Democrats fall in love. Republicans fall in line.” So said former President Bill Clinton. But it didn’t seem that way last week, as House Republicans struggled to select a new Speaker. A band of rebels wasn’t getting in line for anyone – not for the most recent leaders of the House Republican Conference, not for the leaders of their own House Freedom Caucus, and not even for former President Trump. What happened? What does it tell us about the current state of Republican politics heading into 2024, and about Republican governance in Congress, as Washington has to take up issues like the Debt Ceiling.

Matt Continetti is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, founding editor of The Washington Free Beacon, and a columnist for Commentary Magazine. He’s also the author of several books. His most recent book is called “The Right: The Hundred-Year War for American Conservatism”.

Also read Matt’s most recent Washington Post piece “House Republicans, There you go again“.

And, for our next two episodes, send a question for Congressman Mike Gallagher or Mohamed El-Erian by emailing a voice memo to (please keep the question to under 30 seconds).

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  1. Steve Fast Coolidge
    Steve Fast

    Such disdain and sneering for the Rebel 20. Matt Continetti can’t believe that any of them would lower themselves to fundraise off the Speaker Wars. He’s appalled that they would try to raise their individual profiles. What a political neophyte!

    How can someone with such a child-like understanding of how politics actually works pretend to write a book about the one-hundred-year history of conservatism?

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