- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 8, 2015



That was the operative term among journalists and news organizations who got in some Republican bashing following House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s straightforward announcement that he would not seek the role of House Speaker. News coverage immediately swung into gleeful and dramatic mode on Thursday, appearing to suggest the GOP lawmakers were in a state of near riot below the mighty dome of the U.S. Capitol itself. The headlines were very telling.

McCarthy drops out, House in chaos” noted Politico while The Washington Post proclaimed, “Chaos is the GOP’s new normal.” Chaos was favored by National Public Radio, which noted, “McCarthy drops out of speaker race, throwing GOP leadership into chaos” while the Reuters version revealed, “House Republicans in chaos as favorite McCarthy quits speaker race.”

It was “Chaos in the House” at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and “US Congress in chaos” for the Financial Times. The cable news channels all featured some form of “chaos” in both their broadcasts and on-screen headlines. MSNBC host Chris Matthews was in the thick of it Thursday night, telling his audience the Republican Party was “in the midst of a civil war,” with no end or solution in sight.

And those are just a few examples. But there was some non-chaos, too: “Shock! McCarthy drops from Speaker’s race” noted The Hill while Bloomberg News declared, “Exit McCarthy, Enter Anarchy.”

But chaos isn’t all bad, according to some.

“While this sound like terrible news for a Republican Party that already had enough problems to deal with, this actually isn’t the end of the world for the GOP or the House. In this case, a little Republican chaos, provided it doesn’t last too long, may be exactly what the party needs,” writes Jonathan S. Tobin, a columnist for Commentary Magazine.

“Why is short-term chaos not so awful? Because electing McCarthy was the real worse scenario. The divide between House Republicans is not so much about issues - despite all the overheated rhetoric about betrayal from the right everyone in that caucus is a conservative - as it is about a mindset,” Mr. Tobin continues in his account.

“The party regulars in the establishment want stability and order. The Tea Party Freedom caucus wants all-out war against the Democrats. Both positions have their virtues. The government needs to function but the idea of the Republican House majority merely coasting through the remaining 15 months of this term was untenable. And, fairly or unfairly, that’s what the election of McCarthy, as speaker would have meant.”

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