“After 15 Grueling House Speaker Votes, America's Long National Nightmare Can Finally Begin” — the Babylon Bee, which usually isn’t funny.
Or, as I put it on Twitter (which also somehow still continues to exist) late last night:
For a tumultuous hour or so, it looked like it wasn’t going to happen. Vote 14, which started around 10 PM, was hyped by McCarthy and friends as THE VOTE, the one that was finally going to end this nonsense, Deals Have Been Made, Top Men Have Agreed, time to bring it home.
Then Matt Gaetz happened. Matt Gaetz, unindicted sex offender, far-right troll, and avatar of Mike Judge’s “Beavis” character, found himself, sitting next to fellow publicity hound Lauren Boebert, as the center of the universe. The entire country has waiting on the edge of its chair for his vote. The deciding vote. Surely McCarthy wouldn’t have called a vote without nailing down the gentleman creep from Florida. Surely.
As anyone who’s ever been involved with any online communities knows, what happened next is of course what happened. When the spotlight of the global media shined on the troll of the hour, he did what trolls always do: he dropped his pants. And McCarthy was left staring at Gaetz’s metaphorical ass.
On live television.
As the congressmen who surrounded him clapped confusedly (thinking Gaetz’s “present” vote would have enabled McCarthy’s ascension, not dooming it) McCarthy pleaded with Gaetz to change his vote. Gaetz refused. Words were exchanged. A Democrat nearby heckled “On your knees!” at McCarthy, mocking his pleading.
Other Republicans lined up to alternately plead with or shout at the troll of the hour. Mike Rogers of Alabama, the head of the Armed Services Committee, and the person whose job Gaetz was demanding, for one had had enough and lunged at him, only to be pulled back at the last minute by another Congressman, while a nearby Democrat yelled “Gentlemen! Decorum!”
With no speaker, there’s no rules. Democracy in action!
Meanwhile, Donald Trump — remember him? — was busy calling holdouts during the vote, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, who somehow is becoming one of the leaders of the Republican party despite, well, everything, acted as his secretary trying to connect him on the floor.
After the mess, the initial impulse of McCarthy’s people was to take the rest of the weekend and figure out what to do next. But apparently Trump pulled his “Thou Shalt Not Disobey Trump” card for the occasion, and another vote was immediately held. Every holdout, including King Troll and unindicted sex offender Gaetz, sullenly voted “present”, and McCarthy had finally nailed his seat, for what little it had become worth. He then gave a long acceptance speech (at around 1 AM) promising to do everything the far right wing of the party demanded.
“This is the great part,” [McCarthy] told reporters. “Because it took this long, now we learned how to govern.”
My reaction to that is adequately explained by Katie Porter’s reading material during all this mess.
So, now we get to watch possibly the most dysfunctional Congress in recorded history meander its way through demolishing the country just to watch it burn, because one of the two national parties has been taken over by trolls and maniacs, where a Q Anon conspiracy maven is suddenly the normal one.
And you may ask yourself, "How do I work this?"
And you may ask yourself, "Where is that large automobile?"
And you may tell yourself, "This is not my beautiful house"
And you may tell yourself, "This is not my beautiful wife"
Everything, as always, continues to be terrible.