Kevin McCarthy was confronted on the GOP's lack of diversity in the new Congress. So he named two newly elected white men.
Newly elected House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, confronted on the Republican Party's woeful lack of diversity, cited two white men as examples of how his party is "diverse."
McCarthy appeared on "CBS This Morning" the day after winning his party's internal election for House minority leader, but the victory lap quickly hit a bump in the road.
Host Norah O'Donnell pointed out to McCarthy that among the newly elected members of Congress, Democrats have 33 women and 19 men. By comparison, there is only one woman on the Republican side, and 30 men.
McCarthy started off his awkward answer by trying to tack on Republican congressional candidate Young Kim. But votes are still being counted in that race, and Kim has seen her lead shrink from 839 votes to merely 122 votes against her Democratic opponent in California. At the same time, Kim has launched unsubstantiated rumors of vote theft as she flounders.
Then McCarthy began to make even more excuses.
McCarthy justified the party's poor showing by saying "a number of our women ran for higher office and moved out," a defense that's hard to follow logically. It also ignores the Republican Party's embrace of misogyny and sexism, from Trump down to McCarthy's fellow members of Congress, that motivated many Democratic women to run for office.
That's when McCarthy really put his foot in his mouth by citing Crenshaw and Waltz as examples of "diversity."
"Look at who else is coming in as freshmen Republicans. If you look — Dan Crenshaw, a veteran that served us. If you look at Mike Waltz, the first Green Beret officer. We're diverse, but we can continue to expand and improve," McCarthy said.
Crenshaw and Waltz are both white men, like the bulk of Republicans they will be joining in the minority.
In the 2018 election, America made history by sending over 120 women to serve in Congress. Those women come from diverse backgrounds — they are Muslim, Native American, black, and Latina — but they are nearly all Democrats.
The Republican Party has a diversity problem under Trump and his allies like McCarthy. The GOP does not support an America where a spectrum of different races, genders, and sexual orientations have a seat at the table.
Democrats are being diversified through new faces, while Republicans are offering more of the same that led them to become a minority.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.