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Our long national nightmare/jokefest is at last over. Michigan state Reps. Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat have lost their jobs. Courser resigned, and Gamrat was expelled by her peers in the state House. The two family-values conservatives, both of whom were elected last fall and only took office in January, were forced out after news broke that they'd had an affair (hypocritical but perhaps politically survivable) and that Rep. Courser had attempted to cover it up by concocting a false smear campaign against himself, sending anonymous emails claiming he was a sex addict who frolicked with gay hookers (bizarre and excellent clickbait).

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After weeks of self-righteous declarations that he was the victim of a plot by a blackmailer -- probably at the behest of establishment Republicans in the "Lansing Mafia" -- Courser ended up submitting his resignation at 3:12 a.m. Friday, following two failed votes to expel him. In a weird twist, House Democrats refused to support the resolution to expel Courser, saying that while they thought the whole affair was "disgusting and despicable," they'd withhold their votes until Republican leadership provided more information about how and when House Speaker Kevin Cotter's office found out about the affair and cover-up. And maybe, if one were cynical, because it couldn't hurt to keep the story in the news for another cycle or two.

"It's sort of Shakespearian, if you look at it: My fate rests in the hands of the Democrats," Courser said late Thursday. But the lengthy and passionate debate took its toll. Courser said, leading to his decision to resign.
"It's an unfortunate chapter where we're at, but it's time to turn a page and go in a different direction and obviously heal, in my own house and in this body as well," he said. "It's been hell."

Shakespearian? You wish. A Coen Brothers tragi-farce, more like. You are destined to be played by Steve Buscemi, which may be better than you deserve.

An hour after Courser resigned, the House voted to expel Cindy Gamrat, after Republicans agreed to amendments to the expulsion resolution calling for independent investigations of Courser and Gamrat by the Michigan State Police and by the state Attorney General's office.

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Gamrat then had her own drama queen moment, complaining that she thought she'd reached an agreement with House leadership that she could get by with a censure and retain her seat if she admitted to misusing her office:

"I had a clear understanding that if I were to plead guilty to everything that there would be a censure. I didn't want to sign the statement, but I was told that it would be ugly if I didn't," she said.

A sketch artist captured this image of the alleged deal, as described by Gamrat:

Darn sketch artist got the genders all wrong. He'll never make it in the illustration business.

State Rep. Ed McBroom, the chair of the special ethics committee that had earlier on Thursday voted to recommend expelling both Courser and Gamrat, insisted that there'd been no deal:

"To allege that we twisted arms to get a statement is completely disrespecting the truth and maligning the committee," he said. "Perhaps I did not speak clearly enough: There was no deal with that member."

And now Courser and Gamrat are heading home to mend or end their relationships with their spouses, although we're sure that we haven't heard the last of Todd Courser, who probably has a rewarding career ahead of him as a reporter for Alex Jones or for WorldNetDaily. Maybe someday he'll track down the real blackmailer.

[Detroit Free Press via CNN]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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