US Politics

Marion McKeone: McCarthy realises his dream, but it’s likely already a nightmare

After 14 failed attempts to become house speaker, Kevin McCarthy’s concessions to the far right have eroded his power so much that the Republican-controlled congress may prove impossible to govern

Kevin McCarthy, new speaker of the House of Representatives, is effectively a political eunuch in a Maga straitjacket. Picture: Getty

After a week of humiliation, negotiation and a public political castration, Kevin McCarthy has finally realised his dream of becoming speaker of the US House of Representatives. But the Republican is poised to become the weakest and most ineffective speaker in American history – one who proved willing to bankrupt the role in order to possess it.

It took 15 rounds of voting before the six Republicans who had blocked his path to the speaker’s ...