Kevin McCarthy is Not a Moron

In 1910, psychologist Henry H. Goddard coined the term “moron” to denote mild intellectual disability. The word comes from the Greek mõros, meaning “dull”, “foolish” or “stupid”. The word, formerly used as a descriptor in the psychological community, is now rejected by psychologists and physicians, who consider it too demeaning.

Recently, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, brought it to light. After House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy demeaned the House’s new face mask requirement, Pelosi commented, “He is such a moron.” Unsuspected to her, Pelosi started a discussion on the appropriate use of the word moron.

Poor Kevin McCarthy. One cannot but feel sorry for him. What has he done to deserve the wrath of our Lady of Fire, Terror of Republicans? In an article on the Washington Post, “Fact check: Is Kevin McCarthy a ‘moron’?” opinion writer Dana Milbank tries to provide an answer to this question.

Dana quotes some statements by McCarthy to buttress his opinion. For example:

On President Biden: “The president, we sat to met him, that we wanted to be –keep our path be energy independent.”

On a retired colleague: “Former liberal senator Barbara Boxer is now has the effect of being robbed in Oakland.”

On Pelosi: “She will go at no elms to break the rules.”

Also on Pelosi: “We told her that she fights for the Americans but they make $5 million in less than a month trading stock options…on tech companies that were

–that were debating inside the House; that the only reason the market went up, that they made the money was what the outcome of the stocks –or the outcome of the bills.”

Interesting as they are, however, these quotations show more a total disregard for language than a man of diminished intelligence. Even more, if language were a person, McCarthy could be sued for character assassination. More relevant, perhaps, for an analysis of McCarthy’s character is his behavior regarding the events of January 6th at the Capitol.

After the mob attack on the Capitol, McCarthy, to everybody’s surprise, including himself, made a very serious criticism of Trump’s behavior, saying that “Trump bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters…He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding…These facts require immediate action by President Trump to accept his share of responsibility, quell the brewing unrest and ensure President-elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term.”

Probably afraid that somebody would consider his remarks as coming from a decent person, McCarthy joined a majority of House Republicans in a Supreme Court lawsuit to void the election results of four states: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia. It is fair to assume that not even Simone Biles would have been able to make such a spectacular political somersault as McCarthy.

Never a man to leave things undone, days later after the riots, McCarthy traveled to Mar-a-Lago to assure the Disruptor-in-Chief of his eternal devotion, while at the same time continuing to cast doubts on the results of the election. Mr. Dana concludes his analysis by saying that Pelosi’s claims are “mostly true.” However, McCarthy’s are not the actions of a moron. They are the actions of a man without a moral compass.

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a co-winner of the 1979 Overseas Press Club of America award for the article “Missing or Disappeared in Argentina: The Desperate Search for Thousands of Abducted Victims.”