The Corner

Politics & Policy

‘Sometimes You Have to Hit Rock Bottom’

In a phone interview, Kevin McCarthy said he had thought about dropping out over the last week after the Benghazi gaffe, but figured, “I’d push through.” He realized he couldn’t. The House Freedom Caucus, whose members he’d need to pick off to get to 218 on the House floor, had gone into “lockdown” and “wanted things I couldn’t deliver.” He realized, “I wouldn’t have enjoyed being Speaker this way.” Also, he had begun to get calls over the weekend from members who were hearing complaints about him in their districts — a bad sign. “I didn’t want to put them through a tough vote,” he says. He considered floating an arrangement today where he’d ask members in the conference to vote the way they’d vote on the floor, and if he couldn’t get to 218, stepping aside. But instead he just made his shocking announcement. It’s not clear who will pick up the pieces. He says, “I personally want Paul Ryan.” There’s been some speculation about the necessity of a bi-partisan coalition to elect a new Speaker, which he rejects. “We’ll find a Republican.” How, no one knows at the moment. Asked if the House is governable, he says, “I don’t know. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom.”

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

Most Popular

White House

Another Warning Sign

The Mueller report is of course about Russian interference in the 2016 election and about the White House's interference in the resulting investigation. But I couldn’t help also reading the report as a window into the manner of administration that characterizes the Trump era, and therefore as another warning ... Read More
Film & TV

Jesus Is Not the Joker

Actors love to think they can play anything, but the job of any half-decent filmmaker is to tell them when they’re not right for a part. If the Rock wants to play Kurt Cobain, try to talk him out of it. Adam Sandler as King Lear is not a great match. And then there’s Joaquin Phoenix. He’s playing Jesus ... Read More
U.S.

Supreme Court Mulls Citizenship Question for Census

Washington -- The oral arguments the Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday will be more decorous than the gusts of judicial testiness that blew the case up to the nation’s highest tribunal. The case, which raises arcane questions of administrative law but could have widely radiating political and policy ... Read More
World

What’s So Great about Western Civilization

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Redacted: Harm to Ongoing Matter), One of the things I tell new parents is something that was told to me when my daughter still had that ... Read More
White House

The Mueller Report Should Shock Our Conscience

I've finished reading the entire Mueller report, and I must confess that even as a longtime, quite open critic of Donald Trump, I was surprised at the sheer scope, scale, and brazenness of the lies, falsehoods, and misdirections detailed by the Special Counsel's Office. We've become accustomed to Trump making up ... Read More