Sell-by date expiring soon?

I don’t often post twice in a day, but it seems to me that Kevin McCarthy may find a piece of his soul that hasn’t been sold or mortgaged and thus win a Pyrrhic Speakership. These will be less relevant then.

But first:

Now, in ascending order of brilliance, commentary.

Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald has improbably begun “coding Right”:

It is an article of faith in liberal Democratic circles that the Republican Party and the American right is a cult, a cult of personality, in which reverence for Donald Trump is required, no dissent from party orthodoxy is permitted, and everyone mindlessly and obediently falls into line behind their leaders whenever they’re told, doing whatever they’re told, without questioning any of it.

That’s because American liberals are sophisticated. They’re well-educated and erudite, very rational, so, they know how to think for themselves. They love to flatter themselves by reciting the 1930’s Will Rogers’ quote: “I don’t belong to any organized political party. I’m a Democrat”. They’re just too thoughtful, too intellectually feisty to be controlled. They’re guided by science and the values of the Enlightenment. They’re profoundly individualistic and can’t be herded or controlled.

The Conservatives, they’re primitive. They barely have functioning brains. That’s why they go to two-year community college programs and learn how to fix cars, and are plumbers, or sell boats. They’re simple-minded, even religious. They love and worship authority, so they just do whatever they’re told. That’s why they all think and act alike.

All of this probably comes as a huge surprise to Congressman Kevin McCarthy ….

Glenn Greenwald, Right-Wing Populists Revolt: Trump Tax Returns, McCarthy’s Speaker Vote, & More

Kevin McCarthy

I relish his personal embarrassment for reasons explained here. No one in Congress save possibly Elise Stefanik has accommodated themselves to Trumpism in pursuit of power as cynically as McCarthy has. To watch him stymied and embarrassed repeatedly on the House floor by the Trump acolytes he courted at the brink of achieving his life’s ambition is justice too sweet for my weak prose to capture. We’d need a poet for the occasion.

Come to think of it, that poem has already been written.

Nick Cattogio.

She had me at the headline

It was the embodiment of the Twitter meme: “‘I never thought leopards would eat MY face,’ sobs woman who voted for the Leopards Eating People’s Faces Party.”

By bowing first to Trump and then to Greene, all McCarthy has done is show other Republicans how much there is to gain from pushing him around. His downfall isn’t surprising: Almost no one who has sold his or her soul to Trump has come out ahead. (The jury is still out on the Republican conference chair Elise Stefanik.) The reason these deals with the devil always go bad, I suspect, isn’t metaphysical. It’s simply that Trump sycophants are ultimately undermined by their weak and flabby character.

McCarthy’s Republican opponents are right in surmising that he believes in nothing and will yield under pressure; the evidence is his inability to stand up to them. His mistake was convincing himself that a party obsessed with dominance would reward submission.

Michelle Goldberg.

Wow! Though Goldberg writes well, I rarely read her. But this time, she had me at the headline: Leopards Eat Kevin McCarthy’s Face and she delivered well beyond expectation.


[S]ubordinating truth to politics is a game which tyrants and bullies always win.

Jonathan Rauch, The Constitution of Knowledge

To believe that wealth is the only significant measure of the worth of an individual, a family, or a community is to reject the teaching of nearly every religion and wisdom tradition that ever was.

Mark Mitchell and Nathan Schlueter, The Humane Vision of Wendell Berry

The Orthodox "phronema" [roughly, mind-set] cannot be programmitized or reduced to shibboleths.

Fr. Jonathan Tobias

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