Or, is he just nuts?
Specifically: Does Moulton lead a block of Democrats pledged to vote for Kevin McCarthy (R-Cal.) to be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives?
That seems incredible to me, yet it is the only way the following statement (Washington Post, emphasis added) makes sense:
Pelosi has dismissed Moulton’s challenge and insists she has the votes.
“I will be speaker of the House no matter what he says,” she said Wednesday.
“She’s wrong,” Moulton fired back Thursday. “We have the votes.”
“Have the votes” for what?
Helping the GOP steal back the House, presumably in return for promises and goodies, would be the grossest act of political betrayal in my lifetime.
Even using this as a threat would be beyond the pale.
So what is Moulton’s endgame?
Here are the numbers.
Nancy Pelosi is unopposed for speaker and is widely supported.
Even if she were opposed, Pelosi has already got the votes she needs in the caucus to face McCarthy, who only commands a minority of votes (200-odd).
More than 25 Democrats (math a little fuzzy due to undecided races) could abstain from the vote (to fulfill campaign pledges not to vote for scary Nancy Pelosi) and she would still prevail in the contest.
But it would only take 13 or 14 turncoats to throw the race to the Republicans.
If you are having trouble making sense of this, welcome to the club.