Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Boehner to McCarthy: From Frying Pan to Fire?

Say what you will about the soon-to-be-replaced House Speaker John Boehner, but the wildly ambitious pilgrim who is waiting in the wings and heavily favored to replace him as Speaker—former Majority Whip and current House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy—could very well make us all cry for our mamas once he takes over.

Boehner (one of 12 children) is 65 years old, a blue-collar Ohioan representing the state’s 8th congressional district, and a practicing and devout Roman Catholic. So moved was he by the Pope Francis’s recent address to Congress, he openly wept on national television.

Granted, the lachrymose Boehner has been known to weep at Hallmark commercials and the sight of dogs mating on his driveway, but still, in this cynical world, the man’s unabashed emotionalism is refreshing. By contrast, McCarthy is a sharp-eyed and unsentimental 50-year old “climber,” a Californian and a Southern Baptist.

Before anyone jumps to the conclusion that being from the relatively progressive state of California makes McCarthy a “moderate,” they need to be reminded of two things: One, there is no such thing as a “Republican moderate,” and two, McCarthy hails from Bakersfield, in Kern County, a region which has been nicknamed “The California Ozarks.” Alas, it’s the shit-kicker capital of the state.

A fourth generation Kern County resident, McCarthy graduated from Cal State Bakersfield with a degree in Marketing. Not only are liberals and moderate Republicans anathema to him, he found his own family’s political views to be more or less repellant.

Raised by staunch Democrats, young Kevin nonetheless rejected his family’s long-time political values, turned conservative, and subsequently became president of the Young Republicans, in 1995, at the age of 30.

Of course, like so many boisterous anti-government, pro-private sector Republicans, McCarthy is no stranger to hypocrisy. Indeed, pretending to detest the government while simultaneously turning to it as benefactor is his stock in trade.

Consider: The largest employer in Kern County is, far and away, the Kern County government bureaucracy. It goes without saying that any attempt by McCarthy to significantly strip his district of those coveted County jobs would result not only in him losing the next election, but being hanged in effigy.

On the other hand, McCarthy does adhere to boilerplate conservative principles in his denunciation of anthropogenic global warming (i.e. climate change being caused by human activity), having signed a 2010 pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, promising never to vote for any climate legislation that would raise taxes on targeted polluters.

Taking a glass-half-full vs. glass-half-empty approach we can either fault McCarthy (and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce) for ignoring the overwhelming scientific evidence, or praise him for framing the problem in purely economic terms, and not going so far as to call the entire global warming issue a “hoax,” as Oklahoma Senator James (Mr. Petroleum”) Inhofe has done.

Still, McCarthy’s mission in life seem to be to impose his perverse will upon the nation. Unlike Boehner who was a tepid Thatcherite, McCarthy is an ideologue who has vowed not to rest until Roe vs. Wade is overturned. The National Right to Life Committee gave him a perfect rating of 100-percent. And he’s the man who will be running Congress. Johnny, we hardly knew ye.

More articles by:

David Macaray is a playwright and author. His newest book is How To Win Friends and Avoid Sacred Cows.  He can be reached at dmacaray@gmail.com

May 23, 2018
Nick Pemberton
Maduro’s Win: A Bright Spot in Dark Times
Ben Debney
A Faustian Bargain with the Climate Crisis
Deepak Tripathi
A Bloody Hot Summer in Gaza: Parallels With Sharpeville, Soweto and Jallianwala Bagh
Farhang Jahanpour
Pompeo’s Outrageous Speech on Iran
Josh White
Strange Recollections of Old Labour
CJ Hopkins
The Simulation of Democracy
stclair
In Our Age of State Crimes
Dave Lindorff
The Trump White House is a Chaotic Clown Car Filled with Bozos Who Think They’re Brilliant
Russell Mokhiber
The Corporate Domination of West Virginia
Ty Salandy
The British Royal Wedding, Empire and Colonialism
Laura Flanders
Life or Death to the FCC?
Gary Leupp
Dawn of an Era of Mutual Indignation?
Katalina Khoury
The Notion of Patriarchal White Supremacy Vs. Womanhood
Nicole Rosmarino
The Grassroots Environmental Activist of the Year: Christine Canaly
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
“Michael Inside:” The Prison System in Ireland 
May 22, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: Israel, Gaza and the Hamas Card
Kathy Kelly
Scourging Yemen
Andrew Levine
November’s “Revolution” Will Not Be Televised
Ted Rall
#MeToo is a Cultural Workaround to a Legal Failure
Gary Leupp
Question for Discussion: Is Russia an Adversary Nation?
Binoy Kampmark
Unsettling the Summits: John Bolton’s Libya Solution
Doug Johnson
As Andrea Horwath Surges, Undecided Voters Threaten to Upend Doug Ford’s Hopes in Canada’s Most Populated Province
Kenneth Surin
Malaysia’s Surprising Election Results
Dana Cook
Canada’s ‘Superwoman’: Margot Kidder
Dean Baker
The Trade Deficit With China: Up Sharply, for Those Who Care
John Feffer
Playing Trump for Peace How the Korean Peninsula Could Become a Bright Spot in a World Gone Mad
Peter Gelderloos
Decades in Prison for Protesting Trump?
Thomas Knapp
Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State
Andrew Stewart
What the Providence Teachers’ Union Needs for a Win
Jimmy Centeno
Mexico’s First Presidential Debate: All against One
May 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Gina Haspell: She’s Certainly Qualified for the Job
Uri Avnery
The Day of Shame
Amitai Ben-Abba
Israel’s New Ideology of Genocide
Patrick Cockburn
Israel is at the Height of Its Power, But the Palestinians are Still There
Frank Stricker
Can We Finally Stop Worrying About Unemployment?
Binoy Kampmark
Royal Wedding Madness
Roy Morrison
Middle East War Clouds Gather
Edward Curtin
Gina Haspel and Pinocchio From Rome
Juana Carrasco Martin
The United States is a Country Addicted to Violence
Dean Baker
Wealth Inequality: It’s Not Clear What It Means
Robert Dodge
At the Brink of Nuclear War, Who Will Lead?
Vern Loomis
If I’m Lying, I’m Dying
Valerie Reynoso
How LBJ initiated the Military Coup in the Dominican Republic
Weekend Edition
May 18, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Donald, Vlad, and Bibi
Robert Fisk
How Long Will We Pretend Palestinians Aren’t People?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail