House Republicans are finally willing to settle for Rep. Kevin McCarthy as their leader.
Three years ago, when the speaker of the House gig suddenly opened up, California Republican Kevin McCarthy really wanted the job. But too many of his fellow Republicans didn't want him to have it. Now, with Paul Ryan racing out of dodge and the party about to be in the minority after last week's crushing defeat, they're finally willing to let him be in charge. Sort of.
On Wednesday, House Republicans elected McCarthy to be their next minority leader.
McCarthy was next in line when Speaker John Boehner was driven out of town by the far-right wing of the GOP caucus. But McCarthy's chance to get his hand on the gavel was short-lived and ended in a swirl of scandalous rumors and attacks from the extra far-right wing of the party.
It was a defeat a certain prolific tweeter celebrated at the time.
Great, Kevin McCarthy drops out of SPEAKER race. We need a really smart and really tough person to take over this very important job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2015
That far-right wing was led by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who now is dealing with his own scandals. He's accused of turning a blind eye to rampant sexual abuse of students at Ohio State University, when he was a wrestling coach there. Jordan also tossed his hat into the ring for the less prestigious role of House minority leader, but this time, McCarthy managed to defeat him.
McCarthy will assume control of a party in disarray and badly beaten. He will also have the thankless task of trying to work with Trump on an agenda that now can't go anywhere unless House Democrats say so.
And that means, in all likelihood, McCarthy — who has worked hard in the last two years to try to get on Trump's good side — could be on the receiving end of some bitter and ugly tweets from the pouter in chief, who will no longer have a Congress willing to give him whatever he wants.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.