February 2, 2023

House Minority Leader McCarthy courts the extremists he once saw as dangerous as he eyes power

6 min read

A few days after the January 6, 2021 uprising, McCarthy warned in a call with GOP leaders that many right-wing members of the conference would set fire to a country that had already gone “insane.” Violence can escalate at any moment.

“I don’t want to go back and think we did something or we lost something and someone got hurt. I don’t want to play politics with any of them,” McCarthy said in the audio of the call. New York Times on Tuesday. On the tape, the minority leader is heard warning that the mob’s attack on the capital shows how people can respond to provocative remarks with violence.
But on Tuesday evening, McCarthy – who looks desperate to become speaker – backed out of the report, telling reporters “no” when asked if there would be a new drama if he wins again in the Republican House in November. It could hurt his hopes of becoming a speaker. He asked his members to ignore the former. Times report And its audio clip is telling GOP leaders in the days after January 6. He was considering advising Trump to resign. On the rebellion. “Don’t let that happen to us,” McCarthy told a closed-door leadership meeting Tuesday, two sources told CNN’s Melania Zanona and Lauren Fox.
McCarthy appeared safe in the knowledge that the former president this week He was publicly excused for these comments.That was revealed last week by the same two Times correspondents – Alex Burns and Jonathan Martin. The decision by the Republicans of California not to do anything more to control the extreme members of the party also fits into the behavior of the former president since his last year in the election, which is in line with some of Trump’s most radical supporters. It lies in political bargaining.

Nevertheless, the tape released on Tuesday is significant because it shows that McCarthy and another top leader of the GOP House, Steve Scalles of Louisiana, knew that Trump’s mob would storm the Capitol. Wrong and could flare up again. Trump’s ability to cool the rhetoric of fellow lawmakers who have been telling the truth about the election loss was the right thing to do.

Kevin McCarthy was asked about his Trump lies.  The answer was no.

But as is almost always the case in the Trump era, personal ambitions and the pursuit of power have triumphed over rationality in the GOP.

McCarthy, whose dream of a speakership could become a reality, has a strong possibility that Republicans will. Win the House in NovemberHas done little to curb these same extremist lawmakers over the years – even when many, such as Arizona MP Paul Gosser and Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Green, Accusation of incitement.

McCarthy’s failure to do so explains the political motivational structure of the modern Republican Party, especially in the House, where Trump is still the most influential leader.

Any criticism of Trump, or the radical lawmakers who support him, could dampen McCarthy’s speaker’s hopes of victory.

A political change

The last few days have confirmed McCarthy’s transformation into a standard leader of Trumpism – despite initial criticism of his uprising for which he initially said Trump bears some responsibility.

This is a remarkable change. Twelve years ago, McCarthy was seen as a citizen and future prophet of a pure brand of ideological conservatism as opposed to authoritarian populism in 2016. He appeared on the cover of the book “Young Guns”. He co-authored the book with fellow Republicans Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor.

Fact check: Kevin McCarthy keeps repeating the false claim that the Attorney General called the parents 'terrorists'.  Desire to attend school board meetings
Thanks to his transformation, McCarthy is the only one left in politics. As a speaker, Ryan refused to run again. In the House in 2018 after a tumultuous period of dealing with the Radical Freedom Cox. As a majority leader, Cantor was sensational. Defeated in the 2014 Virginia primary. Outraged by a far-right Tea Party-backed opponent, whose surprise victory signaled the arrival of Trump and the threat the Republicans posed to the establishment.

As if he needed another reminder of what could be stored for Trump’s supposed infidelity, McCarthy Wyoming’s representative could look to Liz Cheney, with whom he is now estranged, and in many ways. It has helped to weaken it.

Cheney, one of the leaders on last year’s call, paid with his job as the number three GOP leader in the House because he, unlike McCarthy, kept telling the truth about Trump’s lies and provocations. ۔ The Wyoming Republican, who is now serving on the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Uprising, faces a major challenge from the Trump-backed candidate.

McCarthy and Cheney’s contradictory choices and destinies are a reflection of the forces that are pushing the Republican Party toward more extremism and, once again, possibly the enduring power of a future president.

While the latest revelations about the future speaker’s failure to confront his own members may endanger a wider electorate, his indifference to his conference will not harm him within the GOP. ۔

CNN Special: Meadows' writings reveal new details about the important role played by an unnamed GOP congressman in an attempt to derail the election.

Instead, his greatest responsibility lies in the fact that he once considered many pro-Trump lawmakers to be extreme. Even if McCarthy is still in Trump’s favor, Green, for example, has already warned that if a minority leader is to get his vote for a higher position, he must meet certain conditions. And in a statement Tuesday evening, Florida spokesman Matt Gates – whom McCarthy and Scalise warned of on the call – called him a “weak man, not a leader.”

Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania correspondent, called on the country’s top intelligence official to conduct a thorough investigation into the 2020 election conspiracy theories. CNN Special Reporting On Tuesday night, he told CNN that “everyone is accountable for what they say and do” when asked about McCarthy’s comments. The chairman of the House Freedom Cox, who was not invited by McCarthy to the January 2021 call, was unhappy with his suggestion that social media companies should ban certain members. Perry said the idea of ​​removing Twitter accounts was “not what I am for.”

Another drama using McCarthy in recent times

McCarthy House may be popular with many other GOP members, at least not because he is a great fundraiser. But while it will appeal to the former president to have a speaker who is indebted to him, Trump’s support may be uneasy. Therefore, pressure is mounting on McCarthy to win the GOP in November, which will give him such a wide majority that he will be able to overcome any challenge from the far right for his future campaign for speaker.

Accommodation with these members is also an insurance policy. McCarthy, for example, traveled to the southern frontier with lawmakers, including Green, on Monday – a sign of his efforts to attract a section of the party he once considered dangerous.

The first GOP response to the latest New York Times report was from Scalise, who was warned on the call that Gates’ attacks on fellow Republicans like Cheney could cross the legal line.

The House Republican whip, Scales, is particularly aware of the dangers of violence to lawmakers. He fought valiantly in 2017 after being seriously injured in a shooting at a congressional baseball practice.

McCarthy's latest creation on Trump paints a possible future for the United States in the medium term.

He told reporters Tuesday that he had not seen the latest Times report, based on an upcoming book by Burns and Martin entitled “It Will Not Pass: For the Future of Trump, Biden and the United States.” War. “

But he added: “It is not surprising that the liberal media wants to talk about January 6, because they do not want to focus on all the crises that President Biden has raised, from inflation to gas prices across the border.” Have created. ”

The Louisiana legislature’s decision on media stimulus may have been unusual. Yet his political argument is competent – to a point.

By November, the minds of American voters will probably be far from the fears and attitudes of Republican leaders following the Capitol coup, which will be almost two years away by then.

Inflation and high gas prices are causing misery – a theme emphasizing GOP campaign advertising. Rising commodity prices have undermined the Biden administration’s promise that inflation will be temporary. And warnings of a possible recession would ruin a national funk that could oust Congress Democrats from power.

This makes it even more important to assess the role of the future Republican majority.

However, it is now clear that McCarthy and the top lieutenants feared that members of his party – which could have a major impact on American lives next year – were a security risk.

“This is serious,” McCarthy said in a January 2021 call.

Either he no longer believes or his political ambitions are more important.

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