Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy is no liberal. He's no conservative either. His election as the House Majority Leader would be terrible mistake for the GOP.
In his resignation remarks Rep. Eric Cantor repeatedly referred to himself as a "conservative." Certainly he would like Americans to believe that McCarthy, who he endorsed to succeed him, is also a conservative.
This is interesting. Why is it that the Washington GOP elites, are whispering to every reporter in sight that the Tea Party movement is dead, and the conservatives in retreat, yet everyone running for office this year is calling himself a conservative and championing the Tea Party agenda?
This is the crass, cynical inside Washington game. Run for office as a conservative, get elected by conservatives, and then send them away. As the late Rep. Henry Hyde once described it, in the eyes of the Republican Party establishment, conservatives are "the great unwashed."
From Mitch McConnell to Lindsay Graham to Thad Cochran to Eric Cantor, they all have extolled themselves as fiscal and social conservatives. They are not. They come to Washington and deliberately undermine the very initiatives they pledged to their constituents they would champion.
It's more than dishonesty. It’s a betrayal.
The defeat of Majority Leader Cantor in the primary just concluded was the biggest political upset of our time. The man presumed to be the next Speaker of the House was fired by his constituents.
The more they learned how he was consistently undermining conservatives on virtually every issue, the more disgusted they became. The message they sent is the message the Republican rank-and-file are sending all over the country: we are fed up with Washington elites from both parties.
The GOP establishment would have us believe McCarthy is a conservative. What kind of "conservative" is McCarthy?
• His voting record ratings are even lower than those of Eric Cantor. Heritage Action gives McCarthy a conservative rating of 42; Cantor’s is 53. The Club for Growth gives McCarthy a 53, Cantor was 68.
• Time and again he has voted to fund ObamaCare.
• He supports amnesty for illegal aliens. This is one of the issues that cost Cantor his seat just a few days ago. It is political kryptonite for the GOP.
• He voted for every debt ceiling increase since the Republicans won back the majority in 2010, caving to Obama in each instance.
• He led the leadership fight to derail "Cut, Cap and Balance," the single most responsible effort to bring fiscal sanity to Washington, and which was supported by every single Republican in the Senate.
• He headlined the Amelia Island anti-Tea Party event along with Cantor, an event sponsored by a George Soros and labor unions-funded group
• He supported crony capitalism programs like Export-Import Bank, which is nothing more than corporate welfare for some American companies and foreign aid to countries who often oppose the U.S.
No, conservatives aren't buying anymore. If McCarthy were to campaign on his real record, his constituents, too, would throw him out. So he champions a political agenda he has no intention of honoring, and his voting record proves it.
McCarthy is part of a GOP leadership team that has driven congressional Republican job approval into the single digits. A recent Rasmussen poll found that 59 percent of Republicans believe their GOP Members have lost touch with the party’s base.
The House GOP must seize this moment to prove it has finally heard the grassroots, and send a positive message by electing new leaders, not the same people that brought us to this point.
The election of Kevin McCarthy as the successor to Eric Cantor is the proverbial thumb in the eye to conservatives nationally. It will be an open invitation to the Great Unwashed to sit down and shut up.
L. Brent Bozell III is founder and president of the Media Research Center.