Gaetz suffers verbal blows
On September 14, as the dust settled on the recently announced impeachment enquiry into President Joe Biden that was finally launched, it was clear that Florida's most outspoken Republican - Congressman Matt Gaetz - was in no mood to celebrate.
Instead, his focus shifted onto continued attacks towards Speaker of the House - Kevin McCarthy - and other sitting politicians including Democratic Senator from Pennsylvania - John Fetterman.
Fetterman had previously warned Democrats that the impeachment enquiry was a losing strategy, and had since feigned shock and fear after it was announced. Gaetz took his opportunity to express his disgust at figures like Fetterman, as he spoke to online broadcaster Steve Bannon on September 13.
As Gaetz put it to Bannon:
"The evidence against Joe Biden is overwhelming. A first-year law student could win this case for impeachment before a fair jury. Unfortunately, the United States Senate isn’t a fair jury. It’s full of fashion icons like John Fetterman."
An argument brewing between Fetterman and Gaetz?
Gaetz was referring to Fetterman who was wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt as he pretended to be shocked and frightened by the Republican's latest move.
Unafraid to call it as he sees it, Fetterman responded back to Gaetz on September 14, calling out that the Republicans risk another Government shutdown if they haven't approved the latest spending bill by the end of the month:
"Government shutdown in t-minus 16 days. Instead of crying about how I dress, how about you get your s**t together and do your job, bud?"
The threat of a government shutdown is becoming quite real. It has previously been suggested by some of the more-outspoken Republicans within Congress (notably Marjorie Taylor-Greene of Georgia) that if the latest government spending bill isn't modified to remove certain line items (including further funding for Ukraine) then they simply wouldn't vote.
Gaetz continues to attempts to remove McCarthy
The partisan war-of-words between figures like Matt Gaetz and John Fetterman will likely continue. It seems likely that Democrats will continue to try and bring attention to the potential consequences of what New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez described as "chaos vibes" that are currently prevailing within the Republican party.
Meanwhile, Matt Gaetz has clearly indicated that his focus is on getting Kevin McCarthy out of the speaker's chair, come what may.
As news landed that the impeachment enquiry had been kicked off, Gaetz took to the floor of the House of Representatives and called for McCarthy to vacate the chair for being "out of compliance" with the terms of his position. Later that same day, he appeared on MSNBC and described McCarthy as a "sad and pathetic man who lies to hold onto power".
Clearly his contempt for McCarthy knows no bounds, and in pursuing the California Republican, it seems likely that Gaetz will also bury one of his former alliances - that with Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor-Greene. MTG was a keen supporter of McCarthy as he pursued the position of speaker, and has repeatedly pledged her support for him.
If MTG remains more loyal to McCarthy than to her former MAGA ally, then it could make for an interesting tension between Gaetz and Taylor-Greene in future. Then it may not just be Democrats like Fetterman who are bickering on Twitter with Gaetz!
Do you think that Florida's Matt Gaetz and other Republicans should be more concerned at the prospect of a government lockdown, and focus less on the Biden impeachment? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.