McCarthy's PAC Concession Could Elect Far-Right Candidates in 2024
Plus, What Ukraine Still Needs.
Recently in The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: Really, What Could Go Wrong?
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WILLIAM KRISTOL: Our Kevin.
This (past) week of House Republican melodrama provided a depressing if revealing window into the character of one of two major political parties. This is obviously not something to be ignored. It’s not something we can afford to ignore. Our political parties are real-world facts, not story lines to be wished away.
But I don’t intend to dwell on the Republican party too much for the next few weeks, partly because too intense a focus on that could distort one’s overall view of things.
After months of miscalculation, four days of humiliation, and fifteen ballots, Kevin McCarthy has finally secured his dream of becoming speaker of the House. Along the way, he made concessions that will give extremists more power over him and Congress. Under proposed changes to House rules, scheduled for a vote on Monday, any one of the Republican radicals who took McCarthy hostage last week will be able to threaten him again by calling, at any moment, for a vote to oust him. The Freedom Caucus will get more seats—some reports say one-third of the seats—on the Rules Committee, thereby influencing which bills get to the floor. McCarthy has also reportedly agreed not to raise the national debt ceiling unless it’s accompanied by spending cuts.
But the extremists didn’t just get more power for the next two years, or however long McCarthy’s tenure lasts. They also got a concession that will allow them to multiply. In the next Congress, there will probably be more of them—possibly a lot more of them—thanks to a deal that limits the role of McCarthy’s allies in Republican congressional primaries.
McCarthy paid the ransom, Bannon is openly supporting violence in Brazil, and even normie Republicans are prepared to put the US economy at risk. Plus, Charlie and Will disagree on Hakeem Jeffries’ speech. Will Saletan’s back with Charlie Sykes for Charlie and Will Monday.
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GISELLE DONNELLY: What Ukraine Still Needs.
In announcing the transfer to Ukraine of Bradley Fighting Vehicles, AMX-10RC combat vehicles, and Marder Fighting Vehicles—among the best infantry systems in the world—the American, French, and German governments have not only sloughed off another skin of self-deterrence and reinforced Western solidarity in support of Ukraine, they have added an important piece to the puzzle of armaments Kyiv needs to achieve its aim of driving the Russian invaders from its sovereign soil. But other critical pieces need to be put in place soon if the Ukrainians are to achieve the victory they so deserve this year.
What those pieces are is no mystery: not just fighting vehicles, but front-line, heavily protected Western main battle tanks, mobile air defenses, and logistics to defend and sustain a larger-scale counteroffensive campaign; longer-range artillery like the Army Tactical Missile System; and multi-role aircraft to suppress Russian air defenses and provide air cover and interdiction capabilities. That’s a lot of stuff, and it will require some months for the Ukrainians to master them and integrate them into a coherent combined-arms force. When they do, the whole will be more powerful than the sum of these many parts.
Happy Monday! Damar Hamlin is out of the hospital and back in Buffalo, and the season is mercifully over for the Cleveland Browns. Until Watson is no longer wearing the Orange and Brown, I’m pulling for the Bills out of Lake Erie solidarity.
The wildest political moments of 2022. Relive them if you dare.
Dr. Dre stopped MTG… From using his work in a hype video without permission and licensing.
An election denier takes the gavel in Congress’s most powerful committee… Missouri’s Jason Smith bested Vern Buchanan for Ways & Means Chairman. Normally, this’d be news, but given how many election deniers there are in the Republican Conference, it’d be more surprising if somebody who didn’t go along with the big lie got a gavel. Like Dan Crenshaw, who lost out to Mark Green to be Chair of Homeland Security, a Rep. whose nomination to be Trump’s Secretary of the Army was pulled due to controversy. Welcome to Kevin’s House, where the GOP is fighting itself over defense cuts.
A George Santos update… The FEC is the first shoe to drop, what other legal fates await? McCarthy’s people knew Santos’s team was making fundraising calls pretending to be from McCarthy’s office, but apparently did nothing public about it, all the meanwhile duping the RJC on his religious background.
Bump stocks… The ATF ban is likely headed to the high court.
What Does It Mean To Be a Conservative Today? Bill Kristol joins our friends at Connors Forum to discuss.
In local news… Some soon-to-be-caught litterbugs used a federally-owned park as their personal tire dump.
And in Saint Louis… A lot of criming going on in my old neighborhood. On the same street! Child nutrition fraud coming from a rented kitchen from Elmo’s Love Lounge, and a cheesesteak restaurateur heads to the clink over COVID fraud.
There’s a solution to using Russian gas… But earthquakes and politics have put a halt to it.
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