Letter: In Defense Of Mick Mulvaney

“OUR REPRESENTATIVES BELIEVED PAUL RYAN WAS THE BEST SPEAKER WE COULD GET” Dear Editor, What do you do hours after voting for Paul Ryan – widely seen as weak on immigration, as well as other issues  – as Speaker of the House?  If you’re Mick Mulvaney, you attend Pints for Liberty….


Dear Editor,

What do you do hours after voting for Paul Ryan – widely seen as weak on immigration, as well as other issues  – as Speaker of the House?  If you’re Mick Mulvaney, you attend Pints for Liberty.  Pints is a hard core liberty oriented group of mostly young activists.  I had the privilege of being one of twenty-five people in attendance.

Mulvaney is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, which disappointed many conservatives when a majority of its members voted for Ryan as Speaker.  Mulvaney explained that the House Freedom Caucus exists because of outgoing Speaker John Boehner’s interference in primaries and his targeting of conservatives.

At one point, Ryan said he would only serve as Speaker if the “motion to vacate” was done away with.  This procedure, which has existed for two centuries, allows any member to attempt to replace the current Speaker.  This was a major concern for many in the Tea Party.  Mulvaney said that the HFC said “no” to this demand, that Ryan had backed down on it, and that no change had been made.

The Congressman spent most of his time answering questions.  I first asked for a show of hands for who had supported Ryan as Speaker. Out of twenty-five, Mulvaney raised his hand, and one other person indicated wavering support – so eight percent of those present.  I asked Mulvaney what the breakdown of calls his office had received was, and he responded they had received about 40 calls a day opposed to Ryan, and five in support – so about 87 percent of those who contacted his office were opposed to Ryan.

Clearly, both those in the liberty movement as well as the wider conservative movement as a whole share very serious concerns concerning Ryan.

In a closed door, Republican-only vote – forty-five Congressmen voted against Paul Ryan, including many members of the House Freedom Caucus.  Once the results were clear, Daniel Webster of Florida, the only other candidate, effectively withdrew from the race. When the whole Congress voted, Webster received just nine Republican votes.  Those voting for Webster included Dave Brat (VA, Conservative Review Score of 100 percent), Louie Gohmert (TX, 96 percent), and Thomas Massie (KY, 92 percent).  A majority of the HFC ultimately voted for Ryan.  All South Carolina delegation members voted for Ryan.

Mulvaney expressed something of a pragmatic view of the Speaker’s election, and recounted a discussion with a constituent who could not name a viable alternative to Ryan, either because the proposed candidate was insufficiently conservative (Allen West, lifetime CR score 73 percent) or because they could not gain more than a small number of votes (Justin Amash).

Mulvaney continually expressed frustration with Boehner, and said he honestly believes Ryan will allow a more open, less top down House.  He said that Boehner’s ouster is significant in not only replacing a Speaker, but as a shot across the bow of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, another frequent target of conservative ire.  Mulvaney believes Boehner’s ouster will serve as a warning to McConnell that he is vulnerable.

On immigration, Mulvaney said that recent stories on Breitbart.com about him being an open borders supporter were false, and that a recent PBS special on immigration presented him in an inaccurate light.  From my own research, I find no support that Mulvaney supports “open borders.” He is open, however, to allowing at least of a portion of those here illegally to gain legal status and remain in the country, and also seems to support increasing immigration levels.

He spoke in favor of abolishing the Senate filibuster, and that it is a 20th century solution that is failing in the 21st century.  This is because, decades ago, substantive change could be easily blocked in the Senate, forcing the President to work with Congress to shape legislation.  Recently, in contrast, major legislative type changes have been passed as administrative agency regulations, which largely bypass congress.

Two days prior to the Pints meeting, the House voted to reopen debate on the U.S. Export-Import Bank.  The Ex-Im Bank considered corporate welfare by many conservatives, and is perceived to unfairly favor big business at the expense of smaller operations.  Democrats supported it almost unanimously, while Republicans were evenly divided.  South Carolina Congressmen Tom Rice, Mark Sanford, and Joe Wilson voted for the Ex-Im Bank, while Mulvaney joined Trey Gowdy and Jeff Duncan in voting against it.

