Bryan Zepp Jamieson
February 26th, 2023
“A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once. It seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.” – Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
You have to wonder how many deaths Kevin McCarthy will suffer before Death,the real one, takes pity on the pathetic little sod and hauls his craven, twitching little ass away. It really would be a mercy at this point; I honestly cannot think of an individual in the entire scope of American history whose personal cowardice even approaches that of McCarthy.
He became Speaker, not because he was resolute and stood firm for what was right; the GOP wanted him because he was never either of those things in his entire political life. The extremists in the MAGA caucus knew he had the spine of a jellyfish and the ethical standards of a sewer rat. The rest of the GOP, not exactly great American heroes themselves, knew the bigots and traitors of the extreme right would block any other nominee.
There have been many instances in American history where groups of opposing views have agreed on a least objectionable candidate. Political conventions are famous for such. The results are usually either bad (Alf Landon),or mediocre (Hubert Humphrey), and sometimes the unobjectionable nebbish turns out to be a lion. (Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and now, it seems, Joe Biden).
This is a far rarer situation, where a rump party minority holds out for the MOST objectionable candidate, and will accept no alternatives. I’ve tried to find instances in history where this has happened and come up short. Short of invading countries installing puppet rulers (American products included a number of regimes in Central and South America), the closest I can think of would be Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, both chosen explicitly by their party because they were easy to control and put a pleasant smile in front of an ugly reality.
With McCarthy, even the pretense of decency and resolve is completely missing. They didn’t want someone to look pretty for the cameras; they wanted someone who would do whatever the fuck he was told and not even hesitate.
When he was giving away the store to the lunatics of the far right in order to get the fifteen votes he so desperately needed in order to become elected speaker, he told them he would release all the video tapes from the Capital area that recorded the events of January 6th, 2021. That would be 41,000 hours of video recordings from over 5,000 cameras that explicitly showed all the emergency protocols used to protect members of the government on that day, both known and confidential.
If McCarthy had just released them to the press, that would have been a grave act of irresponsibility. Some of those recordings would show how to assassinate members of Congress by revealing the protective steps taken when dealing with a hostile invader. Anyone who hates America and the American government will love getting access to the information on those tapes.
But McCarthy didn’t do that: he released the tapes to Tucker Carlson.
Carlson isn’t even remotely a journalist. He is a propagandist, a paid liar, and a stooge for the far right. He’s a fascist and a demagogue, and recent revelations have shown incontrovertibly that he will cheerfully destroy the United States in the name of ratings and a small modicum of power. He’s quite possibly the sleaziest and most reprehensible character McCarthy could have picked. Carlson, of course, is the darling of the lunatics who made McCarthy’s speakership possible. And McCarthy, in an action so craven it would appall Doctor Smith of the old Lost in Space television show, gave Carlson exclusive rights to the footage.
Enter Mike Lindell. You know. The pillow guy. He has two things in common with Carlson. He’s getting sued for defamation by Dominion Voting, and he is Carlson’s equal as a journalist. Basic arithmetic, that: zero equals zero. The only real difference is that Lindell, who is something of a crackpot, apparently genuinely believes the election was stolen from Donald Trump in 2020. Carlson, of course, never believed a word of that.
So Lindell is now suing McCarthy, arguing that he has at least as much right to those video recordings as Carlson does. (Again, true. 0=0).
I suspect there are going to be many such suits filed. The Proud Boys will want those tapes. So will the Oath Keepers, Qanon, Al Qaida, Putin, and Xi. You never know when you might need information making it easy to wipe out most elected officials in Washington in one fell swoop.
McCarthy will eventually face civil and criminal charges for his actions. He belongs in prison for at least twenty years just for the security breaches. His actions, giving sensitive national security date to a hostile party (and Carlson has proven his hostility to the United States) border on treason.
McCarthy belongs in a prison cell, one next to Donald Trump’s.