What Happened To Kevin McCarthy?

Former Speaker of The House Kevin McCarthy at a press conference
Former Speaker of The House Kevin McCarthy at a press conference (Credits: PBS News Hour)

In an unprecedented, historical move by Republican hardliners, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress, Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, was ousted by the most radical elements of the GOP. It’s a move that only closely mimics Frank Underwood’s antics during the early seasons of Netflix’s House of Cards.

Kevin McCarthy was Speaker of the House for only 269 days; back in January, he faced several defeats before becoming the man with the gavel for the US legislative branch’s lower chamber. He tried to evade two debt crises, a government shutdown, and criticism from both sides of the aisle.

What happened to Kevin McCarthy? Who ousted him? And why? What are the consequences of this action orchestrated in a never-seen-before move in the US political history? How does this affect the normal functioning of the US Congress?

McCarthy faced tough opposition from his party
McCarthy faced tough opposition from his party (Credits: PBS News Hour)

What Happened To Kevin McCarthy?

The brief speakership of this California politician was marred by trouble from both sides of the aisle. On his camp, he had to deal with people like Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who think it was better to try and get President Joe Biden impeached for his son’s dealings in Ukraine, from the Freedom Caucus making a fuss about the budget and threatening to shut down the government.

McCarthy, despite reaching out to the other side of the aisle for dialogue and common ground, faced a lot of opposition from the Democrats, who wanted to push an agenda that the conservative majority cared little about. With a five-seat majority margin over the Democrats, McCarthy traded power over authority and, eventually, gave in to every aspect that the hardline majority wanted from him. And for those political miscalculations —if not errors—he paid the price.

Matt Gaetz Behind The Move

Florida hardline democrat Matt Gaetz set upon himself the goal of removing Kevin McCarthy from his post by introducing a rather obscure motion —to vacate the chair— that resulted successfully and can only be compared to Netflix’s House of Cards’s Frank Underwood’s move in which he used a rather unknown move to get himself to power while dealing with the opposition in the most relentless, implacable ways.

Disconcerted Democrats

While the rank and file of the GOP’s lower house majority scrambles to find another leader, the Democrats face their own problems because they can’t put some of their own as Speaker of the House, and they would necessarily have to acquiesce to the nominations that the Republicans make.

Pointless Republican Leadership Decisions Cloud Important Things At The Hill

As stated earlier, representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert only care about impeaching Joe Biden, a move that won’t result in anything, but it sure does make headlines.

Meanwhile, the libertarians of the Freedom Caucus care too much about the budget and government spending, a topic that the average citizen in the US cares very little about, regardless of how many Wall Street Journal articles you can find telling Americans to worry about how the government spends their tax dollars.

The Republican equivalent to the Democratic climate change political agenda is government spending. In pretty much the same way that Democrats cry that the world will burn next week due to high-carbon footprints, Republicans cry wolf whenever it comes to the budget. And still, year in and year out, nothing happens, the government keeps working, and the world doesn’t ignite.

Kevin McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy is a California Republican (Credits: PBS News Hour)

What’s Next For The US Congress After McCarthy’s Ousting?

The US Congress will appoint another speaker after a few rounds. Still, the average American faces problems that no politician on The Hill is willing to address. There’s a migrant crisis that’s taking over big cities that used to have a policy of welcoming them regardless of their background, but that’s starting to disappear, with city authorities from places like New York and San Francisco saying they can’t cope with the mass inflow of migrants.

And the consequences of that migrant crisis are seen in American government services. Still, the GOP at the Hill can’t make a single argument that will move the voter needle their way in the demographic segments that care about immigration, crime, and healthcare: Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians.

If the Republicans want to score a political victory, it isn’t going to be through impeachments or shutdowns; it has to be by pursuing a political cause that at least has strong popular support.