House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has renewed her calls for the removal of Confederate statues and monuments from Capitol Hill in recent days.
In response, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) took her argument a step further by suggesting on Thursday that the speaker consider changing the name of the Democratic Party and even ditching presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden for the same reason, according to Breitbart.
“Changing the name”
McCarthy’s tongue-in-cheek remark came shortly after four portraits were removed from the Capitol building at Pelosi’s request. The former House speakers depicted in the paintings each had direct ties to the Confederacy, as ABC News reported.
Pelosi has expressed a continuing desire to have several statues honoring Confederate leaders removed as well.
While each state can choose two statues to display at the Capitol, McCarthy acknowledged that “the speaker has the power” to order the removal of portraits.
“If the speaker is concerned about that, should she also start talking about changing the name of her party and actually changing the nominee?” he added, according to Just The News.
According to McCarthy, the Democratic leader should be “really concerned about the history of her party and what her party has done,” asserting that a name change for the party might be in order.
He went on to cite several acts for which Biden has faced accusations of racial insensitivity, including his 2010 eulogy on behalf of West Virginia’s Robert Byrd, a former high-ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan who served as a longtime Democratic U.S. senator.
In her letter released on Thursday, Pelosi instructed House Clerk Cheryl Johnson to remove the four paintings of Confederate leaders.
“There is no room in the hallowed halls of Congress or in any place of honor for memorializing men who embody the violent bigotry and grotesque racism of the Confederacy,” she wrote, according to NBC News.
Her sentiments on both the statues and portraits have had some level of bipartisan appeal, but McCarthy is not alone in criticizing her advocacy.
If Pelosi is serious about addressing the systemic racism that has existed throughout the nation’s history, the Republican leader and others believe she should start by looking at the role her own party played in perpetuating it.