Colin Allred's swingy Dallas-Fort Worth metro congressional district (TX-32) is high up on the NRCC's target list. Allred is a mediocre New Dem who doesn't inspire anyone with his record. He's not terrible though and the 5 Republicans primarying each other for the GOP nomination are all terrible. (Early voting in Texas started today. Please consider contributing to Texas progressives here.) Only two have raised any kind of significant money. While Allred had brought in $2,166,545 by the end of December, the top-raising Republican, restauranteur (Wingstop and Pizza Patrón) Antonio Swad, self-funded $246,101 and the second biggest fund-raiser, far right activist and Trump loon, Brad Namdar, brought in $97,075. Swad spent almost none of his haul, saving it for the general. That's because he had an ace up his sleeve for the primary, an ace the shady businessman played over the weekend.
It sort of "felt" like Namdar was winning. In GOP primaries, the nuttier candidate usually wins and he's nuttier-- and he had wracked up endorsements from the district's former long-term congressman, Pete Sessions, and from some other crackpot local elected officials and was recommended by the Dallas Morning News as the candidate with the "best chance at success in November."
On Saturday however, that same paper that endorsed him ran a huge local scoop, apparently coordinated by the Swad campaign. Reporter Lauren McGaughy wrote that "A woman who works as a professional escort says Brad Namdar (R), a GOP congressional candidate and anti-human trafficking advocate, solicited sex from her on two occasions last spring." She gave the newspaper videos and other evidence. The Swad campaign also leaked school records showing that when Namdar was teaching and coaching at a Dallas high school he "inappropriately touched a student." Gee maybe he can room with Gym Jordan! They have him (Namdar) on tape, but that didn't stop him from tweeting this. (Of course, they had Trump on tape too-- and Republicans, outside of Utah, didn't seem to mind much.)
It's barely worth mentioning in a discussion of GOP hypocrisy that Dr. Oz, the carpetbagger pointlessly running for the Republican Senate nomination in Pennsylvania-- mimicking Trump on the evils of immigrants (which he is himself)-- that his tree trimming company not only employed undocumented immigrants, but that the company paid the largest fine in the history of ICE-- $95 million. Oz and Mrs. Oz settled out of court in "a scheme to knowingly employ illegal immigrants."
Also over the weekend, the former chair of the RNC, former Montana Governor Marc Racicot penned a guest OpEd for the Billings Gazette sticking it to the woman who holds his old job at the RNC, Ronna Romney (who Trump forced to only use the name Ronna McDaniel). It was in the form of an open letter, one RNC chair to another. "Having held the same position that you presently occupy two decades ago," he wrote, "I would never have imagined that the day would come when the chair of the Republican National Committee and its members would rebuke and desert two GOP members of the United States House of Representatives, who, consistent with the Constitution, their oath of office and their conscience, have been performing their assigned Congressional duties with honor and integrity pursuant to the lawful passage of a House Resolution.
Based on my decades of engagement in Republican politics, my intuition tells me that you and the other members of the RNC will come to regret, if you don’t already, the passage of the RNC Resolution. It appears possible, and maybe even probable, that the RNC Resolution, with its incendiary language and histrionics, has advanced the very threat that you accuse Representatives Cheney and Kinzinger of creating, namely the diminution of the chances for Republican electoral success in 2022.
I believe you, and the members of the Committee, have substantially underestimated the Great Middle of America and what’s happening with all of those good and decent people from sea to shining sea. Made up of Democrats, Republicans and independents, the Great Middle is in the process of organizing itself with a higher goal, quietly but surely, not by express agreement or party affiliation, but by standards of decency, integrity, honor and faithfulness to the best interests of the Republic.
Many intensely loyal Republicans, more polite and less dangerous than those who breached the Capitol, are, in larger and larger numbers, quietly but persistently looking for alternatives in the form of political movements and candidates of conscience, character, conviction and courage. They’re not suggesting, hopelessly, a return to simpler times. They’re calling, hopefully, for a return to simple, timeless and enduring values: presuming the best of each other, listening in good faith before acting or responding, exuding generosity and grace, self-correcting our own mistakes and being ambitious to accomplish something, not to be somebody.
