Letters to the Editor: Congress and the country will be better off without Kevin McCarthy

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 15: Former Speaker of the House Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) listens during a press conference with members of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party at the Cannon House Office Building on November 15, 2023 in Washington, DC. The committee held the news conference to speak about their Reedley Bio Lab investigation report and evidence of illegal activity within the facility. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy listens during a news conference in Washington on Nov. 15. (Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images)

To the editor: With Rep. Kevin McCarthy's (R-Bakersfield) upcoming departure from Congress, it's important to understand just what he accomplished as he rose to the House speakership, arguably the third-most powerful position in U.S. politics.

According to a Times investigation, his super PAC has spent more than $1 million since 2012 on private air travel, restaurants and hotels. He was accused of retaliating physically against a perceived enemy in his own party. He obscured his lack of depth with a shadowy, egocentric charm.

McCarthy's short but rocky tenure as speaker was dominated by two remarkable moments. The first was the near-record series of votes taken to elect him last January. The second, in October, made history: It was the first time House members voted to remove a speaker.

McCarthy's lasting legacy will be the intractable chaos that his leadership unleashed within the party controlling the House.

Now McCarthy is quitting before his term is complete. The voters in his district are being abandoned by a politician who lavishly spent donors' money and seldom attended to his constituents' needs.

The country, state and his district will be better served without him.

Henry Cherry, Los Angeles

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To the editor: It could be ironically refreshing that McCarthy is retiring from Congress.

Perhaps he recognized that a moral turncoat who’d initially deemed former President Trump responsible for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and then reinstated himself as his toady is not worthy of being a member of Congress.

To paraphrase Groucho Marx, McCarthy may no longer want to be a member of a club that would accept him as a member.

Jay Lynch, Upper St. Clair, Pa.

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To the editor: Kevin McCarthy failed to appreciate the difference between selling one’s soul to the devil and selling it to Donald Trump: the devil keeps his bargains.

Tony Castañares, Hollywood

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.