The Twilight of the Republican ‘McLeadership’

The long overdue purging of Bush/Romney era stalwarts from Republican Party leadership positions in favor of Trump-aligned figures continues apace.

“Young Gun” Kevin McCarthy became the first House Speaker to be removed by “motion to vacate” in the history of the United States. Ronna Romney McDaniel was forced out of the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee (RNC), the umbrella organization that agglomerates the 50 state Republican parties in Washington, D.C. And finally, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky voluntarily entered a long lame-duck period by promising to step down from leading the Republican caucus in the U.S. Senate after the November elections.

McCarthy, McDaniel, and McCarthy were known as the “McLeadership” because of the coincidental presence of the Scottish “Mc” in their respective surnames. During their tenure the establishment-wing of the national party held sway over two legislative houses and achieved critical mass at federal-level political institutions which were dominated by darlings of the establishment. Yet President Trump succeeded in imposing himself in the midst of this company, much to their consternation, for a third time in a row just by giving the American people what they actually want.

Yet there remains one “McLeader” whose specter continues to haunt the Republican Party: The ghost of Senator John McCain of Arizona, former presidential candidate of the 2000 and 2008 cycles and perennial chairman/ranking member for the Republicans in the highest foreign-policy-making body of the national legislature: the Senate Armed Services Committee. Under the influence of McCain, Republicans pursued an aggressive foreign policy that saw America intervening in conflicts all over the world, especially in the Middle East.

The international branches of the Republican Party remain populated with McCain’s acolytes (“McCainiacs” in beltway lingo). First among these is the International Republican Institute (IRI), the allegedly Republican counterpart to the National Democratic Institute (NDI)—both of which remain under the umbrella of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Like all things bipartisan and deep state, the NED is stacked with Democrat operatives, and the NDI makes no bones about its affiliation to the party led by Joe Biden. But if you ask your friendly neighborhood IRI operative in any part of the world about it, he will strenuously deny any affiliation to the Republican Party like Peter denying the Christ. If they are unfaithful to their charge of defending one half of the American political system in the eyes of crucial international partners, what good are they to the nation?

Another instantiation of Senator McCain’s specter is the Republican Party’s membership in the International Democrat Union (IDU) and it’s youth branch, the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU). Putatively an umbrella political party for like-minded “conservative” movements worldwide, the membership leaves much to be desired (the Swedish Moderate Party? Really? With the American Republicans?). The McCainiacs have cultivated handpicked counterparts the world over, gelatinous of the spine and endowed with the Groucho Marx theory of values (“these are my principles, if you don’t like them, I have others”).

It has been essential to American foreign policy since President Ronald Reagan leveraged these two institutions to build the international coalition that won the Cold War against the Soviet bloc, which had a counterpart international political organization—that seedling of a world government, the Communist International (Comintern) where the Russian Communist Party would lay down the party line for its satellite countries worldwide to parrot.

Today, the Socialist International—a successor to the Comintern and the first and second socialist internationals led by Karl Marx himself—agglomerates the most powerful heads of state and government. The current Prime Minister of Spain—a country that punches well above its weight internationally, especially in Latin America—presides over the Socialist International. A past president of that organization leads the United Nations in New York: Antonio Guterres, former prime minister of Portugal representing, you guessed it, the Socialist Party. Insofar as the “international system” has become a satrapy of these political forces (unlike in the Reagan years when the onus was on commerce!) it is these politicians—enshrined in supposedly neutral administrative roles—who are to blame. Look no further than the yearly “Presidium” hosted at the UN General Assembly, where socialist politicians come together to coordinate their priorities in the various international bodies.

In other words, the reds are running rings around us, and it is the fault of John McCain’s incompetence and the incompetence of the cadres he left us. The decadence of Washington’s unipolar moment after victory in the Cold War let them rest on their laurels. The McCainiacs are correct about one major thing, however: The world does need American leadership in the political space to counterbalance the Socialist International’s takeover of international organizations. Legislatures and international assemblies are deliberative bodies after all. What good are they if there’s nobody with whom to deliberate? Even the most violent revolutionary elements of the international left believe in synthesizing the dialectic to move history forward!

What, then, is to be done? Congress and the RNC can easily wrest the IRI from its current incumbents through the squeezing of its public funding, if need be. The IDU will be a harder nut to crack.  Fixing it from the inside will be a procedural knife fight against the likes of the German CDU and other bad-faith counterparts long since infiltrated by enemies of the American Revolution. Indeed, anti-Americanism remains the rule of the day in many countries that call themselves allies of the United States—especially when a Republican inhabits the White House.

It will likely be much easier to exercise the leadership role the United States is called to by withdrawing the RNC’s membership from the IDU. While alternatives exist, none have the convening power (or even the requisite amount of national power in their own countries) to achieve critical mass.

All these indicators point to a gap in the market for the RNC to fill with a new formation, perhaps an “Alliance for Common Sense” encompassing the policy platform most people find unobjectionable. One example of the kind of policies that might have such broad appeal would be a firm “no” to the sweeping transgender insanity. It is an issue that carries a wide majority of even homosexual voters in countries like the United Kingdom. The left’s browbeating insistence on elite preoccupations like these belie their stranglehold on institutions like universities. The true “center”/”median voter” of public opinion has never held these luxury beliefs, much less in numbers that justified the political energy dedicated to fringe issues such as these. Labor solidarity in the face of mass migration is another cause left-wing parties have abandoned, leaving major gains in broad swathes of the electorate up for grabs.

Much as they were with the rest of the Trumpian platform from 2016, 2020, and 2024, even the parties themselves will be surprised by how popular they will become if the effort is made to support the people in their preferences against the elites.

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