David Frisk, Resident Fellow, The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI), recently published a commentary on the battle over the speakership in Congress for the American Institute for Economic Research. AIER is a well-established nonprofit organization that promotes the value of personal freedom, free enterprise, property rights, limited government, and sound money. It also publishes many commentaries from guest contributors.
In his piece, “After the Speakership Fight: What Now in the House?,” Dr. Frisk says the struggle really turned out best for both sides—both the chamber’s Republican leaders and the rebels who opposed Kevin McCarthy’s automatic election to the speakership. The party probably couldn’t have afforded either “a crushed rebellion or a crushed mainstream leadership.”
The concessions the dissidents won from McCarthy before letting him be elected speaker make the House “more likely to function as a true legislative body,” Frisk suggests. In addition, fiscal conservatism “might finally become a major force in Congress again, as Republican voters had every right to expect … But at the same time, this slight, vulnerable [Republican] majority will have an experienced leader to whom … MAGA-Trump politics are foreign.”
Dr. Frisk adds: “Distrusted thought he is by the kind of Republicans who vocally despise most of their party’s leadership class while seeming hostile to any long political experience, Kevin McCarthy as Speaker may nonetheless indirectly help move the party beyond its weakening, but still toxic, addiction to the unpopular ex-president who embarrasses it almost daily. In stark contrast, a MAGA-ish Speaker, had the rebels been able to impose one on the 85 percent of GOP members who backed McCarthy in the November conference vote, would have been labeled a junior Trump figure and become a fresh target of Democratic rage. ‘Bring it on!’ is the wrong response to such a scenario.”
As an educational rather than political organization, the AHI does not take positions on parties or elections. Any such commentaries represent the views of the individual writer.
A Ph.D. in political science, Dr. Frisk teaches AHI’s continuing education classes in history and politics and is writing an intellectual biography of the conservative political theorist Willmoore Kendall.