Rep. Matt Gaetz has reportedly come up with a brand-new angle for fundraising: The Republican Party is the swamp! A new Gaetz fundraising email sent out on Dec. 13, obtained by the Washington Examiner, begins with a reference to George Santos’ expulsion from Congress by saying “some RINOs are looking for their next target… ME.” But it goes even further:
The Swamp dwellers don’t want anything to change, and they are willing to sell America down the river to protect their own interests. And since I refuse to play ball with these RINOs, they are secretly plotting behind closed doors and looking for ANYTHING they can use to expel me from Congress.
The all-caps “ME” really drives home the classic Republican aggrievement sentiment, doesn’t it? It’s no secret that most people, including Republicans who actually pay attention to Gaetz, dislike him. On Dec. 7, CNN reported that the Republican-led House Ethics Committee has not ended its probe of Gaetz in connection to a federal sex-trafficking investigation, and recently reached out to at least one witness.
This is not shocking considering Gaetz has spent the better part of 2023 alienating his party. He almost single-handedly orchestrated the ouster of former speaker and major fundraiser Kevin McCarthy. After describing the Republican-controlled House’s oversight witch-hunt as “failure theater,” Gaetz took a generous serving of criticism from the right-wing-o-sphere, including Fox News’ personalities who normally lick rich Floridians’ boots.
Republican Rep. Mike Lawler told reporters that he would like to hit Gaetz “square between the eyes.” Rep. Don Bacon said Gaetz was “not a Republican,” and a hyped-up Sen. Markwayne Mullin spilled the tea on Gaetz’s use of erectile dysfunction medication as a recreational drug. Gross. But more please.
After those comments, Gaetz had to apologize for sending out a fundraising email that targeted his fellow Republicans. Gaetz’s narcissistic version of an apology was to blame the fundraising email on “a vendor without my team’s approval.”
Gaetz’s fundraising has become a little more desperate now that his sole ally seems to be Donald Trump—and Donald Trump fundraises only for Donald Trump. Recent polling of Florida voters show that more than half disapprove of Rep. Florida Man’s performance representing the Sunshine State.
The rumor mill has been filled with stories about how Gaetz would like to run for governor. Thoughts and prayers.
We’re celebrating an amazing 2023 by revisiting all of the year’s best elections on this week’s episode of The Downballot! January kicked us off with a huge special election flip for Democrats in the Virginia Senate that set the tone for the rest of the year—and made it clear that abortion would remain the most potent issue driving voters to the ballot box. We saw that again and again, from the Wisconsin Supreme Court race to Issue 1 in Ohio to the other Issue 1 in Ohio and even to the governor’s race in deep-red Kentucky. The safest bet you can make is that we’ll see more of the same in 2024.