South Carolina congresswoman Nancy Mace wore a scarlet letter on Capitol Hill this week to symbolize her high-profile ostracism from the “Republican” establishment she helped topple last week.
Mace joined seven other GOP members last Tuesday (October 3, 2023) in voting to oust Kevin McCarthy from his role as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives – a chamber narrowly controlled by the “Republican” party. Her vote has unleashed a flood of hyperbolic, hypocritical, establishment vitriol against the second-term lawmaker – who has seen her national profile rise in recent months.
As noted in the latest edition of our Palmetto Political Stock Index, Mace has been on the receiving end of numerous “brutal attributed and unattributed quotes from House members making it clear (she is) in their crosshairs.”
These establishment “Republicans” want to cleave Mace from their herd and leave her to die in the political wilderness. In the aftermath of her vote against McCarthy, they have reportedly been dredging up rumors about her personal life in an effort to intimidate her. According to our sources, these threats are among the reasons why Mace – who is no stranger to leaning into controversies – chose to wear the letter made famous nearly two centuries ago by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne.
“She’s telling them to bring it,” a source close to Mace said of her wardrobe selection. “Especially McCarthy.”
Mace made it clear last week her vote to oust the speaker wasn’t about “left versus right” or “ideology” but rather about “trust and keeping your word” and “making Congress do its job.”
According to her, McCarthy went back on key concessions made to conservatives back in January when he narrowly won the gavel.
“The speaker has not lived up to his word on how the House would operate,” Mace added, decrying McCarthy’s recent duplicity on broader budget issues as well as specific spending resolutions. “There has also been no action on many issues we care about and were promised. We were promised we would move on women’s issues and legislation to keep our communities safe. Those things never happened.”
Facing withering criticism from within the caucus for her “betrayal,” Mace didn’t back down.
“In South Carolina, we don’t take orders from the D.C. establishment,” Mace continued. “I owe Washington nothing and I’ll always stand with the people.”
Mace is absolutely on solid ground in that respect – no matter which GOP monolith she is enraging on a given day. She speaks her mind forcefully, votes her conscience consistently and her record proves she is utterly unafraid to risk alienation from powerful institutions if it means remaining true to her core convictions.
She’s proven that in speaking out against former president Donald Trump, and she’s proving it (again) in her votes against the GOP establishment.
Isn’t such principled independence something we ought to be encouraging?
I understand Mace alienated a lot of people by making fundraising appeals off of her vote … but correct me if I’m wrong: Aren’t McCarthy’s establishment allies threatening to take her out in the next election? Against those odds, it would be reckless and irresponsible not to fundraise in the wake of such a high-profile declaration of independence.
So, yeah … of course she is raising money.
(Click to view)
Also … isn’t Mace fundamentally correct about McCarthy punking out on fiscal conservatism?
“McCarthy won his seat by promising fiscal conservatives things would change when he was speaker: They didn’t,” we noted over the weekend. “How, exactly, is that Mace’s fault?”
Or rather, when she tried to eat Trump’s lunch …
But after being targeted for defeat by the former president and his MAGA minions – and emerging victorious – Mace has seen her relationships with the 45th president and the movers and shakers in Mar-a-Lago rehabilitated. Two months ago, in fact, reporters Eliza Collins and Siobhan Hughes of The Wall Street Journal noted Mace was on a shortlist of “possible vice-presidential candidates” for Trump.
After winning her 2022 primary and steamrolling a credible Democratic opponent (in a swing district, no less), Mace was already charting a principled, independent path prior to the McCarthy vote – going against GOP leadership on a big debt ceiling vote earlier this year.
“This bill had no limit on the debt ceiling at all,” Mace said in a video recorded after her vote. “It also put into law record high levels of spending created during the Covid pandemic era. To put that into law as your baseline spending going forward – I just can’t even imagine how we sold out our kids and grandkids.”
Nancy Mace isn’t the sellout, people, it’s the establishment she stood up to that is selling us out … all of us.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven (soon to be eight) children.
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