Kevin McCarthy takedown, his capsule history . . .

Loyal soldier for two previous Speakers . . .

 . . .. upon his 2010 election as Majority Whip helping lead opposition to Barack Obama. The logical choice for Majority Leader after ill-fated Eric Cantor shockingly booted a primary.

Dutifully fell on his sword in 2015 when hapless John Boehner stepped aside, withdrawing from the Speaker’s race upon recognizing he couldn’t garner 218 votes.

As continuing Majority Leader, and later in the minority, sucked up and stuck by Donald Trump, in particular on the Orange Man’s tax cuts and Obamacare repeal efforts. Spoke out on potential voter fraud in 2020 and signed an amicus brief challenging election results.

Like Fredo Corleone:  he’s “smart” and “can handle things.”

But he’s thrashing, at this writing, in his latest run for Speaker. Because, like Fredo, he is not the Wartime Don Republicans need to counter the radical Squad’s scorched-earth transformation of America, abetted by the Uniparty’s Old Bulls.

McCarthy’s very flailing, fumbling attempts to lock down the Speakership belie the cool courage in the line of fire required to lead a raucous caucus with the narrowest of majorities.

Lack of judgment? Displayed by ill-considered remarks that blew up not only the narrative on the Benghazi committee’s apolitical goals but his own prior Speaker candidacy. By embarrassing outbursts foolishly denied but caught on audio. Not to mention his 2 a.m., deer-in-the-headlights appearance claiming a yet-unconfirmed House flip the night his expected Red Wave morphed into a GOP bloodbath.

Etc. A killer of an indictment of the man who may be, somehow, the best that Republicans can manage, always one vote away from a vote of confidence.