Michael Ingmire: The Empty Speaker’s Chair

Michael Ingmire

“Smiling faces sometimes pretend to be your friend
Smiling faces show no traces of the evil within”
Smiling Faces by Norman Whitfield & Barrett Strong

Make no mistake, I am not a fan of newly elected House Speaker, Kevin McCarthy. Nope, not even close. Previously, he has felt the wind of America with his finger to determine his next public step.

If McCarthy continues down the path that he has started on February 2, regarding remarks he made about January 6th protestor Ashli Babbitt, he may very well have a minimal legacy as a House Speaker. More on the exact nature of those remarks a little later.

It becomes somewhat depressing when one considers the recent legacy of the House Speaker’s Chair. Whether from Democrat “Speaker Emerita” Nancy Pelosi, to Republican John Boehner, to the ever bland Republican Paul Ryan and now, Kevin McCarthy. There is a profound level of vast mediocrity to consider in the aforementioned Speaker history, both parties equally responsible. Equal to mediocrity is a blatant misuse of power. A misuse of power as emanating from the Speaker’s Chair, the aforementioned House Speakers promoted partisan privilege and a distinct lack of legislative progress within their tenure.

I love America, despite her many scars. But as previously stated, I cannot embrace Syndicate as Government. Whether you define it as evil or as mediocre, we cannot accept the United States Government in its current criminal form. The lack of a responsible government currently remains our biggest obstacle as a people. If things do not change, it may become our biggest danger.

Initially, I have been a great supporter of the early attempts by House Speaker McCarthy to move the legislative ball down the field. Past the previous goals of rancor and stalemate. Legislation that will, hopefully, hold the Biden administration accountable. We need accountability for their displays of unearned privilege amidst a distinct lack of accomplishment.

But the real source of my anger, that led to the writing of this article, was a vastly insensitive and historically inaccurate remark by Speaker McCarthy on February 2, 2023.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene pointedly stated that Capitol police officer Michael Byrd, who killed January 6 protestor Ashli Babbitt, is a “murderer.” During his weekly press conference at the Capitol, on February 2nd, McCarthy was asked a direct question by a reporter. Piggybacking off Rep. Greene’s recent Officer Byrd comments the reporter asked: “Do you think Ashli Babbitt was murdered or do you think the police officer that shot her was doing his job?”

McCarthy replied, “He was doing his job.”

First of all, it was a rather insensitive attempt to get a quote. The reporter got their quote. They did their job. But let us get a clear picture of exactly why the reporter’s question and McCarthy’s response were vastly insensitive and, perhaps, historically inaccurate.

On January 6, 2021, veteran Ashli Babbitt was shot and killed by then-Officer Lt. Michael Byrd a little before 2:45 PM outside the entrance to the Speaker’s Lobby at the Capitol. I have seen a film of the murder of Ashli Babbitt. I don’t buy the story that she was attempting to climb through a window. Officer Byrd used deadly force on a five foot-two, unarmed, Air Force veteran. I also don’t buy Officer Byrd’s claim that he was in “ fear for his life.”

Yet, the In-Justice Department cleared Officer Byrd. Furthermore, as Byrd’s name was released publicly in the summer of 2021, Byrd and his dog were housed at a military hotel at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland from July 2021 through January 2022. That cost the Capitol Police, not to mention the taxpayer, tens of thousands of dollars.

Speaker McCarthy, he was not “doing his job” when Officer Byrd murdered Ashli Babbitt. In fact, he was behaving, by my perception, as a cowardly man reacting with unwarranted fear. Ms. Babbitt was not presenting any clear and present danger to the Capitol Police, House Representatives or their staff. It is historically inaccurate to repeat these continuing lies. Surely Officer Byrd could have diffused the situation without resorting to deadly force.

Ashli’s widower, Aaron Babbitt, responded succinctly to McCarthy’s incredibly insensitive response.

