I expect just about any level of idiocy from Matt Gaetz (R-Beer Bong). He’s the idiot who cribbed garbage conspiracy theories from Reddit for a House amendment calling for the prosecution of Hillary Clinton and James Comey. He’s the lunatic who brought a white supremacist to the State of the Union address. He’s the jackass who threatened House witness Michael Cohen on Twitter, and demanded to be allowed to take part in the Cohen hearing even though he isn’t a member of the House Judiciary Committee. He’s the traitor who led a squad of fellow traitors into a highly secure Capitol Building facility to disrupt the Trump impeachment hearings. He’s the assclown who wore a gas mask (see the photo above) on the House floor to mock the precautions being taken in light of the COVID-19 virus. (When one of his constituents died from the virus days later, Gaetz sent thoughts and prayers. Mighty big of him.) And, he’s the sorry shit who posted on Twitter recommendations that the US military “hunt down” members of the so-called “antifa” movement because they are “terrorists.”
But now…I’ll admit. I’m flabbergasted.
Two days ago, as documented by our own Mama Zoom, Gaetz got his ass handed to him by black Democratic Rep. Cedric Richmond. Richmond spoke at length about the Republicans’ greasy efforts to derail the House floor discussion of police brutality against people of color:
I am absolutely sitting here offended. To my colleagues, especially the ones that keep introducing amendments that are a tangent and a distraction from what we’re talking about, you all are white males, you never lived in my shoes and you do not know what it’s like to be an African American male. … If you are opposed to this legislation, let’s just have a vote. But please don’t come in here and make a mockery of the pain that exists in my community.
Gaetz, who doesn’t have an iota of decency in his privileged white body, leapt up and berated Richmond. It didn’t work. But one statement Gaetz made before being dragged from the floor kicking and screaming, er, being gaveled into silence, was this:
Are you suggesting that you’re certain that none of us have nonwhite children?
Richmond refused to take the bait, and eventuallly Gaetz returned to sulky silence and absent-minded crotch scratching.
But the next day, something unexpected happened.
Gaetz, who is 38, unmarried, and has never once spoken about family other than his parents and siblings, took to Twitter to announce that he…wait for it…has a son! He is the father of a proud baby boy…wait a minute…a proud teenager, my bad, named Nestor, who came over, quite legally, Gaetz assures us, from Cuba six years ago when he was 12. And Gaetz has been his proud daddy ever since.
For all those wondering, this is my son Nestor. We share no blood but he is my life. He came from Cuba (legally, of course) six years ago and lives with me in Florida.
I am so proud of him and raising him has been the best, most rewarding thing I’ve done in my life. pic.twitter.com/JB96wzOzYU
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) June 18, 2020
Um…wut? Gaetz suddenly has a son? For how many years?
He admits that the young man in question, Nestor Galban, isn’t related to him, and he has not officially adopted Galban. But, he asserts, everybody loves one another.
If we believe Gaetz, Galban moved in with him in 2014, when he was 12, after Galban lost his mother to breast cancer. At the time, Gaetz told a wide-eyed reporter from People, he had been dating Galban’s sister. It’s just “a modern family,” Gaetz gushed.
Gaetz broke up with the sister a few years ago, but for the most part, he and Galban have been sharing living accommodations since Galban came to America.
The reason for Gaetz suddenly announcing this “new” “family member” after six years of familial bliss became clear when he lashed out at Richmond for paddling him on the House floor:
As you can imagine, I was triggered when (to make an absurd debate point) a fellow congressman diminished the contributions of Republicans because we don’t raise non-white kids. Well, I have.
Okay… John Amato of Crooks and Liars explained it quite succinctly:
Gaetz is like every other a-hole who says they aren’t racists because they’ve dated a Black girl or have a Black friend. This appeared to be a set up for Rep. Gaetz and why he said “non-white” children to Rep. Richmond instead of Black.
As you might imagine, the Twitterati were having none of Gaetz’s shit. They do what they do best: dig through the person in question’s Twitter account, hopefully before said person can delete the hell out of said account, and found some nuggets of parental…non-pride?
Kind of weird Matt.
