Let us start by making something clear: We understand that politicians, by the nature of their jobs, have to be a bit chameleon-like. Maybe even a lot chameleon-like, depending on the circumstances. But there are also limits to this. First, there's a difference between "shifting around a bit on an issue" and "making a 180-degree turn, because that's what's most convenient." Second, and more importantly, if a politician does not have at least some bedrock principles on which there is no compromise then, by definition, they have no principles at all.
It is on this basis, then, that we assert that Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is not a chameleon, he is a weasel. Actually, that's probably unfair to weasels, because at least they have spines. Maybe it's better to call him a hagfish, since hagfish have only rudimentary vertebrae (and no vertebral column), and they are known for leaving anything they touch covered in a layer of slime.
What has us on our soapbox right now is the news, which we wrote about earlier this week, that McCarthy has handed over all the 1/6 Capitol footage to Fox's chief propagandist, Tucker Carlson. The Speaker, hagfish that he is, has spoken to some outlets and implied that he didn't really want to share the footage, but that he had no choice because "I promised." On the other hand, he's also sending out fundraising pitches in which he takes credit for his bravery in this matter:
I promised I would give you the truth regarding January 6th, and now I am delivering. I have released the full 44,000 hours of uncut camera surveillance footage.
It is in the public interest to know everything that happened that day—not just the narrative that Pelosi's partisan committee wanted you to see ahead of the 2022 midterm elections...
So which is it, Mr. Speaker? Did you make a brave decision, or did you have no choice? Excuse us while we wash the slime off our hands.
And even this might be accepted as garden-variety politician flip-floppery: tell the base one thing, tell the media something less problematic. However, let us not forget that, when the winds were blowing in one direction, this is a man who condemned the insurrectionists and pointed the finger at Donald Trump. Then, once the winds settled down, he became a Trump apologist and a 1/6 Truther. And giving the footage to Carlson, and only to Carlson, is a dramatic embrace of that latter posture.
Since he handed over the footage, McCarthy has been loudly and rightly lambasted. Democrats (most Republicans remain too frightened to say "boo," for fear of angering Trump) have pointed out that by giving away all that footage, the Speaker has undermined security at the Capitol complex. After all, it won't be hard to figure out where the cameras are—and, therefore, where they aren't. Given the increased violence directed at politicians these days, it makes it that much easier for a nutter to put a lawmaker's life at risk. Oh, and it also provides useful information for those who might want to try insurrection v2.0 in, say, 2024.
Also justly receiving scrutiny (and we noted this in the previous item) is the choice to give the footage to only one media figure, and to choose as that one media figure someone who is in the bag for the Republican Party. Surely we don't need to say that this is all kinds of sleazy. If McCarthy really wants "the truth" to come out, and felt this was the only way to do so, then he should have made the footage available to anyone who wants it. Or, if there was some reason that only one person or outlet could have it, then he should have chosen a recipient with a reputation for being fair-minded; perhaps Neil Cavuto, or Chris Wallace, or Chuck Todd, or the BBC, or the AP.
And that actually brings us to the news that qualifies this item for "This Week in Schadenfreude." You see, there are some people we could not imagine ever agreeing with on anything. And yet, on this particular subject, it turns out that we are on the same page as... the MyPillow Guy. Our reasons are very different, of course, but Mike Lindell also thinks that McCarthy should have made the footage available to anyone who wants it. Lindell, who knows a propagandist when he sees one (i.e., the pot calling the kettle black), believes "Fox is going to sift through it and only put out what they want." So, he's going to sue McCarthy.
What you have here, then, is one prominent insurrectionist enabler in a giant pi**ing contest with a different prominent insurrectionist enabler. They're going to end up fighting it out in court, and this is the extremely rare circumstance where the MyPillow guy actually has a case and should actually survive summary judgment. Get out your popcorn, because that's about as schadenfreude as it gets. (Z)