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Today, a bunch of attention-starved GOP congressman crashed a closed impeachment deposition like the cast of Rent descending upon the Life Café after Maureen’s show, except in this production of Rent everyone is irredeemable and annoying and the American people are the waiter who sings “No, please, no. Not tonight; can’t have a scene.”
With all the unearned confidence and mustache-twirling villainy of Sue Sylvester breaking up a Glee Club rehearsal right before Mercedes gives us life with a riff, a phalanx of representatives stormed a secure room in the Capitol known as the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or um, SCIF, where three committees were about to hear testimony from Laura Cooper, an official overseeing U.S. policy regarding Ukraine. Gaetz frequently makes headlines by embarrassing himself, like he did recently when he said the impeachment proceedings were a kangaroo court and that Rep. Adam Schiff, who is chair of the House Intelligence Committee, is Captain Kangaroo, a fictional figure who would like very much to be left out of this narrative. I suppose you could summarize Gaetz’s actions today as a “Tiff with Schiff in the SCIF” and that bit of rhyming is pretty much the only redeeming aspect of today’s rift.
It’s important to note that there are Republican representatives who sit on the committees involved with the impeachment depositions; the petulant politicians who crash the meeting today just aren’t among them. Alexa, play “Uninvited” by Alexis Morissette. So, what Gaetz and the rest are trying to frame as some noble justice action is, in actuality, about as serious and as effective as the time Laura Loomer chained herself to the door of Twitter because they suspended her account. A bunch of men in suits figuratively yelling “unblock me, you cowards” at a closed door is not exactly the stuff of Profiles in Courage, is all I’m saying.
These dudes rolled in there, giddily humming the Succession theme song in their heads, thinking they were season two finale Kendall when really they’re season two finale Greg and we all know it. No, not even season one Kendall when he’s racing through lower Manhattan on foot screaming into his phone. No, not season one finale Kendall literally crawling out of the muck-filled pond like the first fish with legs, high-kicking into Darwinian textbooks (which these dudes definitely want to ban). Not those Kendalls. Or any Kendalls. Greg. Greg Sprinkles. Tall, gangly, just gave up a quarter of a billion dollars, benign fungus Greg. What a mess.
In the video below, you can watch them grimly marching into the room with all the performed self-seriousness of a 10th grader who somehow got cast as Atticus Finch in the Spring Production. He’s elected, all on his own, to put a little baby powder in his hair so his temples are grey and his accent careens wildly from Yosemite Sam to, oddly, Katherine Hepburn. Are choices being made? Unclear at this juncture. For his costume he’s wearing the suit his parents bought for his cousin’s wedding and it is, as the acid-tongue 8th grade reviewer will later write in the weekly school newspaper, “not period-appropriate nor particularly fashionable in this or any age.”
Oh, who’s that I spy in this coven of cravens? Well, if it isn’t Steve King! Nothing says “the right side of history” like the enthusiastic participation of Steve King. We’re in good hands. Perhaps he would like to weigh in with some erudite thoughts on the recent discussion of the rhetorical uses of the word “lynching.”
After glumly trudging into a secure room in a government building (which, I have to say, raises many flags, none of them American), the representatives refused to leave and reportedly ordered pizza. Ah yes, just what the founder’s envisioned: an intern using their Grubhub account to throw a large two-topping pie into the wheels of democracy.
Now, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a meeting without food is a hostage situation, so I guess good on these guys for fixing that little wrinkle. But, like a coupon Papa John himself, the rest of this needs to be thrown directly in the trash.
Most people: Could this meeting have been an email?
GOP Congressman: Could this meeting actually be longer, and more annoying, and somehow involve me, a person who is not on the guest list?
So what now? Girl, I don’t know! Is this bad? Well, it’s not great. A number of GOP congressman tweeted from inside the room and Rep. Alex Mooney actually made a voice memo and tweeted that out, all of which is like, super illegal. The House Parliamentarian ruled that the representatives who crashed the meeting were in violation of the House deposition rules, according to an official on the Intelligence Committee. So, I guess everyone has to go to jail. Like, every single person. Pretend it’s midway through the second act of Hello, Dolly! Lock the whole cast up. Or! Lock the door to the room from the outside, leaving them alone in the SCIF with the greasy miasma of empty pizza boxes, and let the adults get back to work.