An important Republican political heavyweight I have worked with over the past 20 years once told me he didn’t trust any Republican from Bakersfield. He said that when I asked him to put me in touch with new Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who is now the House Minority Leader and potentially a future Speaker of the House.
We can’t trust McCarthy. He has no spine, political or otherwise. He betrays his (and my) Republican Party and has simply sold out to former President Donald Trump as memories of the Jan. 6 insurrection fade.
Though he declared Trump responsible for the Jan. 6 attack in a House speech, McCarthy later recanted and told Fox News that Trump actually tried to stop it, pointing to a video tape the White House issued in which Trump told the mob hours later to quit and go home.
That is a stretch and McCarthy knows it. Trump did nothing to alleviate the attack and its consequences for several hours while the entire world was watching live on television. Trump himself was glued to television, watching his supporters attack, trespass and vandalize in a futile attempt to force Congress not to accept the certified election results that had kicked him out of office.
Trump did nothing until he released that video, which is most significant now for what it didn’t include. It didn’t announce that Trump had ordered the National Guard into Washington. It didn’t say the FBI had been authorized to immediately investigate. And most importantly, Trump never called out the invading mob. He said nothing critical of the thousands of people wearing MAGA hats and carrying Trump and Confederate flags.
So, now, in spite of being highly critical of Trump and the criminal invaders on Jan. 6, McCarthy has withdrawn his criticism of the only President in American history who stooped so low as to provoke an attack on Congress and then do nothing to stop it.
Trump never told the Defense Department to deploy the National Guard. Since the District of Columbia is not a state, only the President can order the guard into duty there. But he didn’t. The order came from the acting Secretary of Defense in consultation with Vice President Mike Pence.
Some lawyers might suggest that the guard was not legally inserted into the situation, and they might be right. But with a President abrogating his responsibility, something had to be done to preserve our democracy.
Trump betrayed the Constitution and his oath to see to it that “laws be faithfully executed.”
McCarthy knows that — he’s not stupid and he’s not related to Trump — so why did he backtrack on his January speech that laid responsibility for Jan. 6 on then President Trump?
Because, like my friend says, “you can’t trust a Bakersfield Republican,” especially one who may be third in line for the Presidency in January 2022 when the new House takes office with a possible Republican majority.
Raoul Lowery Contreras is a Marine Corps veteran, political consultant and author of the new book White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPS) & Mexicans. His work has appeared in the New American News Service of the New York Times Syndicate.