Replacing McCarthy - A Progress Report
It's time-consuming and tedious, but worth the effort.
Links to previous posts:
What — We are still here! -- What will we do now? (January 25)
How — Wait, exactly how will we do this? (January 28)
Why — Why are we still trying to unseat McCarthy? (February 9)
So now . . . When and Who?
When we began our campaign to defeat Kevin McCarthy's candidacy for Speaker of the House in early December, there was a sense of urgency every day. The vote was scheduled for January 3, the time remaining could be measured. There was so much to do, so many to contact. Spread the word! Look up the numbers and make those phone calls! Write some emails! Only a few days left . . . !
As we all know, despite our best efforts, Mr. McCarthy was elected Speaker on the fifteenth ballot. But he succeeded only by compromising and conceding so much to the MAGA extremists that they ran out of things to demand. Ultimately, what we were so vigorously warning would happen, did happen. We now have a Speaker of the House who is not only indebted to the radical MAGA minority, he is subject to their recall should he fail to continue deferring to them.
Keep in mind that this bloc of seriously committed MAGA House Members is a distinct minority--perhaps 10% of the 435 total. Yet they dominate because of their hold over the Speaker. The only plausible counter to that dominance, and what we are promoting is this:
A temporary cross-party alliance of centrist House Members use their majority number to remove Kevin McCarthy as Speaker with a “motion to vacate the chair”.
That alliance stays united long enough to elect in his place a Republican Speaker who owes nothing to the far-right extremists.
Feathers of Hope, unlike most other Substack publications, is not intended to be a showplace for one writer's work. Nor is it meant to be a newsletter, or a forum for debating issues. Posts here are not intended to stoke outrage or elicit sympathy. This site is "a meeting place for activists and their supporters". It's purpose is to facilitate doing something about an issue rather than just talking about it. Currently that issue is the Speakership of Kevin McCarthy empowering radical MAGA extremists.
This time, everything is different.
There is no more date certain, no scheduled vote. We have undertaken a project whose urgency increases gradually over an indefinite time period. It's a bit like preparing for a stage play or a concert series. There is time to learn our parts, time to refine our approach to the material. When the moment finally comes to act, we’ll be ready.
That moment will most likely be in May or June, when the debt ceiling must be raised. The MAGA radicals have already announced their intention to withold support for that essential bill. Whether McCarthy stands with them, or turns against them, some bipartisan solution will be inevitable. That will be our moment to act, our moment to argue that his continued presence as Speaker is untenable.
Our primary task now is to do the research — to determine whom we will try to influence and what we will say when the moment arrives.
We have compiled a fairly long list of Press/Media individuals, and Members of Congress, both liberal and conservative, who may be open to the idea of replacing McCarthy. Now begins the process of reviewing biographies, records and priorities, so that our message in each case is relevant to their individual concerns.
For example, Burton G. Malkiel is a regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page. He may be a reliable conservative. But as an economist and investment counselor, he would also be acutely aware of the debt ceiling impasse, and the threat of market disruption that any hint of a U.S. default would pose. Our message in this instance then, would be that Kevin McCarthy’s Speakership empowers a MAGA minority who bring instability to the legislature and consequently to the economy as a whole. That instability will continue until McCarthy is replaced. It’s a strong argument so long as it stays focused on Mr. Malkiel’s priorities. The message would be devalued by, say, making any reference to MAGA as a neo-fascist threat to our republic. (ty,tw)
On the other hand, Republican Congress Member Victoria Spartz, representing Indiana’s 5th district, is a Ukrainian immigrant who received her bachelor and master’s degrees from the National University of Economics in Kiev. She would likely be very familiar with the danger of neo-fascist movements, as well as with the business cycle. She’d also be critical of the MAGA extremists’ opposition to American military assistance to her homeland. So the message for her could be somewhat broader than the one above.
If you've been following the posts on this site, you'll have noticed recently a call for volunteers to help with this work. We still could use a lot of help. If you can spare a little time, please contact JerryWeiss@substack.com.
As we do this, we'll also need to determine how best to allocate our resources when the time comes to deploy them. Ideally, there’ll be hundreds of voices to raise. But whatever the number, a question remains:
Is it better for us to contact and attempt to persuade as many journalists, opinion-shapers, and Congress Members as we can? Or would it be better to concentrate our efforts more intently on a few very carefully chosen individuals so as to more likely be noticed and heard?
Since you've been with us this far, you likely have an opinion. It would be enormously helpful if you'd take a moment to indicate which you think would would be more effective. There's also a third choice for those who may see all of this differently.
You do not have to be a subscriber to participate in this poll. We need your input.
Everyone is always encouraged to leave comments. But if you choose the third option, you are especially invited to please use the comment section to explain.
Thank you all for your continued support and participation.
Thanks for reading Feathers of Hope! Subscribe for free to receive new posts.