McCarthy-ship: A Tour d'Horizon
I gotta say, Speaker Kevin McCarthy's acceptance speech hit all the right notes for me. He spoke as the champion of ordinary Americans, promising to legislate for ordinary Americans as ordinary Americans. And death to the 87,000 IRS leeches! But apparently the speech caused an uproar.
McCarthy invoked the memory of Abraham Lincoln, and championed the painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware in December 1776, not forgetting that Emanuel Leutze painted a black and an indigenous in the boat crew. I was annoyed that there was no mention of My Guy Alexander Hamilton, but I guess the 21-year-old youngster hadn't joined Washington's staff yet.
Hey, did you notice that McCarthy's 20th District in California is 52.1% Hispanic?
But maybe all this doesn't make a blind bit of difference. Maybe McCarthy is first and last a swamp creature, never mind how many House Freedom Caucus flies buzz around his lair.
Maybe the effort to take some power back from the House Speaker won't really change things. Maybe Our Nancy consolidated power into the Speaker's office because the operation of the administrative state required it, as Steven Hayward suggests. Maybe the whole federal government would grind to a halt without the Speaker's office calling every shot. Indeed, most likely, individual House members can't really "make a difference." Not until the administrative state goes belly up.
Anyway, I don't believe in "leaders." I thought we were all agreed that anyone that believes in der Führer is a fascist.
Yes, it's curious how our liberal and lefty friends seem to have a blind spot on the leader front when it comes to dictators like Stalin, Mao, and Xi. Not to mention revered near-dictators like FDR and the sacred Obama.
Right now, America is divided between a party that represents the educated class, single women, and blacks, and a party that represents the ordinary middle class. In the late COVID extravaganza our government and the governments of most of the world looked after Big Business, Big Government, Big Activism and also shoveled money at the lower class so they didn't have to work and didn't have to pay rent. Ordinary small businesses were "non-essential" and went to the wall.
That tells you all you need to know about who's got the power.
And so, will Speaker McCarthy make a difference? Not much, I expect.
I doubt if things will change much until single women and blacks are really feeling the pinch, and stop voting for Democrats. Will that take a recession? A depression? Or will nothing short of economic collapse persuade the lower-class Democrat supporters that the Democratic Party really doesn't care about people like them? Maybe not even then.
I wrote in AT a couple of weeks ago about the Age of Liberalism, with its Ideas, its Revolutions, and its century of Supremacy. We live in a world where educated liberals have all the political and cultural power and occupy cozy sinecures in the administrative state while condemning their welfare and black supporters to a Second Slavery of gubmint benefits.
I believe that it is politics, educated-class politics, that has got us into our current mess, and I doubt if politics can get us out of it. Politics is all about fighting the enemy, as we saw last week when one of Speaker McCarthy's supporters had to be restrained from attacking one of the Freedom Caucus holdouts.
I say that politics is the conceit of the educated class, and the administrative state is the vain idea that educated people are called by Gaia to minister to the plebs, because the Enlightenment.
In my dream world where the ordinary middle class rules, there won't be much politics, because ordinary middle-class people aren't much into beating up the enemy and are not that interested in power. Instead, people will make themselves useful to others, and work with other people, and marry and have children, ordinary people living ordinary lives in community with others.
It might be something like Christopher Rufo's "Quiet Right" that is "patiently, and nearly invisibly, building a viable counterculture" with homeschooling, "classical schools," and a move to small towns away from the woke metropolises.
And maybe the Quiet Right will encourage the Waste People of the current regime, the deracinated single women and blacks, to come into the middle-class world and try out the culture and the life of Commoners, ordinary people living ordinary lives in community with others.
Whatever the future may be, it would have to include a broad movement of women rejecting the "independent woman" fantasy of feminism, and rebuilding human culture on the basic foundation of marriage and family and children and neighborhood and community which is programmed into women full fathom five.
But meanwhile, let us wish Speaker McCarthy and his fractious Republican caucus all the best in the months to come. They will need it.
Image: Lorie Shaull