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Happy first Tuesday in 2023. The fun never stops. We thought we could announce the new Speaker of the House tonight. We thought we knew who it was going to be, but no, the race for the speaker is still on. Voting is suspended for the day. It will resume tomorrow.
Now, the fact that this race has yet to be settled is being described, especially online by many, as embarrassing – and it’s embarrassing if you prefer consensus to the Soviet style of internal Democratic Party elections, where the votes are only a formality and all the really important decisions, the ones that make sense, are taken years in advance by the donors. Oh sure, everyone’s on board. That’s what they do.
But if you prefer democracy to oligarchy, if you prefer real debates on issues that really matter, it’s quite refreshing to see that. Yes, it’s a bit chaotic, but that’s what it’s supposed to be. Now, we’re going to give you a lot more to tell them what’s going on in a minute and throughout the week, but first, a quick overview to frame the big points.
Kevin McCarthy from California was going to be the speaker. He desperately wants to be a speaker. In fact, he wants this job more than anything else in his life and he was going to get it. But then a group of 20 Republican members arrested him. Now they’ve shut him down because they decided Kevin McCarthy wasn’t conservative enough to represent a party that had just taken over the House from Nancy Pelosi. and they are certainly right about that.
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McCarthy is not particularly conservative. He is, in fact, ideologically agnostic. He is flexible. His real constituency is the lobbying community in Washington. So if you have sincere political beliefs, it’s infuriating to watch. On the other hand, to be fair, it’s politics and McCarthy has some strengths. It’s not easy to be a speaker when the Accommodation is it tightly divided. and in some ways, Kevin McCarthy is perfectly suited for it.
He’s good at politics, no small thing. Above all, McCarthy is prepared to spend the next two years living in hotel rooms, raising funds for his party ahead of a historic presidential election. What other Republican in the House is willing to do that? Well, since tonight, and we’ve checked, no one has come forward. So really the crucial question is how badly does Kevin McCarthy want this job? 20 of his colleagues have just publicly disavowed him loud and clear.
To win them back, McCarthy is going to have to give them something real, not flimsy promises, which he specializes in. He will have to make real concessions to them. If Kevin McCarthy wants to be the speakerhe is going to have to do things he would never do otherwise.
Like what? We can think of at least two things. First released the Jan 6 files – not some of the Jan 6 files and videos – all of that. And not just some bogus committee that’s going to hide them, which in fact is designed to hide them from the public, but put them online. Broadcast them directly to the public so the rest of us can finally find out what really happened on January 6, 2021. It’s been two years. It’s been long overdue. It’s our right as Americans to know, and McCarthy could tell us.
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Second, Kevin McCarthy could put Kentucky’s Thomas Massie in charge of a new Frank Church committee designed to find out what the FBI and intelligence agencies have been doing to control that country’s domestic politics. They’ve done a lot, but no one in Washington wants to talk about it. This topic is indeed off limits and has been. In fact, no one has talked about it for almost 50 years.
And so because no one talked about it or stopped it, the rot spread and democracy withered. You can feel it. The FBI is now a bigger force in US elections than any group of voters.
This cannot go on. It’s poison, and Kevin McCarthy is uniquely positioned right now to stop it. So, by making a deal with his 20 colleagues, McCarthy could restore our system and at the same time get the job he always wanted. It’s not that hard. Let’s hope he does.