The race for Speaker of the House underscored the 2022 midterm narrative: the Republican Party is increasingly divided, and unable to consolidate power long enough to effect positive change. Now Speaker Kevin McCarthy was held hostage by a powerful “Knucklehead Caucus” (our guest’s moniker for the Never Kevinites) until its leader Matt Gaetz simply “ran out of things to ask for.” Some of these same dissenters have now been promoted to top committees in the House, the results of McCarthy’s Faustian pact to claim the speakership. Who are the Knuckleheads? Are they all knuckleheads? And how did this isolationist group of extremist budget hawks group climb atop the GOP pile? Among the reasons — lack of strong leadership in the party, a lack of national security leadership in the White House, an end to substantive national debate in favor of social media hot takes, and more. And all of it is worrisome for the trajectory of the GOP, and America, going forward.
Hugh Hewitt is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host with the Salem Radio Network. He is the Former Director of the United States Office of Personnel Management. He has been a correspondent at Fox, and was the former president of the Richard Nixon Foundation. He is also a columnist at the Washington Post.