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The Dumbest Member of Congress Derby | Column
Let’s watch as the contestants go around the bend, writes Daniel Ruth.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill on Feb. 5.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill on Feb. 5. [ SUSAN WALSH | AP ]
Published Feb. 13
Updated Feb. 16

“You can feel the excitement Craig, as we await the start of the Dumbest Member of Congress Derby.”

“That’s right Marty. And this year we have quite a competitive field of cluelessness all vying for that coveted Shemp Howard Trophy. The contestants are approaching the starting line on what looks like a sloppy track.”

“There’s the grizzled veteran and reigning Capitol Hill dim-bulb champion, Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, who is balking at entering the starting gate, which happens to be a metal detector.”

Daniel Ruth.
Daniel Ruth. [ Tampa Bay Times ]

“As you know Marty, Louie already has been fined $5,000 by Speaker Nancy Pelosi for trying to evade the metal detectors leading to the House chamber, so little wonder he’s a bit wary. But his refusal to wear a mask during the COVID-19 crisis, claiming the face covering actually causes the infection ought to help him get off to a quick start.”

“Next up is Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who has been nipping at the old war horse’s heels for some time. You know Craig, our handicappers have long picked him as the heir apparent to Gohmert.”

“Absolutely! Young Gaetz was particularly effective when he wore a gas mask on the House floor, attempted to threaten former President Donald Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen before he testified before Congress, invited a white supremacist Holocaust denier to the State of the Union Address, nominated Trump for a Nobel Peace Prize for ending the Korean War and campaigned against Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney on her home turf.”

“Truly impressive. He certainly has to be a considered a favorite for the most bumptious member of Congress, don’t you agree Marty?”

“I do. But time waits for no oaf. And both Gohmert and Gaetz, while delivering consistent performances of boorishness, ham-handed partisan pettiness and downright dunderheadedness can’t simply rest on their laurels of lies. This year’s field also includes some very solid newcomers. And here comes freshman Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has quickly established herself as a force of demagoguery to be reckoned with.”

“She appears to be fine form, already complaining this race will be subjected to Jewish laser beams aimed at the track by the Rothschild banking family, argues the Parkland and Sandy Hook shootings never happened, called for Pelosi’s execution and that Hillary Clinton is part of a Satanic cabal that eats babies.”

“Rookie-of-The Year material, indeed. You have to admit Rep. Greene is setting a new high bar of crazy-meets-addled. Craig, I think it would safe to call her the Seabiscuit of QAnon. I see Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert has entered the field. She looks more heavily armed than Rambo.”

“Boebert, who wants to carry a pistol on the floor of the House, may become Greene’s stiffest competition to capture the much-desired Alex Jones Award for the Advancement of Paranoid Conspiracy Theories.”

“Well I wouldn’t bet against her. I certainly wouldn’t want to annoy her.”

“And they’re off, Marty! Gaetz, of course, jumped the gun out of the gate, but in this race cheating is encouraged.”

“Wow, Gaetz is already at the first turn, blaming George Soros for everything from migrant caravans, to this year’s season of Saturday Night Live, to the firing of Lou Dobbs on Fox News, to Trump’s Electoral College defeat, to that shower curtain Melania appeared to be wearing when she stepped off Air Force One in Palm Beach.”

“Wait a minute, Craig! It looks like the gelding, House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, stumbled right of the gate. He appears to be rambling around the track in circles unsure of where he is or where he is going.”

“That could be plus in the judges’ minds. We’re getting reports that just as the race began, Greene sneered at Mark Meadows and said ‘Boo!,’ which seems to have completely unnerved Trump’s bootlicker.”

“It’s going to be close as the competitors head for the stretch. It’s Gaetz in the lead by saying assassinated Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi had it coming to him, followed by Louie Gohmert, who seems to be bogged down by frivolous lawsuits contesting the 2020 election. And here comes Marjorie Taylor Greene, who lost a few steps when she veered off course to troll and stalk Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg. Lauren Boebert also faded when she paused to reload.”

“We’re nearing the finish line! And the winner is ….!”

“Donald J. Trump, Craig! Whatta race!”

“And Trump won sitting on a sedan chair carried by Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Glenn Beck and The My Pillow Guy!”

“Never in doubt, Marty. Never in doubt!”