The writing has been on the wall for nearly a decade. The conservative base of the Republican Party is who determines winners and losers for the GOP in general elections. When conservatism is strengthened in the party, people get excited. When it’s weakened, they grow disenfranchised.
Electing Representative Kevin McCarthy as House Minority Leader weakens conservatism in the GOP.
There was an alternative. Representative Jim Jordan is a conservative and a leader of the House Freedom Caucus. But he was only able to get 43 votes compared to McCarthy’s 159. This tells us the makeup of the GOP side of the House is as weak as it has been for nearly two decades.
The victory seals McCarthy years-long drive to rise to the top of the House Republican Conference, an effort that had been derailed by Jordan and the House Freedom Caucus in 2015.
At that point, McCarthy was running for speaker, but ran into opposition from the hard-line Freedom Caucus and withdrew his name for consideration. That cleared the way for Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to become speaker.
The fact that the GOP picked McCarthy and his 36% Conservative Review Freedom Score over Jordan and his 98% Freedom Score tells us the Republican Party in Washington DC does not worry about its base. It isn’t concerned about making bold strides towards a better America. It isn’t focused on a conservative agenda or being a stark contrast to the leftist lurch that’s happening in the Democratic Party.
The GOP wants the Establishment to reign.
And we trained them to do this.
The appeal of the mushy middle
Why do Republicans sound conservative during elections but govern like Democrats when they’re put in power? It’s the same reason they were able to pass a clean Obamacare repeal in 2015 when they knew it would get vetoed by President Trump but didn’t even try to pass it in 2017 when they knew it would get signed by President Trump.
They are conservative when it’s convenient. In other words, they’re conservative when they’re trying to win primaries. Once they have the nomination, they go where they’re most comfortable by approaching the middle. Once elected, most rest squarely in the middle. Some push to the left.
Why do they do this? Because we let them. We moan and gripe about them. We beg them to be as conservative as they pretended to be during primaries. Then, when given the choice between the mushy middle Republican or the unhinged leftist Democrat, we give in.
As long as this is the case, they’ll always go to the mushy middle. They’ll always elect McCarthy and Ryan and McConnel and Boehner. We don’t give them a reason to do otherwise.
I’m done giving into the lesser of two evils. If they want to be like Democrats, it’s time to treat them like Democrats. I don’t know at this point what that will look like, but it definitely won’t look like it does now. We need change. McCarthy isn’t it.