CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) — With U.S. House representatives home for the night, the political theater plays out in Washington, reminding some North Carolina Republicans of a similar predicament that resulted in co-speakers in the state house 20 years ago.
That historic deadlock didn’t produce winning results.
“You know, it gives me, like, an upset stomach and nausea because it reminds me of 2003 in North Carolina,” Dallas Woodhouse told Queen City News.
Woodhouse is the former executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party. He’s watching the spectacle unfold in Washington, knowing what happened 20 years ago in North Carolina was a bad look for the party.
“It was a demonstrable failure for Republicans in North Carolina. It kept them from controlling the chamber,” Woodhouse said.
After a week-long stalemate in 2003, Jim Black and Richard Morgan were elected co-speakers of the N.C. House of Representatives. Democrat Black and Republican Representative Michael Decker later served time in federal prison when it came out that Black bribed Decker to switch his party affiliation and support him, forcing the tie.
“In retrospect, a lot of bad things happened, including a whole bunch of cash exchanging hands in the IHOP bathroom in Salisbury, North Carolina,” Woodhouse said.
Fast forward to today, Woodhouse wonders what will happen when the dust settles.
“The pessimistic side of me says whoever we elect will not be able to command a majority of Republicans to do anything,” he said, “and these two years that’ve been granted to Republicans to run the house will not only be wasted but seen as very ineffective.”
Some Republicans are urging House Republicans to settle the matter.
Former President Donald Trump called on Republicans to cast their vote for McCarthy to avoid embarrassment. Those comments aren’t sitting well with the “never Kevin” voters.
“Is bankrupting the country embarrassing?” South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman said Wednesday. “Is allowing what’s happening with this administration is raiding our borders, crime in the streets,” he continued, “that’s embarrassing. The fact that we’re taking a couple days to decide this or months or longer, I could care less.”
North Carolina Representative Dan Bishop said, “When you see everybody lining up to do the same thing all the time with getting a result that you find horrendous? That’s what you should be worried about.”