House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was once a member of the so-called "Young Guns," a group of far-right Republicans who stood against "careerist" officials and saw themselves as the next generation of GOP leaders that could change the face of the party. Not only has it failed, but all except one of those "Young Guns" has been kicked out of Congress.
According to Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, the last, McCarthy, is being seen as the one driving the GOP off the next political cliff. He began by talking about the successes of older Republicans like President Ronald Reagan and former Speaker Newt Gingrich. It hasn't worked out that well for former Speaker Paul Ryan, McCarthy and former Minority Leader Eric Cantor.
As the new era comes into focus, it has become clear that the branch of the Republican Party that continues to succeed isn't representative of the American voter.
"For starters, the coalition on which it rests is old," said Dionne. "Voters younger than 40 overwhelmingly back the Democrats; Republicans are strongest among Americans 65 and older. Back in Reagan’s day, young Americans were drawn to conservatism. Not anymore."
To make matters worse, he explained that the ideas are just as "old." Gingrich's plot to impeach then-President Bill Clinton is essentially the same "retread tactics" Republicans used when then-Speaker John Boehner humored Republican Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and others created the Benghazi committee.
The impending government shutdown was an idea Gingrich pioneered in 1995. Republicans have tried to do it over and over and over again. Every time they shut the government down, Americans grow furious, Republicans cave into raising the debt ceiling and it costs taxpayers more in the end. McCarthy is about to do it again in Aug. 2023. On Sunday, one MSNBC host was forced to explain what the debt ceiling was to one of the GOP members.
Just like Gingrich did 30 years ago, McCarthy will talk about the need to cut Social Security and Medicare and block funding key departments in the government they deem anti-corporation.
It "makes you wonder why conservatives can’t come up with some new material," Dionne wrote. He recalled Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's announcement this week to prepare for the "extraordinary measures" necessary to keep the government stable.
"Again, you want to ask Republicans if they have bigger goals than slashing programs (when Democrats are in the White House) and holding the full faith and credit of the United States hostage — and if they aren’t tired of doing the same stuff over and over and having it blow up in their faces," said Dionne.
But all the failures of the past "won’t stop the Republican House from reprising such arguments," he closed, noting that the so-called "Young Guns," certainly aren't young anymore. And neither are their ideas or goals. It's the same song in a different Congress.