Already a member? Log In

Battle Hymn of the Republicans

mike johnson Marjorie Taylor Greene
After Saturday’s vote-a-rama, it’s safe to say there are plenty of G.O.P. House members who would happily depose Mike Johnson if they could. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images
Tina Nguyen
April 24, 2024

It’s a testament to Mike Johnson’s remarkable volte-face on Ukraine that the ultra-conservative House speaker has become the subject of glowing coverage in The Atlantic and on CNN, while Marjorie Taylor Greene et al., who threatened to oust him, were exposed as impotent. Back in September, after all, when Johnson was still a no-name backbencher, he opposed a mere $300 million in military aid to Ukraine; last weekend, risking his own job, he ushered through a package worth $61 billion

After Saturday’s vote-a-rama, it’s safe to say there are plenty of G.O.P. House members who would happily depose Johnson if they could. They’re aware, however, that there’s little support for an alternative, and that Johnson might be the best they can get. “Those of us who went through that exercise prior [with Kevin McCarthy], we understand now, personally, what comes with that,” Rep. Eli Crane told me Friday when I caught him outside the Capitol Building. “All the pressures that come with that, the uncertainty that comes with that. I mean, who are we going to get to fill that void, if there is a void? And will that void be filled with somebody better, or worse?”