CSPAN screenshot, House Judiciary Committee

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida Man), long a leading advocate of governance via trolling, is just all kinds of disappointed that in this great American nation of our American Republic, he couldn't even get the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee to agree to a simple request for bipartisan unity and love of country by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Gaetz took to the Twitters this week — several times Thursday, and then endlessly since — to complain about just what a terrible shame it is that Democrats can't be bothered to take time to say they love America. It's virtually the only thing his most recent million or so tweets and retweets have been about (as of Friday afternoon), apart from a couple of tweets promoting his appearances on Fox News — where he also talked about the Pledge, of course. He's so very intent on making it a thing!

The committee chair, Jerry Nadler (D-New York), quickly shot down Gaetz's suggestion because, he noted, the House as a body starts the day with the pledge, and he didn't see any reason to recite it twice a day, which prompted Gaetz to accuse Nadler, naturally enough, of insufficiently loving America, because he'd adopted "the 'I gave at the office' version of patriotism." So now we can look forward to a few days of very important bloviating, likely followed by videos of maskless people going into Target to demand the checkout clerks say the Pledge with them — and probably shouting the "UNDER GOD!!!" part.


Isn't it all just wonderfully stupid and normal to be back on familiar territory, with rightwing media asking, very very seriously, why Democrats object to taking 15 seconds to show they love America? Takes me right back to the 1988 election, when George H.W. Bush toured a flag factory and wanted to know why Michael Dukakis didn't want little children in Massachusetts to love America either.

Fun fact: That was also the year the House began its daily recitation of the Pledge, thanks to the presidential campaign, which means that we somehow got through most of the 20th century — including surviving the Great Depression, beating the Nazis in WWII, and passing the Civil and Voting Rights Acts — without anyone knowing that members of the House love their country and its flag.

Joseph Heller marked the momentous debate by publishing, without any additional comment, an excerpt from Catch-22 about the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade as an op-ed in the New York Times.

Without realizing how it had come about, the combat men in the squadron discovered themselves dominated by the administrators appointed to serve them. They were bullied, insulted, harassed and shoved about all day long by one after the other. When they voiced objection, Captain Black replied that people who were loyal would not mind signing all the loyalty oaths they had to. To anyone who questioned the effectiveness of the loyalty oaths, he replied that people who really did owe allegiance to their country would be proud to pledge it as often as he forced them to. And to anyone who questioned the morality, he replied that ''The Star-Spangled Banner'' was the greatest piece of music ever composed. The more loyalty oaths a person signed, the more loyal he was. [...]

''The important thing is to keep them pledging,'' he explained to his cohorts. ''It doesn't matter whether they mean it or not. That's why they make little kids pledge allegiance even before they know what 'pledge' and 'allegiance' mean.''

Also too, the Daily Caller got some audio of some Democrats making fun of Gaetz's performative patriotism, which just proves that Dems really don't love this great country and will mock even the flag that our forefathers fought and died for!!!!! In the recording, Rep. Steve Cohen and some other, unidentified Dems can be heard joking — JOKING! — about Gaetz's love for the country that has given them so much, not that they appreciate it. After an unnamed staffer reminds members on the Zoom call that their discussion is on live mics, Cohen says,

Okay, so somebody, I missed a little bit of what we just had, uh uh I wake up in the morning and I pledge allegiance to the flag, I go outside regardless of the weather, I got my flag up by my house and I pledge allegiance. Then I get on my knees and I pray. If I do that, if I, do I have to, am I supposed to do it again and how many times a day should I do that?

Another voice pops in: "I think you should do it at least every hour." What shocking sacrilege! Cohen jokingly asks if Gaetz wanted them to pray, too, or just the pledge, then mocks the Sacred Pledge yet again: "I remember in the first grade we had something like this."

That prompted another Dem to say, "I remember too, I remember on Fridays at 10 o'clock we ducked below our desks in the event of a nuclear bomb."

Wow, House Dems, seems everything is funny to you. Like it is to Wonkett.

Probably because in the culture wars, we'll side with Joseph Heller over the Matt Gaetzes of the world, every goddamn time.

[Daily Caller / AP / NYT]

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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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