I want to try and make sense of what was supposed to be a Republican majority House of Representatives starting this week. While the devil and the Democrats stand by laughing hysterically, a small group of Republicans who have the math skills of a 1 year old have shut down the entire House by their belligerence in wanting to keep Kevin McCarthy from becoming the Speaker of the House. Full disclosure: I supported every one of the holdouts through my PAC, HuckPAC. Several have been on this very show. My frustration with them is not because they disagreed with Kevin McCarthy or even expressed their opposition with an initial vote against him. It’s that the 10% of the GOP House members who have demanded concessions from Kevin McCarthy and received them have then added MORE demands in order to end their hostage holding of the entire government. I fully expect this level of extortion from Pelosi, Maxine Watters, the Squad, and Adam Schiff. I expected it from Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. But NOT from authentic conservatives who pledged to aggressively fight spending, hold government officials accountable and conduct real and thorough investigations into corruption and taxpayer-funded abuse of our liberties. The 10% have claimed to be more conservative, more principled, more authentic Republican that the 90% of their colleagues who were willing to work with Kevin McCarthy. While the 10% wants to rule over the 90% (who has ever allowed that or thought it was the way elections work?), it’s revealing that some of the holdouts have said in interviews that what they are “demanding” of Kevin McCarthy is that they get choice committee assignments and a promise they won’t be punished for their attempted coup. That’s not only delusional, but very telling. I’ve been excoriated by many on social media because I expressed disgust with the small handful of self-appointed masters of the universe acting as if they are living out a scene from Spartacus. In fact, the movie they most represent is “The Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight.” I reject outright the notion that this 10% of House Republicans are standing for a greater principle. If a person is objecting by sheer principle, one is willing to suffer whatever the consequences for the rebellion. But when a person says, “Hey, this is about ME…protecting MY position, MY role in leadership, and MY being able to take any shot I want at 90% of my colleagues and have no consequence other than being rewarded.” THAT my friend is NOT acting on “principle.” It’s a selfish act of a power grab and publicity stunt. Reward THAT behavior and you’ll keep getting more of it in the future. It’s not that I think the small group of dissidents are bad people. I do think they are being used, manipulated, and led by a few who love being in front of the camera. I dealt with some folks like that in the legislature when I was Governor. They enjoy being in a minority because there is no responsibility for the outcome of governing. They are free to complain and point out the failures of leadership. They can boldly proclaim what THEY would do if in control. But they didn’t do the hard work to GET in control so they take the easy path of being the aginners, the contrarians, and those who can loudly declare the decisions of their colleagues to be squish, RINO, or sell-out. I called them the Shiite Republicans in the Arkansas legislature, whose pride in their perceived purity was easy because they never had to actually govern.
There are those who are the starters on the team. The ones who come off the field with grass stains on their uniforms, blood and sweat dripping from their faces, and exhaustion from the game. But there are some who made the team but will never actually get in the game. Their uniforms are pristine, they didn’t take a single hit, but they sure know what the starters SHOULD have done to win the game. I call them the “towel poppers.” These are the guys who after the game still have all their energy and are reduced to getting in the shower and popping their teammates with a towel. It’s as close to the contest as they will get. Towel poppers don’t win games. Starters do. To those who don’t like the way the game is being played, the solution is simple. Put down the towel, do the HARD work of governing and become a real player. A starter. Don’t tell us how it OUGHT to be done. SHOW us how much better you can do it. And then you won’t be in the 10%. You’ll be leading the 90%. And hopefully you’ll regret the day you were just a towel popper.