House Republicans Descend Into a Flame War of Open Letters and Obscene Tweets

“Dear wayward colleagues…”

Matt Gaetz and Nancy Mace

Matt Gaetz and Nancy Mace are running out of friends.J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Things are getting wild on Nancy Mace’s Twitter account.

The South Carolina congresswoman—an on-again-off-again Trump ally who once told the only funny joke about January 6—was one of the eight Republicans who voted with Democrats a few weeks back to remove Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy. She then helped kill House Majority Leader Steve Scalise’s (R-La.) bid for the top job, noting (quite reasonably!) that she “could not in good conscience” ignore Scalise’s 2002 speech to an audience that included attendees of a “white supremacist conference.” Instead, Mace backed fellow right-wing flame-thrower Jim Jordan, whose failed attempts to become speaker finally came to an end (at least for now) on Friday.

None of this has endeared Mace to most of her GOP colleagues. On Thursday evening, for example, Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.) demanded that Mace apologize “for causing this mess” after Mace urged her colleagues to keep taking votes until Jordan somehow prevailed. Murphy then proceeded to block Mace on Twitter, prompting Mace to tweet—and I’m not making this up—”What a [cat emoji].”

“This is exactly what’s wrong with this place,” Mace wrote in a separate tweet about Murphy, “too many men here with no balls…” Murphy, refusing to be out-classed, responded the next morning: “I have been blessed to be a surgeon for 35 years and saved thousands of lives both her and abroad. Oh I got ‘em. And they are real….”

It was into this swirling cauldron of balls and cat emojis that Mace, supposedly in collaboration with the other seven Republicans who had voted to oust McCarthy, dropped one of the most absurd political documents I’ve ever seen. “We stand by our actions,” they declared Friday, after Jordan lost his third straight floor vote. But, they courageously added, they would be willing to accept “censure, suspension or removal from the [GOP] Conference” if their colleagues would just agree to make Jordan speaker.

Amazingly, not even the list of signatories on this letter was accurate. One of the anti-McCarthy Republicans, Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, has vocally refused to back Jordan because of Jordan’s refusal to acknowledge that Joe Biden won the 2020 election. Buck immediately told reporters that he had nothing to do with the letter. (Mace, too, was once an outspoken critic of Trump’s election lies, but that hasn’t stopped her from backing Jordan.)

Which brings us to Saturday afternoon, when Rep. Tom McClintock released an blisteringly sarcastic response to Mace and her friends (including, perhaps unfairly, Buck). “Dear Wayward Colleagues,” the California Republican began. “Your letter of October 20, in which you graciously offer to martyr yourselves as long as you can get your way, is perhaps the most selfless act in American history.”

McClintock goes on like this for eight paragraphs, before concluding, “I modestly suggest that you plan your martyrdom in the only way that truly matters: to have the wisdom to see the damage you have done to our country and to have the courage to set things right before it is too late.”

Read the whole thing below:

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $170,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign that ends Saturday. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $170,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign that ends Saturday. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate