White Privilege Won’t Save Matt Gaetz

Try as he might, the Florida congressman will not be able to evade the consequences of his scandals

Photo: Erin Scott-Pool/Getty Images

What a surprise that the former racist president — who was serially accused of sexual assault and abuse — has at least pondered whether to tag himself into the plight of another accused pervert.

Late last week, The Daily Beast reported that Donald Trump is monitoring the garbage fire that is the professional life of Matt Gaetz. (Yes, that would include the Florida congressman’s dream of a post-government career in conservative media that has absolutely no chance of happening now.) Gaetz is currently engulfed in a scandal centered on the New York Times revealing that he’s being investigated by the Department of Justice for a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl.

In addition to allegations of breaking sex trafficking laws, others have since accused Gaetz of showing nude photos of women with whom he had sex — all while on the House floor. Gaetz, who I should note for the hell of it looks like a cartoon villain, has always come across as a fucking idiot on television. However, he’s apparently so bad at his job of coasting on rich White boy privilege that his own staffers have shared embarrassing videos of him to other Republican operatives. (I understand selfishness is ultimately the driving force of much of conservative ideology, but how terrible a boss do you have to be to have a staff that would do you like that?)

Gaetz has maintained that the accusations are tied to some nonsensical plot to extort his very rich father (who’s been wearing a wire for the feds for $25 million) and some other random shit that makes absolutely no sense. While most of us have just shrugged off Gaetz and his fan fiction over his potential fed case, the more conspiratorial portion of the population has wondered where to side on the Florida House member. Enter your bucket head ex-president and wannabe dictator.

Sources tell Daily Beast that Trump has monitored the situation closely given Gaetz is “one of his favorite allies on Capitol Hill.” He has openly questioned, those who can bear to still be around him, whether he should make a public statement. Trump understands the whole thing looks “really bad” for Gaetz but also questions if it’s all a “smear.” You know, because of his habit of recognizing any allegation of sexual misconduct as a smear campaign intended to bring about a man’s downfall.

In spite of such natural despicable dispositions, Trump has been informed to shut his goofy ass up and let that foolish man continue to hang himself in public. So he has. As have other notable racists on TV like Sean Hannity, Dan Bongino, Charlie Kirk, and Matt Schlapp.

“Not a lot of people are surprised,” said one source.

Although I find all of these people to be narcissistic bigots with no loyalty to anyone but self, would you defend Gaetz after watching that interview with Tucker Carlson?

Bless his dumb-ass heart, he really thought he was going to link his situation to Tucker’s and get away with it. Granted, I do believe Tucker slyly focused on one accuser over another to swiftly swat away the comparison, but all Gaetz accomplished was pushing any help away. Well, Gaetz does have the support of Rep. Marjorie Greene, best known as the crazy QAnon lady in Congress, and Rep. Jim Jordan, known for being accused of ignoring serial sexual assault happening around him. So a cashew and a coward.

Zoom, Gaetz, look at you go.

Gaetz would presumably prefer to have the assistance of the Trump family because of their control of the racist cult that makes up much of the Republican party. But they’re not about to waste their political influence on Gaetz. He’s been left to fend for himself.

When it comes to Trump, his political ascension is a testament to the power he’s cultivated with his talent of being an entertaining racist scammer. Gaetz is like a Dollar Tree version of that at best — but White privilege can only take a mediocre White man far.

Without a booking on Fox News since that Tucker interview, Gaetz has turned to writing op-eds for the Washington Examiner. For those curious, yes, he is still comparing himself to others.

“Just as they once falsely attacked President Donald Trump as a Russian asset, Justice Brett Kavanaugh as a gang rapist, and even John McCain as having fathered a child out of wedlock, they now attack me,” Gaetz wrote.

After following this nonsense with references to “made men” and “Biden’s Ukraine scandal,” among other things, he begins to sound like a reformed ho (of any gender identity).

“It comes as no surprise that my political opponents want to sensationalize and criminalize my prior sex life just as I am getting engaged to the best person I’ve ever known,” Gaetz explains. “It is regrettable that the battle of ideas should thus become so personal. But then again, when your ideas suck, you need to stoop this low.”

And no, he will not resign from Congress. (He’ll wait until sentencing… I’m guessing.)

In sum, Gaetz thinks merely hollering at the moon like Donald Trump is going to save him from himself. I’m not endorsing anything that Trump has done or been accused of, but when it comes to Trump, his political ascension is a testament to the power he’s cultivated with his talent of being an entertaining racist scammer. Gaetz is like a Dollar Tree version of that at best — but White privilege can only take a mediocre White man far.

Naturally, when it comes to the issue of his privilege, Gaetz denies its existence.

Speaking at a church in Phoenix last summer, Gaetz declared: “President Coolidge… said that as Americans, we are the peers of kings. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing if we start acting like it. Some might call that ‘male privilege’ or ‘White privilege.’ You know what? These terms are just racist terms to try to tell people to shut up. And we’re done being quiet.”

Everything about this mediocre man and his political rise and fail is a testament to White male privilege. Gaetz is the son of a powerful Florida politician who tripped his way into public life and only managed to get more power in spite of being arguably too stupid for words. And even after being blatantly racist as a member of state government. Years ago, as a state rep, Gaetz tweeted what many felt was a racist taunt aimed at two Black members of the Florida House.

Gaetz was questioning their intelligence at the time, so it’s fitting that he now finds himself sitting in a pool of scandal and too stupid to accept that the more he talks, the worse he’s making it.

On top of that, last Tuesday, the New York Times reported that Gaetz sought a blanket pardon from the Trump administration. It’s unclear if the White House was aware of the original inquiry that led to Gaetz being investigated for possible sex trafficking violations, but Gaetz didn’t volunteer that information while soliciting a blanket pardon for himself and his friends.

It’s said that “top White House lawyers and officials viewed the request for a preemptive pardon as a nonstarter that would set a bad precedent.” (Trump has since denied ever being asked for a pardon by Gaetz.)

And now, Trump’s people seem to be leaking more bad intel on one of their biggest cheerleaders. It remains to be seen if the mindless bigot will be formally charged, but the chances of Gaetz becoming the next loud White man to make millions from babbling on TV are over. And in a few more news cycles, so what will be left of his political career.

I don’t try to wish ill on people, but when it comes to big-head bigots like Matt Gaetz, he’s earned his ruin. Feel free to smile about it.

Author of “I Can’t Date Jesus” and “I Don’t Want To Die Poor.” Houstonian.

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