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GOP's McCarthy keeps trying, failing to make sound choices

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has made a series of important decisions since Election Day 2020. They've all been spectacularly wrong.
Image: Kevin McCarthy
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Jan. 21, 2021.Susan Walsh / AP

The Washington Post's Michael Gerson, a former George W. Bush speechwriter, used his new column to describe House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as "the United States' most disgraceful political leader."

Seldom has a political figure misunderstood his country and its challenges more comprehensively than McCarthy. This is not a time for balancing; it is a time for choosing.

The assessment is more than fair given the House GOP leader's record, especially over the last few months. McCarthy seems to confront every challenge by carefully trying to thread political needles, but in the process, the California Republican lacks the wherewithal to make sound and responsible choices.

On Nov. 6, for example, McCarthy appeared on Fox News and falsely insisted that Donald Trump had won the 2020 presidential election. "Everyone who's listening, do not be quiet," the Republican told Fox News viewers. "We cannot allow this to happen before our very eyes."

On Dec. 11, McCarthy signed his name to a ridiculous legal brief, asking the Supreme Court to overturn election results for no reason.

On Jan. 13, McCarthy conceded that Donald Trump "bears responsibility" for the attack on the U.S. Capitol -- a position the Minority Leader espoused while pleading with members not to hold Trump responsible. The congressman soon after contradicted his own position.

On Jan. 28, McCarthy humiliated himself by traveling to Mar-a-Lago to effectively kiss Trump's ring.

On Feb. 2, McCarthy met privately with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). Soon after, he tried to strike a bizarre deal with Democrats in which Greene would be removed from one committee, but not two. The offer was swiftly rejected as absurd.

On Feb. 3, McCarthy announced he wasn't prepared to do anything about Greene's record of extremism and radicalism. He proceeded to pretend not to know anything about the deranged QAnon conspiracy theory, which was quickly exposed as dishonest.

McCarthy proceeded to defend Greene, accepting Greene's denials at face value, failing to do his due diligence and realize that she wasn't telling the truth.

He then allowed a measure stripping Greene of her committee assignments to reach the House floor, putting his own members in a difficult position, and failing to present them with accurate information.

McCarthy's congressional career has been filled with unfortunate missteps -- remember when he appeared on Fox News and admitted that his party's Benghazi Committee was a political tool intended to hurt Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign? -- but by all appearances, he's actually getting worse at his job.