Unreasonable politicians. Endless back and forth. Zero compromises. Does anything ever change in American politics? The recent threat of a government shutdown and the ousting of the House Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, has dominated national headlines and effectively paralyzed the House of Representatives. As members of the House scramble to pick up after themselves, many have wondered what this means for our government.

It is difficult to pinpoint when the chaos began, but the public really started to tune in when the news broke in late September that the House was struggling to approve a budget. Topics like aid for Ukraine and natural disaster aid were controversial within the House, despite being included in the Senate’s approved spending bill. Furthermore, Republican extremists wanted to push forward conservative social policies in the new spending bill, something Democrats would not support.

As the budget deadline loomed, so did the approaching consequence if a spending bill could not be decided: a government shutdown. In an effort to save the country from this, Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy went against the wishes of members of the far-right Freedom Caucus. It’s safe to say that some Republicans felt betrayed. In truth, it was McCarthy’s own fault for making too many promises to begin with. But after fifteen votes to finally be given the title of House Speaker back in January, the only way he could have received enough support was through countless negotiations.

Enraged by his breach of their trust, Representative Matt Gaetz moved to oust Kevin McCarthy from the office of House Speaker. Gaetz was joined by just seven other Republicans. On Tuesday, October 3, Kevin McCarthy was removed from his position as the republican Majority Speaker, in a 216-210 vote. The 208 Democrats in attendance all voted to remove McCarthy.

Although I often align myself closely with Democratic values and policies, I admit that I had initially struggled with House Democrats’ decision. The House of Representatives had already descended into chaos with the budget drama, and government funding was only extended through mid-November. How could electing a new Speaker of the House possibly make this any better? On top of that, was a new Speaker really going to be much more of an ally to Democrats than Kevin McCarthy was? In my eyes, ousting McCarthy could only mean further deterioration of the House’s sanctity and the health of our democracy.

Even though these are still genuine concerns I have, I cannot just point fingers at the Democrats. As several Democratic representatives have stated, this was a situation created by Republicans, and Kevin McCarthy did not give Democrats much of a reason to save him from the problems that he helped enable. In fact, just days before he was ousted, McCarthy spoke on CBS News, throwing Democrats under the bus for the spending bill turmoil. He claimed that he was unsure that the bill would be approved because “Democrats tried to do everything they [could] not to let it pass,” despite 90 Republicans voting against the spending bill.

In most cases, it is unwise to attribute a near government shutdown to the people who could potentially save your job. But on national television, and just days before the decision happens? As a political move, this bordered on downright foolishness. On top of this, it’s not as if McCarthy has had a terrific run as Speaker to save him from the damage his accusations had. For the past nine months, he has discouraged investigations into the January 6th insurrection, appealed primarily to the far-right Republican representatives, and generally contributed to partisan divides within the House. In short, he does not have a winning track record for Democrats.

Had Republicans, Kevin McCarthy included, been more interested in finding a middle ground and agreeing on centrist policies with Democrats, this dilemma could have been made much simpler if not entirely avoided. Kevin McCarthy spent his term catering to right-wing extremists, but they ended up being the ones to oust him. Come election season, it should not be a surprise that Democrats will highlight the irony and dysfunction displayed by the Republican party. As the House moves to vote in a new Speaker, the next budget deadline, November 14th, is approaching rapidly. There is no saying what the next several weeks will look like for the House of Representatives, but I can say with certainty that it will be far from boring.