The clip specifically begins with Cawthorn rubbing his hands together, saying excitedly, “It’s about to get serious,” before answering that he has watched the (American version) show House of Cards. The show follows U.S. Rep. Francis Underwood of South Carolina (played by Kevin Spacey) as he maneuvers his way up the political ladder in Washington. It is a dark, cutthroat, hyper-melodramatic thriller where most politicians are craven, soulless, and perverse political animals in a dog-eat-dog world. You can see why some people would find it very believable.
The interviewer then asks if the show is true to life—like a documentary. Cawthorn began by passing on someone else’s clever quip, saying: “I heard a former president that we had in the 90s was asked the question about this and he gave an answer that I thought was so true. He said, ‘The only thing that is not accurate in that show is that you could never get a piece of legislation about education passed that quickly.’” Madison didn’t hear a 1990s president say that: Democrat Bill Clinton reportedly said that directly to actor Kevin Spacey, according to Spacey. It’s a good joke. It’s the kind of quip that QAnon folks read between the lines into believing that Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton run a pizzeria made out of orgies. Maybe Bill Clinton did say it exactly that way. Maybe Bill Clinton meant it literally. Who is to say?
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Cawthorn is to say! “Aside from that, I mean the sexual perversion that goes on in Washington, I mean it, being kind of a young guy in Washington, with the average age is probably 60 or 70. And I look at all these people, a lot of them that I, you know, I’ve looked up to through my life. I’ve always paid attention to politics guys, that you know—“
Let’s stop here for one second. So far, most of what Cawthorn is saying is almost demonstrably false, except the average age remark, which is basically true (with averages in the Senate in the low 60s and House in the late 50s). Was Cawthorn looking up to them? The “politics guys?” Maybe. I’m sure he heard a few Republican politician names in his house when he was growing up. But let’s be honest here: Based on Cawthorn’s politics and his history in politics, if this is true and little Madison went to school with his Jesse Helms lunch box in the early 2000s—when Madison was in grade school—it was the GOP that he “looked up to.”
Madison is leading up to something here: “Then all of a sudden you get invited to like well, ‘Hey, we’re going to have kind of a sexual get together at one of our homes. You should come.’ Wha- what did you just ask me to? And then you realize they’re asking you to come to an orgy. Or the fact that you know, there’s some of the people that are leading on the movement to try and remove addiction in our country and then you watch them doing, you know, a key bump of cocaine right in front of you; and it’s like this is, this is wild.”
Yes it is, Madison. Like how you know the term “a key bump of cocaine.” But whatevers! More important is that Madison is talking about conservatives. He’s alleging “sexual perversion” and illicit drug use by Republicans. This isn’t him slandering Speaker Nancy Pelosi or basically admitting to illegally carrying at least one if not more firearms onto the House floor. Cawthorn really seems to want to burn down his own house? Maybe not. There are so many reasons why Cawthorn should have already been forced to resign or have been expelled from Congress—and he hasn’t been.
There has been very little in the way of consequences for Cawthorn at this point. He seems to lie, not unlike Donald Trump, based entirely on the audience to whom he is speaking. It’s a mixture of wild insecurity and seemingly true pathology. His lies are in support of himself, of course, always putting him on a higher moral ground than those he is lying about, but he is also always trying to ingratiate himself to the audience he has cultivated: One who believes that our political operators are so craven and corrupt they are willing to believe whatever perversity we can imagine on them.
Let’s be frank (Underwood! #DadJokes) here: Personally, I don’t care what your sexual thing is. Ain’t my business as long as you aren’t hurting or abusing people or taking advantage of people in a considerably less powerful position than you. However, I do find it gross when your entire political platform is based on the lie that you are protecting people from the kinds of sexual “perversions” you are freely participating in. The list of these kinds of moral and sexual hypocrites is a who’s who of the GOP.
You have former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, who is a convicted child molester. You have former Missouri governor and GOP candidate Eric Greitens, who is allegedly a blackmailing rapist, adulterer sort of person. You have thousands and thousands of words logged about similarly sexually predatory and abusive GOP operatives that you can go in and read about here.
It is interesting to watch what happens when this new breed of substance-free young corrupt politician feels cornered and unsupported by their fellow substance-free corrupt politicians.
You can also see discussion of this over at mastergardener2k’s story here.