But a number of current and former House staffers — as well as a prominent historian of the House — say that in their opinion, McCarthy’s opposition to Thursday’s vote to remove Greene from her committee assignments was all for show. Instead, the entire exercise was meant to goad Democrats into giving him a weapon to entrench one-party Republican rule by targeting their members wholesale if he is ever permitted to hold power.

“Kevin is just about as happy as a pig in s**t right now,” said one House veteran, an aide to a long-serving Republican member who called the events of the past few days an “entirely predictable” exercise that will be cited in the future as a failure by Democrats to think in the longer term…

Asked about the Democratic Leader’s decision, another House aide — one who works for a Democrat and who was not authorized to speak publicly — expressed surprise about the lack of political savvy it appeared to display.

“He [Hoyer] got rolled, and that’s something you don’t see that often,” they said. “In hindsight, I think he let the emotions of the caucus push him a bit more than he would ordinarily let himself be pushed.”