It’s last Thursday for you. I’ve been keeping track of the progress of Kevin McCarthy toward what I now like to call the “House Losership” position.
I’m rooting for Kevin McCarthy. I thought he was great as Dr. Miles J. Bennell in the 1956 version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” It’s amazing how well he’s held together for a man of his age. He doesn’t look a day over 60 now when he gets on the news.
I just saw him lose for the 11th time on the New York Times live.
The last time anything like this happened was 1859, two years before the start of the Civil War in the U.S. of A. I’m sure that’s not at all ominous. We’ll all be fine.
Speaking of not being ominous: Former Pope Benedict XVI died this week. And I can tell you all that having emer-itis isn’t contagious. Inflammation of the emer is not what killed him.
Little known fact about me: I’m legally Catholic. See, it happened like this: I slipped and fell on a church.
No, seriously. I had just gotten back from Europe and the East Coast, where I was minding my own business, and I returned to Seattle. I found the Archdiocese here was under the control of Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen. I decided he was a pretty good guy and figured if he could be Catholic there’d be no harm in it.
In 1982, Hunthausen withheld half his taxes from the government to protest U.S. military expenditures, in particular our Trident nuclear submarine program. I’m sure it was just a coincidence that same year Bishop Hunthausen presided over my official induction into the church, and I became a card-carrying member for life. All I had to do was renounce the devil.
Right after that, the IRS investigated and started garnering Bishop Hunthausen’s pay. But worse than that, the church itself started investigating Hunthausen. Not for the taxes but for deviations from church doctrine. None other than Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — later known as Pope Benedict XVI — was put in charge of the investigation, and in time the investigation concluded that Hunthausen was guilty of “weak doctrinal leadership.” An auxiliary bishop was installed in Seattle, whom I thought of as “the leash handler.”
All this came down while I was homeless for the second time. I think I may have been excommunicated by 1985, but I failed to leave a forwarding address so I never got the notice.
Getting back to the trials of Kevin McCarthy. It’s now Friday morning, about 8 a.m. in Washington, D.C. The House is getting ready to hold a 12th vote for House Losership. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) has told Fox News that McCarthy’s candidacy is a Democratic Party plot. Apparently the Democrats are pod creatures from outer space, and only Republican Matt Gaetz has managed to escape being turned into a pod person. Gaetz has gone so far as to threaten to resign his role in the House.
I didn’t know he had one. Democrats are now inquiring as to what they can do to speed that up. I’m not kidding about that.
Mentally, Gaetz is all beer and no glass. All grass and no paper. All bow and no arrows. Before he can count on his fingers, he has to write the names of the numbers on his fingertips. He has to get them from a book. In at least three of the House votes, Gaetz cast a sole vote for Donald John Trump.
I just told our cat if she doesn’t start behaving, I’m going to fly her to Cleveland, Ohio, and leave her there. I said it to her, but I was thinking of Gaetz when I said it.
One of the actual headlines I’ve found: “Matt Gaetz says he’ll ‘resign’ from Congress if the Democratic Party changes tack and elects a moderate Republican for speaker.”
Just to be clear, 100 percent of Democrats have voted for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat from New York, for speaker. None of them — not one — has, to date, tried to elect a moderate Republican for anything.
When I write these things I try to find connections. I think I’ve failed this time. Kevin McCarthy, Pope Benedict XVI, Matt Gaetz. I give up.
Dr. Wes is the Real Change Circulation Specialist, but, in addition to his skills with a spreadsheet, he writes this weekly column about whatever recent going-ons caught his attention. Dr. Wes has contributed to the paper since 1994. Curious about his process or have a response to one of his columns? Connect with him at [email protected].
Read more of the Jan. 11-17, 2023 issue.