Can Matt Gaetz survive a real world scandal?

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The music blares, sparks fly from the pyrotechnics show, and the star walks out, pumping his fist and soaking in the cheers of the adoring crowd. A WWE wrestling event? No, it’s Congressman Matt Gaetz at AMERICAFEST, a Turning Point USA conference in December in Phoenix, Arizona. Gaetz was not there to deliver a substantive policy speech, educate the crowd about the dangers of inflationary spending or warn about Russia’s geopolitical machinations in Ukraine. Instead, the thirty-nine-year-old MAGA firebrand delivered the goods his audience expected. Populist attacks on “Big Pharma”; mockery of Democrats — Biden, he says, spends most days “wandering around the Rose Garden like some sort of nursing home, memory care-ward escapee” — and “establishment” Republicans; and praise for other members of the MAGA caucus in the House, such as Reps. Madison Cawthorn of…

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