Republicans Are Still Floating an Insane Scenario in Which They Make Trump House Speaker in 2023

Last summer, while addressing a crowd in Iowa, Representative Matt Gaetz floated an absurd scenario, even for him, a guy who has suggested people should purposely infect themselves with COVID-19. Discussing the 2022 midterm elections, and the possibility that Republicans could take back the House, Gaetz mused that the GOP would turn around and install Donald Trump as Speaker, making him one of the most powerful people in the country without actually having to go to the trouble of being elected. “Can you just imagine Nancy Pelosi having to hand that gavel to Donald J. Trump?” Gaetz, a cringeworthy Trump loyalist, asked the audience. “She didn’t like when that Jan. 6 guy was sitting in her chair in her office,” he said, referring to the rioter who posed with his feet on Pelosi’s desk as the Capitol was being attacked. “She is sure not going to like seeing Donald Trump sitting in her chair.”

Gaetz, of course, is one of the biggest trolls in Congress, who thinks he was sent to Washington not to work on behalf of the American people but to offend Democrats by saying stupid shit like, “Kyle Rittenhouse would probably make a pretty good congressional intern.” Unfortunately, that’s what a lot of Republicans think their job is these days, and on the “We’re gonna make Trump House Speaker” front, the Florida representative—last seen under investigation over possible sex trafficking, which he naturally denies—is not alone.

Last month, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told Steve Bannon, “I would love to see the gavel go from Nancy Pelosi to Donald Trump. You talk about melting down…people would go crazy.” Meadows added: “As you know, you don’t have to be an elected member of Congress to be the Speaker. She would go from tearing up a speech to having to give the gavel to Donald Trump.” Bannon, a consummate troll in his own right then suggested Trump could come in “for 100 days to sort things out and then step out and announce his 2024 campaign,” which the former president has been teasing since he left the White House earlier this year. Not surprisingly, Marjorie “Jewish space laser” Taylor Greene has also hyped the idea, saying on a podcast over the summer, “It’s no secret that I am one of the biggest supporters of President Trump, and I proudly say it all the time. I would love to see him, whether it is speaker of the House or running for Congress or Republican majority in 2022, electing him speaker of the House.”

As Rolling Stone notes, “The Constitution does not specify that the Speaker of the House must be a member of Congress, so…if a majority of House members voted to support his speakership, it’s possible he could serve in that role. A Democratic congressman introduced a bill in July to restrict the Speaker’s position to elected members, but the bill only has three cosponsors.”

But would Trump actually want the gig? On the one hand, he’d more than likely see a congressional position, and anything less than the title of “Emperor God,” as beneath him. More importantly, he’s famously known for being lazy as fuck, and being Speaker would no doubt be more work than crashing Mar-a-Lago weddings and memorial services. On the other, as NPR’s Mara Liasson reported in October:

Trump could be the automatic foil to President [Joe] Biden, commanding media attention 24/7. And then there’s the appeal of State of the Union night, when he would get to stand behind Biden, just like the current House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stood behind Trump when he was president.

It’s a mass media performance opportunity Trump would revel in. And as some of his supporters like [conservative talk show host Wayne Allyn] Root have suggested, the speakership would be the perfect place for Trump to take political revenge from.

“You become the Speaker of the House, lead the impeachment of Biden, and start criminal investigations against Biden,” Root told Trump [during an interview]. “You’ll wipe them out for his last two years, and then you’ll be president. Do it!”

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Gaetz again claimed making Trump House Speaker would be his top priority in 2023, claiming that he’s spoken to the ex-president about the proposition.

Ultimately, it seems wildly unlikely that Trump would actually go for this, though, of course, wilder things have happened. And according to some political strategists, Democrats should use even the possibility of Trump being named House Speaker to scare the shit out of voters. “The idea for some that Donald Trump could become the Speaker of the House is almost as frightening as the idea of him becoming president again,” Karen Finney told NPR. “That will potentially advantage Democrats—again, just the fear of it, just the very thought of it.”

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