Trump's Decisions Still Haunt America
From the video above-- Maddow: "He's leading his supporters in the unbridled, chest-pounding outrage that President Biden must resign, that it's so terrible that U.S. troops left and that the Afghan government fell... You can't be for it, you can't take credit for doing it-- and for doing it in such a way that your successor could not reverse. You can't say you were for it, take credit for doing it, say that you made it so that nobody else had any choice and then also be against it when it happens."
She was castigating Señor Trumpanzee for his repulsive role in the 20 year occupation of Afghanistan, of course, but then she moved on the excoriate Florida garden variety backbencher Bill Posey, a notorious birther from eastern Florida (photo on the right). Posey joined 15 other right-wing nuts in voting against H.R. 3985, the Allies Act which was written by a band of veterans in Congress who have been trying to expedite the visa process for Afghans who worked with the America occupiers. The administration is currently trying to get thousands of them out. But why is it taking so long? And going so badly? Posey and his fringe colleagues who voted against the Allies Act are among the Republicans howling about Biden's incompetence and inability to get them all out. These are the 16 NO votes, all far right, anti-USA Republicans of course. These maniacs whose names you probably recognize:
Andy Biggs (AZ)
Lauren Boebert (Q-CO)
Mo Brooks (AL)
Scott DesJarlais (TN)
Jeff Duncan (SC)
Bob Good (VA)
Paul Gosar (AZ)
Marjorie Traitor Greene (Q-GA)
Kevin Hern (OK)
Jody Hice (GA)
Thomas Massie (KY)
Barry Moore (AL)
Scott Perry (PA)
Bill Posey (FL)
Matt Rosendale (MT)
Chip Roy (TX)
Don't worry, Clay Higgins fans-- your boy was out that day. Maddow asked, "Can a congressman like Bill Posey in Florida be outraged that more was not done to make sure our Afghan allies were evacuated, right after he voted against doing more to make sure we would evacuate our Afghan allies? Of course he can! His district has a PVI of R+12 and Trump beat Biden there 58.3% to 40.6%. Posey, despite having never accomplished a single thing in his entire tenure in Congress, was reelected with 61.4% of the vote. His constituents are morons who expect nothing more than what Posey is giving them: nothing. His coastal district is composed primarily of Brevard (57.5% Trump) and Indian River (60.2% Trump) counties where the vaccination rates are around 50%. In Brevard COVID hospitalizations are up 106% in the last 2 weeks and in Indian River they're up 68% in the same period.
The bill Posey and the other extremists opposed removes some application requirements for Afghan special immigrant visas that led to long backlogs and wait times. It also boosts the number of visas for Afghans by an additional 8,000 to 19,000.
And the bigger part of this story is that racism and xenophobia drove the Trump decision to slow down the process of evacuating our Afghan allies instead of speeding it up! Former Pence national security aide Olivia Troye blew the whistle on how in-house Nazi Stephen Miller and Trump undermined anyone trying to get the allies out by "devastating" the special immigrant visa system at the departments of State and Homeland Security. They put up roadblocks to anyone trying to facilitate the process. Troye had briefed Pence on what was going on but he didn't do anything about it.
Pence, in a recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal that does not mention the situation of Afghans trying to get out, said the Biden administration’s “disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan is a foreign policy humiliation unlike anything our country has endured since the Iran hostage crisis.”
Other critics have asked why the Biden administration hasn’t done more to evacuate Afghani allies.
State Department spokesman Ned Price this week said the Biden administration inherited a special immigrant visa system that had chronic shortages in staffing, lacked a coordinating official and had a bureaucratic 14-step process that was enshrined in statute.
At Biden’s direction, Price said, the administration added resources and made enough changes to shave more than a year off the average processing time.
The number of visas issued went from 100 in March to 813 visas per week recently, according to Price.
One of Posey's Republican colleagues told me he's "pretty sure that Posey couldn’t find Afghanistan on a map, even if the names of countries were spelled out. He really is that stupid... I don't think he went to college but he's on the Science Committee anyway." And one of his Democratic colleagues told me Posey was pushing a bill to allow mentally ill people to buy guns.