in the midst of high-wire negotiations over and above the country’s debt ceiling rising potential In the face of the US default, House Republicans took a moment on Tuesday to turn their attention to a used chapstick belonging to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. That chapstick—which, According to political man, a cherry-flavored souvenir from Florida Congressman Aaron Bean’s campaign—was to be auctioned off to benefit the House Republican Electoral Committee. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene received the award by pledging $100,000 from her own campaign coffers.
NEW: During the GOP convention today, House Rue held a nearly 15-minute fundraising auction for the chapstick used by Speaker McCarthy.
The winner: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), whose winning bid was $100,000, Spocks confirms to me.
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) May 23, 2023
Rep. Ilhan Omar said, “They’re doing this crazy chapstick while the country teeters by default.” Tweeted Confusion as to abound. The stunt prompted hygiene concerns, with this writer questioning what could compel someone to demean themselves by voluntarily becoming the new owner of a used chapstick. That was all by design, of course. winning bid—which, perhaps most importantly, green also buys A dinner meeting between McCarthy and Greene’s own supporters—came as the latest evidence of the deepening bond between these two high-profile Republicans.
But look a step further than the weirdness, and you’ll see that the stunt serves as a fairly mundane window into how swamp fundraising works: Donors give to politicians, who then exert their power and influence by passing that money around. Let’s increase with other political candidates. Greene’s reputation among Republicans grew; So-called establishment candidates in swing districts happily accept Chapstick-stained dollars, despite being disgusted by everything they learned about the QAnon-pro-Congressman from Georgia. The wheel of power keeps on turning.
My colleague Jeremy Shulman, who wants to clarify that he didn’t edit his name into this post, said it best: This story is less about gross chapstick, it’s about lame gags involving the most extreme legislator in the United States. It’s about the joke. The states transferring wads of cash to the most spineless people. So, pretty normal stuff.