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The GOP Base Seems To Be Happy With Him But Republican Establishment Knives Are Out For Matt Gaetz

On Tuesday, Luke Broadwater noted that there’s renewed interest in Gaetz’s ethics charges since he ousted Kevin McCarthy. McCarthy has long claimed that Gaetz’s animus towards him stems in part because Gaetz wanted him to intervene on his behalf with the House Ethics Committee that is investigating charges that Gaetz has been a drug user and that he used campaign funds to pay underage girls for sex and that he also took them across borders. On Monday Gaetz claimed that “It seems that the Ethics Committee’s interest in me waxes and wanes based on my relationship with the speaker… I believe that Speaker McCarthy is trying to signal to the Ethics Committee to pursue me. I’m built for the battle. I’ve faced down tougher than these folks, and I’ll do it again.”

The House Ethics Committee paused their investigation while the FBI doing its own investigation (standard procedure). Eventually the FBI decided it couldn’t make a strong enough case— witnesses who would appear shady in the stand— and didn’t charge Gaetz. At that point the House Ethics Committee resumed its investigation, at least in theory. The Committee— Michael Guest (R-MS), David Joyce (R-OH), John Rutherford (R-FL), Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN), Susan Wild (D-PA), Veronica Escobar (D-TX), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Deborah Ross (D-NC), Glenn Ivey (D-MD)— hasn’t actually done any investigating at all.

A former Gaetz colleague, Oklahoma Senator Markwayne Mullin, told CNN that Gaetz “bragged [on the House floor] about how he would crush E.D. medicine [Viagra] and chase it with energy drinks so he could go all night… There’s a reason why no one in the conference came and defended him― because we had all seen the videos he was showing on the House floor that all of us had walked away, of the girls he had slept with.” Back in 2021, dozens of members of Congress complained about Gaetz doing exactly that. He was just kind icky. But now Gaetz is claiming it never happened: “I don’t think Markwayne Mullin and I have said 20 words to each other on the House floor. This is a lie from someone who doesn’t know me and who is coping with the death of the political career of his friend Kevin. Thoughts and prayers.” Two seemingly opposite things can be true at the same time.

And it’s certainly true that many— probably most, even the great majority of— House Republicans want to avenge McCarthy’s humiliation by fucking with Gaetz. Semafor reported that they spent much of Wednesday promising to strike back against Gaetz— and the seven other GOP rebels— who ousted McCarthy on Tuesday. “I think Matt would be a great dictator in a small island nation in the Pacific or something, that’s probably the best next step for him. I do think there should be repercussions,” said top McCarthy lieutenant Garret Graves (R-LA). Austin Scott (R-GA) and other McCarthy allies are urging that the mutineers be stripped of their committee assignments.

Freshman Mike Lawler (R-NY), the Republican most likely to lose his seat next year, had been running around Washington making sure every media person knows he’s the anti-Gaetz and if they want a quote, he’s got one— or ten. Yesterday, he told reporters he thinks Gaetz should be expelled from the GOP conference for “disgraceful” conduct. On Monday he told Gaetz, through Jake Tapper, “Wake up, dude. This is absolutely ridiculous, and it’s just him trying to latch on to something else to create chaos and try to use as a vehicle to remove the speaker… Matt has been a singular destructive force within the conference, and the American people should understand that what he is doing is not conservative, it is not conservative Republicanism. He is a charlatan.”

Another NY GOP freshman, Antony D’Esposito, told CNN that Gaetz’s operation to force McCarthy out of the speakership was “one of the greatest acts of heresy. He’s literally taken one of our oldest institutions and put it into a downward spiral, all over selfish needs, all over Twitter feeds and raising money. Don Bacon— another very vulnerable Republican said Gaetz “is not a Republican.”

Unless Garret Graves’ district is redrawn, he’s a very safe Republican and he’s been especially angry about Gaetz, continuously calling him a puppet of AOC: “I can’t believe he’s that stupid to be used, to be manipulated by AOC and others to create this outcome… If we’re gonna continue to have clowns like Matt Gaetz as part of the Republican conference, as part of this Congress, then you’re gonna have to have rules in place that prevent him from doing his charade every single week, every single month, where he goes out and he does his thing where he creates some manufactured crisis… does his manufactured crisis using official government resources, official government actions, manufactures a crisis and then goes and sends out fundraising emails off of the crisis manufacturer. I think this should be illegal. I think people should be in jail for this crap… Once again, the arsonists who lit their house on fire, who whined about their House being on fire, who put out the fire, wants credit for it, and sets up a GoFundMe site to get paid for it. Complete hypocrisy.”

On Wednesday, Ross Douthat, used his NY Times column to lash out at both sides: “You can analyze the circus in the House of Representatives in terms of personalities (the bland ambition of Kevin McCarthy colliding with the antic, made-for-television career of Matt Gaetz) or in terms of the nature of the Republican coalition (united only by anti-liberalism and rabble-rousing, and therefore held hostage to the most shameless rabble-rouser).” But to him it’s all about DC’s gerontocracy— and conservative futile wish they could push the elderly onto the train tracks.

