Bad News for Trump: House Rules State Speaker Must Be At Least as Intelligent as Their Gavel

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The political career of alleged billionaire and former reality-TV game show Donald J. Trump could quite correctly be summarized as “unprecedented,” and in several ways. Trump was not the only president to not win the popular vote, however he was the the only president to be impeached, permanently, twice. Throughout his presidency, Trump showed no reluctance to break whatever tradition or norm he saw fit. As unique as his victory and presidency were in 2016, if Trump were to be voted in as Speaker of the House — something some House Republicans have openly talked about doing, should they retake control of the House next year — it would be truly historic.

However, today the House historian and parliamentarian threw buckets of cold water on the Republicans’ idea. Asked by reporters during their semi-annual press briefing, the Congressional Rules Authority’s spokesperson, Gillian McAvoy, didn’t rule out Trump’s ability to become speaker entirely. However, she said that he faces one of the toughest challenges of his entire life, should he wish to pursue the speakership.


“It is true that that there is no requirement in the Constitution, nor in the House rules, barring people who are not members of the House from being the Speaker. There are also no rules against impeached, disgraced, corrupt, daughter-lusting insurrectionists from holding the title,” McAvoy explained. “However, unfortunately for Mr. Trump, the House bylaws strictly state anyone seeking to hold the Speaker’s gavel must be at least as intelligent as the gavel.”

It’s a “simple matter of science and common sense” why the rule was written, McAvoy said.

“If you think about it, being at least as smart as any tool you’re attempting to use is going to be the prerequisite for using said tool,” McAvoy said. “There are several months to pass until the next election for Speaker will be held, however, so any moron looking to run still has time to watch all the episodes of Sesame Street he can handle between now and then.”

House rules lay out a very specific process for determining whether a candidate is as smart as the Speaker’s gavel, McAvoy said.

“It’s a fairly straightforward test, and though it was developed in the late 19th century, it’s proven quite accurate to this very day,” according to McAvoy. “They ask the candidate if they have ever, or might ever, stare directly into an eclipse or inject household cleaning products to cure yourself of a disease. You’d be surprised how easily identified stupid people can be based on how they answer those two questions.”


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Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.

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