McCarthy Drops Out


In a stunning twist, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has dropped out of the race for House speaker, facing resistance from hardliners in the House Freedom Caucus. The GOP’s nomination contest, scheduled for today, has been postponed.

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Yes, this is hilarious but it has pretty terrible consequences for the country and perhaps the global economy.


I must say, even for this crew, this is really epic. McCarthy has dropped out of the Speaker's race. In favor of ...? Well, no one. I'm now watching Rep. Issa (R-CA) explaining how McCarthy is awesome, will remain on as Majority Leader, will be the most important endorsement as they try to find someone who they can carry over the finish line. But good lord!

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Join our Live Chat with Josh Horwitz at 2 PM Eastern

Josh Horwitz is the executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, a nonprofit devoted to eradicating preventable, predictable gun violence. He has spent over two decades working on this issue in Washington, DC. Josh will be joining us in The Hive (sub req) today at 2 PM Eastern to discuss mass shootings in America, the work of his organization, and how to fight back against the NRA’s political power.

— Joe Ragazzo

If Only They Had Boehner

Watching the lead up to tomorrow's Speaker vote, the supreme irony is you can see in painful detail and intensity just how much the Republican House caucus needed John Boehner. What's happening right now doesn't even rise to the level of conflict or disorder. That gives it too much credit. Kevin McCarthy was already saddled with all the baggage of John Boehner - in terms of holding the reins of responsibility, establishment backing, need to prevent catastrophic damage to GOP, etc. But since he entered the race it's been clear he's not at all good at leading the caucus - definitely not in the public spokesman sense, and seemingly not in the backroom sense either. So he's got Boehner's liabilities and then an entirely new one.

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Good to Go for Tomorrow's Election!

With the election for House Speaker scheduled for tomorrow, and the helpless and enfeebled Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) being helped or dragged along by establishment supporters, McCarthy today is reduced to demanding Democrats "stop playing politics" with Benghazi.

Meanwhile, Rep Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Chairman of the Benghazi committee is saying McCarthy's apology "doesn't fix it." He goes on to say that all things being equal he'd rather have Paul Ryan (R-WI) as Speaker "because he’s super, super smart." But it's too late for that now and Ryan's not running. So strong endorsement for McCarthy!

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Poll Of the Day

As I've mentioned a few times, through most of my life I was an avid book collector. Perhaps a hoarder. Regardless, I had a ton of books. Maybe literally. Like many of you I don't just enjoy reading, I'm into books, the physical artifact of the book. But then maybe half a dozen years ago, I started reading books on a Kindle. Soon after I moved to the Kindle app on an iPad - the Kindle devices themselves I've never liked, though I haven't tried the new ones in years. And something clicked in my brain and I switched - to the point where I have almost a block on reading physical books. This isn't an ideological or aesthetic choice or decision. To the extent that it is, I'd be on the physical book side. But, as I said, something just clicked for me and I couldn't go back.

So in our Insight polls I decided to ask this question. How are you reading books these days. Results after the jump.

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Fried Chicken?

You must read Catherine Thompson's interview with the Alabama state auditor who has been cavorting with a white supremacist group that thinks the South should secede again. But it's not a hate group, he declares. "There was no hate in that meeting except for one thing," Zeigler said. "They hated it when the fried chicken ran out."

The Expanding Politics of Denial

As I wrote on Friday, the craze to refuse to name the names of mass shooters is a grand form of evasion. Unable to address the actual causes of mass gun violence we stumble around for some feel-good nonsense that allows us to pretend we're taking action. But you can see the same drive expanding in other directions as well: even to the level of blaming the victims themselves.

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Thinking Beyond the Moment

I don't think I've ever written anything positive about WaPo editorial page editor Fred Hiatt (so maybe I should give this more thought?). That's mainly because of the page's relentlessly establishmentarian tone and our radically different ideas about foreign policy. But here's a column that is important and which you should read. Hiatt gets at a key issue: the biggest victory of the NRA over the last generation isn't so much making even the slightest and most modest gun control measures a political impossibility. The bigger win is the strategic victory of focusing the 'debate' on to such small-bore measures. Let me unpack what I mean by this.

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