Despite their griping about Mike Johnson on Newsmax or Fox News, and the Democratic rubbernecking surrounding the ongoing G.O.P. civil war, there appears to be a sort of dawning recognition among Republicans on Capitol Hill that the freshman speaker isn’t going anywhere—at least not for the next several months. Sure, his decision to delay a government shutdown infuriated Freedom Caucus hardliners, especially since the stopgap bill required Democratic support. And yes, hardliners still possess the motion-to-vacate power—a parliamentary weapon of mass destruction that allows any single member to initiate a vote of no confidence.
But as the dust has settled over last week’s budget fight, my congressional sources on the right are quietly signaling a grudging appreciation for Johnson’s predicament, and their own. It’s not just that they don’t want to go through another speaker election and a period where no one can do business, although that is certainly a key factor keeping everyone from the brink. It’s also that, at the moment, no one has a good rationale for nuking the speaker (or, at least, one that they can sell to the public), and no one can summon the political clout to make the motion-to-vacate option viable. “My take,” said one senior G.O.P. aide, “is that nobody wants this.”