A Minority View

HONOLULU – If one discounts Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, Hawaii is about as far – geographically and politically – from Washington, D.C., as one can get.

There are just six Republicans out of 51 in the State House of Representatives and two out of 25 in the Senate. One of them is Rep. Gene Ward, who has spent a total of 24 years in the legislative minority. A mark of his effectiveness is that in last year’s election he ran unopposed.

Despite the nearly 5,000 miles distance between here and Washington, Ward has kept a close eye on the proceedings surrounding Kevin McCarthy’s quest to become Speaker of that other House. Like many Republicans, he is critical of the embarrassment it quickly became.

Ward thinks Republicans should focus on what’s best for the country, not a particular leader. “Whatever horse trading you’re doing, give it up. Ask what you can do for your country, not what you can get out of it. Don’t make a laughing stock out of the party and the majority we won.”

I note that members of the Freedom Caucus, whose members were responsible for the multiple ballots for Speaker, believe they are putting the country first by forcing leadership to

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