Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Why Democrats Must Retake Control of the House of Representatives

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). (
As pathetic and hypocrisy-filled as Paul Ryan has been as Speaker of the House of Representatives, his likely successor should Ryan be forced out of the speakership before the end of his term or if Republicans manage to hold control of the House after the midterm elections, would likely be far worse in countless ways.  As one former Republican White House official puts it, Rep. Kevin McCarthy would be a "mindless" Trump sycophant and an out right threat to constitutional government.   As a former Republican myself, McCarthy embodies much of what is wrong with today's Christofascist/white supremacist controlled GOP.  The take away?  It is crucial that Democrats retake control of the House and protect the nation from the likes of McCarthy.  A column in the Washington Post looks at why McCarthy is so dangerous.  Here are excerpts:
On the evidence of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s CNN interviewover the weekend, the likely next speaker of the House is a mindless sycophant and a threat to the constitutional order.
 Confronted with a simple ethical question — would he condemn demonstrable White House lies in covering up President Trump’s role in drafting his son’s account of the now-infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians — McCarthy, a California Republican, was initially dumbstruck, then shifted into a prerecorded attack on special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. It would have been easy enough to say: “The president and his team are hurting themselves with unnecessary falsehoods. Their overall case, however, is strong.” But such is the atmosphere of intimidation in the Republican Party that affirming the Ninth Commandment is seen as an act of disloyalty. When the king is a liar, truth becomes treason.
McCarthy seems to be more of a memory-foam Republican — taking the exact shape of presidential pressure. Ryan was clearly uncomfortable when ignoring his principles. McCarthy seems to view surrender to the president as a matter of principle — as part of the tribal code of the partisan. His is the loyalty of the lap dog, the devotion of the dupe.
This is problematic for at least two reasons. First, Trump and his team are testing the limits of executive power in increasingly bold and reckless ways. . . . Trump and his lawyers are not just asserting presidential freedom of action, but presidential freedom from accountability. . . . This means obstruction of justice by the president is a practical impossibility, because his actions are the definition of justice.
Since, in this view, any violation of federal law by the president (including, according to his lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, the shooting of former FBI director James B. Comey) could be immediately self-pardoned — and any resulting investigation ended on his order — the only relevant legal check during his time in office is impeachment. 
This brings us to the second, less obvious reason McCarthy’s sycophancy is alarming: the strength of the economy. A 3.8 percent unemployment rate — the lowest in 18 years — is good for the country. It also creates an atmosphere in which a leader might grab powers with less dissent. This is precisely what happened in Turkey, where Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s oppressive populism was enabled by strong economic growth. The same might be argued about Venezuela, where Hugo Ch├ívez initially used his nation’s oil wealth to ease the way toward authoritarianism.
American institutions are stronger than those of Turkey or Venezuela. But one reason they are stronger is a balance of institutional power in which the legislature is willing to check the excessive ambitions of the executive branch.
Would McCarthy be willing to play that role as speaker? Consider the scenario in which Republicans narrowly maintain control of the House in November’s midterm elections — which Trump would claim as complete vindication for his approach to governing.
In this environment, will the FBI survive as an independent institution? Will all the corruption of Trump’s campaign team, his White House appointments, his family and his own past business and political dealings be washed away in a flood of self-interested pardons? Will Trump be able to harass and intimidate his enemies in politics, business and the media with impunity?
[Trump]The president has now claimed the entire executive branch as his private fiefdom, and every federal law enforcement official as his personal servant. Would a Speaker McCarthy stand athwart Trumpism yelling “Stop!”? There is no reason to think it.
McCarthy has been a leader in Trump’s troop of enablers. America urgently requires leaders made of sterner stuff.


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