It took fifteen rounds of voting but in the wee hours of Saturday morning, Rep. Kevin McCarthy was finally elected as Speaker of the House and newly-minted Democrat Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries celebrated the opportunity with a grandstanding speech insulting Republicans from A to Z before he passed the gavel.
As Nancy Pelosi’s successor as leader of the domestic extremist party, the duty of presenting the gavel to the leader of the incoming GOP majority fell to the New York City congressman, a man with a history of election denialism along with a proclivity for demagoguery, and his remarks were likely a preview of what can be expected during his tenure.
“We do extend our hand of partnership to you and want to make clear that we extend and intend to try to find common ground whenever and wherever possible on behalf of the American people,” Jeffries said after paying tribute to Pelosi. “Not as Democrats, not as Republicans, not as independents, but as Americans. But I also want to make clear that we will never compromise our principles.”
Jeffries then proceeded to hit every anti-conservative talking point in perfect alphabetical order, peppering the exhausted lawmakers with petty insults before smugly handing the Speaker’s gavel to McCarthy.
“House Democrats will always put American values over autocracy, benevolence over bigotry, the Constitution over the cult, democracy over demagogues, economic opportunity over extremism, freedom over fascism, governing over gaslighting, hopefulness over hatred, inclusion over isolation, justice over judicial overreach, knowledge over kangaroo courts, liberty over limitation, maturity over Mar-a-Lago,” drawing cheers from his fellow party apparatchik.
Continuing, Jeffries added “normalcy over negativity, opportunity over obstruction, people over politics, quality of life issues over QAnon, reason over racism, substance over slander, triumph over tyranny, understanding over ugliness, voting rights over voter suppression, working families over the well-connected, xenial over xenophobia, ‘Yes we can’ over ‘You can do it,’ and zealous representation over zero-sum confrontation,” he said to more applause from Democrats that drowned out the smattering of catcalls from those who found his tacky, self-serving address to be beyond the pale.
“We will always do the right thing by the American people, so let us not grow weary of doing good for the American people who will reap the benefit of the harvest if we do not give up. God bless you, God Bless the House, and God bless the United States of America,” Jeffries concluded, wrapping himself in the flag to a standing ovation from Democrats with it all being broadcast live on CNN.
Jeffries’ silly partisan diatribe wasn’t warmly greeted by many on Twitter.
It would appear to be impossible for @RepJeffries to not be an asshole at a time like this. What a piece of garbage.
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) January 7, 2023
Hey CNN, did you like that nice conciliatory speech by Hakeem Jeffries where he basically accused the Republicans of being baby killing, racist, homophobic, white supremacists? Nice fella that.
— terry l. (@dubsndoo) January 7, 2023
Democrat Hakeem Jeffries is filibustering at the speakers podium and giving a long speech praising Pelosi and Democrats while McCarthy is standing on the sidelines! Shameful! #SpeakerVote
— Ermias Alemayehu (@ErmiasAlem) January 7, 2023
Give me some historical perspective because I'm no expert. Was Hakeem Jeffries speech appropriate? Unprecedented?
— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) January 7, 2023
Every sane person is breathing an even bigger sigh of relief that Republicans took back the House after hearing Hakeem Jeffries’ divisive rambling speech #HouseSpeaker
— ⚜️marg federico⚜️ (@margrfed) January 7, 2023
Hakeem Jeffries speech was full of personal insults and hate. He came across as a low-life and sore loser.
— publius (@MontesquieuLock) January 7, 2023
Hakeem Jeffries speech is so fake and nauseating…
— CALI (@CALI4AZ) January 7, 2023
Others swooned over Jeffries, with some even likening him to Barack Obama, the shining star at the center of the Democratic Party galaxy.
Hakeem Jeffries speech was awe inspiring. Reminded me of a younger Obama
— Loy (@LoyLoyster) January 7, 2023
That A-Z speech of @RepJeffries was one of the finest pieces of oratory that I have ever heard
— Simon ORD(4)EVER (@OrdeverLA) January 7, 2023
While Jeffries’ speech may have inspired party loyalists and left-wing media who will be gushing for days after a new star was born, it was a complete inversion of reality that blamed Republicans for virtually everything that modern-era Democrats themselves are guilty of, setting the trend for the next two years until the 2024 election when the GOP will either solidify their gains or surrender them, depending on McCarthy’s ability to lead.
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