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The beat goes on (and on)

Dateline: June 1, 2023

CNN is on the television, waiting for the four hundred and ninety-ninth vote for House Speaker. The tension is palpable! Lauren Boebert is now being nominated as Speaker after Jim Jordan, Donald, Jim Banks, Matt Gaetz and fourteen others have swapped the twenty MAGA votes in the previous four hundred and ninety eight ballots.

Kevin McCarthy is hanging in there, but he seems to be about six inches shorter and fifty pounds lighter than when this saga commenced on January 3. Instead of the navy suit he sported for the first couple of rounds, he’s today clad in a ripped, once white tee shirt, camo printed cargo shorts and green plastic Birkenstocks. We’ve come a long way with Kevin. Through MLK Day (vote 17), Valentine’s Day (vote 89), the Ides of March (vote 201), Good Friday (vote 359), Easter (vote 373—no rest for the weary), and Memorial Day (vote 479).

The House has been considering recess several times this spring, but since the Republicans would need Democrats to help them pass a motion to recess, the members of the House are still in session. They’ve been living in the House Chamber since January and it now looks worse than after the January 6th rampage. Oil-drenched pizza boxes are stacked under the dais along with a couple uneaten Hawaiian pies (Spam, pineapple and Cheez Whiz). The Washington D.C. Health Inspector has just declared the House chambers uninhabitable so the House is moving to the empty Washington Commanders stadium for a little fresh air and even more votes.

Over on Fox, Tucker Carlson has been commenting on the votes every night in a special edition of his screed which has now lasted one hundred and forty-eight days. His show is quieter now, even Tucker has run out of things to say. Mike Lindell of My Little Pillow has sent truckloads of pillows to the House Chamber to enable the Gaetz Brigade to continue to hold the rest of the country hostage, sort of like Kristen Sinema.

Political commentators on both sides of the divide have been laid off and are now writing the “Vows” column in the New York Times. The Washington Post has folded up shop and the last printed editions are being used as packing in Amazon boxes. The Wall Street Journal has reverted to economic and business coverage instead of trying to resuscitate the administration of Herbert Hoover. The major networks have shifted their political reporters to covering the weather since that seems to be the only thing happening, at least until Tom Brady decides where he’ll play next.

The Democrats are banging their heads on their lecterns and thinking about putting Nancy Pelosi up for Speaker again just to change the dynamic. Trump received several votes, but even the Republicans couldn’t steel themselves to bring the Donald back to Washington. One of the truly fascinating rules of the House is that anyone can be nominated (and confirmed) as Speaker if they can get the votes.

Peggy Noonan, the esteemed speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, had some choice words for the MAGA blockade. She said that “Many of them are stupid and highly emotional, especially the men.” This was just before she called Matt Gaetz “the Devil’s Flying Monkey.” So, everyone is losing their cool over this. I guess Noonan thinks that the MAGA bunch are basically putting the Republican party on a funeral pyre and lighting the match.

So, as we said in the sixties, the beat goes on. Really, the only one happy about this turn of events is Hunter Biden.

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