As everyone, I hope, remembers, Kevin McCarthy wanted to be Speaker of the House. He wanted it so badly that he had to wheel and deal to get the votes he needed from the Republican Caucus. Even though the Caucus had a slim majority, the most rightwing members withheld their votes, denying him victory. Ultimately, the so-called Freedom Caucus was able to deny him what he wanted until he made multiple concessions, like putting its members on important committees and agreeing that he could be ousted by a simple majority vote. To win the Speakership on the 15th round of balloting, he had to agree to their demands.

Now his hands are tied in the debt negotiations with President Biden because the Freedom Caucus wants deep budget cuts and no compromise. Basically, everything but defense, Social Security and Medicare would be slashed by some 22%, and Biden’s efforts to address climate change would be gutted.

The Freedom Caucus doesn’t care if the federal government defaults on its debts. The public doesn’t follow details closely, and it would likely blame Biden, because he is President.

Kevin McCarthy needs a way to escape the chokehold of the Freedom Caucus so he can negotiate a compromise.

Here’s a plan to free him. The number of Republicans who are aligned with the Freedom Caucus is between 20-50 (they don’t publicize their numbers). That’s how many votes McCarthy needs to hold on to his job.

Why don’t Democrats offer him enough votes so he doesn’t need the Freedom Caucus? Since the Democrats can never win the Speakership in this session, why shouldn’t they all vote for McCarthy in exchange for his agreement to negotiate to raise the debt ceiling? Why shouldn’t he win bipartisan support for doing the right thing?

The Democrats have it within their power to free McCarthy from the extremists in his party who have no qualms about crashing the world economy.