Little did anybody expect that one more teensy tiny government shutdown would have the effect that it did, but when House Speaker Kevin McCarthy… Well, let’s back up a bit:
Back last May, McCarthy teamed up with Senate leader Chuck Schumer to reach a deal with President Biden over government spending. The QAnon Republicans grumbled, but they let things stand. However, back home their constituents weren’t having it. Take Grumbler McNutt in Marjorie Taylor Greene’s district for example. He was a member of a Christian sect that danced with rattle snakes, and one morning he showed up in Greene’s office with a half dozen of his pets in protest. Greene didn’t dare even throw him out, never mind have him arrested, especially since the local cop was the preacher in McNutt’s church. Or consider Lauren Boebert. When she returned home for a visit, the nine family members of the James and Ann Kass family (known as the Kass Nine clan) showed up and showed Boebert photos they had of her groping two boyfriends at once at a local strip club. They threatened her with publicly revealing those photos if she continued doing a deal with the devil (AKA Joe Biden). And as for Matt Gaetz – well, it didn’t take much to sway him. A local human trafficker just showed up, showed him photos of a half dozen or so teen age girls and told him he could have his pick if he just stayed in line.
And so it was that the Gang of Three, plus a few of their supporters like Paul Gosar, dedicated themselves to “blow(ing) things up and count(ing) their followers on Tik Tok” as the Wall St. Journal editors put it. This took the form of taking dead aim at the “head” of their very own party. (Some might question whether he represented the head or the opposite end of the human anatomy, but that’s for others to determine.) Their shot at McCarthy hit home and on Oct. 1 the federal government shut down.
On Oct. 2, a shoving match broke out on the floor of the House of Representatives and Boebert, Greene and Gaetz wrestled for the mic. Each wanted to be the one to have the honor of moving that McCarthy vacate the Speakership. All three collapsed on the floor in a scrum, with Greene shouting that Gaetz had used the struggle to put his hand down her blouse and Gaetz shouting that, no, it hadn’t been him it was Boebert, who he said was also groping him with her other hand. Before anybody else could make that motion, McCarthy adjourned the House and rushed over to hold a joint press conference with Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell. The first question asked was of McConnell. “Why, Mr. Senator, do you think it is, that your party in the House has been unable to reach agreement?”
McConnell hesitated for a moment before answering. Then he hesitated for another moment. In fact, the “hesitated” for 2 minutes and 29 seconds – so long that his aides rushed him off and the press conference ended. (Some cynics pointed out that unlike previous freez episodes, in this case his jaw muscles were moving and his facial expression was changing. They speculated that he simply didn’t want to answer the question.) McCarthy rushed off and reconvened the House, where Paul Gosar moved to vacate the chair.
McCarthy did, in fact, step down, and then the fun really began. The Republicans convened their caucus to decide who their next sacrificial lamb would be. Not a single Representative was willing to take on the job. In fairness, Greene and Boebert were too busy calling each other a “little bitch” and Gosar was too busy admiring racist photos to pay any attention. Every single other one turned down the job. Following up on what Gaetz had at one point suggested, there was a proposal that Trump be nominated and somebody did, in fact, call him. Trump replied that whoever suggested this must be an agent of the deep state and he was in enough trouble already. Well, it’s not quite accurate to say no other Representative would take the job, because Matt Gaetz wasn’t there. He had spotted a young intern and had been chasing down the hall after her. So it was that when he returned, he was confronted with loud cheers and applause. Smiling, he stepped to the center with his arms raised as if he’d just won the heavyweight boxing championship. In fact, what he had won was the House speakership.
Matt Gaetz was the new speaker of the House of Representatives, and if people thought it had been chaos before then…. Just one week later, Emma Tucker, Editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal, showed up at work with a strange wig in place of her hair. He colleagues had noticed her tearing her hair out at work, and evidently she’d had a temper tantrum at home. The government shutdown dragged on. There were some serious consequences, including Putin invading Nagorno Karabakh and China feeling emboldened and invading not only Taiwan but the Philippines also. At home, all air traffic came to a halt after the air traffic controllers started a sickout because of non-payment of their wages. Donald Trump, however, was delighted as the federal judiciary stopped functioning, meaning that his two federal trials were postponed indefinitely. “Shut it down! Shut it down!” he and his supporters chanted.
House Speaker Gaetz did arrange for a few one month government funding bills to pass. Just enough to insure that he and his fellow politicians got their paychecks. The months came and went and periodic government shutdowns became the “new normal”. As expected, Trump and Biden won their respective party’s nominations, but there were no debates between the two candidates. Although Biden was the clear winner, the results were not exactly overwhelming – 42 million popular votes for Biden vs. just shy of 30 million for Trump. Trump and QAnon of course challenged the results, which went to the House of Representatives. There, a stalemate happened. As January 20, 2025 approached, the election results could not be ratified. The result was that on that day the presidency was formally vacated, and according to the U.S. Constitution, guess who was next in line for the presidency and therefore showed up to be inaugurated. House Speaker Matt Gaetz!
What? You think this is ridiculous fantasy? Has anything that’s happened up until now been any less ridiculous?
Categories: fiction more real than fact