Sunday Four-Play: Auntie Maxine Waters scorches GOP, and Matt Gaetz makes a startling admission

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy almost certainly missed his calling. He should have been a middle-school teacher. That way, when his unruly charges inevitably shoved a chloroform-soaked rag in his mouth, buried him up to his neck in California clay loam, and slathered his gawping, cow-eyed melon in fruit bat pheromones and expired ghee, at least federal workers would have still gotten their paychecks on time.

But no, he had to go into politics, and now his phantasmagorical fecklessness is on lurid display for everyone to see. And we all get to suffer. So as McCarthy turns Congress into a well-oiled machine with a warning sign on it saying in no uncertain terms that you should never, ever put oil in, on, or anywhere near it, the world continues to turn. But you can rest assured that if Congress needed to pass a continuing resolution to keep the world turning and prevent Lindsey Graham from being flung at Mach 3 into the side of an Ikea, House Republicans would be unable to agree on a framework to do so. 

In fact, Evil Opie is so useless, the government is almost certainly shutting down at the end of the month, and we’re all standing around like it was obvious all along that this would happen. Because while getting liberals on the same page is famously like herding cats, keeping Matt Gaetz, et al., in line is like trying to convince cats to stop licking their balls for 10 seconds and pass an appropriations bill. Nigh on impossible, in other words. 

Then again, stranger things have happened. Stay tuned. Maybe the hardliners in the Freedom Caucus will accede to McCarthy’s demands in exchange for a signed and notarized promise to eat a bug on the playground after school. Though it’s marginally more likely that McCarthy will have a penis drawn on his face in permanent marker the next time you see him. 

So as we steam toward yet another GOP-manufactured crisis, we can only hope that Americans are starting to understand who’s really fucking everything up. (Psst, it’s Republicans. It’s always been Republicans. The call is coming from inside the House!)

Meanwhile, the nattering nabobs keep on natterin’ and nabobbin’—particularly on the Sunday political shows. Which is why we’re all here, aina?

So let’s see what’s on tap this week, shall we?


Of course, it’s hard to argue—or negotiate—with political terrorists, which is precisely what Republicans are. We all witnessed their debt ceiling brinkmanship earlier this year, and now they’re fixing to impeach Joe Biden and shut down the government, largely to appease the Malignant Smegma Golem of Mar-a-Lago.   

It’s hard to fathom what they’re actually trying to accomplish, other than turning the country into an enormous kleptocratic Cracker Barrel. Luckily, though, some people in government still see things clearly. We call these people Democrats.

Rep. Maxine Waters appeared on “The Saturday/Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart,” and she made clear that she’s done with Republicans trying to claim patriotism as their exclusive bailiwick. Democrats may not go around waving—or wearing, or humping, or beating Capitol police officers’ heads in with—the flag, but they clearly love America (and, by extension, the people in it) more than the GOP does.

Don’t believe it? Auntie Maxine explains:

"[The GOP] are not patriots, they are basically, not only disrupting this country, they're destroying it, and they cannot claim patriotism anymore. We, who fight for the people, claim patriotism" @RepMaxineWaters reacts to the budget cuts the Republicans want to make #SundayShow

— The Saturday/Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart (@weekendcapehart) September 24, 2023

CAPEHART: “Congressman [Brendan] Boyle, the ranking member on the Budget Committee, I think he said in one of the … Congressman Matt Gaetz is proposing cuts as high as 23%—budget cuts.”

WATERS: “Oh, yes. Oh, absolutely. And when you take a look at what they’re doing it shows that—you know the Republicans who have claimed patriotism, claimed that they love this country, they don’t care. If they will allow seniors and veterans not to be able to get their disability checks, for example. They don’t care. If they were to allow education to be dismantled in this country—they don’t care. If they don’t care about the people sleeping on the streets, the homeless, and they’re cutting housing vouchers, they’re not patriots. They are basically not only disrupting this country, they’re destroying it. And they cannot claim patriotism anymore. We, who fight for the people, claim patriotism. We’re the patriots, not them. For the Republicans, patriotism is lost. It’s gone.”

Of course, Republicans’ reputation for dewy-eyed patriotism is as unearned as their reputation for growing the economy. Then again, if you define patriotism as lying us into disastrous wars while screwing over veterans and economic success as presiding over enormous job loss and recession, then the Republican Party is for you! If not, you might want to take a moment to listen to people like Congresswoman Waters who aren’t trying to shiv you in the kidneys the second your back is turned.

RELATED: Sunday Four-Play: Actual Black people react to Trump's 'gangsta' street cred, and Tim Kaine returns


I don’t know if Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg would have made a good president—though as the former mayor of a midsized Midwestern town he still has more relevant experience than Trump, who spent the bulk of his tenure shopping for Supreme Court justices who’d make abortion illegal except in the cases of rape, incest, or 468-month-old fetuses named Eric.

That said, Buttigieg is great on the teevee. If he ever gets tired of his transpo gig, he might want to think about advocating for Democrats and Democratic policies full time.

He appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Dana Bash and pointed out Republicans’ hypocrisy when it comes to … well, everything, really. But in this case, complaining about the dire repercussions of budget-slashing and deregulation when they’re the ones out on the wing ripping pieces off the engine

Buttigieg on CNN: "Think about what this means for transportation ... Some of the very same House Republicans who were lining to try to make a partisan political issue of air travel disruptions are proposing cuts that would make it harder to modernize our systems."

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 24, 2023

BUTTIGIEG: “And I would add, the shutdown is being used by some House Republicans as leverage to get budget cuts over and above the deal that was made, which would also have an incredibly negative effect on …

BASH: “They didn’t like the deal in the first place.”

BUTTIGIEG: “Yeah, but think about what this means for transportation again. Obviously, I’m speaking mostly to what’s in my lane, but some of the very same House Republicans who were lining up to try to make a partisan political issue of air travel disruptions are proposing cuts that would make it harder to modernize our systems. Some of the very same House Republicans who were lining up to try to make the pain of the people of East Palestine, Ohio, into a partisan political issue would cut railroad safety inspections. It makes no sense.”

Indeed, Republicans’ complaints make no sense. And at this point, neither does any vote for any Republican ever. They’re like the disruptive student who’s invited up to the chalkboard to teach the class. Well, now they’re teaching it, and so far all we’ve learned is how to write “BOOBIES” on our calculators and how a bill doesn’t become a law. 

They’re not interested in governing. They just want to sow chaos and force John Fetterman to wear a suit. Because that’s what’s really important, isn’t it?

Breaking: Sen. John Fetterman to wear a suit to the Senate but it will be a TAN one.

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) September 20, 2023


Brand-new “Meet the Press” host Kristen Welker took a break from undermining Western democracy this week to interview Chris Christie, one of Donald Trump’s principal detractors. I’d assumed Christie had entered the race merely to enfeeble Trump, but if you can believe anything he says in the following clip (hint: you can’t; he’s still a Republican, after all), he appears to think he can win, despite national polling that shows him just barely ahead of Azzza Hutchinzzzzzon and Doug Burgum, who is either a current GOP presidential candidate or a new, hearty strain of wheat. (Sorry. After briefly being reminded of the existence of Asa Hutchinson, I no longer have the energy to Google Doug Burgum. Or swallow liquid or soft foods, for that matter.)

The bottom line is, Republicans are making the same mistake they made in 2016. Instead of rallying around a marginally coherent, intermittently lucid candidate like former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, they’re splitting the primary vote a dozen different ways, leaving Trump all alone as the prohibitive favorite.

Ah, but Christie doesn’t see it that way.

WATCH: GOP Presidential candidate Chris Christie reacts to the latest NBC News poll, which found him 55 points behind former President Trump. Fmr. @GovChristie (R-N.J.): “If we don’t have a national primary, I don’t spend more than three minutes thinking about it.”

— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) September 24, 2023

WELKER: “Former President Trump is solidifying his lead with GOP primary voters. You’ve been in this race since June, Governor. Why aren’t you gaining more traction?”

CHRISTIE: “Well, Kristen, look, I know you all spent a whole lot of money on national polls, so I don’t mean to go after the polling folks. But the fact is that national polls don’t matter. We don’t have a national primary. If you look at Donald Trump in the latest polls in both Iowa and New Hampshire, the two earliest states, he is barely at 40 in Iowa and he is under 40, at 34 and at 38, in New Hampshire. That means that between 60 and 65% of Republican voters in those two very important early states want an alternative. And in a place like New Hampshire, I’m in second place behind Donald Trump. So, you know, this whole race is going to change when people actually vote, Kristen. And no offense to any poll that comes out now, but if it’s a national poll, we don't have a national primary, and I don’t spend more than three minutes thinking about it.”

Oh, come on, Kristen. You already know the answer to your question. It’s because Republican voters love chaos, autocracy, and merciless revenge against their enemies, which Trump is offering in spades.

Sadly, tenacious truth-teller Chris Christie appears to be shading the truth here. Yes, Trump polls under 40% in some—but not all—recent New Hampshire primary surveys, and Christie is in second place in at least one of them. But you can be in second place and still be getting your ass kicked. Which Christie is … in the poll he appears to be citing ... by 20 points. 

On the bright side, Welker seems marginally more dignified now that she’s not interviewing a venal tub of McNugget sauce.

RELATED: Sunday Four-Play: The elephant in the room plops down on 'Meet the Press'


Oh, this is a fun one. Because watching conservatives at each other’s throats is always fun. You might even say these Republicans are in … disarray?

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, an IBS symptom forever in search of a colon to inflame, joined Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures” to whine about Speaker Kevin McCarthy. He wants action! And he doesn’t want to have to Venmo anyone in order to get it!

But the best part about this clip? Bartiromo somehow gets Matt to admit the Republican-controlled House is completely useless. We all knew this, of course, but it’s nice to hear it straight from the horse’s arse.

