Monday, October 27, 2014

PAY CLOSE ATTENTION: KEVIN McCARTHY SAID "COULD," NOT "CAN"

I may be reading too much into this, but I think Kevin McCathy's use of the conditional mood is significant:
HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. -- House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy landed here from Los Angeles with a bang: He bluntly warned that Republicans will blow the presidency in 2016 if they don't make some radical changes -- and quick.

McCarthy, speaking without a working microphone, told a group of Long Island donors that Republicans' gains in the House will amount to little if they can't govern over the next two years.

"I do know this," McCarthy said. "If we don't capture the House stronger, and the Senate, and prove we could govern, there won't be a Republican president in 2016.” ...
He said "prove we could govern," not "prove we can govern." There's a huge difference, and I think he knows it.

Republicans will prove they can govern in the next two years if they work with the White House and congressional Democrats to pass significant legislation. That's what Jake Sherman, who wrote this up for Politico, thinks McCarthy means.

What I think McCarthy means is that Republicans hope to pass a whole lot of showoffy, wedge issue-y legislation that the president will veto -- neutering Dodd-Frank even more, gutting environmental regulations, undermining Obamacare, slashing taxes and non-military spending. Republicans don't want to pass anything Obama will sign. That would require compromise. Republicans don't do compromise. They want to show us what bills a Republican president would sign if given the chance -- that's what McCarthy means when he says Republicans have to show that they "could govern." Meanwhile, they want it to seem as if the gridlock is all Obama's fault.

I'm sure an all-GOP government could govern, if by "govern" you mean that it would do for the country what Brownback Republicans have done for Kansas or McCrory Republicans have done for North Carolina. But the plan is not to try governing now. This is a zero-sum game for Republicans. They don't want to compromise -- they want to win.

4 comments:

Yastreblyansky said...

If they think that'll prove they "could" govern (if they felt like it) I think they'll fail.

Victor said...

Conservatives want to win.

They don't give a Hershey-squirt shit about governing.

The problem is, that our conservatives are ruthless in their efforts to win.
They can politic - but they can't, or won't, govern.

Democrats are not ruthless in their efforts to win. They hold too much back - as if decorum will get them votes.
They can govern - but they suck at politicking.

And here we sit:
An empire, declining into a Banana Republicans - thanks to banana's Republicans.

John Taylor said...

If the GOP wins the Senate the first bill to land on Obama's desk will be ACA repeal. Probably several times.

fromlaurelstreet said...

I think you give McCarthy too much credit for arranging the words that fall out of his pie hole. I think you are right about what Republicans would do if they had both house and senate. It is pretty clear that they have no interest in governance -they could do it if they wanted to, but that's not what they want. The only thing that matters is having control of the levers of power so they can crush their perceived enemies. Governing is for pussies.