Time to go full petty, Madison.
Madison Cawthorn, the youngest person ever to be elected to Congress, is now the youngest member of Congress to lose a primary. The 26-year-old who has racked up controversy after controversy over his two years in office was defeated by Republican challenger Chuck Edwards, who appears to be just a guy. Not even a late official endorsement from former President Donald Trump was enough to salvage Cawthorn’s campaign, which got buried under a pile of Cawthorn’s own maleficence and a troubling and relentless smear campaign from Republican operatives who were done with him.
Cawthorn pissed off the Republican establishment when he claimed that party operatives regularly did cocaine and invited him to orgies. That made them sound way too cool, so they decided to dump a seemingly endless barrage of opposition research, including pictures of him in lingerie and videos of him humping another man. That, combined with Cawthorn’s rush to hard-right fanaticism, was apparently enough to tip the scales, and now Cawthorn will be invited to the same number of sex parties as he has passed legislation to his name: zero.
So what’s next for Cawthorn, an actual villain who visited Hitler’s vacation home for fun and somehow didn’t set off any alarm bells for Republicans who voted for him anyway? Well, the options are pretty slim, really. Usually failed conservative candidates get ushered immediately into a seat at Fox News, but Cawthorn seems to have burned most of his bridges with the GOP establishment. The OAN or Newsmax route is almost certainly available to him if he wants it, because the bar is so low over there that it’s actually underground. And he still has Trump’s endorsement, though losing tends to cast you in a less favorable light in his megalomaniacal eyes.
Elected office is probably off the table for Cawthorn at this point. Between his dubious origin story, heaps of self-inflicted controversy from bad behavior, and the seemingly bottomless well of oppo research that can be unloaded on him, there are just not a lot of paths there. I mean, he lost a primary challenge in a favorable district as an incumbent while leading in the polls for most of the cycle. That’s hard to do!
So, here’s an idea for Cawthorn’s second act: Madison Cawthorn, whistleblower. Spill the beans, man. Tell us who’s going to the orgies. Name names. Leak details. Tell us who is fucking who. Hell, forget the sex stuff, just get super petty with it. Who cheats at Monopoly? Who chews with their mouth open? Who takes the last slice of pizza without even asking if anyone else wants it?
Turn into a messy, tea-spilling machine. It’s the ultimate revenge against a party that not only abandoned you but also very intentionally destroyed you. And, frankly, for the rest of us, it’d just be a lot of fun.