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This Week in Schadenfreude: I WILL HAVE ORDER!

Fans of the Harry Potter books and films may recognize that line; it's from Dolores Umbridge, the ambitious government-employed witch who cares nothing for principles, and whose sole concern is latching on to anyone who might enable her to achieve power. Mild-mannered Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge? Evilest dark wizard of all time Lord Voldemort? It's all the same to her.

We bring this up as lead-in to an item about Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who shares Umbridge's fascist tendencies, love of publicity, and willingness to hitch her wagon to any train that promises more power. There was an incident this week that, while not terribly consequential, certainly has "schadenfreude" written all over it.

As many readers will know, all members of the House take turns presiding over the chamber. This gives them experience with parliamentary procedure, as well as a photo-op for the folks back home. When something big happens, the actual leadership takes the gavel back, of course, but when the House is dealing with more mundane stuff, the backbenchers get their turn.

This week, Greene got her shot. The Georgian is unquestionably the most disruptive member of the House, in every way that you could possibly interpret that description. She abuses the privilege of being allowed to file legislation, and in particular is constantly trying to impeach Joe Biden and something like a dozen members of his administration. She forces the House to hold roll-call votes on trivial matters, like whether to remain in session. She shouts from the floor, out of turn, including at the State of the Union address. Oh, and she was a part of the 1/6 insurrection.

Anyhow, when the Representative's moment in the sun came, nobody on the floor was paying much attention. This is not uncommon; again, backbenchers only get their turn when nothing of importance is going on. But Greene was not having it, and so she demanded the chamber come to order. And how did the Democrats (and a few Republicans) respond to that? They laughed at her. And though Greene pounded her gavel over and over, the laughter did not cease for at least a minute. If you would care to see it for yourself, here is the video:

Naturally, the presiding officer is not the person who is addressing the House. And so, if you watch the clip, you will see that Greene's inability to maintain order came at the expense of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who was in the midst of bloviating about how heroic he and the Republicans have been during the debt-ceiling mess. So, it was two for the price of one.

And as long as we're on the subject of jokes at the expense of less-than-admirable members of the House, why don't we also mention Rep. "George Santos" (R-NY), who was subject of some derision on Jeopardy!. The show had a clue where "George Santos" was the correct answer. And after a contestant rang in correctly, host Ken Jennings fired off his (obviously pre-planned) bon mot: "I don't get to say this very much, but George Santos is correct." Again, if you would care to see it for yourself, here is the video:

A show like Saturday Night Live, well, satire is their stock in trade. But when Jeopardy! is making you into a target of derision? You done messed up.

And finally, unlike Green, Scalise and "Santos," this person is not in Congress, but we're going to toss them in anyhow. As we note above, the Trump campaign is engaged in a full-fledged anti-DeSantis blitzkrieg. And as part of that, Donald Trump Jr. was doing his podcast/web show, and launched into a rant about the Florida governor. However, he flubbed his lines. We don't love to link to Twitter anymore, for various reasons, but it's the only place we can find that has the video. So:

Junior goes on a rant that is supposed to be about Desantis, but he misreads his script:

“Trump has the personality of a mortician, and the energy that makes Jeb Bush look an Olympian.”

— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) May 25, 2023

Despite what the tweet says, Trump Jr.'s actual misstatement was: "Trump has the CHARISMA of a mortician, and the energy that makes Jeb Bush look an Olympian." Meanwhile, young Trump was flushed, sweating, slurring his words slightly, misreading his script, and strangely twitchy. Wonder why that might be...

In short, it was a week heavy on schadenfreude moments. (Z)

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