Kevin McCarthy, the balances of ambition

This same Tuesday, as it became clear that he did not have the necessary votes within his party to be crowned as President of the House of Representatives, kevin mccarthy he gathered his detractors behind closed doors to try once more to convince them. “I have earned this position & rdquor ;, he told them angrily, according to ‘Politico’. “We have earned this majority and, damn it, we are going to win today too & rdquor ;. They were nothing more than blank bullets because, hours later, his candidacy was rejected up to three times by about twenty Republicans. And that in his despair to please the rebels even offered them a suicidal change in the camera rulesa change that would have made it possible to force a motion of censure against his leadership with only five votes out of the 222 that the party has.

That last gesture is enough to illustrate how far the politician is willing to go 57 year old Californian to take charge of ‘Speaker’ of the chamber, the third most important in the country, behind the vice presidency. McCarthy already tried it in 2015, when the same extreme right that has now sabotaged his aspirations, frustrated his first attempt in favor of paul ryan, a politician with a fairly similar profile. But McCarthy is not one to throw in the towel. He is a born tightrope walker and without too many scruples, capable of giving Saint Peter a hand while massaging the devil with the other or humiliating himself before whoever is necessary. He is not an ideologue or a purist, more of the kind of juggler who tries to please rival factions at the same time.

McCarthy hails from bakersfield, an agricultural and oil region of south-central California. And as if he was a character from Paul Austeroften recounts that his life was directed by a hit of chancea lottery ticket with which he won $5,000 when he was 20 years old. Money that she invested in the stock market and, later, in a sandwich shop, enough to become a “small businessman & rdquor; and pay part of the career in Business Administration. Sponsored by Congressman Bill Thomasin 2002 he reached the regional Parliament of California, where he began his political career and it didn’t take long for him to show that he was very good raising money and cultivating the social relationships.

political junkie

“Is a pragmaticnot a purist of politics & rdquor ;, wrote then the ‘LA Times’ after defining it as a “political junkie & rdquor;. It took him four years to get to Washington, where he soon made a name for himself as a congressman by joining forces with Ryan and eric singer. The trio was baptized as “The young guns & rdquor;. They wanted to make the party greener by appealing to the fiscal conservatisma scarcely interventionist government and the gradual reform of the system. What came instead was a tsunami of epic proportions, the great wave that escaped from the asylum: first, the tea party and then, Donald Trump.

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McCarthy prospered despite everything. In 2014, he became the party number two in the House of Representatives, controlled by the Republicans until 2019, the year in which he assumed leadership to lead his own from the opposition. The party was already a cage of shackles then, with Trump in the White House and the most delirious and conspiratorial populism infecting the bases. But McCarthy did his best to get along with the boss, a Trump who publicly referred to him as “My Kevin & rdquor ;.

storming the capitol

And so until January 6, 2021the fateful day of storming the capitol. In a rare gesture of moral integrity, McCarthy condemned Trump’s actions that day and held him accountable for what happened. “The president bears responsibility for the attack this Wednesday launched by a crowd of rioters against Congress & rdquor ;, she said that same afternoon. Three weeks later, however, he made a pilgrimage to Sea-A-Lago to make peace with Trump. The tycoon was still the boss, and McCarthy had realized that without his blessing he was politically dead.