Ignoring the Anti-McCarthy Faction’s Avowed Goals, The New York Times Sees Only ‘Chaos and Confusion’
What unites the Republicans who are resisting the election of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R–Calif.), the former House minority leader, as speaker? According to a New York Times article published yesterday, it is their devotion to Donald Trump and his fantasy of a stolen presidential election. Yet today the Times noted that McCarthy’s opponents were completely unfazed by the former president’s endorsement of McCarthy and calls for Republican unity.
If this fight is not about Trump, what is it about? Unlike previous GOP “insurgent movements” that “aspired to change the vision of the party,” Times reporters Lisa Lerer and Reid J. Epstein aver in a “news analysis,” these rebels “are focused far more on their personal power.” Lerer and Epstein attribute that characterization to “Republican critics,” meaning supporters of a man who is desperately trying to maintain his own personal power.
The Times clearly shares the Republican establishment’s dismay at the disruption caused by the 20 GOP legislators who have refused to support McCarthy. “After two days of chaos and confusion on the House floor,” Lerer and Epstein say, “Republicans have made it abundantly clear who is leading their party: absolutely no one.”
This distaste for the messiness of representative government blinds Lerer and Epstein to the possibility that actual disagreements about process and policy might be driving McCarthy’s opponents. “With no unified legislative agenda, clear leadership or shared vision for the country,” they write, “Republicans find themselves mired in intraparty warfare, defined by a fringe element that seems more eager to tear down the House than to rebuild the foundation of a political party that has faced disappointment in the past three national elections.” They say “the anti-establishment fervor that accompanied [Trump’s] rise to power” now threatens to “devour the entire party.”
A quote from Karl Rove, “the Republican strategist who embodies the party’s pre-Trump era,” captures the main thrust of the piece. “The members who began this have little interest in legislating, but are most interested in burning down the existing Republican leadership structure,” he says. “Their behavior shows the absence of power corrupts just as absolutely as power does.”
I’m not sure what that means, but Rove is clearly appalled by the fact that 20 Republicans have declined to ratify the coronation of the presumptive heir to the House speaker’s throne, instead insistin
Article from Reason.com