BARTIROMO: To push now to blow up all of the wins that you have had-- GAETZ: Which wins?! Please enumerate them BARTIROMO: How about the fact that McCarthy set up a weaponization committee GAETZ: That's process!

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 24, 2023

BARTIROMO: “Well, [McCarthy’s] doing the four bills next week.”

GAETZ: “Because we’re making him! Because we’re making him!”

BARTIROMO: “But he’s doing it. So to push now, to blow up all of the wins that you all have had now ...”

GAETZ: “Which wins? Please enumerate them.”

BARTIROMO: “Well, okay, well how about the fact that he has set up a weaponization committee to investigate the DOJ, whether they’re involved in a coverup?”

GAETZ: “That’s process!”

BARTIROMO: “Hold on. How about the fact that he has set up the China Select Committee to keep China to account and, of course, he has launched this inquiry into impeachment, potentially, for President Biden. Is that not what you want?”

GAETZ: “None of those things are deliverables. Those are steps in a process. Setting up a committee is an end unto itself only in Washington, D.C. … These committees have done nothing to reduce inflation. They’ve done nothing to actually constrain the Biden government. We can set up committees and have hearings and yell at people, but at the end of the day if we still send the check to fund a weaponized government, having a weaponization subcommittee is little relief to the American people. And if any of this was serious, we would be sending out subpoenas and compelling process the way the Jan. 6 committee did. We should be operating like them. Instead, we’re playing patty-cake with the Bidens. We’re allowing them to get away with it. And we’re funding it. We’re sending the money. If we were serious, use the power of the purse.”

We’re letting the Bidens get away with … that thing we’re sure they did, have no evidence for, and will surely discover just as soon as we impeach the president for high crimes and coffee cup-saluting. Oh, and we’re also taking a hard line against the weaponization of government. And since we know most Republican voters can hold only one thought in their heads at a time—assuming that thought is at least tangentially related to cheesy fries—we're confident no one will notice the irony.

But the big takeaway here? This Republican-led House has been a colossal waste of time.

Thanks, Matt!

RELATED: Sunday Four-Play: It's Chuck Todd's last day! And we're ridin' with Biden

But wait! There’s more!

That’s it for now! See you next week.

Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE

Trump remains defiant, Pence refuses to act. Impeachment is inevitable and must start now

The calls for Donald Trump's immediate removal from office are growing louder and more insistent with every hour that passes. As of Friday morning, 159 House Democrats and 22 Senate Democrats have issued statements supporting impeachment. A Republican, Sen. Ben Sasse, is also on board, saying that he will "definitely consider whatever articles [the House] might move because I believe the president has disregarded his oath of office. … What he did was wicked."

Assistance House Speaker Katherine Clark told CNN that the House will move forward with an impeachment vote by the middle of next week if Vice President Pence and the Cabinet have not acted to remove Trump using the 25th Amendment. They need to move faster. They need to move now, because the 25th Amendment route is not happening and Trump remains dangerous.

Pence spent the whole of Thursday avoiding phone calls from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. The resignations of two Cabinet secretaries—Elaine Chao and Betsy DeVos—complicate that process as well. CNBC reports that Steven Mnuchin and Mike Pompeo have had discussions with staff in their own agencies, identifying obstacles—the time it would take with just two weeks to inauguration, whether the "acting" secretaries—three of them—would be able to vote, and "concerns that forcing Trump from office could further stoke tensions among his base and make him a hero of the far right, doing more bad in the long term than good in the short term." Meaning they don't want to become targets of Trump's violent mob. "The general plan now is to let the clock run out," a former senior administration official told CNBC. "There will be a reckoning for this president, but it doesn't need to happen in the next 13 days."

A Trump tweet—he's out of Twitter jail for the moment—belies that sentiment. He remains defiant, threatening that the "great American Patriots" who voted for him and presumably those who attempted to overthrow the government at his instigation "will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!" He remains a danger and he and his mob pose a very real threat to the inauguration on Jan. 20, not to mention the entire Congress, Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris for the foreseeable future.

House Democrats are meeting Friday at noon and leadership seems ready to move forward. "I can confirm that we have had discussions about it and I would hope that the speaker would move forward if the vice president refuses to do what he is required to do under the Constitution," Rep. James Clyburn told CNN. "Everyone knows that this president is deranged." The previous impeachment manager, Rep. Adam Schiff, is ready to go. "Donald Trump lit the fuse which exploded at the Capitol," he tweeted. "Every day that he remains in office, he is a danger to the Republic. He should leave office immediately, through resignation, the 25th Amendment or impeachment."

At this point it seems to be a matter of when, not if, on impeachment. That puts pressure on the Senate Majority Leader (for the next few weeks) Mitch McConnell to act. The Senate is recessed until Jan. 19, but can and should reconvene for an impeachment hearing. If McConnell has any hopes at all of reconstituting a majority in 2022, he'll feel that pressure.