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Rep. Michael McCaul

Photo by eschipul/ CC BY-SA 2.0

When House Democrats recently voted to hold former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's January 6 committee, only nine Republicans voted with them. Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri and Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas were among the many Republicans who voted against holding Bannon in contempt.

And Wagner — according to Politico's Playbook — admitted that they did so because of the "wacko birds" in their party.

Politico Playbook reports that Wagner and McCaul (who is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee) "were at an event at Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar on Capitol Hill" when a "person in their group asked about redistricting in Missouri and said he hoped Wagner gets a more conservative district to help her win reelection."

But Wagner indicated that she didn't want a more conservative district, saying, "Then you get those wacko birds." And McCaul chimed in, "That's why we had to vote the way we did today" — a reference, Politico Playbook says, to Wagner and McCaul's votes against holding Bannon in contempt.

According to Politico Playbook, "Wagner's office didn't respond to a request for comment. Foreign Affairs' spokeswoman, Leslie Shedd, denied the account and vowed that McCaul would 'never speak to another Politico reporter' if Playbook published this item."


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President Joe Biden

Photo by The White House

Two tiresome realities about being president of the United States: first, everybody blames you for things over which you have little or no control: such as the worldwide price of oil, and international shipping schedules. Should there be too few electronic gee-gaws on store shelves to pacify American teenagers this Christmas, it will be Joe Biden’s fault.

Second, everybody gives you advice, whether you ask for it or not. Everywhere you look, Democrats and Democratically-inclined pundits are tempted to panic. “The cold reality for Biden,” writes New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait “is that his presidency is on the brink of failure.” A return to Trumpism, and essentially the end of American democracy, strikes Chait as altogether likely.

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