Diary

Why we can't support Kevin McCarthy for Speaker.

I’m not [mc_name name=”Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)” chamber=”house” mcid=”R000570″ ]. I wish that I was – because I would then be able to use my credentials and powerful voice to support someone who will bring change to Washington.

Let’s make no mistake: [mc_name name=”Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)” chamber=”house” mcid=”M001165″ ] is not the guy for the job.

I have great respect for Mr. Ryan – but his letter of support speaks for itself – and not in the way intended. You can feel the lackluster, uninspired, half-hearted support of his “credentials” drip off the page. I’m sorry Mr. Ryan – but I don’t believe you’re very excited about a McCarthy speakership.

On the issues, Kevin has gotten results where others have failed. In 2008, Kevin pushed the Republican conference to promise an end to earmarks. In 2011, with a new majority, House Republicans kept that promise and made the ban a reality.

When the President sent a stimulus bill to Capitol Hill, Kevin rallied the conference to oppose it—unanimously.

When he was majority whip, he helped me pass four balanced budgets in a row.

His points of praise (fighting earmarks, passing budgets, opposing the stimulus) – aren’t really illustrative of strong conservative accomplishments . Don’t get me wrong, those are all very good things to support – but they’re expected. Are there really that many conservatives that support the stimulus? Are there any anti-establishment republicans that want earmarks? I’m glad he helped Mr. Ryan pass balanced budgets – but is that really his signature achievement thus far? His conservative magnum opus is what exactly? Supporting a budget plan? I’m not inspired.

 Throughout his life, he has defended the sanctity of life. And he is a proud supporter of the Second Amendment.

Fantastic! But these aren’t conservative accomplishments– these are conservative requirements. You don’t even get to be considered for the job if you’re pro-abortion or anti-gun rights. Everything that Mr. Ryan has listed are stances that aren’t uncommon or unique among republicans.There’s nothing here that tells us that McCarthy is the best person to become third in line to the presidency. There are only statements showing that he has the bare minimum of qualifications. 

That just simply isn’t enough.

I don’t know who should be the next leader of the House. I do know that if a Republican paragon like Paul Ryan can’t make a strong case for a person, that we should likely be looking somewhere else.

Before reading Ryan’s endorsement, I was under the impression that McCarthy’s largest contribution to the conservative cause is almost single-handedly destroying the Benghazi investigation. That’s not indicative of the communication skills and forethought we need in Washington, but it certainly is the status quo.

Paul Ryan’s letter didn’t change that – but it did ignore it. We can’t afford to.