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WATCH: Rachel Maddow Explains House Republicans' 'Tidal Wave of Chaos'

WATCH: Rachel Maddow Explains House Republicans' 'Tidal Wave of Chaos'

Rachel Maddow

The out MSNBC anchor tries to make sense of the 'total Republican mess' that's consuming Capitol Hill right now. 

Shocked by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's abrupt announcement Thursday that he was removing himself from the race to become speaker of the House? You're not alone.

Out MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow devoted a lengthy segment of yesterday's show to the debacle, sounding almost giddy as she recapped the blow-by-blow that led to "tidal wave of chaos" that House Republicans now find themselves in.

McCarthy, who was widely considered to have a "lock" on the speakership John Boehner intends to vacate, is no friend to LGBT Americans. Then again, neither is Boehner. And even with McCarthy removing himself from the race -- for reasons that remain murky at best -- whoever House Republicans eventually select as speaker is all but certain to have strong anti-LGBT tendencies.

According to Maddow, the path to this week's congressional chaos began more than a year ago, when far-right Republicans in former Rep. Eric Cantor's Virginia district booed him at his own event, signaling a death knell that would see the longtime Republican congressman and presumed heir to the speakership lose his reelection bid to a relative unknown in 2014.

And then, as Maddow explains, last month the pope came to Washington, and Boeher, a devout Catholic who has spent years trying to convince a sitting pontiff to come to the U.S. capital, wept openly before the throngs of people gathered to see Pope Francis.

"John Boehner crying in public because he is moved by something? It is and always has been one of my favorite things about John Boehner," Maddow admitted in Thursday's opening segment. "I find it uncynically endearing and human about him. I empathize with him on it, because I too am an uncontrollable public crier."

The next business day, Boehner announced he was resigning, triggering a not-so-mad scramble to identify the next speaker, who is drawn from the majority party. McCarthy, a California Republican who continues to serve as House majority leader, seemed the obvious choice to succeed Ohio's Boehner.

"And then to the surprise of everyone, Republicans pulled the silverware drawer out of the kitchen cabinet, and put it over their heads and shook it," Maddow offered as an explanation of what happened in the next 48 hours. "It was just stunning and amazing."

It was also confusing, and remains so, even for a seasoned political reporter and pundit like Maddow.

"Who's going to run Congress?" asks Maddow at the end of the segment. "Nobody knows. Who's going to be third in line to the presidency after the vice president? The second most powerful person in Washington after the president. Nobody knows. Who runs the Republican Party? Nobody knows. Who gets to decide who runs the Republican Party? Say it with me now: Nobody knows."

Ride the tidal wave of chaos with Maddow below.

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