Opinion: Will Kevin McCarthy finally do the right thing?

Rep. Kevin McCarthy was recently dismissed from his position as House speaker, marking a historical moment for the first time a speaker has been removed from the job. McCarthy has since pondered his newfound “free agent” status, but has largely appeared to waste away in this role through alleged controversial actions and vague threats toward House members. With the approach of California’s candidate filing deadline for 2024, it remains uncertain whether he will run for reelection.

Although McCarthy has hinted at potential career changes and disassembled his district office, he has expressed indecision about the future. However, his post-speakership demeanor is crucially being influenced by feelings of betrayal and revenge, particularly given his loyalty to Donald Trump, with McCarthy’s office even denying a report that he used profanity against the former president.

The emergence of Senate chaos, Republican opposition, and reports of McCarthy’s exploration for a career beyond Congress only add to the uncertainty surrounding his future. The conflict between remaining politically relevant without facing opposition from within the House versus perhaps seeking a career outside Congress seems to occupy McCarthy’s mind as he grapples with whether to remain connected to Trump or distance himself from the former president. This dilemma could prove to be another chapter of the growing rift between McCarthy and Trump’s MAGA wing of the party.

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