WASHINGTON, D.C. — If Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is to take over for Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) when he steps down this month, he is off to a rocky start of his tenure as the most powerful Republican in the House of Representatives. McCarthy is facing a serious backlash from his fellow Republicans after he made comments to Fox News’ Sean Hannity about the Benghazi investigations that have dragged on for years since the September 11th, 2012 attacks on a U.S. consular building in Libya. McCarthy said to Hannity that Hillary Clinton’s ” numbers are dropping” and his estimation it’s “because she’s untrustable” after the House-led investigations into Ms. Clinton’s actions as Secretary of State during the Benghazi attacks.
The reaction from all over the political spectrum has been negative toward McCarthy. Democrats are fuming mad, despite being essentially vindicated for telling the American public for literally years that the Benghazi committees were all political theater aimed at taking down Ms. Clinton. McCarthy’s fellow Republicans are seeing this as a huge unforced error that in an election season could cost them dearly. For some members of his party though, merely chiding Rep. McCarthy verbally isn’t enough, and they want to punish him a bit more tangibly.
“I’m going to give him a hearty spanking,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told the press this week, “right on his bare buttocks. I’ll use our Republican Spankin’ Paddle, which many might remember as the paddle that was used to swat Abraham Lincoln’s behind when he was elected the first Republican president.” Gowdy took over heading the Benghazi investigations in 2014 after Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) led them as Chairman of the House Oversight committee for two years. Gowdy says he’ll make the spanking “hard enough to send Kevin a message” but “light enough to know he’s still on our team…for now.”
Gowdy said that after he spoke to Boehner and other House Republicans like Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Louie Gohmert of Texas it was decided that McCarthy needed “to be taught a lesson in how Republicans operate.” Gowdy said that he “didn’t mind” McCarthy bragging about taking Clinton down in the polls but that “he should have at least given the hearings a little bit of legitimacy by mentioning the deaths of four Americans, or comparing it to other attack on 9/11.”
“Clearly Congressman McCarthy’s heart is in the right place,” Gowdy said, “but his head simply wasn’t. We have to first and foremost lay the thin veneer of bullshit over the hearings that says we’re trying to get to the bottom of a very serious and important matter. Then we can gloat about the negative political impact we’ve had on Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes.” Gowdy said McCarthy’s “just gotta remember the right order — nationalism then demagoguery” but that “even in the wrong order he wouldn’t have completely exposed as the frauds we’ve been.”
Senator Ted Cruz will also be present for the spankings as the de facto head of the conservative wing of the party in the Senate, and he agrees with Gowdy’s assessments. “What Representative McCarthy did wrong is that he forgot to at least barely skim over the thin premise for the investigations,” Cruz said before asking, “what’s the point of us all getting together to come up with our bullshit excuse for an investigation, if he’s just going to go and spoiler it for everyone?”
Rep. Gowdy said the spankings will be held later this week in a closed-door meeting of the Republican caucus. “We’ll stand him up, yank down his britches,” Gowdy said, “and tan his hide a little. I’m not looking to break skin here; just give him a gentle reminder that the GOP is party first, everything else second, is all,” Gowdy said, adding that he’d “still support” McCarthy as long as he got a promise from him “never to expose our shenanigans again.”