Every action a politician makes has meaning. On 9/16/2015 a seemingly insignificant story about Congressman Tom McClintock leaving the Freedom Caucus hit the wire. We caught the story and covered it. The questions we asked at that time were why is Tom McClintock going “native”?
Now, we have more questions. Embattled Republican House Speaker John Boehner (who McClintock supported) has retired from Congress altogether. In this article from the Conservative Book Club, the Freedom Caucus was fingered as the prime mover behind forcing Boehner out. I am sure this site is not the only one to make that connection.
When something this major is coming down – people in the building will know for weeks. John Boehner is a Catholic, so it stood to reason that he was going to be supported until after the papal visit so he could leave with dignity after seeing the world leader of his church.
So, was the timing of McClintock resigning from the Freedom Caucus deliberate? The Congressman had to know about the leadership shuffle coming. It is also known that McClintock and McCarthy know each other well – dating back to when they both were in State-Level Office.
Due to the recent challenge to McClintock by Art Moore and McClintock’s reaction to it, one must take a close look at every move. One possible motive for the public departure from the Freedom Caucus was for positioning purposes and a possible bid for a leadership position in McCarthy’s government. Were McClintock to be in a leadership position, a challenger would have a far more difficult time of it. It is a fair conclusion to assume that Eric Cantor’s amazing defeat is still fresh in the mind of many in congress, not just McClintock.
If McClintock is either not in line or is unsuccessful in his bid for a leadership position, then one could conclude that his departure from the Freedom Caucus was a miscalculation. This departure is a risk to McClintock as it may alienate him from his eroding Tea Party base.
The complaints about incumbent politicians are starting to cross all ideological lines and no one is safe from the failure of leadership in Washington D.C. Discerning voters need to scrutinize every move (or lack thereof) made by every politician. We are sure more will be revealed.