On Wednesday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Michael Patrick Leahy spoke with special guest former Breitbart colleague and Washington journalist Neil McCabe.
During the third hour, McCabe described the dynamics of how the Republican Party really works in Washington and how it leaves conservatives as a targeted minority. Towards the end of the segment, he reflected how Republicans have gone after conservatives like Thomas Massie who both Leahy and McCabe agreed is looking in a good position.
Leahy: We are joined now by our good friend, my former Breitbart colleague Neil McCabe. Washington journalist extraordinaire. Good morning Neil.
McCabe: Michael! Good morning to you sir.
Leahy: Well, so the Democrats want to have proxy voting in Washington in the House of Representatives. What do you make of that?
McCabe: I must have been in high school when Senator Pete Wilson have to vote in a gurney?
McCabe: For a big Reagan vote?
McCabe: And a very my best friend in D.C. Brian Darwin worked for many years for Rand Paul and he told me that they called him at two in the morning for a vote and he showed up in his pajamas, bathrobe, and slippers. He was like, OK, I’m going back to bed now. (Leahy laughs) And people were like, “Hey, why didn’t you dress up?”
Why don’t you schedule the vote when you know you need my vote how about scheduling it at a different time. (Leahy laughs) It is a major constitutional shift if we allow this change to happen. A lot of times what happens in the House and the Senate is a Senator might have surgery so a Republican Senator says has surgery, they will reach out to a Democrat and the Democrat will also excuse themselves as a courtesy.
Not really needed in the House because there are so many votes swashing around with 435. But there are cases when you basically tell your leadership, “Hey I can’t be here for the vote for whatever reason and the House will hold you to it.” They’ll say, “Ok but when I need your vote to outlaw puppies you better be there.”
Leahy: Yeah. Well, you know what I see this as? This is the continued destruction of the institution of the House of Representatives by Nancy Pelosi and others. It began really when they got rid of regular order in determining budgets.
Leahy: And now all they want to do is elect a Speaker, Nancy Pelosi who basically tells everybody in Congress, well this is what we’re going to pass. And there won’t be any deliberation. Being a member of the House of Representatives will be utterly meaningless. You’ll just be a shill. That’s what it looks like to me.
McCabe: Let’s not pretend that the Republicans haven’t been part of this.
Leahy: I agree.
McCabe: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Conservatives have found a home in the Republican Party but the Republican Party is run by left-wing staffers and consultants who are absolutely all in on the Washington Establishment. When Paul Ryan took over in 2015 he said he was going to restore regular order.
Leahy: It didn’t happen.
McCabe: It was a lie. And that’s the same Paul Ryan when he was the Budget Chairman right after the 2014 midterm when the Republicans won the Senate he cut a special deal with the Democrats Patty Murray who was chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee. Ryan cut a deal during that lame duck to have a two-year budget.
He deliberately cut a special deal with the help of Bainer pushing it through so that the Republican Senate wouldn’t have an influence on the budget. He deliberately cut out the Republicans so that he could cut a deal with the Democrats before they lost control of the Senate. I think people had like 12 minutes to read that bill before they rammed it down their throat.
And Ryan tried the same thing with the repeal and replace bill which they dropped on a Monday at like six. So basically what happens is that people fly in. The House of Representatives works Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. On a Monday at 6:00 p.m. Paul Ryan released the text of his repeal and replace bill before anybody even knew what was going on. People were still flying in and people landed and their phones started blowing up.
And we saw what happened to that thing. It was a disaster because people were standing up and saying “Hey, what happened to regular order?” Rand Paul almost got arrested by the Capitol Police because he tried to walk into the room where Paul Ryan’s team and the insurance lobbyists were re-writing the repeal and replace bill that everybody thought. And so my point is Michael, the Republicans are in on it too.
Leahy: Yes, a lot of them are. Some of them aren’t. Some of them are fighting the good fight.
McCabe: Well it’s Conservatives. People who identify as Conservatives are really different animals. You just happen to be in the Republican Party because that’s the apparatus that’s available to you.
Leahy: Speaking of these 800-page bills that nobody has a chance to read except maybe 10 minutes before they pass. So the Senate passed yesterday a bill to increase the funding for the SBA loans to small businesses. The paycheck protection program. They ran through 349 billion dollars in about seven working days.
And now they’re going to put another 250 billion in. I guess there’s 25 billion for testing and more for hospitals. Do you see that coming up and being voted on by the House of Representatives tomorrow and signed into law tomorrow?
McCabe: Kevin McCarthy the head of the Republicans in the House, he’s going to play ball on this. He’s kind of a mixed bag. When that two trillion-plus bill went through…
Leahy: The CARES Act on April 3.
McCabe: The CARES Act. House Conservatives were going to go through that and sort of claw back some of the pork and Kevin McCarthy said, no we made a deal with the Democrats and we are going to stick with it because it’s a matter of honor. (Leahy laughs) McCarthy was an intern and a chief of staff. McCarthy is a creature of Capitol Hill and he’s not going cause Pelosi any problems believe me.
Leahy: Now famously Thomas Massie when the CARES Act was passed he wanted to have an opportunity to oppose it because of the pork. (Chuckles) The wrath of the president and the wrath of many.
McCabe: The Republican leadership Liz Cheney who is from Wyoming is head of the Republican conference, she gave money to Massie’s opponents. And it turns out that he’s some kind of weird fringe crazed racist. So he tried to get the money back. She asked for the money back and I don’t know if the guy is going to give it to her.
Massey is looking better and better. It’s another example of how the Republican leadership goes after Conservatives. Massie once told me that John Bainer offered somebody two million dollars to run against Massie in the primary. Bainer said I’ll fund your campaign at least two million dollars. The guy traveled to Massie district which is basically an inhabitable spot in Kentucky. The guy says no way man.
Leahy: He didn’t want to represent the district. (Chuckles)
McCabe: I don’t want to live there.
Leahy: Massie is a very interesting guy. He’s an MIT grad in engineering and an entrepreneur. He’s a multi-millionaire. Independent and more Libertarian. I think you’re right he’s looking better and better every day. And we’ll follow his career with great interest. Neil McCabe, thanks so much for joining us every Wednesday at 7:15 a.m. Our good friend and former Breitbart colleague and of course, Washington journalist with much more to hear from Neil in the future. Thanks for joining us today.
McCabe: Be good Mike.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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