A Roundup of the Dumb Shenanigans in Congress That We *Would* Have Covered, If Not for…You Know

Jezebel is back and for some reason news kept happening while we were away. No matter, let’s get into all of it!

A Roundup of the Dumb Shenanigans in Congress That We *Would* Have Covered, If Not for…You Know
Photo:Alex Wong (Getty Images)

In case you didn’t notice, Jezebel went offline for a hot minute (approximately one month and some change). And yet, during that little break so generously provided by our corporate overlords to let us rest and reflect on life and the cosmos, for some reason, news kept happening. Specifically, our esteemed representatives in Congress kept doing what they do best, which is… act utterly batshit insane while getting paid with our tax dollars.

I don’t know that I could name One helpful bill passed by the House since November 9, but I could tell you—in unfortunate, unsparing detail—about what now-former Rep. George Santos (R-NY) illegally spent campaign dollars on (hint: it rhymes with “schmotox”). I could also write a silly headline about Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announcing he was quitting not three months after announcing that he would never quit or even a fun joke about the former legal clients of our new House Speaker…which is a real who’s who of extremists.

In fact, let me do that right now. Here’s an incomplete list of Congressional shenanigans that Jezebel very much would have covered in the last month, were it not for… well, you know 🙂

  • Introducing… House Speaker Mike Johnson’s Very Normal, Totally Unproblematic Former Clients: We know Johnson hates abortion, hates women having a right to divorce, and wants us to pop out “able-bodied workers” immediately. We also know that, that in a past life, he was a lawyer. So it probably wouldn’t surprise you to learn that throughout his legal career, he wasn’t exactly running with the best crowd. His old clients are somehow even more extreme than previously known, per the Daily Beast, and include one who celebrated the idea of killing gay people. Another sought a permit for an anti-LGBTQ protest that ended in a gay man being stabbed. And another happens to be the leader of an organization tied to the 2009 assassination of an abortion provider. Believe it or not, Republicans chose Johnson as Speaker as a compromise!
  • Broke or Unethical? You Decide: Right before our little break we reported on Johnson’s curious financial situation (TL;DR per his self-reporting, he appeared to be broke). As it turns out, according to a new ethics complaint against Johnson, the man may actually be one of two things: broke or very sneaky! The Daily Beast reported last month that End Citizens United filled a complaint laying out “multiple potential violations in Johnson’s financial disclosures, including undisclosed gifts and blind spots in his spouse’s income.” Welp, I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this one.
  • RIP George Santos’ Congressional Career, 2023-2023: It’s always “be gay do crime” until someone is actually gay and does crime: Santos broke new ground for LGBTQ communities by becoming the first openly gay member of Congress to be expelled on Thursday, December 1. Who knows what he could have done to bring this about…?
  • Invoking the Holocaust for… What Now? At a time when people across the country are facing punishment and surveillance for antisemitism (sometimes simply for expressing support for Palestinians), Speaker Johnson was recently exposed for equating abortion rights with the Holocaust…as recently as last year. Seems like a really strange thing to go un-protested right now.
  • United for Mass Death: Here’s an image that will be forever seared inside my brain: House Republican and Democratic leadership united and holding hands at a rally in November where crowd members chanted, “No ceasefire! No ceasefire!” Within the span of two months, more than 17,000 Palestinians—nearly half of them children—have been killed by Israeli attacks.
  • Squad Tea: A new, heavily reported book about the trials and tribulations faced by the small but growing progressive House members known as the Squad just came out. (It’s literally called The Squad.) And it includes some fairly eyebrow-raising revelations about Nancy Pelosi, and how often she tried to stand in Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) way over the years. Ocasio-Cortez told author Ryan Grim that her life in the House “completely transformed” (for the better) after Pelosi stepped down from her leadership role. Innnnteresting…
  • New McCarthyism Just Dropped! As Palestinians in Gaza continue to be slaughtered en masse, the House united to pass a resolution to characterize critics of the Zionist movement as antisemitic. They also established a committee that would investigate those deemed antisemitic… which sounds a lot like the House Un-American Activities Committee of the 1940s. Surely this won’t be used to censor or punish anyone who expresses support for Palestinians.
  • John Fetterman Donates to George Santos: As Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) continues down his fairly alarming villain arc, he made a very generous donation to George Santos—a Trump-supporting election denier and anti-trans, anti-abortion extremist—by way of Cameo commission. Cool!
  • Kevin McCarthy, Self-Identified Non-Quitter, Quits: I heartily recommend you read the community note on this September tweet. That’s all.
  • Speaking of Quitters… Noted Kevin McCarthy ally Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) recently announced he won’t seek reelection, weeks after warming the Speaker’s seat for Johnson as Speaker pro tempore. Gone and soon to be very much forgotten.
  • Majorie Taylor Greene Has Weirdly Strong Thoughts on Santos’ Expulsion: Now, I have no idea how close these two were (are?), but Greene has fairly strong feelings about Santos’ expulsion, which certainly jeopardizes Republicans’ already narrow majority in the House. Greene seems to think people will literally die without Mr. Santos, or McCarthy, in Congress. “Now in 2024, we will have a 1 seat majority in the House of Representatives,” she wrote in a recent tweet, adding, “Hopefully no one dies.” Praying!!
  • Someone Take Twitter Away From Fetterman: Famously, the most convincing way to prove you care about rape victims is to post a snide Drake meme.

Wouldn’t you have loved to read our coverage of these very serious happenings??? Alas, fear not: We’re back, and that means whatever future bullshit our esteemed representatives get into from here on out, you will be hearing from us…

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