Here you present him as a “local student”? Which is it? pic.twitter.com/4JtzEf69wL
— JCrongeyer (@JCrongeyer) June 18, 2020
Here, Proud Papa Matt identified Galban as “a local student” who had been one of at least two “fantastic House pages.”
Others on Twitter speculated whether Galban wasn’t his unofficial “son” at all, but was Gaetz’s gay lover (and likely an underaged one for a good long while). Until solid evidence of that crops up, we’ll leave those tweets right where they are.
And to be fair, a few people, like former Democratic Rep. Katie Hill, have come to his defense, saying Gaetz is “truly a proud dad.”
Many of you know @mattgaetz & I have an unlikely friendship. I can’t stand a lot of his beliefs but he’s been there for me when others haven’t. He talks about Nestor more than anything, has done so much for his son & is truly a proud dad. This #freenestor thing is bullshit. Stop. https://t.co/qqOx9opXzH
— Katie Hill (@KatieHill4CA) June 18, 2020
(Gaetz was the only Republican to come to Hill’s defense when her ex-boyfriend publicly released sexually explicit photos of her and alleged she had had improper relations with a campaign staffer.)
One thing is indisputable: Gaetz took (some of) the focus off innocent black citizens being brutalized and killed by brute cops, and right on his human frat-paddle self, just like he wanted:
But hey, congrats, Matt! You managed to derail the conversation about the immense danger and fear that black people—especially black men—face every day at the hands of law enforcement, & make it about you instead!
You are truly a force of white entitlement to be reckoned with. pic.twitter.com/ym3SC9G8qw
— Kendall Brown (@kendallybrown) June 18, 2020
(I cribbed that “human frat paddle” from a Facebook friend. I told her I was a-stealin’ it, and I lit out for the frontier with it stuffed in my saddle bags. Full disclosure.)
I think it’s great that Rep. Gaetz took guardianship over Nestor when he was 12, if that’s the case, but the steps that Gaetz took to hide that fact, and the timing of his “announcement,” is unsettling and raises more questions than it answers. Why lie about his existence up until this week?
On his House website, his bio claims that he has no children. He has never mentioned Galban publicly until now, having released very few pictures of him and always identifying him as a “local student,” “House page,” or “some guy who walked into the camera range, I dunno who he is, and security needs to get him out of here NOW.” (Okay, I made the last one up.)
I will say this in all seriousness. 20 years ago, I married my then-and-forever wife. She brought her then-13 year old son with her into out new family. I proudly welcomed him to the fold, and several years later, when he told me he considered me his father, I wept. I called him “my son” or, at the least, “my stepson,” regardless of the paperwork or lack thereof. I was proud to announce him as such to the world. Shortly thereafter, his best friend came to live with us because of difficulties within his own family. He stayed with us for three years, with the permission of his mother. We were proud to have him as a part of the family, and often introduced them as “our sons” in public. There was no deceit, no hiding, no bullshit. Those two boys made us proud every day. Eventuallly, the second young man went back to live with his mother, in a bittersweet parting. We were adamant that he could call us or come to us, day or night, for any reason. He would always have a place with us.
No deceit. No hiding. No bullshit. No games. There’s a way you handle situations like this one, and Gaetz didn’t do it right. At all.
Stuart Max, who hosts a Democratic podcast about immigrants, says it quite bluntly:
To give Matt Gaetz the benefit of the doubt, to take him at his word, is to understand that he engaged in the most egregious and shameful exploitation of his own family in the history of US politics.
— Stuart Max (@S2tweets) June 19, 2020
If the Twitter won’t load for you, Max wrote, “To give Matt Gaetz the benefit of the doubt, to take him at his word, is to understand that he engaged in the most egregious and shameful exploitation of his own family in the history of US politics.”
Gaetz and his pals in the right-wing scream machine may strut Gaetz back and forth like he’s the proud daddy he claims to be. I have a strong feeling there are some ugly facts that are yet to be revealed. We’ll find out. Even if everything is as baseball and apple pie as Gaetz claims, what he did to score a few political points on Fox, and what he did for six years in hiding this young man from the world until he could trot him out for political gain, is beyond despicable.