News has come out this afternoon that Raul Labrador will take on Kevin McCarthy in the bid to replace Eric Cantor as Majority Leader. Good. Someone needs to. Conservatives need to have someone in each position so that the other men cannot take on the veneer of being conservative. Give them no room to pose. Marlin Stutzman and Labrador are proving their worth as conservative leaders in the House and conservatives need to get in the trenches to support them.
But let us also be frank here — House conservatives overall have embraced their caricature. The criticism in Washington of the House conservatives is that they are great at blowing sh’tuff up, but terrible at leading.
Conservatives in Virginia’s seventh congressional district threw out a sitting House majority leader in a primary for the first time in American history. Conservatives in Washington cheered it on. Conservatives in the House were trading celebratory texts and emails.
Then they did jack.
They gave their peers in the House Republican Conference time to slip into denial and deny that Cantor’s defeat was anything other than an anomaly.
House conservatives have made some fiery stands. They have undermined their leadership repeatedly doing what is right though not convenient or popular. But when it comes to suddenly standing up and being willing to lead, they pretend they are focused on the next time. Their delays routinely cost them.
House Republicans have become their own caricature. They want to sabotage, they want to obstruct, but God help them if you ask them to stand up and lead. But don’t worry. They will next time.
In the meantime, they should fight like hell for Labrador and Stutzman, two men willing to do the right thing for the right reasons.