So now what?
The upside to Speaker Boehner’s surprise resignation was that the GOP was spared a lengthy and ugly mult-stage slow-motion coup in which Boehner would have to fend off a series of challenges while some high profile legislation moved through Congress. The downside is that has left the field wide open.
Let’s review the bidding and then look down the road a bit.
Boehner did not endorse [mc_name name=’Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001165′ ] as his successor.
This is important as will become evident later on.
#BREAKING ML McCarthy was informed of Boehner’s decision “1 minute” before Boehner told GOP conference
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) September 25, 2015
If we know that McCarthy did not stomp on the incipient revolt and let Boehner be turfed out then it is a solid bet Boehner knows it. The fact that McCarthy got de minimus advance notice indicates that he has not been anointed heir (or hair, if you will) apparent.
If McCarthy become speaker things MIGHT change.
Focus on the word “might.” Here I will depart company with my friend Leon. McCarthy’s HAFA score put him squarely in the middle of the House caucus in terms of political views. McCarthy has shown that he will work with conservatives, unlike Boehner who treats them as his enemies. So I don’t see a Speaker McCarthy as a complete waste of an opportunity. He could be but he could also be a decent Speaker.
If [mc_name name=’Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’S001176′ ] and [mc_name name=’Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001159′ ] move up NOTHING can change.
While it might not even be possible for conservatives to mount a challenge to McCarthy, the same cannot be said for either [mc_name name=’Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’S001176′ ] and [mc_name name=’Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001159′ ]. Both of these can and should be defeated. As Ace says, these guys are Boehner’s less accomplished inferior employees. A House with a Speaker [mc_name name=’Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001165′ ], Majority Leader [mc_name name=’Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’S001176′ ], and Majority Whip [mc_name name=’Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001159′ ] will be an effervescing puddle of FAIL that will make Boehner’s tenure look like the Golden Age of Athens.
We need an election not a coronation. That means vetting the candidates.
When Speaker Newt Gingrich was overthrown back in 1998 he was quickly succeeded by Louisiana Representative Bob Livingston. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Speaker Livingston? Did I really take that many drugs in the 90s?” Bob Livingston only lasted a matter of days before it was revealed that he had carried on an extra-marital affair and resigned as Speaker-elect. (Those, of course, were gentler days. Perhaps adultery no longer matters in an era where the NRSC actively supports an open and notorious adulterer for a Senate seat.) The House should make sure that every candidate, especially McCarthy, has a clean bill of health in their finances, in the management of their offices, in their personal relationships with donors, and in their personal lives. What we don’t need is a replay of the Livingston fiasco. If McCarthy or anyone else has something or someone in their closet, including themselves, they are morons to believe it will not come out at the worst possible time because too many people have a stake in this election.
If we have an election we conservatives need a real candidate.
I don’t know who, if anyone, might be looking at a run. But if the best we can do is put up Louis Gohmert we should just elect McCarthy by acclamation. This is a chance for the Freedom Caucus to actually do something. It has caught this freakin’ car and it had better have a plan on what to do next other than be dragged down the road behind it.