Then There’s Kevin McCarthy

Published: May 3, 2022

By Jim Lichtman
Image
Read More

Last night’s news is prologue to what’s likely to come from Republicans.

Based on a leaked document, Politico reports that the US Supreme Court is likely to strike down Roe v. Wade, a ruling that has been “settled law,” as Justice Brett Kavanaugh told Maine Senator Susan Collins, for 50 years. If this is indeed true, Republicans “march to the sea” in tearing apart what a majority of the country believes in, is not likely to end there. Any pretense that the high court is not politically biased is gone. And, as the following commentary demonstrates, this is only the beginning of where the Republican party is headed under the stewardship of the poorest examples of “leaders” in any political party in perhaps the last 50 years.

In a 1955 essay for The Atlantic magazine, 20th-century journalist and commentator Walter Lippmann summed up politicians both then and now.

“With exceptions so rare they are regarded as miracles of nature successful democratic politicians are insecure and intimidated men. They advance politically only as they placate, appease, bribe, seduce, bamboozle, or otherwise manage to manipulate the demanding threatening elements in their constituencies.

“The decisive consideration is not whether the proposition is good but whether it is popular—not whether it will work well and prove itself, but whether the active-talking constituents like it immediately.”

Today’s GOP representatives make full use of bamboozlement and manipulation. The only difference is their lies have no disguise.

E.g. Madison Cawthorn, the far-right representative from North Carolina “has been accused of falsely suggesting that his Republican colleagues routinely throw cocaine-fueled orgies, insider trading and an inappropriate relationship with a male aide. . . . A political group supporting Senator Thom Tillis, Republican of North Carolina, has been pouring money into an ad campaign accusing Mr. Cawthorn of being a fame-seeking liar.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene, the far-right representative from Georgia, had her personal Twitter account permanently suspended last January for repeatedly spreading misinformation about COVID-19. In response, Greene wrote: “an enemy to America and can’t handle the truth. That’s fine, I’ll show America we don’t need them and it’s time to defeat our enemies.”

In a bid to have Greene removed from the ballot on the upcoming election, an activist group questioned Greene regarding her Tweets on the January 6 Insurrection.

Questioned about the attackers, Greene said that she believed they were “Antifa dressed up as Trump supporters” because “that was the first thing we were told.”

She doesn’t say who told her.

Despite Georgia election officials statements that Joe Biden won the 2020 election in the state, Greene continues to declare, absent any proof, that there was a “tremendous amount” of fraud.

While the legality of such a removal of Greene is doubtful, the Georgia representative continues to draw from the Trump playbook: cling to false conspiracy theories; pelt your constituents with false health information and make sure you get face time on FOX.

Paul Gosar, the far-right yada, yada, from Arizona, who is as quick with a tweet as Trump.

“I have a tip. I think high level FBI agents may have colluded with British agents and Democrat operatives to initiate an illegal coup against @realDonaldTrump and @POTUS. I mean at least this bears a cursory review. Perhaps. Maybe. https://twitter.com/TS_SCI_MAJIC12

Gosar has moved so far off the GOP reservation that he tweeted an anime video showing him killing Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. Twitter later attached a warning to the tweet saying “it violated the Twitter Rules about hateful conduct. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”

Then there’s the tag-team match of Gosar and Greene.

“Three days after Ms. Greene appeared in person,” The New York Times writes, “and Mr. Gosar by video at the America First Political Action Conference, organized by a prominent white supremacist, Nick Fuentes, the responses reflected mounting pressure on top Republicans to denounce extremists in their ranks.”

California “Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader ….told reporters at the Capitol that he found the pair’s behavior ‘appalling and wrong. The party should not be associated any time, any place with somebody who is antisemitic,” he added, calling Ms. Greene’s failure to leave the stage after Mr. Fuentes praised Adolf Hitler ‘unacceptable.’”

Which brings us to Trump’s sycophant in chief, Mr. McCarthy.

“‘What he did is unacceptable,’ McCarthy said in a phone call to other Republicans after the Insurrection of the Capitol. ‘Nobody can defend that and nobody should defend it. I think this will pass, and it would be my recommendation you should resign’”

“In response, McCarthy issued a blistering denial, saying in part that ‘The New York Times’ reporting on me is totally false and wrong,’ that the NYT was ‘doing everything it can to further a liberal agenda,’ and that ‘our country was better off when President Trump was in the White House.’”

However, “McCarthy can clearly be heard saying exactly what ‘This Will Not Pass’ quoted: ‘The only discussion I would have with him is that I think this will pass, and it would be my recommendation you should resign.’”

Recording of McCarthy and Cheney pic.twitter.com/oHMMV7TXbo

— Acyn (@Acyn) April 22, 2022

While McCarthy may be able to rationalize his actions to fellow Trump supporters in his own party, his California constituents might just think twice about reelecting him.

“McCarthy got a standing ovation after defending himself in a meeting with House Republicans, The Washington Post reported. But now, billboards erected in McCarthy’s district are sending the California Republican a different message — and it’s coming from within his own party.

“‘WE’VE HEARD THE TAPES, KEVIN,’ the billboards say. ‘Stop lying about January 6th.’”

“The billboards were paid for by the Republican Accountability Project, a conservative group critical of members of the GOP who have supported Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was rigged.”

“There can be no liberty for a community,” Lippmann wrote, “which lacks the means by which to detect lies.”

What will it take for Republican voters to see that they’re being played: placated; appeased; bamboozled; and manipulated?

Comments

  1. I hope people could stop clinging “to false conspiracy theories…false…information” by listening to the truth from multiple sources.
    We look forward to your next book Jim!

Leave a Comment



Read More Articles
The Latest... And Sometimes Greatest
The Battle for the Hürtgen and One Soldier Who Lived It
In chronicling one of the bloodiest battles of World War II, historian Charles Whiting writes, “Thirty thousand American G.I.’s were killed or wounded in the...
May 27, 2022
“I’ve Had Enough,” And So Should All of Us
After learning of yet another mass shooting in a fourth-grade Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Golden State Warriors’ Coach Steve Kerr brushed off questions about...
May 25, 2022
How Far They Have Fallen
The lead story in Sunday’s New York Times sums up how far Donald Trump has usurped many Republican state legislatures, political leadership in Congress and...
May 24, 2022
Our Bitter Harvest
“Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun of York.” —Richard III, Act I, sc. 1 In March 1954, Democratic...
May 20, 2022
The Leak
The leak of a US Supreme Court draft decision raised a lot of concerns about the state of confidentiality and trust of the high court....
May 17, 2022
We Are Americans
Character is a word that’s rarely used today; rarer still is finding leaders who demonstrate character. But there are a few. Republicans Liz Cheney and...
May 13, 2022