Puppet Politics

To the Editor:

Those of us long enough in the tooth to remember black-and-white TV may recall Edgar Bergen and his top-hatted sidekick, Charlie McCarthy. Charlie may have been a mannequin, but he was no dummy when it came to whipping out snappy one-liners guaranteed to pull his boss up short.

If only Charlie’s twenty-first century namesake Kevin McCarthy were so adept!

Unlike Charlie, Kevin’s performance as Minority Leader seems limited to echoing his Mar-a-Lago puppeteer’s litany of fantasies and threats. Take, for example, McCarthy’s wooden-headed diatribe threatening revenge against private companies that dare to cooperate with the Select Committee investigating the January 6th insurrection. A McCarthy original? Far more likely a play called in from the bench by America’s extortioner-in-chief. That’s how it works when you’re the dummy. No matter how unpalatable, you say what you’re told to say, or you wind up backstage stuffed into a suitcase.

McCarthy got a taste of “getting stuffed” immediately following his criticizing the violence of the January 6th mob. That indiscretion earned him a trip to Mar-a-Lago for a good old-fashioned pistol whipping. Now repentant, he’s back in D.C. faithfully channeling Trumpian crazy talk without editorial intervention. And, why wouldn’t he? With the promise of the Majority Leader’s gavel dangled before him, McCarthy’s laser-focused compliance with every prompt is guaranteed. Except in Trump World promises don’t come with guarantees.

Rick Littlefield

Barrington, N.H.

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