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‘Bad Lip Reading’ Did Kevin McCarthy and Matt Gaetz’s Fight and I’m Crying

Who brought the tiger!?

Matt Gaetz and Kevin McCarthy confront each other with other lawmakers around them.

Last week, as House Republicans slogged through a history-making 15 votes to try and elect a speaker, videographers in the House chamber took advantage of the lack of videography rules (since there was no speaker to enforce those rules) to show viewers rare glimpses of conversations happening among representatives. However, the lack of clear audio meant that we could only guess at what lawmakers were actually saying.

Republicans’ struggle to vote in a new speaker came to a head on Friday night, during the 14th vote. Kevin McCarthy apparently thought he had it in the bag—The New York Times reports that he was “grinning” as House members voted—but then Florida representative and notorious MAGA troll Matt Gaetz scuttled McCarthy’s plans by voting “present.” McCarthy confronted Gaetz from the center aisle, but Gaetz refused to change his vote. Then, in an even more drastic turn of events, Representative Mike Rogers of Alabama also approached Gaetz, reportedly angry that Gaetz was slated to chair a House Armed Forces subcommittee. Rogers was physically restrained by other lawmakers.

McCarthy was finally elected early Saturday morning, after the 15th vote, and he now serves as speaker of the House. However, we’ll never unsee the spectacle of Friday night—a display that hammered home how easily the U.S. government can turn into a gridlock of farce and egotism.

Luckily, Bad Lip Reading is here to assuage our wounds.

For those who don’t know, Bad Lip Reading is an anonymous YouTube channel that dubs over news footage and scenes from film and TV shows with nonsensical dialogue. The dialogue always more or less matches the movements of people’s mouths, and some surprising storylines end up emerging from the chaos.

In this case, the channel took advantage of a situation where laughing is more fun than tearing our own skin off in frustration.

Honestly, when you’ve got people like Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert involved, the Bad Lip Reading dialogue makes about as much sense as their actual conversation. They might as well be fighting over tigers and organs and breakfast cereal at this point—it’s not like they plan on actually governing.

(featured image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and she consumes massive amounts of Marvel media, folk horror, science fiction, fantasy, and nature writing. She lives in Los Angeles, where she reads tarot and makes yarn on her spinning wheel. You can check out more of her writing at, or find her on Twitter at @juliaglassman.