I think it’s safe to say that, as of right now, the situation in the House of Representatives is officially through the looking glass.

John Boehner’s pending resignation threw the conference for a loop; when Kevin McCarthy announced he would not run for Speaker, things unraveled. The caucus is in chaos, and without a presumptive leader, we’re wading in a sea of speculation about who should—or is even competent to—take the gavel.

Jason Chaffetz’s surprise bid for Speaker caused a buzz amongst conservatives—but also drew fire from fellow Republicans who claim that the young lawmaker hasn’t proved his conservative bona fides.

From The Hill:

Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.) on Friday had harsh words for his successor to lead the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah), as the two Republicans eye the Speaker’s gavel.

“Look, Jason is a good man, an honorable man, but he got his job by going to Boehner and saying he would shut down that rancor that was going on, he would go along, get along — and he’s done that; he put shining pictures of Utah on the wall — and he basically stopped doing it,” Issa said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.) on Friday had harsh words for his successor to lead the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah), as the two Republicans eye the Speaker’s gavel.

“Look, Jason is a good man, an honorable man, but he got his job by going to Boehner and saying he would shut down that rancor that was going on, he would go along, get along — and he’s done that; he put shining pictures of Utah on the wall — and he basically stopped doing it,” Issa said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Issa is also reportedly mulling a bid for Speaker, as is Florida Representative Dan Webster. No one candidate, however, has managed to coalesce support from his colleagues.

The uproar has apparently caused a groundswell of support for former Vice Presidential nominee and Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan to step up—but he has repeatedly declined:

But Ryan said despite being “grateful for the encouragement,” he will not be running.

The problem now is there aren’t many people who want to lead a party that is this divided, reports CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes.

McCarthy’s decision left lawmakers reeling, including his two opponents.

One, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, said he was “absolutely stunned. [I] did not see that coming.”

Some lawmakers were even in tears following McCarthy’s abrupt announcement, upset that what should have been an orderly transition of power has descended into what many of them called chaos.

McCarthy had faced opposition from the same 40 hard-line conservatives who wanted to unseat the current speaker, John Boehner.

But don’t worry. Even if Ryan continues to refuse the chair, there’s always…Newt Gingrich?

Newt called in to Sean Hannity’s show to talk about the devolving situation. When Hannity floated the idea of a return to the chamber, Newt punted—and then said that, if presented with 218 votes, no citizen could “turn down that kind of challenge.”

Watch:

“If you were to say to me 218 have called you up and given you their pledge, obviously no citizen could ever turn down that kind of challenge,” Gingrich said, as first reported by the Washington Free Beacon.

He compared the scenario to George Washington coming out of retirement to become America’s first president.
“This is why George Washington came out of retirement — because there are moments you can’t avoid,” Gingrich said.

“Remember the McCarthy problem — it’s not getting a majority of the conference, it’s getting 218 votes,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich said he’s more likely to serve as a consultant to the House GOP than as its Speaker. He said it would “be more practical” to sit down with the GOP conference “and try to help them think this through.”

“I think this is a conference-wide problem,” said Gingrich.

Rest assured—Democrats are enjoying every minute of this:

Even Charlie Rangel tried to troll Republicans. (Spoiler: it didn’t accomplish much outside of making us hungry):

Meanwhile, California Democrat Mark Takano took matters into his own hands by posting the position on Craigslist.

Don’t worry—the listing never went live.

So that’s where we’re at. John Boehner has said that, absent 218 votes for another candidate, he’ll remain in place until his caucus can pull it together and agree on their next fearless leader.

Follow Amy on Twitter @ThatAmyMiller