We need to talk about Kevin McCarthy
Last week, New York Times reporters Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin leaked a recording allegedly of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) telling Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) that he would recommend to then-President Donald Trump that he should resign.
The audio was played on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC where the NYT reporters were promoting their latest anti-Trump book This Will Not Pass
The following is the transcript of the leaked conversation
CHENEY: I guess there’s a question. When we’re talking about the 25th Amendment resolution, and you asked if, you know, what happens if it gets there after he’s gone, is there any chance, are you hearing, that he might resign, is there any reason to think that might happen?
MCCARTHY: I’ve a few discussions. My gut tells me no, I’m seriously thinking of having that conversation with him tonight. I haven’t talked to him in a couple of days. From what I know of him, I mean you guys know him too, do you think he’d ever back away? But, what I think I’m going to do, is I’m going to call him. This is what I think, we know it’ll pass the House.
I think there’s a chance it’ll pass the Senate, even when he is gone. And I think there’s a lot of different ramifications for that. Now, I haven’t had a discussion with the DEMs, that if he did resign, with that happen? Now, this is one personal fear I have. I do not want to get into any conversation about Pence pardoning. Again, the only discussion I would have with him is that, I think this will pass. And it will be my recommendation you should resign. I mean, that would be my take. But I don’t think he would take it. But I don’t know.
On a separate call, McCarthy allegedly said the following about Trump,
"I had it with this guy. What he did is unacceptable. Nobody can defend that, and nobody should defend it."
Liz Cheney has denied leaking the conversation.
McCarthy has branded the NYT reporting as ‘false and wrong.’
My statement on the New York Times pic.twitter.com/PWi2WkoWzh— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) April 21, 2022
Before we leap to conclusions and demand the tough action against McCarthy, we have to remember who the actors are.
They are Rachel Maddow on MSNBC and reporters from the New York Times. These are the very organizations and individuals who relentlessly peddled vicious lies about President Trump that he had colluded with Russia to rig the 2016 elections.
It wasn’t just the Russia collusion scandal. Back in 2017, Daniel Payne of The Federalist compiled a lengthy list of blatant lies or unashamed exaggerations and distortions about Trump. The fabrications were usually about Trump's supposed bigotry, buffooneries, incompetence, mistakes, and crudities. They were all from unconfirmed sources and they all turned out to be complete falsehoods.
Since it is looking like the GOP is going to take back the Senate and the House, it would make sense for the Democrats to allow establishment 'RINO' Republicans to remain in the party who can help the Democrats behind closed doors starting next January.
If McCarthy is indeed a traitor who wanted to stab President Trump and the MAGA movement in the back, why would the leftist media promote the conversation and hurt McCarthy’s reelection chances and that of him being made Speaker of the House?
There is a possibility that the January 6th committee want to use the audio as evidence to claim that Trump was such a tyrant that McCarthy, despite being angry with Trump, was mortally afraid to take on Trump in public. Trump will hence be pronounced a danger to democracy who must not be allowed to run in 2024.
The Democrats know that Trump can defeat them in 2024. The Democrats know the only way they can survive in 2024 is to prevent Trump from running and hope the GOP chooses a weak candidate. The other obvious option is to tamper with standard electoral practices to rig the elections much as they did in 2020.
There are other serious questions that need to be asked.
First: who recorded the telephonic conversation, if Cheney is indeed innocent?
In the past, both General Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign aide Carter Page were subjected to surveillance without much justification and the details were leaked to the media.
Is it conceivable that spying on GOP personnel is now standard practice in Washington in order that conversations can be leaked to the media and be amplified for political purposes? That would be undemocratic and unfortunate. It would place the US in the same league of 3rd world nations or totalitarian states where opponents are surveilled.
Now let’s assume that the conversation was authentic.
Could McCarthy be given the benefit of doubt that he was having a conversation with a colleague and him thinking out loud about the options?
The obvious instinct is to think of McCarthy as a turncoat who wanted to get rid of Trump but feigned support when saw he the direction of the wind beyond Washington.
What if he claims he was under stress and that caused him to say that ‘he had it with Trump', but when he thought it over with a calmer mind he felt differently?
The biggest challenge the GOP faces in 2022 is the possibility of weak, compromised, corrupt, or Washington loyalists in the party, who will during the moment of need abandon their base. These are the Romney variety of lawmakers who say the right thing and receive President Trump's endorsement to win. But once they are elected their loyalty changes.
Even if we accept that the stressful situation compelled McCarthy to vent out of frustration, it reveals a very important aspect of his character.
If history has taught us anything, it is obvious that the GOP upon winning in 2023 will be subjected to hell after their victory. There is a likelihood that the Democrats may not accept the results. If they do accept the results, they may use their activist wing to permanently occupy Washington and conduct protests each time the GOP attempts to pass their agenda.
During such times, the last thing the GOP needs is a representative or leader who immediately capitulates under pressure.
There are truly no easy answers or solutions for these revelations because the authenticity is in question and the leakers are untrustworthy.
In the coming weeks, the GOP leadership must seriously and privately investigate the matter to establish the authenticity of the tape to decide their next course of action.
It often takes one solitary vote to pass or repeal a bill or decide the course of impeachment that dictates the future of the nation.
At this juncture, the GOP cannot afford to have a weakling in its ranks within power.