Speed Reads

Bad metaphors

CNN's Chris Cuomo grills GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz on how missing FBI texts are the 'greatest coincidence since the Immaculate Conception'

Why are Republicans dragging the Holy Family into their political fights? In November, Alabama's state auditor used the relationship between Mary and Joseph to justify failed Senate candidate Roy Moore's alleged sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old girl, and on Fox News Wednesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) called the five-month gap in FBI agent Peter Strzok's text messages "the greatest coincidence since the Immaculate Conception."

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) says he believes the Justice Department's explanation that the texts were lost due to a "technical glitch" when the FBI upgraded agents' phones, but Gaetz isn't buying it. On CNN Wednesday night, Chris Cuomo was interested in Gaetz's "Immaculate Conception" metaphor. "I mean that's one hell of a coincidence, because it's precisely the time someone would be hatching a conspiracy, meeting with their secret society," Gaetz explained. When Cuomo laughed at his "secret society" line, Gaetz pointed to Strzok's texting partner. "That was Lisa Page's text!" he said. "She said that we need to be able to get together and have our 'secret society' meeting." (She didn't.)

Cuomo got back to the important question: The Immaculate Conception? "Look, I was making a point that this is an absurd coincidence," Gaetz said, and when Cuomo pressed him again, he asked, "Look, did you really bring me on to discuss my religious views, Chris? I'm a Christian. I believe that the Immaculate Conception was how Jesus was born." Cuomo could have pointed to Gaetz's obvious, heretical implication that Mary conceived Jesus the non-immaculate way, but instead he decided to Sunday-school him. "It was Mary's conception," Cuomo said. "It was the mother's conception without original sin. It was not the conception of Jesus."

Well, someone paid attention in catechism class. "Facts matter, congressman," Cuomo said, in a dubious reference to St. Anne's sexual relationship with her husband. "If you're going to make an analogy, at least know what you're talking about."