On Thursday, California Representative Kevin McCarthy was just hours away from achieving a pinnacle the pinnacle of his profession.
In the wake of Speaker John Boehner’s departure a power vacuum had been created in the Republican Party and, in the eyes of almost all of his colleagues, McCarthy was the man to fill it.
The appointment would be the fulfillment of a long, hard fought, career for McCarthy and a much needed stabilization for the GOP.
But then, at the very last moment, McCarthy announced that he would be withdrawing his name from consideration stating that the party needed a “Fresh Face” in order to be successful going forward. ‘
But that’s not what really happened.
What really happened was that as soon as Boehner stepped aside McCarthy became the subject of blackmailing and strong-arm tactics from ultra-conservative party members who did not want to see him take the top job.
In a Breaking story published Friday by The Huffington Post, it has come to light that just hours before McCarthy announced his withdrawal he received an email with the cryptic subject line: “Kevin, why not resign like Bob Livingston?”
Huff Post has confirmed that the email came from Steve Baher. Baher is a Chicago based GOP fundraiser who likes to send out his opinions to legislators en masse. This particular email is of note, however, as it references Bob Livingston (a politician marred by a sex scandal) and was sent to both McCarthy and North Carolina Rep. Renee Elmers.
Certain media sites have long been attesting that Elmers and the married McCarthy have, at one time, been embroiled in an affair.
The Baher email was clearly meant to intimidate McCarthy into withdrawing under threat of revealing his affair. But it gets worse.
The Wednesday before McCarthy received the Baher email North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones sent out an even more cryptic message.
In his letter Jones asked that. “Any Candidate for Speaker of The House…withdraw himself from the leadership election if there any misdeeds he has committed since joining congress that would embarrass himself, The Republican Congress, and the House of Representatives if they become public.”
By limiting these “misdeeds” to acts that have been committed “since joining Congress” Jones is subtly leveling the barrel directing at McCarthy for being accused of having an affair with another Representative.
McCarthy addressed these accusations very briefly in his withdrawal speech on Thursday by saying, “No. No. Come on.”
I’m no lawyer but that is not exactly a convincing defense.
Whether or not the allegations of adultery are true or false remains to be seen. However, the more unsettling issues of blackmail in the Republican Party have been confirmed.
The Speaker of The House is an important person in the lives of every American citizen.
That role is sacred, and it holds tremendous power over what will happen to each and every one of us both financially and experientially in the next several years.
We, as the American people, need to be able to have faith that the person who takes the job was chosen fairly and objectively by our elected officials.
We need to know that the best man got the job.
For a radical minority of conservative representatives to employ obvious blackmail tactics in order to block a candidate that the majority of their party would have otherwise elected removes that confidence. By strong-arming McCarthy these radicals are breaking the system and preventing any of us from truly believing in them or the puppet they end up electing.
No one can say definitively just yet if McCarthy actually did fail both his family and his constituents by engaging in an affair.
But we can all say definitively that his party has failed each and every one of us by corrupting the system and perverting one of our most precious elected positions.
Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments?