Politics

House speaker Kevin McCarthy calls on people to ‘back the blue’ - but there’s one small problem

Related video: Kevin McCarthy becomes U.S. House Speaker after 15 rounds of voting

CBC English/VideoElephant

Not long after his marathon campaign to become the next House speaker concluded after 15 rounds of voting, Republican Kevin McCarthy is once again being ridiculed for his political actions.

This time, on his ‘SpeakerMcCarthy’ Twitter account, the California representative simply tweeted “back the blue” – a phrase referring to expressing support for police officers and US police forces which is often represented with one stripe in a black and white American flag being coloured in blue.

Yet these three words were enough to spark controversy on the platform, given the horrifying events which unfolded at the US Capitol building on January 6, and what followed.

One Twitter user drew McCarthy’s attention to a moment of silence held in the House of Representatives last year, one year after the insurrection, where only two Republicans showed up to recognise the deaths of law enforcement officers caught up in the attack – Liz Cheney and her father Dick, the former vice president.

Another unfortunate example of the past undermining Mr McCarthy’s tweet is a vote he cast on the evening of the riot, once Congress had reconvened, to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election won by then president-elect Joe Biden.

According to The New York Times, the Republican was one of 139 representatives who backed one or both objections to the election results, which is quite the kick in the teeth to the police officers who defended democracy from insurrectionists earlier that day, eh, Kev?

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Responding to Mr McCarthy’s “back the blue” tweet, one commented: “Unless they’re being attacked by MAGA, right?”

“How many of your caucus have called for the defunding of the FBI,” asked another, referring to the bureau’s raid of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort late last year which angered GOP politicians.

Others jokingly misinterpreted the post to mean backing a different kind of blue entirely – that is, the Democratic Party.

On Friday, the White House said President Joe Biden “looks forward” to having a discussion with Mr McCarthy to talk about a range of pressing issues – except it didn’t issue a statement or any official date or time for such a meeting.

Awkward.

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