Matt Gaetz Is a Cautionary Tale for the New Breed of Conservative Politician

Charles P. Pierce
·2-min read
Photo credit: Joe Raedle - Getty Images
Photo credit: Joe Raedle - Getty Images

All right, you slavering hordes, here’s your Matt Gaetz post. You all should be ashamed of yourselves. You know that, right? But now that his wingman may have flipped on him, we have a legitimate chance of seeing a congressman in the dock. So yes, this has become A Story. From CBS News:

Joel Greenberg is expected to strike a deal by May 15, though the deal has not yet been finalized, his attorney, Fritz Scheller, said Thursday. Greenberg, the former Seminole County tax collector, has been charged with dozens of offenses, including sex trafficking, stalking, bribery and defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program. CBS News has confirmed that the ongoing investigation into Greenberg is what spurred the investigation into Gaetz.

Greenberg is facing an staggering array of corruption charges, impressive given the fact that he was a mere county tax official. He needs to trade up, and Congressman Gaetz is the golden ticket.

Scheller also told reporters after the court appearance "I'm sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today." He later clarified that given the focus on the connection between Gaetz and Greenberg, it "wouldn't be obvious to assume that he would be concerned, you know, some.”

Gaetz is a cautionary tale for this strange new breed of conservative politician, the ones who take getting elected seriously but who don’t give a flying Venmo for the job itself. These include Gaetz, as well as Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and several other members of the wild kingdom. If you don’t take the job seriously, you don’t take the possible consequences of doing it badly seriously, either. You at least have to try to make people believe that you think representing them actually means something beyond setting yourself up to run for something else, or scoring that sweet pundit gig on One America or Newsmax. There’s a certain kabuki solemnity that comes with the job, which you’re expected to maintain. Once you can fake that, the rest is a breeze.

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