Thu. Sep 28th, 2023
Should Democrats help Kevin McCarthy? Nope
Should Democrats help Kevin McCarthy? Nope

Speaker Kevin McCarthy has been “leading” the House on borrowed time. The Freedom Caucus and allied members have made it clear that he serves at their pleasure. This week, chaos agent and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz tried to shorten McCarthy’s leash, threatening to force a vote on ousting him.

Now Axios poses the question of “How Democrats could save Kevin McCarthy.” The better question for Democrats is, “Why would you bother?” The assumption—always—is that Democrats will step up to try to make things work, to help clean up messes, and to prop McCarthy up in this fight. That they’ll help save his bacon.

So why would Democrats help him and vote against Gaetz’s motion to oust McCarthy? Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee gives one justification: “If we vacated the chair, I don’t see a better speaker. So I don’t foresee that happening.” That’s a given. There isn’t a better speaker option.

That’s the kind of thinking that McCarthy is counting on from Democrats to help him. But there isn’t really a worse option, not one who’s a viable candidate. There are a lot of truly horrible people in the GOP conference, like Paul Gosar or Marjorie Taylor Greene, but they’re never going to be elected. Worrying about someone worse in the job is pointless.

And why would Democrats help McCarthy when he regularly gives them the middle finger? He just did it again on Tuesday by moving forward on a wholly illegitimate impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden. It was the same earlier in the year when some Democrats were trying to reach across the aisle to protect McCarthy in the debt ceiling fight: His staff said that effort was “garbage” and that he had “zero interest” in it.

The other argument is that he’s got to be propped up to avoid chaos. One anonymous Democrat told Axios, “No love for Kevin. But [there is] concern about more chaos, and who might take his place if he is booted.”

Spoiler alert: Right now the House is in chaos. More of it is inevitable, and there’s nothing House Democrats can do about it. Don’t fight it, embrace it. Let them defeat themselves. The No. 1 rule: When Republicans are drowning, throw them an anchor.

Sign the petition: Denounce the baseless impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden.


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