Political Civil War: “You Will NEVER Be Speaker.” (UPDATED)

Last week, Congressman Kevin McCarthy was the presumptive soon-to-be House Speaker following John Boehner’s announced resignation. McCarthy was thought to be a “workable bridge” between establishment Republicans and their more conservative and increasingly frustrated, legislative counterparts.

That bridge has just been blown apart via a combination of McCarthy’s Benghazi Committee gaffe and certain Republican operatives intent on moving the party in a leaner and necessarily meaner direction that has it for the first time in a very long time, actually responding to the needs of those whose votes put them into office in the first place.

Above: Congressman Kevin McCarthy stood up before the Republican Caucus just prior to the votes being cast and declared he was not the right man for the job. The room went silent, and then behind the scenes, chaos ensued.

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There were three primary weapons utilized by opponents of the pending McCarthy Speaker vote.

The first, and simplest, was McCarthy’s startlingly inept choice of words in describing the Benghazi Committee investigations as being politically motivated against Hillary Clinton vs an entity that simply wants the truth. The Clinton campaign is already using his words against the Republican Party. It was a glaring “not ready for prime time” moment that had some supporters questioning if he was capable of handling the higher profile position of House Speaker.

Second is a long-lingering and still potential ethics investigation into some of Congressman McCarthy’s past dealings. This effort was in no way related to the recent political stunt ethics charge brought by Democrats just yesterday against Mr. McCarthy following his Benghazi Committee comments. It is said some among the Republican “Freedom Caucus” let it be known that McCarthy had far too much baggage to be allowed a home in the Speaker’s office. It was a none too subtle and hardball political threat that clearly had an impact given McCarthy’s removing himself from contention no more than forty-eight hours later. Speculation is that shortly after McCarthy’s now infamous Benghazi remarks, Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio, who chairs the Freedom Caucus, personally stood in front of Congressman McCarthy and declared he would never be Speaker of the House.

Third, and perhaps most interesting, was the alleged intervention by a small but influential group of Republican donors who made it clear it was time the party “found a spine” and that the next Speaker must represent that new, tougher approach currently so popular among Republican voters. It appears likely this third factor was directly related to both the second and first.

The end result is Kevin McCarthy’s influence within the Republican Party is now greatly diminished. Word is his current position as Majority Leader will not last the year. The very same anti-establishment sentiment dominating the 2016 presidential race is working its way through the Republican leadership, and Congressman McCarthy’s brand of ideologically mushy, middle-of-the-road politicking had no place within that new direction.

The question that remains is who will emerge as the next front-runner to replace the equally mushy John Boehner as the next Speaker of the House. That particular battle is now underway and being waged with a ferocity not seen in decades.

(UPDATE: D.C. Whispers was just informed that it was a “significant” Republican donor who apparently holds the keys to John Boehner’s future employment prospects who told Mr. Boehner to issue his public support of Kevin McCarthy. This effort in no way intended to assist McCarthy in securing enough votes to win the Speakership but rather, just the opposite. It was a Machiavellian gesture that consolidated those opposed to his nomination because it effectively covered Congressman McCarthy in the political stink that is John Boehner.)

(UPDATE #2: Apparently the interaction between Kevin McCarthy and Jim Jordan was more volatile than initially reported. McCarthy is said to have personally extended an invitation to  Jordan to meet inside his  office with the intent of offering a prominent leadership role in the new Congress in exchange for Congressman Jordan’s support. When Jordan refused that initial offer, McCarthy’s tactics took on a decidedly more threatening tone. This was not well received by Congressman Jordan, a former Division I national wrestling champion and Ohio State wrestling coach, who is said to have then stood up, pointed down at Congressman McCarthy and declared, “You will never be Speaker. NEVER.”)

DEVELOPING…

 

Barack Obama & Republican Leadership Move Quickly To Pass Obamatrade Following Shooting Tragedy

It is a bill (actually a collection of them) that by some estimates, would encompass nearly 90% of the world’s economic output. Detractors have warned it will inevitably push the United States into a global governance agreement whereby the laws of America become secondary to the laws of a multi-national coalition.

As the country watches the tragic news reports of a young and clearly troubled white man who opened fire upon members of a predominantly black church in South Carolina, the White House and a handful of Republicans move quickly to secure the necessary support for passage of the fast-track trade bill known as Obamatrade.

Never let a tragedy go to waste…

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, and Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, stand together Feb, 13, 2015, at a ceremony before the signing of the bill authorizing expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline, at the Capitol in Washington. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Front and center is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker John Boehner whose respective staffs have joined with Obama White House operatives to go from one member of Congress to the next demanding support for the Obamatrade bill.

“They start with perks like committee assignments. Then they move on to campaign donations. If that doesn’t work, then the threats start and they don’t let up. It’s getting very testy up here.”

Yesterday the president was once again making personal calls to members of Congress – namely other Democrats who he is hoping will either continue voting in favor of the bill, or reconsider their previous no vote. While this is taking place, the Republican leadership is coordinating a similar, yet even more aggressive effort. Speaker Boehner’s office is said to be particularly aggressive/abusive in accumulating more votes for passage.

“There’s a lot of us who are stunned at how hard the Speaker is fighting for something with the president and against the wishes of so many of his own caucus. We basically have a Speaker who goes after Republicans who don’t tow his line much more aggressively than he’s ever gone after the destructive and dangerous policies of the Obama  administration.”

Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama has been among the most vocal opponents of the proposed fast-track trade bill, warning it will tie the United States into an ever larger version of the European Union while also saying there were several Republicans who voted for the bill simply because Boehner’s office demanded they do so. Senator Sessions indicated those Republicans actually had no idea what was in the bill. He also accused Congressman Paul Ryan of misrepresenting the true nature of the bill not only to members of Congress, but the American people.

If John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and Barack Obama get their way, the bill will be up for another vote as soon as late today or early tomorrow.