Letters to the Editor: The far right hates Kevin McCarthy. That doesn’t make him ‘weak’

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy talks with reporters
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy talks with reporters about an effort by a Republican colleague to remove him from the speakership on Monday.
(J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

To the editor: I find House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) contemptible. So, coming to his defense here is uncomfortable for me.

But I take issue with your front-page headline that suggests he is “weaker” because he reached a deal to avoid a shutdown. That headline perpetuates the absurd Republican notion that compromise is a sign of weakness.

I view the deal McCarthy reached as worthy of praise because he finally chose a path that prioritizes country over party. In doing so, he worked across the aisle at potentially great cost to him and without regard to its effect on his beleaguered party. A more accurate headline would have said McCarthy appears to be “vulnerable” rather than “weaker.”


And, yes, though I’m coming to the speaker’s defense here, I do relish the opportunity to watch the Republicans’ circular firing squad.

Todd Piccus, Venice


To the editor: Did McCarthy learn something new after making the deal to avoid a government shutdown?

After weeks of unsuccessfully trying to appease the most radical elements in his conference — members of the so-called Freedom Caucus, a misnomer for sure — McCarthy changed direction.

It appeared he did not want to shut down the government and prevent federal workers, including military families, from receiving a paycheck or harm the creditworthiness of the U.S. government.

McCarthy reached across the aisle to Democrats with two hours remaining to the deadline to pass the bill to fund the government for 45 more days. Only 126 of his fellow Republicans voted in favor of it. It wasn’t the budget reconciliation bill for the entire fiscal year that many wanted, but it did buy McCarthy more time to get that done.

The lesson appears to be that Democrats are more reliable and responsible than members of the speaker’s own conference.

Richard Z. Fond, Sherman Oaks



To the editor: I beg to differ with this article. In fact, I believe the speaker appears much stronger.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), the member of Congress now trying to oust McCarthy, sounds like a blowhard, and maybe those supporting him are too. Having passed such important legislation in face of so many threats shows McCarthy’s strength.

Laura Norris, San Diego