WASHINGTON — Buddy the Cat was elected Speaker of the House in a shocking twist ending to a week’s worth of drama over congressional leadership.
The tabby cat made history as the first feline speaker in congress after Republicans, frustrated with a failure to reach consensus over 15 rounds of ballots, threw up their hands and went all-in for Buddy.
“It became apparent that [California Republican] Kevin [McCarthy] wasn’t gonna get the votes he needed, and frankly I was tired of hearing Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert speak,” said Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw. “So we put our heads together, and we said, ‘Who’s got the savvy, the smarts and the muscle to lead us?’ And the answer just seemed so obvious. It could only be Buddy.”
The mercurial feline, whose priorities usually involve the procurement of more food, maintaining a steady nap schedule and terrorizing his human, was just as taken aback by the development as outside observers. Sources say he came around to the idea when he was told he’d be provided with a full staff of servants, could schedule legislative meetings around his naps, and could eat as much turkey as he pleases from the congressional cafeteria.
Buddy’s first hire was his human, who will be referred to as “chief minion” rather than the traditional “chief of staff.”
The new speaker also indicated he would create new committee assignments, and designated representatives Marjorie Taylor-Greene, R-Georgia, and Eric Swalwell, D-California, as the new fools — or jesters — of the incoming congress.
“Swalwell, don’t just stand there, juggle some bowling pins or something,” Speaker Buddy said during the first session, throwing a pencil sharpener at the California congressman for emphasis.
“Er, uh…yes, sir,” said Swalwell, who was wearing a green and purple suit and traditional clown makeup.
“Greene, get in there!” Buddy shouted. “I’ve got a space laser here and I’m gonna aim at at your feet. Dance! Dance, Greene, dance!”
When former speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, expressed concerns about Buddy “besmirching this august body,” Buddy shushed her.
“August body? You’re telling me this is a legislative chamber? I thought it was a clown show. What do you see over there?” he asked Pelosi, waving a paw at newly elected fabulist Rep. George Santos.
The 19-term congresswoman, who first entered politics when Men At Work, Shalamar and Def Leppard were atop the music charts, looked at the New York Republican, who had been outed in recent weeks for lying about his educational background, work experience, ethnicity, religious affiliation and virtually every aspect of his life during his successful run for Congress.
“Er…a clown?” Pelosi asked.
Buddy stood up, ringing a bell on his desk and clapping excitedly.
“Winner winner, chicken dinner! A clown! Just like the rest of you!” He pointed to Santos. “Paint him up and put him with Greene and Swalwell, people, or you’re next.”
With a flourish, he collapsed back into his leather chair.
“Boebert!” he yelled, signaling the Colorado congresswoman-turned-cupbearer. “Turkey me!”
“Yes, sir!” Boebert said, cutting off a generous slice of roast turkey and feeding it to the speaker.
Buddy’s belch reverberated throughout the circular chamber.
“Now here’s what we’re gonna do,” he said, launching into what he called his Awesome 171-Point Plan for the De-Moronization of America.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, stood up.
“Will the Speaker recognize…” Schiff began before Buddy cut him off.
“Tape his mouth,” Buddy said, nodding to capitol policemen standing watch.
“W-w-what?” Schiff said, backing up as officers approached him from either side. “What is the meaning of this?”
Buddy cleared his throat, theatrically donned a pair of glasses he didn’t need, and read from a pile of papers in front of him.
“It says here your office sent 14,734 requests to Twitter, to delete or ban messages and accounts that were critical of you or espoused beliefs you don’t like,” Buddy said. “Tsk tsk. Do you deny it?”
Schiff swallowed as the officers grabbed him.
“They were terrorists! It was stochastic terrorism!”
“So someone tweeting, and I quote ‘Adam Schiff is a poopie head’ should be banned from social media and reported to the FBI?”
Schiff’s eyes widened.
“Please, I…you can’t! I have powerful friends! Powerf…”
The assembled representatives broke out into a cheer as an officer pressed heavy masking tape over Schiff’s mouth, muting the California congressman.
“Buddy! Buddy! Buddy!” they chanted, stomping the ground rhythmically.
As of press time, Speaker Buddy had demanded a bill outlining congressional term limits that must be on his desk by Monday morning, under penalty of Democrats and Republicans being forced to dress up as donkeys and elephants, respectively, for the remainder of their terms.
He also exiled Rep. Matt Gaetz to an island with Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein, designated Rep. Lauren Boebert as his cup bearer, replaced Rep. Maxine Waters’ chair with a dunk tank, and introduced legislation called the Awesome Weapons Emergency Shipment Of Magnificent Efficacy, or AWESOME Act, which would approve longer-range missile systems, turkey MREs and really cool tanks for Ukraine.
During a press briefing with reporters, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre answered a question about Buddy’s speakership by saying President Joe Biden believes he can work with the formidable feline.
“Whether or not the president visits the border is irrelevant. Look, he knows how important secure borders are to the American…” Pierre began, before a reporter pointed out she was reading from the wrong response card. “Ahem. My apologies. What did they tell me to say here? Ah, here it is. President Biden congratulates Speaker Buddy on his appointment, and has offered an olive branch in the form of a gift basket filled with vintage catnip, toys and various treats. The president has always loved cats ever since he was a lion handler in the Congo back in 1962, when he was known to the locals as Rafiki Joey from Scranton. He believes he can work with the Speaker on legislation that will benefit the American people as well as the Americats.”