It's been four years since congressional Republicans took control of the U.S. House, during which time Congress has approved no meaningful legislation, and GOP lawmakers have shown no real interest in governing. But as Jake Sherman reported, the House Majority Leader thinks his party can finally get on track in 2015.
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."
McCarthy's hope that Republicans can prove they "could govern" struck me as an interesting choice of words. Perhaps it was just a verbal slip, or perhaps it was the Majority Leader's way of lowering expectations -- GOP lawmakers don't actually expect to succeed in making policy, but they hope to prove they could govern under different circumstances.
To be sure, Republicans have reason to be optimistic about seizing control of Congress. The party may be unpopular, may have unpopular ideas, and may have failed miserably to govern over the last several years, but voters appear likely to reward the GOP with more power anyway.
As such, it's only natural to wonder what the public might expect from Republican control of Capitol Hill. McCarthy wants to paint a sunny picture: the GOP, he says, will focus on real policy solutions.
The problem, of course, is that there's literally no reason whatsoever to believe him.