Tag Archives: Kevin McCarthy

GOP leader skulks away

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

That’ll teach ’em, right, Kevin McCarthy?

The U.S. House Republican leader decided today to pull all GOP members from a select committee chosen by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi objected to the presence of two men McCarthy had added to the panel, Reps. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks. They were included on a panel that aims to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection that sought to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

These men are big fans and supporters of the guy who lost that election and voted to deny President Biden certification that he was the winner. Pelosi would have none of that.

McCarthy decided, therefore, to yank all Republicans. The only GOP House member left on the panel is Liz Cheney, who voted to impeach the former president for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 riot. Cheney, though, doesn’t fit the profile of today’s Republican Party, which is to pledge total, blind and unyielding fealty to the disgraced, twice-impeached former POTUS.

Cheney’s loyalty is to the Constitution, which makes her among the more inspired choices that Pelosi made to the select committee.

Here, though, is what really makes me scratch my noggin: How does McCarthy justify abandoning this select committee selection process, leaving this Jan. 6 probe solely up to Democrats, which he contends only will produce a “partisan” finding of culpability by the ex-POTUS and his GOP pals in Congress?

He could have selected five GOP members who aren’t as fervid in their defense of the indefensible, but no-o-o-o. He turned to Jordan and Banks.

Now he has abandoned any pretext of cooperation with Democrats. McCarthy has chosen instead to level accusations of “partisanship” and “politics” at Pelosi who, I feel the need to remind everyone here, has chosen a Republican to serve on this select panel.

Kevin McCarthy, meanwhile, has left the field in a fit of petulance that doesn’t advance the search for the truth into what happened when the mob stormed the Capitol Building and sought to overturn the democratic process.

McCarthy makes it clear: He is a Trump toadie

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Kevin “The Snake” McCarthy has thrown in with a Donald Trump sycophant in the intramural fight among Republican caucus members in the U.S. House.

The California lawmaker, the leader of the GOP caucus, said today he is backing Rep. Elise Stefanik in her bid to oust Rep. Liz Cheney from the Republican Caucus chairmanship.

McCarthy says he supports Stefanik for House GOP conference chair | TheHill

What did Cheney do to incur McCarthy’s wrath? All she did was vote to impeach Donald Trump after the ex-POTUS incited the insurrection of The Sixth of January. Cheney had the temerity to stand strongly in favor of the U.S. Constitution, which the terrorists who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 threatened directly. And, yes, Donald Trump was the instigator.

This is a disgraceful display from the House GOP leader. He makes me sick.

As for Stefanik, a New York Republican, she makes me sick, too. Her only credential is that she is a Trump toadie, a suck-up, a Kool-Aid swilling member of the Trumpkin Corps of acolytes who believes the election was “stolen” by some mysterious, nefarious cabal.

This internecine war among Republicans isn’t likely to end with Cheney’s expected ouster from the leadership of her party’s House caucus. Nor should it.

As for “leader” McCarthy, well … he makes feel like throwing up.

Who are ‘they,’ Donald?


Donald Trump is taking undeserved credit — imagine that, will you? — for Kevin McCarthy’s stunning withdrawal last week from the contest to become the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The GOP presidential candidate said “They’re giving me a lot of credit” for McCarthy dropping out of the congressional campaign.

Who said it, Donald?

That’s all part and parcel of Trump’s modus operandi.

He takes credit where none is deserved, along with shuffling blame off on someone else — all while tossing a personal insult or three at various other individuals.

So help me, I never heard anyone giving Trump “credit” for McCarthy backing out of the House leadership race. That is, until Trump said so.

The fact is that McCarthy’s own intemperance got him booted out.

He muttered that amazing fact, er, gaffe about the Benghazi hearing under way in the House, suggesting the committee was formed for the expressed purpose of undercutting HRC’s presidential ambition.

As former Texas Gov. Rick Perry might say …


Bring back Newt?

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich speaks at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California in this May 24, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Mark Avery

You’re never too old to learn something.

I found that out today. I did not know, for example, that the U.S. Constitution does not require the speaker of the House of Representatives to be a current member of the House.

Do you know what this means? The Republicans who control the House conceivably could go outside the body to find someone to lead it.

I’ve been watching the federal government for nearly 40 years and I did not know this about the House.

