Soft Landing

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy at a news conference in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, May 31, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

On Tuesday I compared Kevin McCarthy’s stewardship of the debt ceiling standoff to Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s stewardship of Flight 1549. In both cases, against all odds, a certain disaster was averted by the almost miraculous skill of the pilot.

After Wednesday night’s House vote, that comparison no longer feels fair—to McCarthy.

Sullenberger was still forced to crash-land on the water, after all, surviving by the skin of his teeth. McCarthy ended up gliding in for an uneventful landing at the local airport, grinning and thumbs-upping the whole way. 

And he did it despite never having flown a plane before.

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