Are Republicans Capable Of Being Embarrassed By Their Behavior?
This morning, Roland looked at that picture above and told me that Marjorie Traitor Greene looks like she was pissed off because she missed another of her KKK rallies and had to go to the State of the Union address instead. She and her psychopath crony, Lauren Boebert from western Colorado, were the only members of Congress to overtly heckle Biden during his speech. Afterwards, Greene responded to his address on behalf of QAnon and the fascist movement everywhere. Just click on the image below (David Corn's tweet) and you'll be able to hear her lunacy... if you want to.
Jake Tapper noted that "In a different era, a congresswoman shouting and heckling the president at the SOTU while he was talking about US soldiers Killed In Action-- and was about to invoke his own dead son-- would be widely condemned across the political spectrum. Starting with her caucus leader.
A CNN poll showed that 71% of Americans reacted positively to the speech (and 29% negatively). CNN reported that "Post-speech, 62% of speech watchers say that Biden's proposed economic policies would move the country in the right direction, up from half who said that pre-speech. About three-quarters, 73%, said Biden's proposals on the coronavirus pandemic would move the US in the right direction, up from 64% prior to the address."
CBS News' poll was even better for Biden. 78% of people who watched approved and just 22% disapproved.
What are fringe lunatics like Traitor Greene and Boebert doing in American politics, let alone in the United States Congress? Simple answer: Trump brought them. The permission he granted to Know Nothings is literally reshaping the country-- and not in a good way. And that's both a gift and a curse for the GOP. Boebert, Traitor Greene, Mary Miller, Jody Hice, Ronny Jackson, Matt Gaetz, Madison Cawthorn, Claudia Tenney, Gym Jordan, Clay Higgins, Andrew Clyde, Kat Cammack, Paul Gosar, Scott Perry, Andy Biggs really are a reflection of a very sizable part of the Republican base-- frustrated, angry, morons who know life has dealt them a bad hand. They're filled with grievances and they fully identify with these particular deeply flawed fascist politicians. On the other hand... normal people are aghast when they see them in action.
This morning Aaron Rupar wrote about the trouble Trump-- and by extension, his acolytes-- are causing the GOP, particularly right now in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This ain't no foolin' around... and making sense is what's called for right now. "It feels like ancient history now," wrote Rupar, "but it was barely two years ago that every Republican in Congress (with the exception of Mitt Romney) stood by Donald Trump after he was caught in the act of trying to disarm Ukraine. Now, in their desperation to spin Russia’s brutal attack on Ukraine into a political attack on President Biden, some of those very same Republicans are hoping you suffer from a case of amnesia about the circumstances surrounding Trump’s first impeachment-- which took place after Trump used nearly $400 million in military aid to try to extort Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government into coming up with dirt on the Bidens. And it’s worth remembering that military aid was desperately needed by Ukraine because the country has been at war with Russia since 2014. Perhaps the most egregious example of this whitewashing came from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who went on Fox & Friends on Tuesday to suggest Biden could’ve prevented Russia’s attack had he provided more military aid to Ukraine. 'It’s the actions that we could’ve done before from this administration that would make sure today wasn’t happening,' he said. 'We could’ve supplied the weapons to Ukraine.'"
[I]f anyone should refrain from baselessly accusing Biden of not arming Ukraine, it’s McCarthy, who not only defended Trump when he was caught withholding military aid from the country, but even insisted he had valid reasons to do it.
McCarthy isn’t the only House Republican wandering onto this precarious limb. Elise Stefanik, who rose to national prominence as a part of Trump’s impeachment defense team, is also now pretending she has firm convictions about the importance of standing with Ukraine.
Recall that Trump didn’t just withhold military aid to Ukraine as leverage to get the Zelensky government to investigate the Bidens. With help from other administration officials, he also spread baseless conspiracy theories aimed at exonerating Putin by framing Ukraine for interfering in the 2016 election.
Trump’s extortion attempt was far from the first time he tried to undercut Ukraine. He surrounded himself with pro-Russian people like Sam Clovis and Michael Flynn during his 2016 presidential run. His campaign also worked that year “to make sure the new Republican platform won’t call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces, contradicting the view of almost all Republican foreign policy leaders in Washington,” as the Washington Post put it.
Republicans like McCarthy and Stefanik weren’t particularly bothered by any of this. But they’re now trying to pose as Ukraine’s friends, simply because doing so presents an opportunity to undercut Biden. This is why I’m in the habit of describing shamelessness as the MAGA superpower.
...[I]t shouldn’t be a surprise that Republicans like Mitt Romney have acknowledged Biden is doing what their party probably would’ve done 20 years ago. But what has been notable is how hard the GOP’s clown caucus is working to make it seem as though the president has blood on his hands.
Consider Ted Cruz’s incoherent attacks on Biden for not yet sanctioning Russian oil and gas, but also for not doing more to bring gas prices down. Remarkably, as if to illustrate his lack of principle, Cruz made these criticisms in back-to-back tweets on Tuesday.
...Trump has been doing interviews and delivering speeches in which he’s not only undermined the administration and NATO, but characterized Putin as “[a] genius,” “very savvy,” and “smart.” As they nitpick Biden, Republicans like Tom Cotton are contorting themselves to avoid saying anything negative about the former guy, who’s praising a murderous strongman trying to obliterate a neighboring democracy with tanks.