Kevin McCarthy: The Gimp Who Thinks He’s a Master
Kevin McCarthy wants you to know that he is a very brilliant and extremely ruthless tactician with an iron fist on his caucus that he will use to crush troublemakers and deliver Conservative Results™ for the American people.
Or, to be more precise, Republican House Leader McCarthy wants its donors to know that he is a very brilliant and extremely ruthless tactician who will do these things. The rest of us just have to read it in the Washington Post because for “That of my Kevinmore believable and less tacky endings than saying them in person.
The Job story, titled “How Kevin McCarthy’s political machine worked to influence the GOP fieldclaims to provide the inside scoop on how McCarthy and his allies eliminated the crazies from their party, wielding power like a dark LBJ:
Behind-the-scenes effort by top GOP donors and strategists to purge influence from Republican factions that seek disruption and grandstanding, often at the expense of their GOP colleagues. The political machine around McCarthy has spent millions of dollars this year in a sometimes covert effort to systematically weed out GOP candidates who could either get McCarthy in trouble if he becomes Speaker of the House or jeopardize GOP victories.
If only it were so.
As someone who has bragged about the political genius of my camp for political journalists, I know how to take advantage a “shoot what flies, claim what falls” philosophy to make you shine. Thus, the structure of the material in the Job the article looks familiar to me. And at the 30,000 foot level, there are some modest evidence of the case made by McCarthy.
But once you start getting into the details. . . good . . . Color me not convinced.
Let’s take a look under the hood together.
JThe central piece of evidence in McCarthy’s case as a strong congressional leader is the defeat of Madison Cawthorn, an incredibly immature school dropout and Führer who was dragged into Congress despite myriad unresolved personal issues resulting at least partly from a tragic car accident.
Not exactly like facing Genghis Khan, but okay.
Yes, the campaign to oust Cawthorn was successful, but it should be mentioned that it was also disgusting homophobic bait. The Job the story does not say whether reporters found out if McCarthy’s agents were the source behind the grainy video and other leaks that strongly implied that Cawthorn might be gaybut that was the word on the street among my former colleagues last spring.
The “Results for NC” ads that McCarthy now claims to provide additional evidence. These adverts included the now infamous images of Cawthorn in a lace shirt and another of him shirtless on a pool raft with another man resting his head on his chest, as an ominous voiceover declares the contestant “an embarrassment”.
So I guess on that point we should give Kevin credit where the credit is due. He successfully deployed washington’s oldest tower and got rid of a headache with a “wink, wink, Madison is a fag” campaign.
But as the degree of difficulty increased, it seems that he didn’t have the stones for the fight.
Where was Big Bad Kevin in the primaries against Majorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Paul Gosar and the others? Not only are they still in Congress, but the Coup Squad was there throughout the campaign season this year, stamping its stamp of approval on candidates nationwide, not through the stealth money laundering of the Super PAC that Kevin has to use to avoid backfiring, but outdoors!
On the other end of the spectrum — defending Trump’s impeachers at his conference — Kevin was also a dismal failure. In the primaries he has tried to enter, he has been ineffectual at best. In other cases, such as those of Liz Cheney and Peter Meijer, outgoing members of her conference have been suspended.
The name “Meijer” does not appear in the Jobthe story. For good reason. The only thing McCarthy seemed able to do for this loyal representative of the rotating district was to get his friends to complain about the evil Democrats campaigning against him. Once Meijer was dispatched by the MAGA crowd, McCarthy traveled to Michigan to enthusiastically support his main opponent, John Gibbsa man who not only backed Trump’s lies about the 2020 election but also opposed women’s suffrage, accused John Podesta of being a Satanist and defended the anti-Semites.
Guess we’ll put this one in the demerits column when evaluating the effectiveness of Kevin’s “purge” of potential distractions.
Kevin’s team sprung into action on behalf of Jaime Herrera Beutler, a congresswoman from Washington who was chosen by far-right nationalist Joe Kent, whose pathos I pointed out last year crawling before a KKK youth group.
McCarthy’s strike team did not confront Kent about his white nationalist ideas or autocratic tendencies. Instead, they ran ads “misleadingly suggesting he wants to ‘defund the police,'” and showing pictures of him “wearing long hair,” according to the Job. Surprisingly, this hippie-baiting strategy didn’t work. Kent beat Herrera Beutler and will join McCarthy’s conference next year if he wins the general election.
