Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is asked at a press conference why he’s not fighting for the speakership since he claimed he would “never give up fighting.” His answer is absolutely bonkers.
McCarthy: You know what’s interesting? […] In today’s world if you’re sitting in Congress, and you took a gamble to make sure government was still open, and eight people can throw you out as speaker. And the Democrats who said they wanted to keep government open, I think you got a real divide. I think you got a real institutional problem.
Interesting, it was in this room, after we had won the majority and I had become speaker, Nancy Pelosi came to me, she was speaker at the time on the way out, and I told her I was having issues with getting enough votes. And she said, “What’s the problem?” I said, “They want this one person can rule you out.” She was the only speaker that changed that rule.
I had the power to call the vote on her, but I never would. I lost some votes because of it.
She said, “Just give it to them. I will always back you up. I made the same offer to [John] Boehner, and the same thing to Paul [Ryan], because I believe in the institution.”
I think today was a political decision by the Democrats. I think the things they had done in the past hurt the institution. They started removing people from committees. They just started doing the other things. My fear is the institution fell today, because you can’t do the job if eight people […] can partner with the whole other side. How do you govern?
Dear god, where to begin?
“You took a gamble to make sure government was still open …”
He wants a cookie for doing his job. This is the lowest freakin’ bar, and he considers it “a gamble.” Maybe that, right there, is why McCarthy failed. Maybe it was because he couldn’t do the most basic part of his job without expecting Democrats to hail him as some sort of conquering hero.
“[A]nd eight people can throw you out as speaker.”
Yeah, those were the rules he instituted. That’s his problem, not the Democrats. And it wasn’t eight people that threw him out. It was 216 members of Congress.
“I had the power to call the vote on her, but I never would. “
Sure, he could’ve challenged her speakership, and he would’ve lost. She was actually good at her job.
And to be clear, Democrats didn’t call this vote. They didn’t bust any norms that McCarthy supposedly upheld. They just sat back and voted the exact same way they voted when McCarthy was first elected speaker. Thinking they would do otherwise, absent an actual deal with the current Democratic leader, was sheer madness.
“I think today was a political decision by the Democrats.”
House Republicans are currently investigating Hunter Biden penis pictures and engaging in a sham “impeachment inquiry” of President Joe Biden, and yet he’s going to cry about “politics”? Of course Democrats played politics! So did Rep. Matt Gaetz and the Freedom Caucus. And so did McCarthy!
The problem is, McCarthy played his politics poorly.
Why would he expect Democrats to bail him out after McCarthy resuscitated a wounded Donald Trump post-Jan. 6 insurrection? Why would they help him when McCarthy did everything possible to undermine the Jan. 6 commission? What about all the bullshit investigations, all of them at the behest of the Freedom Caucus? And why would he go on TV this past weekend and blame the potential government shutdown on Democrats?
Even if he had a deal, he had a shitty way to uphold his end of the bargain, which was, quite obviously, to act in the best interest of our nation.
But there was no deal, and we know he’s full of shit because of one simple reason:
If Pelosi had truly inoculated him against the Freedom Caucus, why would McCarthy go to such great lengths to let the Freedom Caucus run the show? From investigations to Trump’s butt-kissing, McCarthy always acted in the interests of his unruly nihilists hoping that giving them what they wanted would pacify them. If he had any agreement with Pelosi, he would’ve told them to pound sand from the beginning, daring them to pull the trigger on the leadership challenge.
But he didn’t. He ran his caucus scared. And when the time came to protect his speakership, did he go to the Democrats to confirm he had a deal? No, because there was never a deal, and he was too arrogant to do anything about it.
Imagine if McCarthy went to Democrats and offered to uphold his original budget deal with Biden and end all the sham investigations through the end of this term? That would suggest that McCarthy was, indeed, putting country over his party, and they could’ve worked together on a bipartisan solution to the budget impasse. Given a bipartisan power-sharing deal, Democrats would’ve saved his ass.
But he didn’t try. Even when Democrats told him flat out that they were voting against him, he didn’t try. And crying about Pelosi is just about the most pathetic thing that this pathetic spineless man can do on his way out the door.