Kevin McCarthy is officially the Speaker of the House. At times this week that seemed increasingly unlikely. But McCarthy never backed down an inch. It had to be humiliating to go through all those votes, only to keep coming up short. It is hard to imagine having 20 members of your caucus determined to find someone else, anyone else. It must have been particularly frustrating when it got down to 6 people who just refused to let him win, even when the outcome was obviously inevitable.
Some of this was definitely driven by personality issues. There are clearly some people who either hate Kevin McCarthy or simply believe he cannot be trusted. It is interesting to note that Kevin McCarthy was poised to become Speaker after John Boehner resigned. But he could not get enough votes, so Paul Ryan stepped in as to become a “unity” candidate. At first, I was optimistic about Paul Ryan, but he turned out to be just another part of the establishment terrified of a good fight. He also let himself get too distracted by his personal hatred of Donald Trump to pay attention to what he actually proposed.
Well now McCarthy has clinched the deal and the question is whether or not he will fight just as hard for conservative principles as he did to win his election. I suspect people may be surprised at how effective Kevin McCarthy can be at providing leadership. If you listen to the MSM you probably think that McCarthy is letting the extremists run the table. But in reality, he primarily gave them a seat at the table, something which would never have happened without this fight.
Perhaps the best explanation of what happened is written in this article by MSN.com
How Kevin McCarthy got the votes for speaker — and why it could haunt him (msn.com)
“The deal is poised to enhance the power of far-right Republicans at the expense of moderates who want to advance legislation that can win the approval of a Democratic-controlled Senate and President Joe Biden. It could make McCarthy’s task of passing must-do bills like funding the government and lifting the debt ceiling much harder under a slim majority if a group of five Republicans can effectively force him out at any time.”
Exactly: it made it more difficult for moderates to advance legislation that can win the approval of a Democratic controlled Senate and President Joe Biden. That is precisely what has been the problem with the Republican establishment for decades. Democrats seldom bother to compromise with Republicans. They know that the Republican establishment will accommodate them. Passing legislation so that it can be approved by a Chuck Schumer led Senate and signed by Joe Biden is the perfect recipe for disaster. Even if this change means Republicans can’t pass anything themselves, it would still be a major accomplishment.
Perhaps, just perhaps, McCarthy watched how DeSantis transformed Florida from deep purple to solid red. He wasn’t intimidated by Democrats or their fawning supporters in the MSM. He stood strong, fought back and to some people it was a shock that so many people recognized and rewarded strong leadership.
Democrats voted for Hakeem Jeffries, in lockstep, on every vote. There were no discussions regarding any policy issues at all. No consideration of making any changes, just voting the same way, every time, for the same person, without regard to any other factors. That is not leadership, it is dictatorship. It is the polar opposite of fair and honest debate.
If one really paid attention to the fight for Kevin McCarthy to become leader of the Republican Party, one can easily visualize Victory at See. Those who are willing to stand up for what they believe, even if it means challenging fellow Republicans, are those most likely to stand up for the rest of us. You don’t win by compromising with the enemy, you win by joining forces to defeat the enemy. But first, you need to make sure you can even identify the enemy. Compromising with evil, is no virtue.