By: Mike Needham, The Daily Signal
October 8, 2015
When Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced he would resign as speaker, conventional wisdom in Washington dictated Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., would be the next to wield the gavel. But for those outside Washington, the inevitability seemed tone-deaf and ultimately unrealistic. As it turns out, they were right. The people’s voice was heard loud and clear by those members that would have had to cast a public vote in favor of McCarthy.
As the news broke this afternoon, Washington reporters rushed to produce the latest so-called hot take on why McCarthy dropped out and pondered if the “deeply divided” GOP could ever unite around a speaker. Not surprisingly though, in a social media age, many of these explanations were shallow and lacking any appreciation of what has transpired over the past five years.
The reality is simple: In the aftermath of the 2011 showdown over the debt ceiling—the showdown that led to the spending caps that Boehner, et al. are now attempting to bust—the GOP began taking a passive posture toward President Obama and a dismissive disposition toward conservatives. That dynamic within the House Republican Conference has been building over the past four years. It came close to boiling over in January, and finally became too much in September.
Of course, Americans outside of Washington played an undeniably important role in this process. The revival of the conservative grassroots empowered by access to information and a proliferation of technology created an atmosphere that forced Boehner to resign. And in a nod to political reality, McCarthy said “I don’t want to make voting for speaker a tough one…” Indeed it would have been, because as Boehner’s second in command, McCarthy would have been viewed in a similarly unfavorable light.
RINOTRACKER RESPONSE FROM CHRIS ADAMO:
From the moment John Boehner abruptly announced his “retirement” from the Speakership of the House of Representatives, astute observers recognized that a GOP “Establishment” ruse was in the making. Boehner’s constant collaboration with Obama had totally alienated him to conservatives over the past four years. Nevertheless, the ultimate goal of the “Establishment” was to maintain the status quo, while pretending to make amends. In retrospect, the replacement of Boehner with California Representative Kevin McCarthy was likely a precondition to Boehner’s departure.
Conservative resistance to further betrayals by Boehner and his allies had effectively undercut the agenda of GOP liberals so severely that further posturing would be necessary if they were to have any hopes of staying in control. So the plan was to put Boehner out to pasture, only to be replaced by a supposedly “fresh face” who would advance the very same agenda. But the grassroots has had its fill of such duplicity, and didn’t buy into the ploy.
Opposition to McCarthy became so strident, both in the Heartland and within conservative circles on Capitol Hill, that he was compelled to withdraw his name from consideration. And “Round Two” goes decidedly to conservatives.
Having seen their scheme completely thwarted, the “politics as usual” Republicans are predictably in a snit decrying conservatives as wholly unreasonable. Yet even this tantrum is proving to be a great boon to those Americans who desire to see their country wrested from the clutches of big government liberals in both parties. A “post mortem” of the McCarthy episode offers many “teachable” moments, the significance of which should not be overlooked.
Consider McCarthy’s disastrous assertion that the real worth of the Benghazi committee was the manner in which it hurt Hillary’s poll numbers. Committee chairman Trey Gowdy (R.-SC) was rightly incensed at such an assertion, and has done his best to reaffirm the real purpose of the hearings, which is to identify malfeasance during the Benghazi attacks as well as Obama administration fraud and coverups in their aftermath. With total indifference to what is really at stake, McCarthy revealed an abhorrently ugly, self-serving underside of the current Republican political machine.
Gowdy’s investigation has yielded an abundance of evidence proving enormous wrongdoing by the Obama cabal, yet nothing of consequence is being done with it. Now, by McCarthy’s assertion, we know why. Republicans in “leadership” are willing to play politics with the Benghazi disaster, but have no intention of calling for appropriate legal action for fear of the controversy that would erupt.
Clearly, GOP bosses have no plan to hold the perpetrators legally accountable, which might involve indicting Hillary Clinton, or even going higher in the chain of command to the White House. Cleaning up government is just too noisy and messy of a task. It’s enough in the minds of Republican political players to throw a few “crumbs” to the base and leave it at that.
The duplicity of the GOP hierarchy in Congress to play such games with the Benghazi committee is abhorrently reflective of similar political gymnastics being conducted in the Senate. During Ted Cruz’s memorable July 24 Senate floor speech in which he called out Mitch McConnell as a liar, Cruz gave another example of Republican treachery that should never be forgotten. While making plans for another Republican sellout of the American people, McConnell sought to placate recalcitrant Senators by offering to hold yet another vote to “repeal” Obamacare.
Cruz rightly pointed out that while many such show votes had already taken place, McConnell diligently prevented any real action from occurring when it could actually have made a difference, which was during the funding debate. In short, McConnell would allow a meaningless show vote, presuming that the rest of the Senate was as willing to fraudulently posture in front of the American people as he was. This chicanery revealed the absolute contempt of McConnell towards both his fellow Republican Senators and the American people.
Likewise, Kevin McCarthy let slip the fact that House Republican “leaders” are equally contemptuous of the people on Main Street. It is patently obvious that despite Boehner’s eventual departure, a major overhaul of the U.S. Congress is still critically necessary.
McCarthy’s departure was indeed a good step in that direction, but is clearly not the “end game.” At present, Boehner and his minions are regrouping, pressing such Establishment stalwarts as Paul Ryan to seek the Speaker position, in hopes of keeping the major pieces of their political machine in place.
And in case anyone thought these RINO betrayals couldn’t possibly get any worse, consider the notion floated by “Republican” Congressman Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, who suggests a “bipartisan” coalition to pick Boehner’s successor. Dent, who wants to marginalize conservative stalwarts, would instead happily engage congressional Democrats (the same people who chose Pelosi) to elect a speaker.
It is crucial to understand that although such deplorable thinking as Dent’s is only now coming to light, it has been present and accepted within Republican ranks for a long time. Another “Thank You!” should go indirectly to Kevin McCarthy for smoking out such despicable disloyalty.
Up to this point, America has effectively thwarted further repeats of the old games, but the battle is far from over. This is just the start of “Round Three.”
E-mail Christopher G. Adamo at: firstname.lastname@example.org