McCarthy was favoured to succeed the previous Speaker John Boehner, who stepped down at the end of September. Both McCarthy and Boehner’s actions have been attributed to the tactics of the far-right Tea Party section of the GOP.
“This is a huge win for conservatives who want to see real change in Washington, not the same go-along-get-along ways of Washington,” said Adam Brandon, the head of the group FreedomWorks, which has helped finance the Tea Party movement.
Boehner is said to have stepped aside in order to facilitate a short-term funding plan for the US government, which has since been passed and will fund the government until December 11th.
Kevin McCarthy’s pull-out is yet further evidence of a Republican Party divided against itself, attempting to grapple with the right-wing Tea Party within it.
The debacle simply adds to the controversy within which the GOP finds itself. With a fractious presidential-nominee race, and a gridlock in Washington DC, the Party is setting itself up for a pitiful result in the General Election next November.
Indeed, Salisbury Mayoral candidate Jacob Day highlights much of the decision-making is now being down at state level, due to the current division in Congress.
Last year I wrote a blog on the 2014 mid-term elections, in which I highlighted the bitter-sweet result of the elections: a resounding win for the GOP, but the possibility of becoming exceptionally unfavourable due to a Congress gridlock. Latest polling shows the Congress to be approved by only 14% of voters.
Faith in the Republican Party may indeed begin to wane: a near farcical presidential-nominee race, in which Trump is firing insults and petty arguments left, right and centre; a frozen Congress, where gaining funding for the government requires the resignation of the Speaker; and a Speaker campaign in which the Tea Party hold incredible sway.
As of July, the GOP’s ratings hit record lows in favourability, and record highs of unfavourability – the highest since December 1994 – sinking to 32%, and rocketing 60% respectively.
If the GOP cannot unite under one flag in the next 12 months, I believe it is highly unlikely they will succeed in the Presidential Election, and may indeed lose their hold on Congress.