In the Republican National Committee’s search for power for its own sake and its obsession with winning at any cost, you have sacrificed, by your proclamation and its revelation of the presently existing soul of the party, the allegiance of a great many, and a growing number, of your most ardent and long-time supporters. Regrettably, it appears, “you have hitched your wagon to the wrong star.”
But more important than ephemeral political calculations, in the political life of the United States there is no greater or higher loyalty as a citizen or an officeholder than a shared loyalty to the nation and the Constitution. Every citizen agrees to that premise as a condition of the social contract between the people and their government.
Hence, loyalty to a political party or candidate never trumps allegiance to the Republic.
The Oath of Office taken by every member of the United States Senate and House of Representatives, as well as the president, requires those office holders to “solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic [and] that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” The Oath concludes with a solemn promise that “I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
Bearing true faith means maintaining fidelity to the preservation of the union, fidelity to our fellow citizens, fidelity to a shared set of values and fidelity to the law and the Constitution. That transcendent fidelity or faithfulness to the Constitution is demonstrated by our continuing and unequivocal loyalty, first and above all else, to the United States of America, without interruption, without condition, without exception, without avoidance, without arrogance, without deceit, without connivance and without obfuscation.
The faithfulness referred to in the Oath of Office presumes not just faithfulness to the actual words of the Constitution, but faithfulness to its spirit as well. A spirit recognized and requited by humility, respect for others and the rights of others, honor, decency, integrity and self-discipline. Fidelity is the exact opposite of seeking power for its own sake or craving victory at any cost, each of which history has revealed time and time again to be a fool’s errand.
All of the above is to say that I have discovered no facts nor evidence, anywhere, of the “sabotage” or “persecution” or efforts to “destroy” the former president that serve as the basis for the accusations cited in the RNC Resolution and lodged against Representatives Cheney and Kinzinger. Quite the opposite, the evidence reveals two Republican members of the House of Representatives honorably performing their investigative duties and searching for the truth as members of a duly constituted investigative committee. In other words, they’re doing their job with fidelity and loyalty to the Constitution.
Parenthetically, it appears that the House Republican leadership not only made the wrong decision by refusing to participate in the legitimate business of the Select Committee, they made a serious tactical error as well. Now, having forfeited their opportunity to provide input into the Select Committee’s work and deliberations, they are left with only one available option, namely, to close their eyes to the truth and curse the darkness.
How is it that an official inquiry undertaken to pursue and determine the truth can be so threatening? How is it that faithfulness to one’s country and fellow citizens can be so precipitously and eagerly sacrificed in exchange for political victory, or the pursuit of power, or both? How is it that the responsibility to assess accountability, if the facts establish it, can be so easily dismissed? There has been no honest and reasonable answer to any of those questions.
Of course, the elephant in the room is the 2020 presidential election and the efforts of the unsuccessful candidate to overturn the results.
Although it is ever so neat and tidy to blame the defeat of the former president on the existence of decisive and widespread fraud, there is not even a scintilla of evidence, anywhere, to support such piffle. The former president didn’t experience defeat in 2020 because of fraud. The truth is quite the opposite. The defeat of the former president is explained by the fact that legions of responsible citizens, part of that Great Middle of America, voted the way they did because they embraced the very fidelity to their country and its Constitution that the RNC claims to embrace in its Party Platform.
So what can be done now? My suggestion and request is that you lead the Committee through the process of withdrawing and dismissing the RNC Resolution rebuking and deserting Representatives Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. I urge the pursuit of this remedy with the understanding that we’re human, that politics is a competitive enterprise and that sometimes we make mistakes. But I also believe in such a situation the final measure of our character is whether we have the insight and courage to humbly and honestly correct them.
You may be thinking, "How can any decent, self-respecting American consider himself or herself a Republican?" Well, what can I say? As you know, the fish rots from the head. Some context for this Trump. In 2020, Biden beat Trump 435,072 (53.1%) to 360,737 (44.0%). Trump won the 2nd congressional district by 7.4% and strongly endorsed Republican Dale Crafts, who lost to one of the worst Democrats in Congress, Jared Golden-- 53% to 47%. On the same day, Susan Collins not only trounced Democrat Sara Gideon-- who had outspent her enormously, $62,939,062 to $29,600,689, but also far surpassed Trump, bringing in 417,645 (51%) to Trump's sad 360,737 (44.0%). Not that any of that prevented ex-President-in-Fantasyland to post this nonsense on his blog today: