As Kevin McCarthy’s frustration boils over, it’s (almost) comedic

As Kevin McCarthy’s frustration boils over, it’s (almost) comedic

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is sounding increasingly pessimistic about securing enough votes to achieve the speakership he has been coveting since … well, since before gas prices plummeted. Unable to convince enough members of the surly and restive Regressive Caucus within his ranks to support his bid, McCarthy now appears to be resorting to comic relief in an effort to somehow, some way convince his fellow Republicans that he and only he is qualified to be elevated to that hallowed position.

As reported by Brad Reed for Raw Story, McCarthy gave an interview to conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt on Friday, in which he bemoaned the obstinacy of his fellow House members.

As relayed by CNN’s Manu Raju, McCarthy acknowledged that he hasn’t been able to persuade the five Republicans who have vowed to block his long-sought speakership bid to change their minds.

“Well, we’re still continuing to talk, but they have not moved,” he said.

It may be that the Sisyphean task of trying to convince the hard-right faction of House Republicans—led by Rep. Andy “Sweepstakes” Biggs of Arizona—who are challenging McCarthy’s bid for speaker has made McCarthy a tad light-headed. Because the only other plausible explanation for what McCarthy said next is that he’s mulling a career in stand-up comedy should he fail in his quest, a failure that seems more and more likely.

As reported by Raju (one of the CNN reporters apparently still allowed on Twitter):

McCarthy: “People look at us and believe are you ready to be the majority if this is what’s happening? How can you pass the big bills? How can you change the course of history? How can you secure the border? How can you become energy independent? …It’s all in jeopardy.”

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 16, 2022

Pass the “‘big bills?” “Change the course of history?” Such grandiosity!

Please. There will be no “big bills.” The only thing congressional Republicans know how to do is cut taxes massively for the very wealthy. They are a one-trick pony, and that trick was already done in 2017. No one believes this Republican majority is going to pass anything except symbolic, mean-spirited gestures of right-wing grievance to placate their Fox News-addled base. Their entire agenda can be boiled down to three words: “Own the libs.” 

That’s not a recipe for legislating, it’s a recipe for posturing, posing, and preening for the Fox News cameras, the only network where these people will ever appear—because they’re dreadfully afraid of being asked serious questions, and they know Fox will always serve them pathetic softballs.

January will bring a House majority that the majority of Americans are going to sour on very quickly, and that will happen regardless of who Republicans finally decide to name as speaker. Because, stunningly enough, outside of the Fox News bubble? No one particularly cares about Hunter Biden. The thing is, Donald Trump and his wretched family have made this country safer for a hundred Hunter Bidens. There is nothing that Hunter Biden could have done in the feverish fantasies of the entire Republican Party that could possibly compare with the most criminally corrupt, incompetent, and malevolent administration in U.S. history. Same goes for Afghanistan: Nobody seems to care anymore; we’re out, and it’s over (in theory). Whether it’s fair or not (or even accurate), that’s just how Americans think about Afghanistan, a country that Fox News and the GOP forgot completely about for decades until Biden finally had the sense to leave.

Likewise, immigration is an issue that riles up the Republican base, even though it impacts virtually none of them personally. Coming from a party that just thwarted a comprehensive immigration bill, it’s simply more hypocritical race-baiting from the party that perennially trots out the scary “caravan” in carefully timed stories from—you guessed it—Fox News. And as for energy “independence,” well, guys, we would have had that decades ago if it wasn’t for the people who pay for your campaigns.

So, no, “history” is not going to be changed over the next two years, whether Kevin McCarthy is elected speaker or not. Either way, it’ll just be an ugly, vindictive slog through the Fox News playbook, as meaningless and torpid as the Benghazi fiasco—which no one really cared about either. Meanwhile, Democrats will attempt to work with—or around—the same people who tried to overturn our democracy, the same ones who enlisted the country’s worst specimens to pursue that failed effort.

But hey, Kevin, thanks for the laugh.

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