Matt Gaetz is 2023’s ‘Politician of the Year’

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Two numbers describe the last year in politics. The first is 15, b 15 votes It took January to confirm the Republican speaker of the House. The second is three, because the house is closed in October three weeksThanks to the impeachment of the same Speaker, Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

The driving force behind each is my “Politician of the Year” for 2023: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).

Getz deserves a place in history. He is a living monument to an era of elected Republican officials who have no interest in governing.

Gates’ politics have often featured prominently in a year where he’s been shut out of almost anything on social media. Two right-wing Internet sensations — Reps. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.) and Lauren Bobert (R-Colo.) — gave it a head-to-head battle in a public naming match on the House floor. .

A bold-faced lie by Rep. George Santos (RN.Y) also defined his year in the House. And McCarthy himself earned the title of disgraced political actor when he elbowed Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.).

But Getz takes the prize, successfully paralyzing the house all year.

Wheeling his hand into vindictiveness and chaos — all to raise his personal profile and inspire small online donations — Gaetz has plunged the House of Representatives into a hole in the low road.

As a result of this strategy, the House of Commons, one of the world’s greatest democratic institutions, is now derided by citizens on the left and right as a farce.

Without signatures to resolve the issue, Gaetz has devoted his energy to stopping all legislative efforts by the other 435 elected members of the House to improve living conditions in the country.

The failure of their party is on the scoreboard. They did not enact any politically meaningful legislation.

Democrats voted to pass a budget deal in the spring, a temporary spending bill and a short-term funding deal in September. Avoid a government shutdown in November.

“One thing — I want my Republican colleagues to give me something … something meaningful, something significant that the Republican majority has done …,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said. he said. At the beginning of this month.

It all started with Getz’s desire to punish McCarthy.

The former speaker He says officially Gaetz wanted to end a congressional ethics investigation into the human trafficking case.

A two-year criminal investigation into the case It ended In February, the Justice Department declined to file charges against the Florida congressman.

But Getz’s partner was Joel Greenberg. He was sentenced. Up to 11 years in prison for charges involving trafficking of a minor for sex.

“He’s blaming me for an ethics complaint against him,” McCarthy said on CNBC. “I had nothing to do with it. He wants me to clean [the ethics investigation] Far away. I don’t do that. This is illegal,” he said.

Gates’s bullying led Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) to allow Republicans to nominate McCarthy as speaker. It reaches the throat on the House floor during the 14-vote marathon.

McCarthy won after agreeing to Gaetz’s proposal to force any member of Congress to vote on the 15th ballot.

Getz submitted. That movement in October And he led a group of far-right Republicans to oust McCarthy. In fact, he collected campaign donations online, ripping off McCarthy’s offense.

His ouster was successful. But it took three weeks for the House GOP caucus to settle on Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) as the new speaker.

Speaker Johnson has proposed a funding plan with similar specifications to avoid a federal government shutdown. It’s the same plan that got Gaetz McCarthy called out.

He did not cut costs. And it has failed to address GOP priorities that have support from Democrats, such as increased support for Israel’s military and US border security.

In the year Gates has been mentioned as the Republican candidate for Florida governor when incumbent Gov. DeSantis is term-limited in 2026.

And now Gaetz is threatening to fire Johnson.

“Then again, if we’re seven months into Mike Johnson’s speakership and we only move a single spending bill, Mike Johnson will probably face the same fate. he said.

Gates reveling in his role as an entertainer is dangerous and harmful. But the party has seen success in its continued loyalty to former President Trump. Gates will stop Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was rigged. And he is trying to rewrite the history of January 6 by martyring the Capitol fighters.

Gaetz will have more credibility, and his words will have more impact, if he opposes Trump’s regressive tax cuts that blew up the deficit.

His influence, his reaction and his embrace of chaos in management is one of the reasons that prevent many members from joining the exit. At the time of going to press, thirty members of the council – 19 Democrats and 11 Republicans – They announced that they will not seek re-election next year.

Gates represents the empty heart of a Trump-led party that is all about Trump.

Looking ahead to 2024, Gaetz and other Trump allies create a disturbing preview of the GOP’s future. Because of this, Gates is the 2023 Politician of the Year.

Juan Williams is a writer and political analyst for Fox News Channel.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This article may not be published, distributed, rewritten or redistributed.

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