North Carolina House Rep. Madison Cawthorn has been having a bad few months. It mostly started in March, when he alleged that several Congress members he once “looked up to” in Washington D.C. were snorting cocaine on the regular and inviting him to “sexual get-together[s].” This pissed off Cawthorn’s GOP colleagues; as Rep. Kevin McCarthy noted, the comment “got a lot of members very upset.”
Then, apropos of nothing, mysterious leaks began to reveal details of Cawthorn’s own personal life. First, there was a photo obtained by Politico that showed Cawthorn dressed in lingerie at a party. Then a PAC dedicated to ousting Cawthorn filed an ethics complaint about allegedly improper gifts to his aide, Stephen L. Smith. The complaint included a video of the two in a car, in which Cawthorn can be heard saying “I feel the passion and desire, and would like to see a naked body beneath my hands," as Smith, as Insider phrased it, puts “his hand on the lawmaker’s groin.” And just this week, the same PAC put out a press release titled: “REP. MADISON CAWTHORN DRY HUMPING SOMEONE'S HEAD AND MOANING LOUDLY.” The release does indeed deliver a video of Cawthorn doing that. The congressman later said the other man was his cousin, which I think was supposed to be an exonerating detail.
There were other less salacious concerns: Cawthorn was caught, for the second time, trying to bring a gun on an airplane. He’s being sued by his constituents for alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection. He allegedly broke House rules bringing one of his friends to the floor under false pretenses. He recently got two driving infractions, for speeding and driving without a license, both for the second time. And Republican Sen. Thom Tillis recently called for an ethics investigation into Cawthorn’s investment in the shitcoin “Lets Go Brandon,” which he claims may constitute insider trading.
But in a twist that will surprise no one, it’s the gay stuff that’s getting the most attention. That’s partly because Cawthorn has spent years spewing frat-boy gay panic, and the past few months frothing at the mouth over Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation. It’s also probably dumber than that; America will always love a sex scandal. And the tension between those two things has sent liberals short-circuiting. It seems everyone and their mother is rushing to announce that, despite the fact that Cawthorn is a transphobic fake-veteran with an unusual admiration for Adolph Hitler, dressing in lingerie is the coolest thing he’s ever done and their outrage is not about the gay stuff.
Or as Jezebel put it in a recent sub-headline: “To be unequivocally clear, the problem here is hypocrisy — not a man wearing lingerie! This might be the only cool or acceptable thing Cawthorn has ever done.”
Let’s all calm down for one minute. Not everything needs a disclaimer. Sometimes it’s fine to say “LOL” and move on. Or at least focus on the more important issue: There were definitely orgies.