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The House Democratic Caucus voted Wednesday to nominate Nancy Pelosi for a second tour of duty as speaker. This was perhaps the most foregone of foregone conclusions. Pelosi's opponents in the House still think they can block her on the floor but they're morons. I'm not the next speaker so I said that less diplomatically than Pelosi would, but that's the sentiment clearly expressed in a comment longtime Pelosi foe Kathleen Rice actually went around repeating.

RICE: Nancy Pelosi said it herself: Power is not given to you. You have to take it. And that's what this effort is all about.

Basically, Pelosi told Rice that she's a fool if she thinks that some ragamuffin Democrats are going to bully her into stepping down and giving them a clear, unobstructed path to power. If they want her gavel, then make their move. Otherwise they can get lost.

Note how Pelosi is such a political Svengali she has Rice quoting her cold diss like it's some ancient Chinese secret: "Like Confucius says, I'm a big moron with a big stupid head."


We all knew this coup was doomed when none of the geniuses involved could convince someone to seriously challenge Pelosi. When they last tried it, the best they could do was Tim Ryan. Pelosi has referred to Ryan as "inconsequential," but she was just being nice. He got 63 votes when he ran against Pelosi in 2016 for Minority Leader. This would've been impressive if there were 100 House Democrats at the time, but unfortunately, there were 194.

This was nothing short of a trouncing but the media spun it as a sign of discontent with Pelosi. They speculated that someone more accomplished than Ryan, like practically anyone else, could've "toppled" her. The people who get paid to say things that will inevitably prove incorrect (we call this Cillizza-ing) insisted that the next two years would likely be Pelosi's last. This was literally true: Pelosi won't be Minority Leader come January. She's gonna be speaker and mama's got a brand new dress for the occasion.

Notice how totally unconcerned about bullshit Pelosi is? The anti-Pelosi brigade should've noticed. This whole much-ballyhooed "speaker fight" was just a fly-swatting session, and the press covered it like a Serena Williams match against "consequential" people. They can't help themselves. As noted by David Nir at Daily Kos, the New York Times served up some silliness Wednesday with its article "Democrats Resoundingly Nominate Pelosi as Speaker, but Defections Signal Fight Ahead."

Fight! Fight! Sweet Christ. Pelosi's opposition has been led by Ryan and Seth Moulton, both of whom have been after Pelosi for a while. You can't "defect" from a person to whom you've never had loyalty. That's why we call it the "Judas kiss" and not the "Caiaphas cuddle." I don't think anyone who voted "no" was a shock or a personal betrayal. Pelosi didn't collapse on the Capitol steps and cry out, "Et tu, Conor Lamb?"

That's just the headline. The story's even worse.

In a secret-ballot vote that dramatized rifts among Democrats only weeks after midterm election victories handed them the majority, Ms. Pelosi, running unopposed, won support from 203 Democrats. Beyond the 32 no votes, three ballots were left blank.

The result kept alive the threat of a messy intraparty feud and touched off what promises to be an intense period of internal arm-twisting and cajoling by a leader renowned for both.

Now the Times just sounds desperate. It's like when a a student at a college party spills a drink on herself and some weird dude shouts, "Wet t-shirt contest!" That weird dude was Dean Baquet (no, it wasn't).

The current speaker, Paul Ryan, is terrible and despite the media's best efforts to prop him up as some great policy maker, he has always been a big blob of nothing, the legislative equivalent of an old bean bag chair. Nonetheless, dig how the Times covered his rise to the speakership.

Mr. Ryan, an architect of sweeping budget and tax reform proposals who gained national prominence as the Republican Party's 2012 vice-presidential nominee, won the overwhelming support of his colleagues in the nominating contest and is now set to be installed as speaker in a formal vote on the House floor on Thursday.

Republicans said the vote was 200 to 43 over Representative Daniel Webster of Florida, Mr. Ryan's closest rival.

Although Mr. Ryan was short of the 218 votes needed to win Thursday's floor vote, supporters said he would pick up backers now that he is the nominee.

Yes, Pelosi is "renowned" for her arm-twisting and assorted nagging. Paul Ryan is an "architect" of "sweeping" proposals with no structural or moral integrity that crumble to the ground, trapping poor people beneath the rubble. He also gained "national prominence" getting actually disemboweled by Uncle Joe Biden in a losing vice-presidential campaign.

Paul Ryan fell short of the required 218 in the nominating contest, but the Times did not see much "threat" of internal strife. That was still "overwhelming support," no "defections" there. Pelosi's 203 is also more than Paul Ryan's 200 because of math.

The Times is selling a battle that might prove as anti-climactic as the opening of Al Capone's vault. The anti-Pelosi forces have no plan rooted in observable reality. Their non-existent candidate would need to rally another 186 votes to beat Pelosi. These morons don't have an actual vision for an alternate speaker. They've only flung around a lot of mostly baseless objections to Pelosi herself — "someone new," "maybe someone more moderate," "uh, definitely someone bigger than a bread box." That's a lot of consensus to reach for a total unknown.

It's over, guys. Moulton, Ryan, Rice, et al. should just go enjoy the holidays and prepare for their fulfilling assignments on the new House Committee to Determine Which Ties Best Match Stephen Robinson's Shirts.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins is playing NOW at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo. All Wonketters welcome.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.


Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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