House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is paying the price for running “around making promises willy-nilly to the House’s small band of right-wingers” – and it’s put the whole country at risk, a New York Times columnist wrote Tuesday.
In “his desperate pursuit of the speakership last winter,” McCarthy made all sorts of backroom deals with his party’s fringe. Now, quite rightly, they’re expected to be delivered, wrote Michelle Cottle.
“The speaker is clearly fed up with being bullied by his radicals,” she wrote. "But here’s the thing. (Rep. Matt) Gaetz & Company have a point: Mr. McCarthy is out of compliance with several of his promises — or at least several they claim he made."
Attempts to placate them with support for an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden were widely seen as an effort to buy them off, Cottle wrote.
The disarray looming with the threat of a shutdown cannot be blamed on the Freedom Caucus dissenters, she added.
“It is Mr. McCarthy who led them to believe he would champion their policies and priorities,” she wrote.
“And it is Mr. McCarthy who elevated their influence in the conference, empowering them to wreak even greater havoc. Of course they are going to make more and more outrageous demands. That’s what they do.”
She added, “I get their frustration and anger. Mr. McCarthy created and unleashed this right-wing monster to serve his own ambitions. And yet somehow he seems flummoxed that it is now smashing up things and demanding its due.”