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.
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.
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’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.
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. ۔
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.”
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.
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.