Tag Archives: Kevin McCarthy

Kevin McCarthy drops out of Speaker election

Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-California) has just announced that he is dropping out of the race for House Speaker.

This is a breaking story, so details remain sparse. However, McCarthy’s exit today suggests that the power of the conservatives, who just yesterday threw their backing to Daniel Webster (R-Florida), is very strong. With two of the top guys from the old Republican leadership out, things are now certainly going to change in the House. This opens up the Speaker election, making it possible for a new compromise candidate to step forward. More important, that candidate is going to have to respect the demands of the conservative wing, which forced this election.

Conservative Republicans back Webster for Speaker

The fight is on! The Freedom Caucus, a group of about 40 to 50 conservative tea party Republicans in the House, has announced that they intend to back Daniel Webster (R-Florida) for Speaker, rejecting the establishment choice of Kevin McCarthy (R-California).

Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) said Webster’s focus on procedural changes convinced conservatives to back him. “We need to have a voice, we need to have power rather than have the speaker dictate to us,” he said. “It is clear that our constituents will simply not accept a continuation of the status quo, and that the viability of the Republican Party depends on whether we start listening to our voters and fighting to keep our promises,” the Freedom Caucus said in a statement. “We accordingly believe that, under the present circumstances and without significant changes to Conference leadership and process, Rep. Daniel Webster would be best equipped to earn back the trust of the American people as Speaker of the House.”

In the end I suspect the Speaker will not be Webster, but this announcement is going to force the Republican leadership to concede power to the conservatives, something the voters have clearly wanted for the past few elections.

How the Republican Party might break-up

Devin Nunes (R-California), a establishment Republican supporting Kevin McCarthy (R-California) for House Speaker, said today that any Republicans who don’t vote for McCarthy should be kicked out of the party.

Nunes is talking about the final House-wide vote for Speaker. First the Republicans vote in private among themselves, picking their nominee. McCarthy is expected to easily win that vote. Then the entire House votes. Some conservatives are threatening to not vote for McCarthy in that House-wide vote in order to extract greater influence over the entire party. Nunes wants them ejected from the party if they do that.

I have also read another story, the link to which I can’t find now, where establishment Republicans want to codify what Nunes is saying, so that any Republican who voted against McCarthy in the final vote would be kicked out of the party. If this happens, then we might very well see the Republican Party split, something that I increasingly see as a possibility. Right now the party is trying to be too big a tent, including conservatives and many moderate Democrats who find the modern Democratic Party unacceptable. (This is one reason why the Republican presidential field is so large.)

Should the party split, we might also eventually see the withering away of the Democratic Party, which today is very corrupt and far too leftwing for most Americans. If the Republicans split into conservative and moderate wings, many of those disenchanted Democrats would move to the moderate Republican faction. The result would be to cut off the corrupt modern Democratic Party from the reins of power.

I am of course being hopeful and naively optimistic. A more likely scenario would be for the Republican Party to split in such a way that the unified Democrats, still corrupt, would take over.

Boehner steps down

Good news: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) today announced that he will resign as speaker as of the end of October.

I’ve already seen a number of stories suggesting that Boehner’s second-in-command, Kevin McCarthy (R-California), is the likely replacement. McCarthy would not be much different than Boehner, except that he will know that the conservative wing of the Republican Party was able to force out his predecessor for not supporting conservative objectives. I expect we will thus see the House leadership develop a little more spine in future conflicts with the Democrats.

This is all part of a long term process. Every election that increases the number of conservatives in Congress increases their ability to achieve their goals. Nor is this unusual. I saw the same thing in the 1960s. At the time the public wanted Congress to pass very leftwing legislation. Congress wasn’t willing to do it. It took a decade, until the late 1970s, before Congress had followed the public’s lead and become as liberal as the public.

There is always a lag. I expect the conservative momentum to continue to accelerate in the coming years.