So that’s how it’s going to be, I guess. We get Mr. Good Hair vs. Mr. Ambitious. In the race to replace John Boehner, it comes down to Kevin McCarthy vs. Jason Chaffetz. So many of the House Republicans, including the conservatives, are too risk adverse to actually grow a pair and run.
Between them, Chaffetz is probably more likely to support reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank. He is a known proponent of the internet sales tax, which both Kevin McCarthy and John Boehner opposed. He’s also supported the ridiculous ban on internet gambling because rich Republican donors who own physical casinos want it.
To be frank, there’s a stench of coin-operatedness about Jason Chaffetz. Insert coin, get your policy. Additionally, because Chaffetz thinks of himself as a conservative, I suspect he will do like John Boehner. Chaffetz would declare himself a conservative, define exactly what that means, and deny a seat at the table to any other conservatives because he is one — just ask him.
That troubles me.
Then there’s Kevin McCarthy. I have several friends who served in the California legislature with McCarthy. They all, at separate times, told me the same story. They’d all be reading white papers and legislation and legislative memos and McCarthy would be reading People magazine and Us Weekly. I’m not sure we need a Speaker more interested in keeping up with the Kardashians than with policy proposals.
Kevin McCarthy may have great hair, but does he have the depth? He’s already given Hillary Clinton ammunition to completely gut the Benghazi hearings and their legitimacy. That was a real foul on his part.
There is one benefit for conservatives to McCarthy as Speaker. He is not one of them. McCarthy knows he has to give conservatives a seat at the table or see himself go the way of Boehner. He could not simply declare himself a conservative like Chaffetz and use media claims to his conservative bona fides to marginalize conservatives. I fear that would happen with Chaffetz.
To his credit, McCarthy has also surrounded himself with a team that is not hostile to conservatives — a big difference between him and Boehner.
I really am just appalled that no conservatives really want to step up. I realize Daniel Webster is there, but he has no traction and is getting no attention. This is between McCarthy and Chaffetz for now and, though it may bother me to say it, I think conservatives actually come out ahead by going with the guy who knows he has no claim to their mantle.
What a ridiculous situation.