An all-star in the budding MAGA universe, Florida representative Matt Gaetz has the distinction of becoming the first American politician to be milkshaked. A second-term congressman at 36, he’s also said that he aspires “to be the conservative AOC.”
The 29-year-old Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has found a niche in interviewing congressional witnesses with an easy-to-digest line of inquiry and prosecutorial rigor — to the point that she’s executed the near-impossible feat of making several CSPAN clips go viral. Perhaps it is in her success that Gaetz found the inspiration to question John Dean, former White House counsel for President Nixon, in such an animated manner.
On Monday, Dean — a key witness in the Watergate investigation who ultimately served four months on an obstruction-of-justice charge — testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee, where he claimed that former Trump White House counsel Don McGahn’s decision to ignore a committee subpoena equated to “perpetuating a cover-up.” Gaetz gave it his best shot to follow the Ocasio-Cortez template, although the jumps in his argument may not have been as effective as his fellow representative across the aisle.
Gaetz’s plan to ask Dean about “stuff” he didn’t know about – like Medicare for All – actually raised information that the congressman may not have reviewed beforehand. Until the effort was derailed by Watergate, Nixon envisioned a plan that, as described by Slate’s Ed Dolan, “would have combined a robust employer mandate with subsidized private coverage for the self-employed, unemployed, and others not covered through their jobs — something not unlike Obamacare.” Nixon also expanded Medicare to people under 65 who had been severely disabled for over two years, as well as increased payroll taxes to fund the program.