JThe McCarthy team also failed to successfully exert influence to prevent literal domestic terrorists from joining the House GOP conference.
There’s JR Majewski from Ohio, a psychotic QAnon-affiliated Capitol rioter who said on a livestream that he walked “to the foot of the Capitol Building” on January 6. It’s unclear if Team McCarthy secretly engaged in Majewski’s primary, but McCarthy traveled to Ohio to campaign for him in public. Within a month of the McCarthy/Majewski meeting of the minds, the NRCC announced it was cutting $1 million from its campaign to redirect it to candidates with a better chance of winning.
Then there’s Derrick Van Orden of Wisconsin, a candidate who “had a front row seat to the chaos” January 6th. McCarthy supported her candidacy.
McCarthy’s allies tried to influence a North Carolina primary featuring Sandy Smith, another candidate who marched from the Ellipse to the Capitol on Jan. 6 in support of Trump’s coup attempt. As the Job noted, McCarthy’s leadership, PAC, spent $600,000 on ads calling Smith “pro-amnesty.” That didn’t work either; she still won.
But the trio of putschists is far from the only madman to have won the Republican primaries this year. In Texas, Monica De La Cruz is accused of having abusing ex-husband’s teenage daughter. After losing in 2020, she said several times his election was stolen without proof. In Arizona, GOP candidate Kelly Cooper said“The prisoners of January 6 need to be worked [sic] be released on the first day. I will do everything possible to make this happen. In Colorado, Republicans nominated Barb Kirkmeyer, who was an outspoken leader in the effort to bring eleven counties to to secede from the state. Bo Hines, a GOP congressional candidate in North Carolina, is an unemployed 26-year-old most famous for believing the term “banana republic” was a reference to the clothing store when arguing that we should defund the FBI and the IRS.
All the purging!
And that’s just a representative set of the absolutely deranged candidates Republicans have nominated this cycle for House seats in red, purple and blue districts.
The McCarthy team conveniently ignores this pandemic madness and congratulates itself on having spent $40,000 on “appeals for participation” to help a sitting congressman fend off a primary by racist nut Laura Loomer – something that seems to be more a bare minimum box-check than anything you can brag about.
But no matter what McCarthy’s allies have done in a handful of races, the big picture is unambiguous. Next year, the House Republican conference will be more Trumpy, more conspiratorial, and have more declared insurgents than the current Congress. Almost everyone who stood up to Trump will be gone. Meanwhile, according to FiveThirtyEight Analysis“118 Holocaust deniers and seven skeptics have at least a 95% chance of winning.”
Not only do the craziest of party freaks stay, but their ranks grow. “My Kevin” showed no will to confront any of them, with the single exception of an unhappy man-child who needed to be slapped because he said GOP leaders invited him to orgies of cocaine.
Iit is clear from the Job article that Kevin McCarthy’s allies want people to believe that as Speaker of the House he will be “aggressive”, unlike cuckolds John Boehner and Paul Ryan, whose leadership was “tainted with dissent and dysfunction”.
But here’s the catch. The only difference between McCarthy and his two GOP predecessors is that he will avoid dissent by simply letting the crazies own him. There will be no malfunction because he will not fight.
If a majority of his caucus wants to invent an election fantasy in an attempt to tear down our democracy, McCarthy will vote with them.
If they want to impeach Joe Biden because his son snapped, McCarthy will go with them.
If they want to erect a bronze statue of Donald John Trump on the Capitol grounds, you better think McCarthy will sponsor the bill.
The Job The article quotes an anonymous supporter who calls McCarthy a “political animal” who “is not to be laughed at”, saying of him: “No best friend, no worst enemy”. I assume this person insisted on anonymity to avoid the public humiliation that would come with such a ridiculous tongue bath.
Because that description doesn’t fit McCarthy at all. The truth about Kevin McCarthy is that he is a spineless jerk. He’s a Scar who thinks he’s a Simba. A Saul Goodman who thinks he’s a Gus Fring. A gimp who thinks he’s a master.
He will be allowed to stay in his role by those actually in charge as long as he doesn’t do anything that would require the exercise of independent power: ordering members to do something they don’t want to do.
It’s a deal Kevin is happy with. The one that will probably land him in the president’s chair.
But let’s face it, he’s not swinging anything. And no one on God’s green earth is afraid of him, let alone the most extreme voices in his caucus.