This opens up the list of candidates for the speakership to a remarkable degree.

John Boehner announced his intention to quit the House and the speakership. Kevin McCarthy was supposed to be the heir apparent. Then he dropped out today.

Who’s left? The TEA Party caucus of the GOP is beside itself.

Hey, why not enlist former Speaker Newt Gingrich? He said today he’d be willing if a majority of House wanted him to return to Capitol Hill.

Hey, maybe the GOP could call on former Vice President Dick Cheney, who once served in the House. We’ve got a former Republican president out there, George W. Bush, who’s able to serve; former President George H.W. Bush is in failing health.

How about Donald Trump? He’s running for the GOP presidential nomination and he proclaims he is able to do anything under the sun.

Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is available. Bring him back.

Oh, the possibilities seem endless.


Is this how you govern?


What on God’s Earth is happening to the Republican leaders who are supposed to run the legislative branch of the U.S. government?

  • House Speaker John Boehner quits his congressional seat.
  • House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy emerges as the presumed next speaker of the House.
  • McCarthy then drops out of the race for speaker after stating an amazing gaffe about the Benghazi committee’s intention to derail Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.
  • TEA Party Republicans are now fighting among themselves over which of them should declare for the speakership.

And now the threat of a government shutdown and the possibility that Congress won’t increase the nation’s debt ceiling are threatening to derail the U.S. economy.

The election for a new speaker has been postponed. Boehner wants out. Why? He’s sick of the fighting among the GOP members. He’s likely stuck in the job he no longer wants until … oh, heck, until further notice.

Didn’t these Republicans actually promise to govern when they took control of the House in 2011? Didn’t they vow to change things, shake it up, make government work better?

Good grief! They’re now threatening to shut the whole damn thing down!

This is governance at its worst.

How does ‘Speaker Thornberry’ sound?


Mac Thornberry’s name popped into my noggin today around noon when I heard that Kevin McCarthy had dropped out of the race to become the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Then I got onto other matters.

Now it turns out that at least one blogger, writing for a major American newspaper, thinks Thornberry would be a good fit as the Man of the House.

Tod Robberson’s blog for the Dallas Morning News seeks to make the case that Thornberry, a Clarendon Republican who’s represented the 13th Congressional District since 1995, might be the man to (a) heal the fractious House GOP caucus and (b) work with President Obama on some of the key issues that need to be resolved.

I happen to like Thornberry on a personal level. We’ve always had a good professional relationship as well. He and I have something in common: We assumed our new Texas Panhandle duties on the same week; I came to work at the Amarillo Globe-News in January 1995 just as Thornberry was taking his oath of office in Washington.

That’s about all we have in common — except that we belong to the same Presbyterian church congregation in Amarillo. But, hey, I thought I’d mention it.

I don’t really buy into the notion that Thornberry even wants to be speaker. He’s never struck me as a media frontrunner, which is what the speaker must be if he or she is to be an effective congressional leader.

Thornberry had long aspired to chair the House Armed Services Committee, which would take yank him off the back bench and into the limelight. He became chairman this year when Buck McKeon retired from the House.

Prior to becoming chairman of the committee, though, Thornberry was one of those lawmakers few folks outside of his West and North Texas district ever saw.

My strong sense is that Thornberry — who is a strong conservative and loyal Republican — simply isn’t wired for the harsh, bright lights that shine on the individual who is third in line to become president of the United States.

However, in this wild and crazy political time in Washington, anything can happen.


Does anyone want the speaker’s job?

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif., talks about the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act, part of the House GOP energy agenda, Wednesday, June 6,2012, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

When a politician becomes the butt of late-night comics’ jokes, well, that quite often spells the end of his of political ambition.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy had the bad form to suggest that the House Benghazi committee was formed — in effect — to torpedo Hillary Clinton’s chances of becoming president. He then followed that with a string of nonsensical statements about the former secretary of state’s tenure.

The joke machine was then turned on … full blast.

Today, McCarthy said he is dropping out of the race to become the next speaker of the House; John Boehner wants to leave Congress and the speakership at the end of the month.

It now looks as though he’s going to stay on a while longer.

Why? Because, his Republican Party leadership team is in shambles.

McCarthy bows out

Some of us out here are utterly dumbstruck by what’s happened back in our nation’s capital.