“The basic gerontocratic fiscal trap,” he wrote, “is easy to describe: As societies grow older, with longer life expectancies and fewer kids, their old-age commitments become steadily more costly as the share of voters who benefit from those commitments (and turn out to vote) increases. This makes it harder to fix fiscal problems, and it makes the path of least political resistance the protection of the old and the shortchanging of the young— who, thus shortchanged, start fewer families and deepen societal senescence. But there is a further twist in American politics, which is that the party that would normally be the ideological vehicle for resisting the drift into gerontocratic stasis— the party of free markets and limited government— is also increasingly dependent on the votes of culturally conservative older voters. Which makes it especially politically challenging, even self-undermining, to undertake the kind of fiscal reforms that the right’s philosophy officially supports.”

What Douthat is talking about, of course, is the age-old GOP dream: privatizing Social Security, defunding Medicare and abolishing Medicaid— basically the motivating principles of the GOP even more than anything to do with abortion. “[T]he most important action (or inaction, rather),” he wrote, “centers on Medicare and Social Security, and the transition from Paul Ryan’s GOP to Donald Trump’s, and now Matt Gaetz’s, shows the working out of gerontocratic logic. Ryan was a true limited-government man, devoted to blueprinting ambitious entitlement reforms and pushing his colleagues, against their natural inclinations, to endorse them. He was also an ambitious politician, and you could see him struggling to reconcile his fiscal vision with the interests and demands of his party’s base. This struggle never quite resolved itself, in part because his quest for a mandate (as Mitt Romney’s running mate) was defeated and in part because his careful positioning was overrun by Trump, who simply tossed all those blueprints away and promised profligacy instead.”

[A]fter Trump’s remaking of the party, the task looks nearly impossible: Gerontocracy is now too advanced, the Republican base is now more working class and therefore more likely to depend on retirement programs, and the Democrats have entrenched themselves further to the left.
[Gaetz is] in his way, telling the truth when he criticizes the can-kicking style in which McCarthy has tried to negotiate between his own members and the Democrats, or when he tells the reporters gathered for his performances that the leaders of both parties are custodians of American decline. But Gaetz has, of course, no politically plausible vision of his own— neither a means of selling his own party’s voters on entitlement reform nor a willingness to strike a difficult bargain with Democrats even if such a thing were possible. He’s just using our fiscal crisis as a ladder; the worse the problems, the easier the climb.
To grow in age is supposedly to grow in wisdom, and in theory one might imagine that what an aging society lacked in dynamism and innovation, it would make up for in the sobriety and seriousness of its leaders.
Instead in our would-be presidents we see the weaknesses of age— the debilitation of Joe Biden, the instability of Donald Trump, even the paranoia of their potential third-party challenger, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (who if elected would be the second-oldest American to begin a first presidential term).
While in our younger leaders, instead of counteracting virtues, we have chaotic vices that threaten to make everything ungovernable— the Republican Party, the House of Representatives, the country as a whole.

Meanwhile, Republican senators aren’t so much concerned with Gaetz as with Gaetz crony Matt Rosendale, who is about to run for the Senate himself. He already lost against Jon Tester in 2018— by almost 4 points and losing 8 counties that Trump won: Lake, Lewis and Clark, Cascade, Park, Roosevelt, Hill, Deer Lodge and Silver Bow… and underperforming Trump in every single county in the state. And the GOP establishment has a blander, less objectionable candidate, Tim Sherry, teed up and ready to go. Problem is that he’s boring and unknown and that though Rosendale’s fascist populism may be abhorrent to independent voters in Missoula, Yellowstone, Flathead, Lewis and Clark, Ravalli and Gallatin counties, it excites that Republican base voters that dominate the primaries. The only public polling is enough to make McConnell reach for his smelling salts:

Back to Markwayne Mullin: “If Matt Rosendale tries to get in that [primary], I’ll be doing everything to defeat him.” Tom Cotton (R-AR) is 'no fan of his either. Mullin, though is one of the richest senators, with a net worth over $50 million.


Oct 07, 2023

the nazi base is fine with whomever gets them to their reich with trump as fuhrer.

the establishment wants a reich but with someone easier to deal with as fuhrer.

gaetz is just having fun being they guy who CAN slay a prince and get away with it.

democraps don't care. none of them, nor their voters, have done "merrick garland" to prevent any of this for 55 years and counting.

add it all up... the reich is happening soon. hope y'all enjoy it as much as all the "good germans" enjoyed theirs.


Oct 06, 2023

3 columns mashed into one?

Yes, the nazi party clown car has, literally, hundreds of clowns.

Why can't your democraps defeat them?

And why can't american voters ever elect anything useful?

Perhaps in the absence of anything useful at all... clown cars become inevitable?

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