut off donations to him. CNN reported:
“They’ve been very kind to me in the past, and I hope that we can mend the fences,” Burchett said. “I can get them back in the fold. But if I don’t, I’m still friends with them. I’m not vindictive.”
Gaetz, who stands out as a member of the chaos caucus who has actually seen increased donations, is writing it off as a “game” that McCarthy can’t win, especially after leaving Congress.
McCarthy, however, is holding a hard grudge and said back in November that the party would be better off with Gaetz out of the way, according to The Hill. He’s said that his ouster was purely revenge by Gaetz for not intervening to stop the Ethics Committee’s investigation into allegations that Gaetz sex-trafficked a minor and that Gaetz belongs in prison.
This all comes as the party is also splintering over support (or lack thereof) for Donald Trump, over a subset of House Republicans obstructing a bipartisan border bill, and over an endless string of baseless investigations into President Joe Biden, his son, the defense secretary, the attorney general, and anyone else Trump and his allies see as an enemy or threat.
The end result is a dysfunctional Republican Party, now seen as incapable of governing effectively.
Steph Bazzle is a news writer who covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph. Sign up for all of her stories to be delivered to your inbox here: