Today is the day. Kevin McCarthy will either be elected Speaker of the House, or a compromise candidate will step forward to replace McCarthy.
Much has been written about the McCarthy vote. Yesterday morning’s most interesting development was when it became clear that there were not just five Republicans who were guaranteed “No”, but nine others who felt McCarthy had not conceded enough to conservatives. This ranged from lowering the threshold to vote to remove a Speaker to allegedly offering the elimination of the Office of Congressional Ethics.
Fox News reporter Chad Pergram shares an interesting tweet by Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Representative.
GOP PA Rep Scott Perry on Fox: Kevin McCarthy has known for months he doesn’t have 218..but he has dragged..the conference..the Congress and the country..to the brink
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) January 3, 2023
This is probably the most important point that can be raised. It’s also a sign of what bothers many conservatives about the McCarthy Speakership: he has been acting as if he was entitled to the job but has done absolutely nothing to earn it.
All of D.C.’s establishment, from Republicans to lobbyists, has been working on a McCarthy speakership. This is a big deal, with major conservative voices such as Charlie Kirk and Mark Levin, plus Congressional conservative favorites like Jim Jordan. The top class of Republicans and conservatives has decided to allow a smooth transition from leadership to their (slim) majority rather than fighting to ensure that it is conservative.
The work of actually securing the votes wasn’t started until recently. He assumed that he would just walk into the Speaker’s office and didn’t do the hard work required. This is a clear indicator of the entitlement mentality that many of our elites possess. They assume that the position they desire will be theirs and that they didn’t have to work for it. He thought he was entitled to it.
For God’s sake, he already moved his stuff to the office.
— Haley Talbot (@haleytalbotnbc) January 2, 2023
McCarthy’s entitlement behavior, which assumes the job should be all his, is what should alarm people. People are likely to be skeptical if a politician behaves like they have earned the job because they are next in line. McCarthy has not shown that he will be able to move the ball in favor of conservatives. Erick Erickson highlighted this morning that McCarthy has repeatedly turned to Democrats to obtain votes for appropriations bills, thereby supporting large Washington spending.
Ending McCarthy’s term as Speaker would be the most disruptive and upsetting way for conservatives, to undermine the Washington establishment. McCarthy, the Republican Leader, has not passed any appropriations measures to fund the government, and he relies on Democrats for that.
The ultimate conservative act is to end McCarthy’s chance at being Speaker. Many people want to know who the replacement is. It doesn’t really matter, as long as it isn’t McCarthy. There is no other alternative to McCarthy because McCarthy, K-Street, and the establishment will be beating McCarthy.
A few conservatives seem to be noticing this and McCarthy’s professional ladder climber political career than his conservative stalwart status. They are trying to disrupt the system because they believe in Trump’s mantra of “draining the swamp” and will continue to do so.
It would be disruptive to the Washington D.C. status quo and would alarm the Democrats and lobbyists. Is there a plan that the GOP needs other than “Stop McCarthy” No?
This is the key to the GOP’s success. They must show that they are able to stand up against the Establishment and make the Establishment move to the left. There is no need to offer a viable alternative. It is enough to make the party change.