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Op-ed Placement

Kevin McCarthy Might Have a Bright Future as MSNBC's Token Republican

BY Adam Brandon
01/17/2019
Originally Published in The Daily Caller by Adam Brandon on 1/18/19.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy obviously didn’t get the message from his establishment predecessor John Boehner, who routinely punished House conservatives for dissent, when he unceremoniously booted conservative Freedom Caucus Republican Rep. Jody Hice from the House Armed Services Committee.

The reason? Hice had the courage to represent his constituents and vote for Rep. Jim Jordan for minority leader. McCarthy must have some kind of issue with his fellow Republicans that stick to their principles, vote their conscience, and actually govern the same way that they campaign.

Just like his former colleague, John Boehner, McCarthy has no problem with kicking competent, fiscal conservatives off of key committees simply because he doesn’t like them. McCarthy, like Boehner, seems to be more interested in the D.C. cocktail party circuit than actually governing like a conservative. We’ve seen this play out in real time — under establishment GOP leadership, the national debt has skyrocketed and Obamacare still exists.

No wonder Republicans lost their House majority last November. The conservative base is sick and tired of the feeble establishment Republicans like McCarthy failing to deliver on their promises. Conservative voters want Republicans who don’t shy away from a fight. They want conservatives in the mold of the House Freedom Caucus and President Trump. McCarthy either doesn’t understand this or is too petty to care.

But where does this get McCarthy? He’s obviously more concerned with lashing out against fellow Republicans than he is with pushing back against the Democrats. McCarthy cares more about his title of “minority leader” than working to rebuild the GOP conference for 2020. By going after fellow Republicans, McCarthy only sows division amongst his own party.

Rather than picking fights with the more principled members of his conference, McCarthy should get off the sidelines and get in the game. In just the first month of the 116th US Congress, we’ve already seen where House Democrats are headed with their far-left agenda. Renewed assaults on the First Amendment, the radical Green New Deal proposal, and endless investigations are but a taste of the insanity coming down the pike from House Democrats.

If House Democrats get their way, we’re looking at some serious problems for the nation. H.R. 1, ironically named, the “For the People Act,”, would actually make it easier for incumbents to win reelection and restrict political speech. The Green New Deal would levy taxes on the very air we breathe, ban cars and weaken the electrical grid. Investigations will turn the House Committee on Oversight and Reform into more of a circus than was even attempted during the Kavanaugh confirmation process in the Senate. From what we’ve seen in the past year, House Democrats are openly hostile to the American rule of law.

You’d think that any Republican, especially most Americans, would recognize that these proposals run contrary to the pro-growth policies we’ve seen in the past two years thanks to conservatives and President Trump. Had the GOP establishment actually been serious about their campaign promises to repeal Obamacare and cut spending, they would likely still be in the majority. Instead, we have people like former Speaker Paul Ryan and perennial Speaker-candidate McCarthy to blame for losing the House majority.

Republicans must stick together and come loaded for bear this Congress. Republicans need leadership that governs by principle rather than with contempt for their own members. McCarthy needs to focus on rallying his conference in opposition to the Democratic agenda. By standing up to the big government policies of House Democrats, Republicans can begin to lay the groundwork for regaining the majority in 2020.

Unfortunately, McCarthy has already followed in the footsteps of his ousted predecessors, Boehner and Ryan. Retaliating against his colleagues does nothing to help McCarthy’s image or the Republican conference as a whole. Instead, he’s just doing Speaker Pelosi’s work for her by dividing Republicans. When the leadership of both parties strive to silence the voices of principled members, you know for sure swamp politics is at work.

Who knows? In a few years Pelosi might look forward to seeing her best friend McCarthy in a contributor spot on MSNBC as the token “reasonable Republican.”