The most talked about show this week was the one where a group of adult politicians squirmed in desperation, objected in glee and eventually screamed with pride as they finally, after 15 torturous televised parliamentary procedure-moderated votes, managed to elect a new Speaker of the 2023 U.S. House of Representatives.
And yet no single image summed up the marathon. multi-day event better than this behind-the-scenes photo snapped of Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), she of handy-dandy, I will school you, portable white board fame, as she sat patiently waiting for the just barely-in-the-majority opposing party to get it together enough to agree on some one to take possession of that much hallowed Speaker’s gavel.
When Holly, our beloved NFAC executive editor, private messaged me the photo of our beloved Katie reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck amid all the chaos on the House Floor my first thought was:
OMG, I bet that’s exactly what she’d say after a glass a wine and exactly what she’d do, née read publicly, if she WASN’T a politician.
I also thought. What a f’n great title for a book! Someone should write that rather than just spend time merely reproducing it for some snide meme people like me would like.
Well, never let it be said that I don’t tell tales on myself out of school and don’t appreciate former college professor Katie (Note: And current one, Holly) for both their nerve AND for schooling me once more.
As it turns out, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, written by blogger Mark Manson, is indeed a REAL BOOK. In fact, it’s a N.Y. Times bestseller that to date has sold 20 million copies and has been translated into 65 different languages.
Not only that, but he’s the subject of a 2023 documentary feature now playing in movie theatres, entitled….well, figure it out.
I’m so out of it.
But, well, at least I know it. And clearly I DON’T give a f*ck. Nothing subtle about that.
But let’s get back to Katie and Mark and how together they’ve captured the national zeitgeist, as far as public reaction goes, to the Speaker of the House election.
“F” bombs flew, fingers wagged, and a fistfight nearly broke out among that very special group of political, ahem, elites, by the time a razor thin majority of Republicans dragged their new leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), across the finish line.
The final vote had McCarthy with 50.5% of the chamber, excluding six members of his own party that could only bring themselves to vote present (Note: A House version of abstaining) rather than granting their candidate a full-on endorsement.
This, of course, was nowhere near the spectacle of the Jan. 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol Building that ironically occurred exactly two years ago to the day in exactly the same place and in front of many of the same people that this final vote was taking place.
Way back on Jan. 6, 2021 there was a storming of the entire Capitol Building to stop the count of a free and fair PRESIDENTIAL election. And on that day many, many dozens of people were actually physically injured, including 140 members of law enforcement. Windows and doors were broken, offices were defaced and feces were spread all over the walls.
Oh and also, five people died.
A number of politicians who supported that insurrection, attempted coup or patriotic peaceful protest of the Republican base of disgruntled and suspicious voters – depending on how you want it referred to and whether you believe in fact or fiction – were, in fact, actually among those whose votes, or votes of PRESENT, granted Rep. McCarthy his….victory two years later.
People like Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), the subject of an extensive federal probe of sex-trafficking/having sex with a 17-year-old girl; and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), a twice arrested gun enthusiast and anti-gay marriage crusader who believes the church is supposed to direct the (U.S.) government.
Not to mention several more we won’t name who were in on the planning of Jan. 6 2021, along with POTUS #45.
Speaking of #45, another McCarthy voter, Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-GA), she of the Jewish space lasers, gleefully approached one of the McCarthy PRESENT holdouts with her cell phone at the 11th hour and urged him to take the call of D.T. (aka #45), which he promptly refused. (Note: Okay, twist my arm, it was Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-CO)).
But, as the reporting goes, #45 did manage to reach Rep. Gaetz and urged him to wrap things up and get the vote done.
Which, miraculously, he did at the eleventh and a half hour.
But not before Rep. Greene was then caught by intrepid C-SPAN cameras yucking it up with about to be newly minted, lair, liar pants on fire Congressman George Santos (R-NY).
In case you don’t remember, that’s the guy who lied about everything on his resume, including his college degree, work history in finance, and mysterious million dollar plus increase in annual income in 2021 and 2022 (Note: From $50,000 the year prior), that became one of the chief funding mechanisms that enabled his campaign win.
Like Gaetz, #45 and a bunch of other Congressional McCarthy voters, he is also currently the subject of multiple investigations.
I guess this isn’t funny. Or maybe it is. We’ll know in a few months.
But how many of us will give a you know what about it, or much of anything, by then?