McCarthy had a fight on his hands to become speaker. Two TEA Party insurgents, Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Daniel Webster of Virginia, were running against him for speaker.

It’s true that McCarthy didn’t help himself when he made the statement about the Benghazi committee’s mission. In truth, he merely muttered what many of us out here beyond the Beltway believed all along, which is that the GOP formed the panel precisely to undercut Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Boehner, McCarthy, Benghazi panel chairman Trey Gowdy all deny that is their intent.

Uh, huh. Whatever you say, gentlemen.

Meantime, the lower congressional chamber is looking for a new Man of the House.

Does anyone want this job? Can anyone do the job?

Presumptive speaker, um, ‘speaks’ the truth

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Calif., talks about the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act, part of the House GOP energy agenda, Wednesday, June 6,2012, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The man presumed to be the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives managed quickly to reveal what many of us have suspected all along.

It is that the Benghazi committee formed by Speaker John Boehner was intended to torpedo the presidential campaign chances of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

So said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy the other day when he was talking about Clinton’s sagging poll standing. He “credited” her decline to the formation of the Benghazi panel and its continued investigation into the fire fight that resulted in 2012 in the deaths of four brave Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

GOP critics hit back at McCarthy

Some congressional Republicans aren’t happy with what McCarthy said. They have called his assertions inappropriate and have demanded that he apologize to Clinton for implying a partisan motive in forming the panel in the first place.

The attack was a terrible tragedy. Clinton has acknowledged it. Some in Congress, though, keep insisting that there was some sort of cover-up, a conspiracy, a calculated lie in reporting what happened that night at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.

Clinton has said there was no cover-up. That hasn’t suited the GOP investigators, who keep hammering at the issue.

Boehner is leaving the House at the end of the month. The House is expected to vote next week on a new speaker. It’s presumed that McCarthy will get the gavel.

Is this what we can expect from the new Man of the House, more partisan targeting?


Speaker provides a serious stunner


John Boehner likely didn’t intend to do it, but this morning he managed to rip much of the attention away from the man — Pope Francis — who spoke Thursday to a joint session of Congress.

All the speaker did was … announce his resignation from Congress effective Oct. 30.

Speaker drops bombshell

Although the speaker isn’t the kind of politician many of us generally could support, compared to many others within his Republican Party, he became a rational voice among the dwindling ranks of others like him who call themselves Republicans.

“The first job of any Speaker is to protect this institution that we all love,” Boehner said. “It was my plan to only serve as Speaker until the end of last year, but I stayed on to provide continuity to the Republican Conference and the House. It is my view, however, that prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution. To that end, I will resign the Speakership and my seat in Congress on October 30.”

The turmoil wasn’t likely to abate any time soon. From my vantage point, it looks for all the world that the speaker declared today he’s had enough of the infighting that has plagued his efforts at running the House of Representatives.

What’s next? I guess Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is the favorite to succeed Boehner. Will a new speaker be more beholden to the TEA Party wing of his party, the wing that Boehner once referred to as nut cases — or something to that effect?

Boehner’s instinct always seemed to work with Democrats, not against them. He has become hamstrung by the ideologues within his party.

Truth be told, I’m sorry to see John Boehner pack it in.

Another truth, though, is that I am surprised he lasted as long as he did.


Scalise needed to be in Selma

If there was one member of the congressional leadership team who needed to be in Selma to mark the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, it was Louisiana U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise.

He should have been there. He should have sought to make amends for a significant error in judgment some years ago, before he became a Republican member of the House of Representatives.


Scalise had the bad taste in 2006, prior to his election to Congress, to accept a speaking engagement before a group founded by noted Ku Klux Klan grand lizard David Duke.

Scalise, who’s now the House majority whip, has since expressed regret over attending the Duke-sponsored event.

Where was he the day of the Selma commemoration? He was in Sea Island, Ga., attending an American Enterprise Institute conference, along with some other key conservative thinkers and politicians.

One of them attending the AEI event was House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who also took time to attend the rally on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

McCarthy was one of a handful of key Republican politicians to attend the Selma event; another key Republican in Selma was the 43rd president of the United States, George W. Bush, who was there with his wife, Laura.

Scalise, who still has some damage to repair from the fallout from his David Duke speech all those years ago, missed a chance to demonstrate that he really doesn’t subscribe to the views held by the KKK.