As you’ve probably guessed by now, Cockburn is deeply skeptical of progress. Barely a day goes by without the evidence contradicting the idea that we are emerging from the bad old days into a bright, enlightened future. Quite the opposite: all around him, Cockburn finds evidence that our forebears had it figured out in ways we have somehow forgotten.

The latest reminder that everything is getting worse is the almighty row between Marjorie Taylor Greene and Nancy Mace. The two first-term Republican congresswomen have spent days insulting one another on Twitter and in interviews with unusual...

As you’ve probably guessed by now, Cockburn is deeply skeptical of progress. Barely a day goes by without the evidence contradicting the idea that we are emerging from the bad old days into a bright, enlightened future. Quite the opposite: all around him, Cockburn finds evidence that our forebears had it figured out in ways we have somehow forgotten.

The latest reminder that everything is getting worse is the almighty row between Marjorie Taylor Greene and Nancy Mace. The two first-term Republican congresswomen have spent days insulting one another on Twitter and in interviews with unusual ferocity even by the standards of Washington in 2021.

Ever the delicate wordsmith, MTG called Mace the “trash in the GOP conference” after the South Carolina congresswoman criticized Lauren Boebert for Islamophobic comments about Illhan Omar. Things escalated from there. It was all very Real Housewives of Capitol Hill. And Cockburn found it unbearable — he won’t bore you with the details.

Fear not, reader. Cockburn isn’t about to embark on some cloying lament about the coarsening of our political culture. No, the problem isn’t that these two lawmakers clearly hate one another, it’s that they have no way of settling the feud once and for all.

Yes, I’m talking about a duel.

Once upon a time, Mace and MTG could have let their pistols do the talking rather than humiliate themselves by flinging insults on social media. As soon as one had besmirched the other, they could have ridden out to a clearing somewhere at the edge of DC, perhaps the famous dueling grounds in Bladensburg, stood back to back, taken ten steps, turned and fired. A far cleaner solution than all this flapping about on cable news.

That got Cockburn thinking: who would come out alive? On the one hand, MTG loves nothing more than clutching an assault rifle in a campaign ad. On the other, Mace was the first woman to graduate from the Citadel’s prestigious Core of Cadets program and has been known to hit the range from time to time.

Cockburn would have his money on Mace. If it were a cage fight, however, then stocky CrossFitter MTG would surely be the favorite. Sadly, a bunch of woke nineteenth-century snowflakes did away with duels, leaving us having to endure the unseemly spectacle of a Twitter spat. Now do you see Cockburn’s point about progress?