There have been SpongeBob and Bart Simpson memes and a dark reference to a skit titled, “Who Killed Hannibal?” On Thursday, he posted a stock photo of a woman musing about what was on the mind of the man in bed with her, his back turned.
“He’s probably thinking about other women,” Collins’ caption said.
The man’s thoughts: “Who can get to 217!?”
The post has more than 340,000 views. And over the past week Collins’ account has grown by nearly 3,000 followers, including more than 1,500 on Thursday alone.
Collins told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he is responding the way Southerners tend to do in stressful situations: by finding reason to laugh.
“I think you found a lot of Southern folks that when frustrated, they can give a little levity and a little bit of humor in there as well,” he said. “But I’m going to tell you this is frustrating.”
Prior to the speakership debacle, Collins’ feed was like that of most other members of Congress. The Jackson Republican posted about legislation he was backing and attacked members of the other party for leading America astray.
After Kevin McCarthy’s ouster as speaker on Oct. 3, Collins was among the majority of House Republicans who backed replacing him with Majority Leader Steve Scalise. Once Scalise realized he could not find 217 GOP lawmakers willing to support him and ended his bid, there was a marked shift in tone on Collins’ feed.
By that time, the speakership had been vacant for 10 days. Collins was among the many rank-and-file members who were ready to get back to work.
He began posting more often and with references that quickly went viral. Collins said that he writes his own tweets but with help from his staff.
“It’s a collaboration; we all have (communications) people, too,” he said.
The posts make it clear that he wishes the House were working on other things instead of remaining at a standstill, now at 17 days and counting.
He wrote on Oct. 13: “2 more hours ‘til we clock out for Friday!! Making a list. Am I missing anything?” The post was accompanied by a photo of a sheet of paper headed, “Bills we passed this week.” The lines below it were blank.
Collins is one of three Georgia Republicans who have earned some level of fame during this speakership debacle. Rep. Austin Scott had about three hours in the limelight when he challenged Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan for the GOP nomination for speaker. Despite his last-minute campaign, the Tifton Republican earned support from 81 of the 221 Republicans.
U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson is one of four House Republicans who supported Jordan in the first round of voting Tuesday but declined to do so during a second attempt Wednesday. Jordan remains the GOP nominee, but it appears that he does not have enough support from his party to win.
Ferguson on Thursday released a statement calling Jordan a “bully” and said he and his family had received death threats after his vote.
“That is simply unacceptable, unforgivable, and will never be tolerated,” Ferguson said.
On Collins’ social media feed, in between the snark and humor, he is expressing deep concern about the party’s direction. The owner of a trucking company, Collins says his constituents back home want to see better from their elected officials in Washington.
“If any business worked like this place, it’d be out of business, and the executives terminated,” he wrote on Thursday. “Because people who have been here a decade or longer have personal grievances with each other, the party in power cannot deliver on our commitments to America. We need to get it together and stop kicking the can.”
Digital specialist Isaac Sabetai contributed to this article.