Kevin McCarthy has learned what happens when you let the kids run the household. Despite the concessions, donations, and what amounts to coddling that McCarthy has handed the members of the Freedom Caucus, they have repaid him with disloyalty and sham negotiating tactics. Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, Paul Gosar, Chip Roy, Jim Banks, and many others have taken this moment to lash out, showing they are unfit for Congress. They are actively working toward a Republican majority with a Democratic speaker, and they do not seem to care.
The Speaker is not entirely innocent in this matter. For months he has stooped to these members out of fear for his position. This cowardice has gotten him nothing except for the support of Marjorie Taylor Greene, someone whose record is hardly better than those listed above. It should be a reminder for future leaders of the party that people like Gaetz, over, and Gosar are only out to achieve power, rather than further the conservative movement that they have claimed to support. McCarthy remains the best choice for Speaker of the House despite these concessions. In an attempt to force the insurgent members to fold, Marjorie Taylor Greene and others on the pro-Kevin side of the party have been going to interviews bashing the party rebels.
In an interview with C-SPAN, Green told reporters, “Three members were demanding positions for themselves. Gavel positions, subcommittees, people to put on, and take off of committees… I am the only Republican that has zero committees, so you think I would be the one in there asking for something but I haven’t done that.” She later attacked members who have taken money from McCarthy only to then turn around and vote against him when it came time for their support, declaring that, “this is not about the country. This is all about never Kevin, they just don’t like Kevin McCarthy and you cannot be successful in anything if you keep worrying about who you like and don’t like.”
Donald Trump, despite causing much of this tension, posted an endorsement of McCarthy on Truth Social. Shockingly, the insurgents were not swayed; Lauren Boebert went so far as to demand that Donald Trump renounce McCarthy rather than endorse him.
Dan Crenshaw told CNN that, “they [the insurgents] lost these debates, that should’ve been the end of it because that’s how a team works. Period. But if you are a narcissist and you believe that your opinion is so much more important than everyone else’s then you will keep going, and you will threaten to tear down the team. What for? For the benefit of the Democrats.” Seemingly supporting this point, Kevin McCarthy claimed Matt Gaetz said that he did not care if Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic Minority Leader, won the speakership instead of McCarthy.
This is not some principled stand by Gaetz and his allies. It is instead a poorly planned, extremely risky ploy to grab power at an already difficult time for the party. Rather than paying their dues and working hard within the congressional structure to achieve legislative wins, these Republicans have chosen to stomp around the Halls of Congress in an attempt to gain attention and committee placements. These actions should be a reminder for future leaders of the party that people like Gaetz are only out to achieve power, rather than further the conservative movement that they have claimed to support. Their charades are the kind of made-for-tv showmanship that the American people hate seeing and further harm an already broken system; a Congress that can hardly do its job becomes a Congress being held up from doing its job.
Kevin McCarthy is not perfect by any means, but he is preferable to the alternative clown show that has presented itself within the confines of the Freedom Caucus. Even if McCarthy wins, the party will still be light years away from being a serious party when it comes to governing. The bickering, backbiting, and constant push towards an unpopular style of governance will only lead to more fractures and more petty rebellions. Hopefully Republicans can get their act together before 2024, but as the years go on it seems more and more unlikely that the party can salvage itself from its populist tendencies. The only thing we can do for this dumpster fire now is grab some popcorn and watch what happens.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.