When Kevin McCarthy, as minority leader in the House, continually compromised and “worked with” Democrats he earned the ire of some conservative Republicans. His actions came back to haunt him as he vied for Majority leader this past week in the now-Republican-controlled House. The conservative House Freedom Caucus members were not about to vote McCarthy in until he took a conservative turn and gave into concession demands. As holdout conservatives gained those concessions, and ended up either voting for McCarthy or abstaining, it became clear that the new wave of Republicans have moved to the right and the passive attitude toward the Democrat agenda will no longer fly.
McCarthy’s 15 ballots should send a wake-up call to any RINOS that think the conservatives are going to cave to Democrats’s demands any longer.
McCarthy weathered days of opposition, eventually offering enough concessions to secure the votes needed to break the logjam. Most of the conservatives involved seemed to walk away happy, garnering key positions on committees and rule changes. Indeed, the holdouts in the voting were specifically looking for these concessions and used their votes to get them. Fans of the democratic process were applauding as the fierce debates finally culminated in the end vote for McCarthy, saying that this is the kind of debate we SHOULD be seeing in Congress…transparent, gloves off true stand-offs which end with both sides compromising.
In the still Democrat-led Senate, it seems the minority leader is trying to jump on the conservative bandwagon but has no actions of his own to stand on in his new stance.
Red State comments on McConnell’s statement:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell chimed in late Friday evening to congratulate now-Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy. For his part, McConnell decided to drop the following message, and I’m officially dead. I cease to be alive.
“Congratulations to Speaker McCarthy and the Republican House majority. Senate Republicans look forward to working together to check and balance Washington Democrats, bring oversight to this reckless Administration, fight the far left’s radical policies, and defend America.”
Congratulations to Speaker McCarthy and the Republican House majority. Senate Republicans look forward to working together to check and balance Washington Democrats, bring oversight to this reckless Administration, fight the far left’s radical policies, and defend America.
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) January 7, 2023
I’m not sure there’s anything conservatives despise more than being gaslit by their own leadership, and this is gaslighting of the highest order. McConnell states that he is looking forward to “working together to check and balance Washington Democrats, bring oversight to this reckless Administration, fight the far left’s radical policies, and defend America.”
Apparently, McConnell thinks the rest of us were born sometime in the last few days because he literally just got done doing what was essentially a joint campaign stop with Joe Biden in Kentucky. Together, the two lauded the passage of a massive infrastructure bill, seen as a key victory for the White House’s agenda prior to the last election. McConnell himself helped whip the votes for that spending package.
An astute observer might ask exactly how giving the president everything he wants constitutes operating as a “check and balance” to the “reckless” Biden administration. McConnell has had the ability to say “no” to a range of things over the last two years, from the newly-passed $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package to the White House’s gun control bill. Instead, McConnell and other Republicans in the US Senate happily went along, handing Biden and his cohorts win after win.
Now, McConnell wants to play as if he’s a conservative warrior, looking to hamstring an out-of-control administration? Yeah, that doesn’t begin to play with those of us who have been paying attention. Heck, in shoving through the aforementioned omnibus package, McConnell actually neutered the very GOP majority in the House he’s now lauding. How can they “fight the far left’s radical policies” if they no longer have the power of the purse for the next fiscal year?
McConnell’s post just underscores how much is performative nonsense in Washington, DC. The elites in party leadership do whatever they want behind closed doors, making self-serving deals and selling their voters down the river. Then they turn around and pretend to be fighters for the cause even in the midst of surrendering every battle. McConnell isn’t going to do a thing to “check and balance” Joe Biden over the next term. Instead of insulting everyone’s intelligence, he should just stop talking.
McConnell, still stuck as a minority leader, seems to be playing to his party at the same time he is playing to the Democrats. Now, with the GOP majority in the House, is the time to step forward for conservative values and stop playing to the Democrat administration, but McConnell’s word are not yet backed up with any actions that would cause conservatives to take him seriously. As the 2023 Congress moves to action, Republicans will be watching McConnell and assessing his backbone in the Senate from now on.