Republicans Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell hold the official positions of House and Senate Minority Leader, respectively. Bulwark columnist Amanda Carpenter has bestowed upon them the additional title of Donald Trump's "garbage men."
The former speechwriter for Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz is out today with a harsh critique of McCarthy and McConnell's political gamesmanship in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
In private the two Republican leaders initially denounced what they saw as Trump's role in inciting - and then not acting to quell - the riot that sought to prevent Joe Biden's rightful election as president. She notes how McCarthy, after denying last week that he considered telling Trump to resign the presidency, had to change his story about his views on Trump's culpability.
After being slammed by Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tuesday night, McCarthy went in front of the Republican caucus Wednesday morning and told members that his initial post-Jan. 6 views simply were him evaluating various scenarios about how to deal with Trump.
Carpenter writes: "It’s not enough to describe McCarthy as a liar who will betray anyone within his vicinity to protect his position atop the MAGA dump. Something is happening on a more disturbing level."
"What’s disorienting about McCarthy’s machinations is that what the House Republican leader is trying to defend and explain away is his temporary display of honesty. After the ugliness and the deaths of the attack on the Capitol, McCarthy—and the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, whose private comments about Trump have also been leaked—came to their senses. McCarthy and McConnell said they were fed up with Trump and remarked how he could be removed, with McConnell asking a reporter about the Twenty-fifth Amendment and both men discussing impeachment."
In Carpenter's opinion, McCarthy and McConnell knew that Trump was bad for the GOP and the United States. They agreed that he was at least partially to blame for the violence on Jan. 6 and talked about how to get the Republican party to ostracize him.
"Yet neither man publicly called on Trump to resign," she writes. "Neither man voted to impeach or convict Trump. In public, they attacked the proposal for an independent Jan. 6th commission. They said they would support Trump as the 2024 nominee. And their various fundraising apparatuses are now in overdrive praising and promoting the former president.
"That makes them garbage men. Not in the usual sense of garbage men, mind you—the hardworking folks who collect and dispose of our trash so we can all live cleaner, healthier lives. McCarthy and McConnell do the opposite: They’ll occasionally cleanse their consciences in private, dump their political garbage on us, and think the stink won’t follow them as they retire to their comfortable chambers."