CSotD: Gaetzenfreude

Some headline writer at the New York Times has won the Captain Obvious award for that one, though I prefer Ann Telnaes (WaPo)‘s graphic take on things, which, in turn, is partially inspired by a ghastly, hilarious, horrifying Bulwark piece by Charlie Sykes, headlined “Lordy, There Were Hula Hoops.”

And, lordy, there were.

That NYTimes hed appears over a dialogue between Gail Collins and Bret Stephens, in which they agree that it couldn’t be happening to a more deserving guy.

Bret: We should probably stipulate that the Florida congressman denies the charges of having sex with a minor and claims his family is being extorted. We should also stipulate that, along with Marjorie Taylor Greene, he is the most despicable member of Congress, which is — saying something. If readers want to provide their own Top Ten lists of Congressional Despicables, they can chime in.

Meanwhile, social media are having fun with the claim that MTG has erased all traces of her friendship with Gaetz but somehow missed a double selfie of the two of them.


And Rob Rogers (AMS) notes the uncomfortable position it puts Republicans in, or at least, the position it should put them in, since, so far, they are apparently only criticizing him anonymously perhaps out of fear of offending the MAGAts and being primaried in 2022.

Putting him on the back of his role model brings to mind the old anti-drug PSA in which the kid yells at his dad, “I learned it from you!” but, on a more serious level, the GOPs silence is reminiscent of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s frustration with the silence of the supposedly moderate Confessing Church throughout the Third Reich.

The Republicans claim to be the party of Christian values, but it remains little more than a claim.


Chris Britt (Creators) mocks the GOP’s failure to exert any discipline in the matter, but this seems like yet another case where we’re looking at one result of a larger process.

After all, the GOP not only tolerated a pussy-grabber who pays hush money to his concubines, but made him head of their party.

Nor is it the case that life in Foggy Bottom corrupted Gaetz.

Gaetz was Gaetz before he came to Washington, his work as a Florida legislator including being one of two representatives to vote against an anti-revenge-porn bill, having also blocked previous attempts to outlaw posting naked pictures of non-consenting ex-girlfriends on the Internet.


If Gaetz hasn’t (to our knowledge) posted naked pics on the Internet, he has, as Jack Ohman (WPWG) notes, reportedly shared them with fellow legislators on the floor of Congress.

There are also reports that, in his Florida days, he and some of his associates had a scoring system based on their self-reported conquests of various aides and other women in the state house.

Which brings us back to Trump and the Access Hollywood tape in which he bragged of his prowess. It was defended as “locker room talk,” and the pushback from many men was that only creeps talk like that, whether in the locker room or not.

It comes down to a very old, honored code:

Gentlemen do not kiss and tell.

Nor do they believe the bragging of those who do. Whether it is seen as an invasion of a sexual partner’s privacy and dignity or an outright libel, nobody much over 15 years old puts any stock in the stories of locker room braggarts.

Moreover, whether or not you tell the loudmouth to shut up, it marks him as undependable and dishonest beyond simply sexual matters.

Among gentlemen, that is.

Among all decent people, male or female, for that matter, and I’m not sure I’ve heard the men’s code of honor laid out any better than Alexandra Petri, normally a humor columnist, lays it out in a Washington Post opinion piece, including this nugget of well-framed wisdom:

It’s not just Gaetz being a creep and a pig and a blowhard. That may be a compulsion he cannot control.

It is that, as she says, tolerating him in polite company is a decision. The fact that he is a United States Congressman is depressing enough, but the fact that he remains one is even moreso.

Just as the mold from a bad apple spoils the barrel, so, too, the decision to tolerate creeps and pigs and blowhards reflects on the entire political party.

Particularly since, as stated, a person whose sexual partners cannot trust his discretion and honesty, should not be trusted in other areas either, which brings us to this

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Clay Jones)


(Jeff Danziger – WPWG)

In case you missed it, Donald Trump’s fundraisers snuck some pre-checked boxes onto their site, so that people ended up donating not just once as they intended, but over and over.

It’s one thing to accidentally install Norton Security Bloatware when you’re setting up your computer because you didn’t see the pre-checked box. It’s quite another to have that pre-checked box authorize repeated withdrawals from your bank account.

Jones, as usual, has a most excellent rant about the patterns of greed and dishonesty we should have seen, but what good is that? He’s preaching (most entertainingly!) to the choir.

The story would have to be taken up by the rightwing media for MAGAts to see and believe what happened.

And what happened is what Danziger portrays: Trump stepped up for one more con game, one more chance to fleece the suckers.

Of which the world has an endless supply.

You can publicize it all you want, you can even turn it into a running joke, but Nigerian widows wouldn’t keep sending those emails asking for help in moving their money if there weren’t still enough suckers out there to make it worth trying.

Well, wotthehell, whether it’s money or love or both, and no matter how futile the effort, you have to keep saying it anyway:

When a fella tells you that you can trust him, you should
wonder why he felt the need to say so.



2 thoughts on “CSotD: Gaetzenfreude

  1. That Trump scam is reminiscent of a 1922 Wm C Morris cartoon (which you can find at Chronicling America in the Jul/8/1922 Caledonian-Record). In 1922 it was “Give Till It Hurts” but in 2020 it was “Give Till It Hurts and We’ll Take the Rest”.

  2. On the one hand, maybe having large sums of money stolen from them is just what some people need to understand that Trump had no redeeming qualities. On the other hand, I’m not too happy that what happened is entirely legal, regardless of who did it and who it happened to.

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