I just want to stress, for those conservatives who want to drop out, give up the fight, take their toys and go home, start a third party, whatever: the three members of that third party, no matter how big a phone booth it met in, could not have forced Kevin McCarthy out of this race, nor Nancy Pelosi and then John Boehner out of the Speaker’s chair.

Trying to get 150 million people pointed in the same direction is hard work. But when you get there, it’s the stuff of which civilizations are made. Whiners don’t make civilizations: they lose them.



by Rod D. Martin
October 8, 2015

Second “Young Gun” down: quite suddenly today, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy quit the Speaker’s race, to which he had been anointed by the Republican Establishment.

There are far worse Republicans than McCarthy. But McCarthy is not the sort of replacement for John Boehner who would make any sense to the people who drove Boehner out. In McCarthy’s own words, “If we’re going to unite, we need a new face.” Boehner Jr. wasn’t it.

It wasn’t just the right who opposed him. McCarthy’s catastrophic Benghazi comments had produced a significant backlash (read: giddy joyous pouncing) from Team Hillary: McCarthy had in an instant exculpated her from perhaps her worst-ever scandal. Salon’s write-up is particularly scathing.

But the killer appears to have been a letter circulated yesterday by Rep. Walter Jones, calling for any Speaker candidate with skeletons in his closet to drop out. McCarthy’s skeletons have long been well known. And Jones managed to highlight it in a way that prevented any likelihood that McCarthy could count to 218. As Mark Foley demonstrated, Republicans just cannot afford these sorts of luxuries.

A heck of a race is shaping up. Don’t let anyone fool you: that’s how it’s supposed to work. This is extremely healthy for democracy. It’s even healthier for the Republican Party.