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Do we really need McCarthy as Speaker?

Do we really need McCarthy as Speaker?

In previous commentaries, I have expressed my hope that House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy would NOT become Speaker in January.  That does lessen my desire to have Republicans win the house by a large number.  I am also realistic enough to understand that I am not likely to get my wish.  But there is a case to be made to select another person.

My first concern is that McCarthy is not a very formidable and persuasive individual.  He is obviously good at the insider game – keeping the majority of the Republican caucus on his side.  He is not, however, an effective public spokesman.  He is mostly on the defensive – lacking the talent to go on the offensive without being offensive.  His arguments are not well crafted.  In short, he is a poor salesman.  It is that charisma thing.

He is also a poor political strategist. Arguably his greatest blunder – in my judgment – was not putting Republicans on Speaker Pelosi’s Select Committee.  He apparently believed that refusing to have “the other side” represented would undermine the credibility of the committee.  It did to some measure – but not as much as it should have.

The Committee operated as a kangaroo court in the arena of public opinion – but even a one-sided operation can be persuasive.  Image if there had been tough questioning of witnesses – and even other witnesses.

Even though Pelosi acted badly in refusing two Committee members initially chosen by McCarthy, there were any number of Republican congressmen who could have filled in the role.  It would have also precluded Pelosi’s appointing two apostate Republicans.  Pelosi would have been denied her dubious claim of bipartisanship.  Both Congresswoman Liz Cheney and Congressman Adam Kinzinger would have slipped out of the political arena with little notice.

And then there is the issue of Cheney, herself.  What would have happened if McCarthy had not booted Cheney out of her leadership position — even in view of her vote to impeach President Trump.  She had been a very consistent conservative vote – and would likely have continued in that manner.

McCarthy can be said to have created the monster Cheney had become to the Republican Party.  Much of what we have seen is a woman scorned.

Those two lapses in political judgment, alone, have caused enormous damage to the GOP brand by handing political fodder to the Democrats.

McCarthy is given to making foolish or damaging statements.  His harsh criticism of Trump at the time of the Capitol Hill riot followed by a mea culpa visit to Mar-a-Lago made him look weak and sleazy.

McCarthy recently made a statement that sounded like he would cut off support to Ukraine when in charge of the House.  That was both wrong and stupid.  He could have said nothing at this time.  It was an unearned error.

Republicans controlling the House will be a good thing for America, but even better if the House Speaker was a more dynamic and intelligent individual.  It is a lost opportunity, I fear.

So, there ‘tis.


About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. LMB

    Don’t trust him!!! I think Marjorie Taylor Greene would make a hellafa Speaker!!!

    • Tom

      Actually many GOP do not like her because of her conspiracy theories and racist comments. She would be a very poor speaker. Take a break and have another glass of GOP Koolaide!

      • Burt

        What racist comments?

        • Ben is back

          What comments mtg makes that aren’t racist?

          Wouldn’t xxxxx her with burt’s xxxxxx.

          • Burt

            You would lick her belly button from the inside

          • ben is back

            Bert burps again. He is so knowledgeable about this stuff. So much experience for a third grade mind.

            Couldn’t wage a cogent argument if his life depended on it. Just school-kid attacks. Put downs. Not even cute.

  2. Joe

    There are two big rhinos that need to be replaced or removed for the repukes, to move on.McConnel is a trump backstabbing traitor, to the party, and trying to help the dumbocraps get elected,get rid of this fool.McCarthy is another one that can’t be trusted as speaker,he needs to go also, or this party is doomed. We need Jim Jordan,Matt Gates, some one level headed for the speaker, and no rhinos.Get it right, u can’t afford to get it wrong again, like low=life,dirtbag,traitor,p.ryan that screwed the party over for two years.

    • B

      So, Joe, are you saying your main criteria for speakership is that they toe Trump’s line? Kiss his ass? Embrace all the Trump policies? In any case, I don’t think you’ll have to worry about the Republican choice for Speaker of the House…

  3. Tom

    You are right Larry, McCarthy is one person we Independents would love to see gone. What I wish you would have mentioned is that stupid video he made advocating violence against Pelosi. Now I do disagree with your statement, “Much of what we have seen is a woman scorned.”. This is pure sexism. No matter what one thinks of her personally, she is a very smart person with quite a bit of talent, depth, and breadth in politics. She is a strong woman who is driven by the strength of her convictions and love of country. What I saw in her was a Congress woman trying her best and determined to expose the facts and get to the truth. Gender has nothing to do with it and really has no place in an intelligent discussion of the woman. I do wonder if Frank would agree with me?

    • larry Horist

      Mike … From you comment, it sounds like you think I was referring to Pelosi as the woman scorned. It was Cheney. As I wrote, I think the entire Cheney fiasco could have been avoided had McCarthy not booted her off the leadership post. She was always a solid vote for the conservative cause. Let the voters decided what they thought of her impeachment vote — as they have with others . Some winning, some losing. I think Cheney would have been a very different person had she not be shove over the cliff. Unfortunately, I saw her evolve into a bitter person, who abandoned her lifelong values and principles because of an obsessive hatred of Trump and McCarthy. She is now working to elect and empower left-wing Democrats. She is burning the GOP house down to get at Trump and McCarthy. She certainly would not have joined Pelosi’s bogus Select Committee had McCarthy not booted her. Would Kinzinger have gone it alone? Personally, I doubt it. Finally, I am not sure what video you refer to — threatening Pelosi.

  4. Trucker-Mike

    Mccarthy is a poor leader & worse salesman, but Liz Cheney the monster was exposed by Kevin (not created) just as Bill Kristol was exposed by Trump.