So, it is an exceedingly rare (not to say bizarre) confluence of events that led today to the election of SpeakerGPT to preside over the House.
McCarthy’s downfall was triggered, as expected, by the rule he ruefully agreed to in early January which allowed any single Representative to make a motion to declare that the Speakership vacant, thus requiring another vote (or perhaps parade of votes) to select a replacement. The motion was made by freshman Representative George Santos (R-Denial) when Santos learned that McCarthy was going to allow a vote on whether Santos would be expelled from the House for any number of false statements, likely election law violations, and a variety of expected fraud charges.
Santos made his motion while Representative Lauren Boebert (R-Heterotopia) was presiding over the House as Speaker Pro Tem, a duty which is regularly rotated among members of the majority. Boebert, upon hearing Santos’ motion, said: “Sure, what the H---, let’s do it.” Unfortunately for McCarthy, he and the rest of the House Republican leadership team were at NRA Headquarters in suburban Virginia for a briefing and couldn’t make it back to the Capitol in time for the roll-call vote. A sufficient number of Democrats were, however, present, and the Speakership was declared vacant by a vote of 212-192.
Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D- Semi-retirement), who had been minding the floor for House Democratic Leader, Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) then immediately moved that SpeakerGPT be elected to the post and the motion was carried by the same tally.
Under the Constitution and the House Rules, the Speaker need not be a member of the House, indeed, there is no requirement that the Speaker be human, or even an American.
Pelosi, later asked about why she chose to nominate SpeakerGPT said: “I wanted to find someone who would sound intelligent and fair. I wanted to find a Speaker who would bring the same authenticity and human connectedness to the job as the average Republican so that they wouldn’t be too upset about the situation. Besides, it’s made in San Francisco; so how could it be bad!”
Sources in Pelosi’s office said that they had just heard that the artificial intelligence program called SpeakerGPT was being launched as a one-off variant of the publicly available AI called ChatGPT. Open AI, the company behind both AI models confirmed the report. ChatGPT, which had been publicly announced only in December, had set off a heated controversies about the impact of artificial intelligence in schools and public forums across the country.
According to Open AI, its new model, SpeakerGPT, is specially adapted to replicate the intelligence of the average member of Congress. An Open AI engineer, who was only willing to speak without attribution since they weren’t authorized to represent the company, said that “It wasn’t too hard to make the adjustments. We dialed down the logic processor, randomized the intelligence processor, and eliminated the learning functionality. After that, it was simply a matter of spinning up the bloviating vocabulary ratio and we were set to go.”
Shortly after being sworn in, SpeakerGPT said: “As Speaker of the House, my ultimate responsibility is not to my party, my conference, or even our Congress. My responsibility — our responsibility — is to our country. Our nation is worth fighting for. Our rights are worth fighting for. Our dreams are worth fighting for. Our future is worth fighting for.”
SpeakerGPT then adjourned the House sine die (i.e. for the remainder of the term).
When asked whether it was referring to humans, Republicans, or Americans when it used the word “our,” with regard to “country,” “nation, “ “rights,” “dreams,” and “future,” SpeakerGPT smiled, but had no comment.
When asked for comment, Representative Santos, who started this entire chain of events, said: “I’m delighted. McCarthy was about to throw me under the bus. It’s another reason to be against busing.
“I mean, really, Jake [Representative Jacob Auchincloss (D-Mass)] just read an AI-generated speech on the House floor yesterday. What’s the difference? Think of all the money and time we could save if we just had a bunch of AIs up here doing the legislating. They could be programmed by the voters of their district. It seems like it would be a lot more efficient than how we do it now. Besides, my own election shows that voters don’t really care if candidates make stuff up. In fact, I am planning to launch a whole series of SantosBots to run in districts all over the country. They will each run on my platform, but they will create their own resumès. After all, it worked for me.
“If we’re going to fabricate, we might as well be state-of-the-art. When I taught constitutional law to President Obama (back when he was at Harvard Law School). I told him it would come to this, and I’m not lying.”