My first reaction to the failed vote to confirm Kevin McCarthy was that the “Freedom Caucus” was snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Obviously, Kevin McCarthy has the support of the vast majority of the Republican caucus, the freedom caucus is being voted down 20 to 1. It seems like a handful of extremely conservatives representatives want to hold the entire caucus hostage.
But then I read the following statement from Lauren Boebert, and it added some important perspective. Here is the statement, read it for yourself:
So I’ve said from the beginning that my hard line was the motion to vacate, single member motion to vacate. You cannot demand more responsibility and less accountability. And Kevin McCarthy was taking the path of Nancy Pelosi and following her precedents with the motion to vacate. We were just told when we left this door, we will give you single member motion to vacate.
Just today. That was the starting point for negotiations. That was the starting point to everything that we are wanting to transform the way Washington, D.C. operates. If you go to the American people and ask them if Congress is doing a good job, if they like the way things are run in Washington, D.C., you’re probably going to get a big hell no. We want to change the way things are done here. We didn’t offer up a personal wish list. We were told to provide lists of what members need to be seated on what committees. And we did exactly that.
And then there were amazing items that were listed as well for our border security, for term limits. Just bring the bill to the floor so we can have a vote on term limits. That’s what the majority of Americans want to see in Congress. We said that any amendment that reduces the national debt needs to be made in order. This is not a personal wish list. This is not something that is unreasonable. This is just for the American people. This is fair for the American people.
And so now here we are being sworn at instead of being sworn in. And we could have had this solved months ago.
While I do not necessarily agree with some of this, it does shed some serious light on the problem. I am reminded how when Republicans soured on John Boerner, in hindsight with a lot of justification, Paul Ryan was chosen as the consensus leader. The middle of the road approach leads to nowhere. It is like someone more focused on settling the boat rather than steering it in the right direction. It was a disastrous choice and explains why the Republicans repeatedly failed to make much progress on the things it claimed were important.
Democrats, on the other hand, are totally united on their extremist agenda. They vote in lock step, every time, on every issue. Hakeem Jeffries won every Democratic vote on every ballot.
This reminded me of something Barry Goldwater said years ago, words that mattered then, words that matter now, words that will always matter.
Extremism in the Defense of Liberty Is No Virtue – PETER WEHNER, Commentary Magazine
“Let me remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me also remind you that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”
What we are watching in the House is embarrassing. However, it may also be beyond necessary. Republicans under the leadership of people including Kevin McCarthy have failed to stand up to the tyranny of the Democratic Party and the establishment in both parties. Perhaps one reason so few people voted for Republicans during this election is that few people actually expected significantly different results. After all, Republicans had the Presidency, the House and the Senate under both Bush and Trump and accomplishing next to nothing.
Perhaps, just perhaps, the most extreme voices are the ones saying things that really matter. They are the ones, who actually do have the potential to rock our world in a better direction. We need to pay attention to people like Ron DeSantis who taught Republicans how to stand up for they believe is right and fight back regardless of the opposition. He has transformed Florida and it is people like him who are necessary to transform this country.
All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing. Evil never stops on its own, it must be stopped, by those who recognize it for what it is and are willing to do the necessary to stop it.
That is why police, jails, judges, prisons and yes churches are necessary. It is why Republicans need to choose a real leader, someone willing to fight, to be the real Speaker of the House. If Kevin McCarthy wants the job, he needs to demonstrate that he had the leadership ability necessary to get it done.
“Compromise with evil, is no virtue and moderation in doing what is right is no virtue.” My hunch is this is going to turn out different than anyone expected and sometimes that is the best possible outcome.