Did the House Rebellion Against Kevin McCarthy Have an Upside?

Plus: a lightning round recollection of comical political fabulists


In this week's The Reason Roundtable, editors Matt Welch, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Nick Gillespie look back on the House speaker battle and discuss President Joe Biden's trip to the southern border.

1:33: Kevin McCarthy is finally selected as speaker of the House.

26:44: Weekly Listener Question:

In the last episode, you all discussed the (at least at the time of this message) ongoing process for electing a new speaker of the House. You discussed the demand/request of the 19 or so Republicans who don't back McCarthy that he return to more normal House proceedings like the introduction of amendments, debate on the floor, etc. One of their demands, the introduction of the FairTax Bill, was unaddressed in the last podcast. What do the panel members think of the FairTax (both within the speaker vote context but also more broadly)? I'd be interested in a libertarian take on the FairTax. Assuming that abolishing taxation is unlikely, does the FairTax represent a much better alternative to our current system?

35:35: President Biden visits the southern border to Mexico.

45:57: George Santos and other political fabulists

57:44: This week's cultural recommendations

Mentioned in this podcast:

"Finally Approved as House Speaker, McCarthy Aims To Cut IRS Funding," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Cameras Should Stay in Place After the House Picks a Speaker," by Joe Lancaster

"Fixing Congress' Broken Appropriations Process Is Worth This Mess," by Eric Boehm

"Ignoring the Anti-McCarthy Faction's Avowed Goals, The New York Times Sees Only 'Chaos and Confusion'," by Jacob Sullum

"Justin Amash: Kevin McCarthy Is a 'Compulsive Liar' Who 'Cares Only About Power'," by Matt Welch

"Biden's Immigration Plan Lays Out a Tougher Border, New Legal Pathway for Some Migrants," by Fiona Harrigan

"Real Man of Genius: Joe Biden," by Nick Gillespie, Dan Hayes, and Matt Welch

"The for Cameras in the Supreme Court" by Nick Gillespie and Meredith Bragg

"5 Other Fake Indians Besides Elizabeth Warren," by Nick Gillespie

Send your questions to Be sure to include your social media handle and the correct pronunciation of your name.

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Audio production by Ian Keyser

Assistant production by Hunt Beaty

Music: "Angeline," by The Brothers Steve