Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise has a better chance of becoming speaker than most of the Republicans running for the job. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

As it turns out, you don’t need to know anything about the current slate of Republicans trying to become speaker of the House of Representatives because all of them will fail.

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With eight more Republicans now vying to become speaker, many of them backbenchers few people have ever heard of, it’s tough to keep track of who they are and what they stand for. This article is the definitive guide to everything you need to know about them.

The short answer is: Nothing!

You don’t need to know anything about them because it seems so unlikely that any of them will become speaker of the house.

You have to look at these candidates like one-week interns at a multinational corporation, a substitute filling in for a teacher who had to attend a seminar for the day, or maybe the love interests of a high school junior who just started dating and seems determined to work his way through every girl in his class.

These aren’t people whose names you have to remember.

And if you try, all you’ll get is trouble because you’ll end up confusing them with someone else and hurt their feelings.

“Steve, can you make a copy of this document?”

“I’m not Steve, I’m Jackson.”


“Oh, you must be Madison, right?”

“No, I’m Madyson, with a ‘y.’”

In fact, we’re not even going to tell you their names until it looks as though one of them could actually get the required 217 votes.

Because you don’t need to know them. You’re better off looking at cat videos or playing solitaire than learning the names of a bunch of dudes who won’t be speaker (they are all males, of course).

In fact, we could make up random names and you would be none the wiser.

Here, let’s try this out: Who among these is not a candidate for speaker?

Rep. Brian Flanagan (R-PA), Rep. William Harford (R-TN), Rep. Ron Kovic (R-OK), Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL), and Rep. Lestat de Lioncourt (R-LA).

Well, the last name probably gave it away, but you can be forgiven if we tricked you with the others. In fact, only Palmer is actually a House Republican; the others are characters Tom Cruise has played in movies.

Would you have known otherwise? Probably not. And why should you?

Palmer is as likely to become speaker as Lestat de Lioncourt, the vampire Tom Cruise played in Interview with a Vampire

Now, if you do want to know something about them, then it should be that almost all of them tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election. (Not Tom Cruise, of course. We have no idea where he came down on that.) We are talking about the Republicans who want to become speaker… and second in line of succession to the guy they tried to keep from becoming president.

If that’s not enough, then you should also know that they must be idiots, masochists, or both to want this job.

And, of course, they are the people who are wasting everybody’s time with futile bids to become speaker while a government shutdown looms ever larger.


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