Kevin McCarthy has finally and completely sold his soul to become the Speaker of the House of Representatives. As he boasts in his ability to finish strong and negotiate in the spirit of Democracy, like all of the proverbial frogs in the pot slowly being boiled, the life he once knew as his own is no more. He is now nothing more than a puppet connected to some very hard cable-like strings. He now holds a position of power so fragile that he will only be able to maintain it with continued bowing to the ones who demanded this compromise and that number is well beyond the twenty who directed this drama. A lot of people donated large sums of money to get him into the position and he will need to answer to them as well. These cables pulling him around could easily become tangled and make him immovable. Time will tell.
In the weeks and months to come so many ill informed people with a worldview that could fit on the head of a pin will lead committees under the banner of being godly, righteous and smart. They are instead anything but. These people are fully invested in a world that does not exist any longer. They haven’t yet realized that simply because they live in the backwoods, the rural or are isolated by their own wealth and privilege, the world at large has changed beyond its capacity to return.
Last week, my husband who works in the industry that makes sure our food is moved from one place to another, received an email from a strong voice in the industry telling his largely conservative colleagues that whether they believe global warming to be real or not is no longer relevant. He went on to say that the industry must recognize that on a global scale it is established as fact. It is going to increasingly impact their work and ability to sell products. The Japanese, for example, are now asking for documentation as to the amount of fossil fuels used to make the products they are using. They have determined that they will show preference to those with least impact on the environment and other countries are doing the same. That’s a big deal and one that no American politician of any stripe can alter. Republicans like McCarthy cannot even begin to allow themselves to grapple with this reality without being ousted? Even as his own state of California faces an atmospheric river unlike any it has seen in his lifetime heading straight toward it, he will not mention global warming or climate change as anything but a natural event. The damage will be extensive but McCarthy will die before he assesses that any of it is due to fossil fuel induced climate change. Were he to announce even a flash of insight in that direction it would end his existence as Speaker of the House.
I am a Reagan Republican turned Biden Democrat for more reasons than I can count but today it is because those who exist in the party now are just not able to live in reality. Whether it is because their minds are steeped in the tea made by the voices of Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and others in their arena or it’s truly because they simply cannot face change, it is clear that in a very real way we are living in completely different worlds.
Focused on the perceived threat of Critical Race Theory or Drag Queens showing up to read a story in our grandchildren’s public schools, the very real national and global concerns that are having an impact on the daily life of every American are minimized or ignored altogether. All for the sake of position and power. The very real things that are changing our lives at warp speed are labeled as liberal fodder because to address them is a death sentence in the modern day GOP. As this water deluge begins to fall from the sky on saturated and in many places burn scared California soil, Kevin McCarthy will try to show empathy. He will later beg for a disaster declaration to distribute federal funds to help his people but he will not utter one word to validate climate change caused by fossil fuels. Not one word.
Rep. McCarthy is likely higher than a kite today feeling the spoils of last night’s victory. The sweet spot between his battle for the throne and the reality of being on it will be a small one. As the pretense of his everyday existence continually clashes with the real hard truths of American governance, his performance is sure to be Oscar worthy. I for one cannot imagine how the party with its own careless center will get anything accomplished but grab the popcorn and settle in because it is sure to be quite a show.
One thought on “Getting Real: The GOP and Kevin McCarthy”
Spot on, Jane. McCarthy, if he keeps the speakership even a year, will be strapped from many directions—not the least of these are the party terrorists that he thought he was negotiating with when he sold his soul.
This is not Eisenhower’s Republican Party. Not even Reagan’s. Not remotely.