Mulvaney mentioned in passing that he has read the 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission report that have not yet been released, that they don’t contain anything shocking, and that he doesn’t see a good reason that they should continue to be withheld.

Finally, Mulvaney made a pitch for his preferred Presidential candidate, Rand Paul.

He said that he hosted an event with Rick Perry where 400 people attended, and only 45 had never attended a Mulvaney event before.  Shortly thereafter, he hosted an event with Rand Paul. Again, 400 people attended, but there were 225 who had never attended before, indicating that Rand Paul’s candidacy is connecting with many who were not previously engaged, and that Rand Paul drew support from a wider demographic than many candidates.

Where does this leave Mulvaney and the House Freedom Caucus?  Opinions are divided, with many conservatives expressing outrage at both those who voted for Ryan and for the Freedom Caucus in general.  That Ryan gained the vote of rock stars like Duncan (SC, Conservative Review score of 95%), Amash (MI, 95%), and Mark Meadows (NC, 96%) gives my criticism pause.

Mulvaney rhetorically asked if such luminaries became liberal sellouts overnight. Certainly not.  It appears that our Representatives believed Ryan was the best Speaker we could get.  One doesn’t have to be a sellout to be wrong.  We can only watch closely, pray that our Representatives are right, and be ready to hold their feet to the fire if they are wrong.

Justin Alexander
Greenville, S.C.


sic speaking

Justin – First of all thanks for your letter.  You’ve worked hard against tax hikes in the Upstate and I respect you immensely for that.  As to the substance of your letter, I suspect the folks at Breitbart.com will be very interested to read that Mulvaney called them liars.  I’m also very interested to hear of his latest excuses for support a big government liberal “Republican” to lead the U.S. House.  Sounds like you swallowed his explanations hook, line and sinker – I just hope you remember this column when the GOP establishment starts reeling you in.


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RogueElephant October 31, 2015 at 1:14 pm

I have asked this question in several venues and still haven’t gotten a good answer. Why is it when a Democrat is elected he goes to Washington and acts like a Democrat, but when a Republican goes to Washington he turns into a Democrat? They all tell US how they are going to stand up for our conservative values and the people that sent them there but sell their souls at the first opportunity. This is why Trump and Carson as well as Sanders are doing so well on the campaign trail.

stumpknocker October 31, 2015 at 1:50 pm

it is a culture of making promises they can not possibly keep and voters believing them again again and again, trump is blowing smoke right up disgruntled republicans asses, hell he invited the Clintons to his wedding, do you really think he is going to keep his word if he elected? i’m a lefty and have no dog in this fight but pt barnum has got nothing over on trump.

RogueElephant November 2, 2015 at 8:21 am

That is what scares me most about Trump. The old saying : If it’s too good to be true it probably is. Comes to mind every time I hear him speak.

Time to Crop the Tail November 1, 2015 at 4:32 pm

Thats easy. Because they don’t. You don’t get to define the term Republican. You don’t get to set the party platform. Most Republicans are not right wing nuts like you. Most of us don’t want our Representatives to devolve to your level of nuttyness. You people would label Ronald Reagan a socialist. The majority is trying to take back the party from the right wing nuts who are destroying both the Party and the Nation.

Boo November 1, 2015 at 7:07 pm

Big Government spenders in favor of Debtor nation status on steroids, reaping no consequences, but getting your vote = Majority

Balanced budgeters, Rule of Law, solvent, sovereign nation thinkers targeted for their common sense = Minority

Whose destroying whaaat?

RogueElephant November 2, 2015 at 8:27 am

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks.

Tom November 2, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Cutting taxes when we can not afford to, and when it does nothing but benefit wealthy Republican donors: is also a vote for Debtor nation status. Cutting benefits that grow and promote a successful middle class, will also reduce the deficit and get us closer to a balanced budget.

Most Americans would welcome a balanced budget, if it was not balanced solely on their back. Unfortunately the only Republicans interested in a balanced budget are also on the payroll of various billionaires who want to make sure no one is going to expect them to help balance the budget.

Tom November 2, 2015 at 12:30 pm

Excuse me, Cutting benefits that grow and promote a successful middle class will not reduce the deficit and get us closer to a balanced budget.

Justin Alexander November 1, 2015 at 10:01 pm

One reason Trump and Carson are doing well is likely that neither has held office, and hasn’t been asked to make a compromise with an eye towards getting something else in return. Fast forward four years, and I don’t know that they will look as good.

