The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Kevin McCarthy

Youtube Screenshot

The Kevin McCarthy tapes just keep coming, and the latest round have the far-far-right annoyed at not just McCarthy and Rep. Liz Cheney but other members of Republican leadership as well. All because in the days after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, McCarthy and other Republican leaders were a little bit honest, in private, about what had happened and the role of some Republican House members in inciting an insurrection.

New recordings released by The New York Times have McCarthy saying, of comments by Rep. Matt Gaetz about Cheney: “He’s putting people in jeopardy. And he doesn’t need to be doing this. We saw what people would do in the Capitol, you know, and these people came prepared with rope, with everything else.”

“It’s potentially illegal what he’s doing,” Rep. Steve Scalise, the second-ranking House Republican, said of Gaetz.

In response to their comments about him, Gaetz released a statement saying that McCarthy and Scalise “held views about President Trump and me that they shared on sniveling calls with Liz Cheney, not us. This is the behavior of weak men, not leaders.”

Gaetz … has a point? McCarthy is sniveling and weak and not a leader—but his failure to lead comes in his failure to follow through on his comments in these recordings from January 2021. The collapse of any interest he had in penalizing people like Trump and Gaetz and Brooks for their actions. One interesting question is whether McCarthy did call Gaetz in January 2021 to tell him to “cut this shit out,” as he indicated in that recording he planned to do. But don’t look for McCarthy to rebut Gaetz by proving that he did call him to say that.

House Republican leaders also discussed Rep. Mo Brooks’ rally speech on Jan. 6, in which he said it was “the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.”

”You think the president deserves to be impeached for his comments?” McCarthy responded to that line. “That’s almost something that goes further than what the president said.”

In response to hearing about deleted tweets by Rep. Barry Moore of Alabama—including one saying, “it was a Black police officer who shot the white female veteran”—McCarthy muttered, “Can’t they take their Twitter accounts away, too?”

These and other comments in the recordings have McCarthy and other Republican leaders under fire from more than just Gaetz. Tucker Carlson is big mad. McCarthy “sounds like an MSNBC contributor,” Carlson said, warning that “unless conservatives get their act together right away, Kevin McCarthy or one of his highly liberal allies like Elise Stefanik is very likely to be speaker of the House in January. That would mean we will have a Republican Congress led by a puppet of the Democratic Party.”

Stefanik, mind you, replaced Cheney in Republican leadership because she managed to meet the Trump loyalty test. Apparently that’s no longer good enough.

“Heck, yeah,” he was concerned about McCarthy wanting Republicans kicked off Twitter, Rep. Andy Biggs told CNN. Taking away Twitter accounts is “not something I’m for,” said Rep. Scott Perry, head of the House Freedom Caucus.

The Republican Party is in disarray, but with the extremists and inciters of insurrection poised to come out on top, and McCarthy scrambling to appease them in any way he can, that’s not as much fun as it usually is. These recordings put into stark relief the utter collapse of any significant opposition by Republican leaders to a violent attempt to overturn an election. Less than 18 months after McCarthy was hoping for some of his members of be kicked off Twitter and claiming he was going to tell Gaetz to “cut this shit out” and urge Trump to resign, he has become entirely committed to sucking up to the far right to bolster his hopes of becoming speaker. Those hopes may have taken a hit, but that doesn’t mean anything good for the Republican Party’s support for democracy.

Printed with permission from DailyKos.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Peggy Nienaber

YouTube Screenshot

Peggy Nienaber may provide her own downfall thanks to hubris. Rolling Stone revealed on Wednesday that the Christian fascist, who serves as vice president of the nonprofit anti-abortion group Faith & Liberty and serves as hate group Liberty Counsel’s executive director of D.C. Ministry, was caught bragging about praying with Supreme Court justices. While appearing on a livestream she didn’t realize was being recorded, Nienaber confirmed that she prays with some of the justices inside the Supreme Court itself.

“They will pray with us, those that like us to pray with them,” Nienaber said, adding with a laugh, “Some of them don’t!” This claim was backed up by the founder of the ministry that ultimately got absorbed into Liberty Counsel. Rob Schenck, who used to work alongside Nienaber, but has since renounced his actions. Yet from the late 1990s onward, he prayed with Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Antonin Scalia in the Supreme Court itself.

Keep reading... Show less

Gov. Ron DeSantis

YouTube Screenshot

'We're not seeing a whole lot of common sense in his policies. He tends to toss aside serious ideas about climate change as just left-wing politics,' said Sierra Club Florida political director Luigi Guadarrama.

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has been energetically whittling away at civil rights in his state, pursuing anti-LGBTQ policies, pushing intolerance and censorship in schools, and restricting voting rights.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}