King of Spades: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, hapless leader of pro-Putin wing of GOP


“You’ve got two camps right now of people who should speak out and haven’t. The first camp knows Trump is a dangerous and vindictive man but doesn’t want to upend their lives by provoking his ire. The second camp is more nakedly transactional.”

– Miles Taylor, former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security in the Trump administration

McCarthy sided with Trump partisans in voting to toss out votes from swing state electoral votes of Arizona and Pennsylvania just hours after a mob forcibly invaded the Capitol.  In May 2021 McCarthy endorsed the Republican wave of state voter suppression laws because Republican voters lack “confidence in the electoral system”.   

McCarthy is not out to smooth out the Trumpiest elements of the GOP. And he’s rarely hinted that he finds the more bumptious members on his right flank to be real problems, including members of he Freedom Caucus, the hard-line group that is now less formally conservative than a vehicle for Trumpism,  and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), perhaps the most divisive member of his conference.

“For somebody who has the picture of Ronald Reagan on his wall in his office in the Capitol, the notion that now Kevin McCarthy is going to make himself the leader of the pro-Putin wing of my party is just a stunning thing.” 

— Liz Cheney, Meet the Press, October 23, 2022.