As the GOP slogged through the three weeks of turmoil in the House without a Speaker and three failed nominees for the post, one first-term House Republican simply posted through it.
Rep. Mike Collins (R-Ga.) found levity and catharsis through the memes and one-liners about the saga he posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter — and so did plenty of other people in and outside of Washington.
“A little bit of levity can help ease the tensions in a lot of ways,” Collins told The Hill.
Collins is happily adopting his newfound brand as digital class clown. His pinned post takes White-Out to his business card to dub himself a “memer,” rather than “member,” of Congress.
His favorite posts include a three-panel Bart Simpson cartoon that went up shortly after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) — the GOP’s second nominee for Speaker — failed on the House floor.
Prompted to “say the line,” a deflated Bart Simpson relays the sentence uttered multiple times by Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.): “A Speaker is not elected.”
Another Collins hit showed a couple in bed. A woman glares at her partner: “He’s probably thinking about other women.” The man, lying awake and staring ahead: “Who can get to 217?”
He can’t take full credit for the jokes, though.
“Like the old Beatles song — I get by with a little help from my friends,” Collins told The Hill.
“Our staff has gotten really involved with it. And they’re getting things from people all over,” Collins said.
At one point, Collins floated himself as a spoof candidate for Speaker. A list of platform proposals included no longer having to listen to longtime GOP pollster Frank Luntz at Republican retreats.
Collins said that he even got comments from a person in the airport about his memes.
But through the fun, Collins was serious about the dire position the House Republicans were in. He relayed the message he got over the weekend at various fall festivals in his district.
“People are livid. They want Congress to go back to work,” Collins said.
For the first-term Republican, the 118th Congress has been frustrating not only because of the Speaker ouster, but because of other various holdups on legislation and unheard-of failures of procedural votes.
“I’m used to running things like a business,” said Collins, who owns and operates a trucking business. “You set goals, you set timelines, and you achieve that.”
With the House Republicans now rallying around their fourth Speaker nominee, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), Collins’s Speaker saga memes might be coming to an end.
But he could keep whipping out jokes.
“We can always poke fun at different things,” Collins said.