Mr. Babbitt stated he was “very disappointed” with McCarthy’s remarks. Speaking to the Epoch Times, Mr. Babbitt said, “I’d venture to guess that Speaker McCarthy has very little actual knowledge of the events that led to my wife’s murder. Speaker McCarthy gave an ill informed stupid answer to a stupid question from a hack reporter…There’s a reason he is known as a blunderer. He has a lot to learn from Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has done a deep dive into my wife’s murder. She is far more knowledgeable on the subject.”

McCarthy should have referred the reporter to Marjorie Taylor Greene because of her knowledge of the details of Ashli Babbitt’s murder. Inadvertently, he denigrated Representative Greene with his flippant response.

McCarthy’s inappropriate remarks are burning up social media. As House Minority Leader, McCarthy was weak and ineffectual. He cowered before Pelosi’s unconstitutional onslaught. Despite a promising beginning, McCarthy may not have the intestinal fortitude for the current Speaker’s job. His response was ignorant and insensitive to the surviving families. For someone who is lauded as being supposedly “smooth” with their interactions with the press, it makes you wonder how smooth he truly is and just how sincere is that smile.

You could almost place McCarthy’s Ashli Babbitt statement within the context of Hillary’s Benghazi shriek, “What difference does it make?” Well, boneheaded moves have been shared by both political parties in America, ad infinitum. Quite a shame to see many politicians and public figures make large salaries while communicating insincerity and inflicting cruelty.

On a directly related front, it was previously reported that January 6 protestor Rosanne Boyland was trampled to death on the steps of the Capitol. Yet, in various January 2023 news reports, there are allegations that Capitol Police Officer Lila Morris may have been involved in Ms. Boyland’s death. This warrants a real investigation. I do hope that Speaker McCarthy can refrain from further commenting on subjects he has little to no knowledge of.

As many people, including me, have stated: The failures of the January 6 Committee have created a need for an Independent Special Prosecutor to investigate the protests at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 and their aftermath. Any Officer involved in the use of deadly force on Jan. 6 needs to be investigated by such a prosecutor.

In the aftermath of McCarthy’s Ashli Babbitt statement, I called his office. I did reach a representative, possibly  an intern. The kid sounded 21 to 22 to me. Felt sorry for him in retrospect. He probably had to deal with a lot of grumpy patriots all day.

I also attempted to send an email to Speaker McCarthy’s office about his unfortunate Officer Michael Byrd comments. My zip code was rejected, as was my email, because I am not from the Speaker’s California District. As his recent predecessors never learned, the House Speaker should represent all citizens. McCarthy’s tenure may be brief if he does not learn to think before he speaks.

Still waiting for Speaker McCarthy and Senator McConnell to let out some hot air about the big EMP strike trail balloon that casually flew over all of our most sensitive targets and infrastructure. Who gave that stand down order to our military to allow a balloon capable of delivering a nuclear EMP strike to enter our airspace and slowly travel across America? The people deserve to know who the enemies within are. I doubt that clarity will come from almost anyone in elected office.

At the State of the Union address once again the “Big Guy” lied and took credit for all the regulations President Trump eliminated. Then he mumbled his way through with more lies about how Republicans want to end social security and Medicare. Biden knows this is a lie as he was one of the Senators responsible for taxing people’s Social Security with his sponsorship of the 1983 Social Security Amendment Act. The gangster we have fronting our government is a laugh a minute. I hope we don’t laugh ourselves to death.

Michael Ingmire

Michael Ingmire, is a musician, writer, commentator, activist and author based in North Carolina. As a musician he has shared stages with artists like John Lee Hooker, Albert King, Bo Diddley, Dr. Mac Arnold, Wilson Pickett, Allen Ginsberg, Kenny Neal, Bob Margolin, among many. Michael's work is available for listening or purchase at reverbnation.com under Michael Wolf Ingmire. Since the death of his nephew, Sean Smith, in the September 2012 Benghazi attacks, Michael’s writing has taken on a strong political edge. He has previously written about Benghazi extensively for The Daily Caller and foxnews.com. Starting in September 2015, Michael has been a consistent contributor to Politichicks, writing about, political, musical, and social topics. His article, “Benghazi: A Tale of Two Reports,” closes out the chapter on Islam in the collection, “Politichicks: A Clarion Call to Political Activism.”

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