If anyone doubted that Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy has the backbone of a jelly fish, his flat-out lie last week proves it.
And it also means his sole lifelong goal of ascending to the House Speakership is over. Not because he lied but because he was disloyal to Donald J. Trump. Yes, I’m aware that Trump has made it known that since McCarthy quickly atoned for his sin of speaking ill of Trump, he is not angry with him.
I just don’t believe him.
I think he keeps McCarthy hanging by a string through the mid-terms when Republicans probably will retake the House. Then Trump will support another “truly” loyal supplicant to insert into the Speakership. I think McCarthy’s days are numbered. Greed and power did him in as it always does.
Now, I know people think “all” politicians lie. I would argue that. They avoid, deflect, obfuscate and “spin,” and those are all acceptable because they always leave an out to prove they weren’t lying. Very few lie outright as McCarthy did when asked about the New York Times article describing a call he had with other Republicans in which he said he was going to suggest then-President Trump resign.
He was proven a liar when Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, authors of a new book “This Will Not Pass” about the 2020 presidential election, produced tapes (Lordy, they have tapes!) of a call McCarthy led with other Republicans, proving him a verifiable, bold-faced liar. You likely have seen for yourself because TV has run tapes of both the lie and the truth for a few days. Well, unless all you watch is Fox and the other MAGA channels who ignore this story, thus keeping their viewers in the dark about the truth.
Now, here’s where I get into the “this would be fun and honorable” but clearly not happening idea:
McCarthy could redeem himself somewhat if he accepted the fact that he will never be Speaker of the House, third in line to the presidency. Assuming I’m right, that Trump at some point will double-cross McCarthy and throw him under a double-decker bus, that would bury McCarthy in his caucus, a disgraced liar with no credibility to get things done.
Continuing my fantasy, If McCarthy would accept that fact, he might then do his public mea culpa and own up to what he said on that phone call and own up to the fact that his true view at the time (and now) was what he said one of those taped calls, “I’ve had it with this guy (Trump).” He wouldn’t turn himself into Speaker, but he would be on the road to decency.
Unfortunately, there aren’t people like that in Republican leadership anymore. Mitch McConnell, the GOP Senate leader, almost made that level when he let it be known that he hasn’t talked to Trump since December 15, 2020, and that he believed Trump was behind the January 6 insurrection that threatened the lives of the country’s elected leaders. But now McConnell says, as the good wuss leader that he is, that he’d back Trump if he is the 2024 party nominee. Literally, no profiles in courage in GOP House or Senate leadership.
Oh, and then there is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, another “leader” of the GOP, who hasn’t met a controversial culture issue he isn’t on the wrong side of.
A talking head on TV the other day supported DeSantis in his battle against the Walt Disney company because, he claimed, the Disney CEO came out and opposed DeSantis’ “don’t say gay” law that has put the fear of God into every grammar school teacher in the state, who is threatened with jail if they mention sexual identities to their very young students. This talking head, Scott Jennings, said the CEOs who came out against the law didn’t know what was in it and went with the opposition “narrative” that the law actually said “don’t say gay.”
1) No teacher is teaching children that they should be gay or trans or straight. They may be understandably sensitive to the fact that many of their students come from homes of two moms or two dads, and are dealing with that reality without embarrassing any student who may have same-sex mothers or dads. Why? Because there is nothing for them to be embarrassed about.
2) Mr. Jennings, rather than ranting about a CEO exercising his or her First Amendment rights, should call that CEO to set him straight on what he thinks the law says (pardon me using the sexually charged word “straight”). If you truly think the CEO accepts the opposition “narrative,” as Jennings said several times, then call the man or woman and explain it to them rather than just criticize him on TV – uh, exactly what you're charging them with, talking without listening.
None of this is to let President Biden off the hook. His administration, because of mistakes and things beyond its control (i.e., Ukraine) has not been Camelot. But let’s remember why many of us voted for Biden – he wasn’t Trump.
I, and I know many others, saw Biden as a bridge to trying to return to a more civilized politics. He has not been very successful on that front either.
But, he isn’t Trump which was a primary reason he was elected. We knew he’d be a decent, honest transition president. Is he failing at some things? Yes, and he’s succeeding at others. But, he is a decent man, like all our elected officials ought to be.
(As I finish writing this, CNN is reporting thousands of texts from members and former members of Congress and others that, among other things, has them begging Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, on Jan. 6 to get Trump to do something to calm the insurrectionists in their hallways. Today, they all are saying the election was stolen (t wasn’t) and fullyl backing Trump. Whatever leadership they were showing on Jan. 6, is gone and forgotten by them.)