Can Kevin McCarthy Outlast an Ancient Roman Emperor?
Didius Julianus’ 66-Day Reign Shows What Happens When a Compromised Ruler Runs Out of Things to Give His Allies
On January 7, cameras recorded a beaming Kevin McCarthy as he ascended the rostrum of the House of Representatives and raised the speaker’s gavel. If one knew nothing about the previous few days, they might imagine this image captured the ceremonial coronation of a speaker who, like every other speaker for 100 years, had known the job was theirs for months.
A slightly wider angle shot of the House rostrum shows a more complicated scene. Mr. McCarthy is the only one smiling. The seven clerks gathered around the dais all sit …