Paco Sanchez November 2, 2015 at 1:13 am

No one is more self-righteous about being “conservative” than Will Folks and no one has sold his soul, such as it is, more often than he has. Thousands of dollars from Kirkman Finlay to promote him and demonize others who may run against him for governor. That includes Mick Mulvaney.
So every time you read a negative story about Mulvaney, listen for the ka-ching.

John Smith November 18, 2015 at 8:28 pm

Go read Micks pro-Syrian BS on his own Facebook page. He’s all about excuses to open the borders to get Latino votes, and doesn’t hesitate to promote taking in Syrians toward that end despite VOCAL objections from the people who elected him. I’m deeply disappointed. Mick has no reason to take that stance unless he sees his office as a stepping stone to more power and more money with the old GOP establishment.

CNSYD October 31, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Wow! PINTS had 25 people at their meeting. That’s a mandate.

tomstickler October 31, 2015 at 7:22 pm

C’mon people! Am I the only one to note that Mulvaney said he had a discussion with a constituent where Allen West was discussed as an alternative to Ryan and rejected because he was “insufficiently conservative”?

How about West is insufficiently a member of Congress, having been defeated in 2012? Mulvaney may have had a pint too many at that meeting.

flip October 31, 2015 at 7:28 pm

Allen West is not a member of the house dumb ass.

tomstickler October 31, 2015 at 7:33 pm

Apologies for making the phrase “insufficiently a member of Congress” beyond your reading level.

Rocky Verdad November 1, 2015 at 7:55 am

Ba, ba, bam!!!! Bam a la Flipito!!!!! Bam!!!!! Can I have some Halloween candy – Bam!!!!!!

Rocky Verdad November 1, 2015 at 7:56 am

He said that “having been defeated in 2012” – you drinking on Halloween night?

Rocky Verdad November 1, 2015 at 7:54 am

How about West is insufficiently in reality.

Rocky Verdad November 1, 2015 at 7:53 am

The PBS special had 10 minutes of him conducting a town hall in Spanish, and apologizing for not getting reform passed, and apologizing there was no atmosphere in DC to pass it. All in Espanol. He even had his “Spanish teacher” there. So say what you want, he supports immigration reform and amnesty.

usaf317undeleted8 November 1, 2015 at 8:45 am

We don’t want amnesty and we dint need more uneducated tomato pickers.

Rocky Verdad November 1, 2015 at 12:02 pm

Well you better discuss with Mulvaney – he’s the one having town halls in Spanish and apologizing to the wetbacks.

Justin Alexander November 1, 2015 at 10:03 pm

Without a doubt he supports reform. Sounds like he wants reform of a different sort than most of us.

Paco Sanchez November 2, 2015 at 1:07 am


HD November 1, 2015 at 8:28 am

There is no requirement that the Speaker be a member of Congress.

tomstickler November 1, 2015 at 8:46 am

Very true, sir. Kudos for knowing this. The Pope does not have to be a priest, either, but equally unlikely to happen.

truefaith1 November 1, 2015 at 8:36 am

“Recently, in contrast, major legislative type changes have been passed as administrative agency regulations, which largely bypass congress.”==This is how you know that the federal government bureaucracy is just too big. Time to take out the paring knife and do away with these ABC agencies that control our lives.

Justin Alexander November 1, 2015 at 9:57 pm


Justin Alexander November 1, 2015 at 10:00 pm

Just to clarify, most of us, myself included, believe it was the wrong decision.

Paco Sanchez November 2, 2015 at 1:05 am

Will Folks is full of shit.
It’s remarkable that a guy who is afraid to talk to, much less, confront, politicians he disagrees with always has a “better” idea. Hiding behind a computer claiming sources he doesn’t have, Will wants people to believe he knows better, even though he isn’t involved in the hard work.
What’s more pitiful is the morons that agree with him.

Lone Ranger November 2, 2015 at 6:54 pm

Justin kept defending Mick’s RINO-Ryan butt-kissing and that of ALL SC’s RINO House members (except Duncan) as well
But when that Tea Train rolled over them in 2016…ole Justin and Mick were like I-Lie-To-Cons-Joe Wilson…shot to… !!!


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