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‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the House of Representatives

U.S. Capitol
Greg Nash
The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., is seen from the West Front with the Capitol Christmas Tree from North Carolina on Monday, December 19, 2022.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the House,

McCarthy was searching, his whip count in doubt.

Gibbs, Gaetz and Norman were declaring “hell no.”

Rosendale, Goode had heightened his woe.

Their demands so excessive, to “vacate the chair,”

On anyone’s whim, even Boebert!

His opponents showed strength, in a moment of leverage;

if the first ballot failed, the whip count could hemorrhage.

If he was defeated, if Kevin fell short,

who in the conference would receive its support?

Look there, in the shadows! Jordan, Scalise!

The now Maga New Yorker, Stefanik, Elise.

(The most frequent pledge to leaders who ran:

“I’m with you for only as long as I can.”)

His conference was planning, conniving and thinking:

impeach Mayorkas! Garland and Blinken!

Kamala Harris? We must confront her!

Subpoena Klain, Ricchetti and Hunter!

And even though we know it’s bogus:


(Or so it was posted, just recently,

by the woman from Georgia, M-T-G.)

Across the Hill, a headache for Chuck.

Kyrsten Sinema had just run amuck.

An unwinnable primary had forced her to flee,

no longer a Dem, but not GOP.

(Still, Schumer secured a Senate expansion,

so long as he kept Senator Manchin.)

And there, down a hall, sat an anguished McConnell.

His majority lost on endorsements by Donald.

The keystone state showed Oz no mercy;

So, he’s back to his mansion in northern New Jersey,

Bye Blake Masters, farewell Herschel.

If only they’d been less controversial.

Across the rotunda, back to the House,

Where boxes are packed, and incumbents are out.

So long Cheney, Crist and Rice!

Farewell Bustos, Rush and Hice!

And two Maloneys from New York State,

T’were court-drawn districts that sealed their fate.

Goodbye Long and Steve Palazzo;

adieu Brooks and Pete DeFazio.

(To those still serving, don’t be forlorn:

no more headlines from Rep. Cawthorn).

In the speaker’s suite, the rooms grew so still,

‘Twas the end of the reign for the King of The Hill.

Pelosi was packing, ‘twas time to say “caio.”

She was stepping aside; Hakeem was in now.

The first woman speaker, serving with glory

History? No! ‘Twas more like her story.

Across the land, they took down the wreaths.

‘Twas time to convene the hundred-eighteenth.

Welcome new members! Please thank your supporters.

(And remind them to max before the next quarter.)

Hello, Maxwell Frost, Bean, Vance and Britt!

Bonjour Budzinski, Nunn, Lee and Schmitt.

And Crane, Mills and Kiley and John Fetterman!

Welcome Luna and Lee; howdy-do Hageman.

Welcome, both parties, both red and the blue,

(One question, Rep. Santos, is anything true?)

To Ds and Rs, to frenemies, friends,

I wish you the best as this midterm year ends.

The worst is over, there can’t be much more.

Except that we’re starting campaign 24.

Steve Israel represented New York in the U.S. House of Representatives over eight terms and was chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 2011 to 2015. He is now director of the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy Institute of Politics and Global Affairs. Follow him on Twitter @RepSteveIsrael. 

Tags 2022 midterms House of Representatives Juan Manuel Santos Kamala Harris Kevin McCarthy Kyrsten Sinema Marjorie Taylor Greene Speaker of the House speaker race Speakership Speakership vote Steve Israel

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