In 2005 when DWT first started there were several congressional characters we used to have a great time with; almost all have either retired, either voluntarily or because voters were smart enough to dump them. One who I assumed was dead was Mean Jean Schmidt from Ohio, a crack whore. We had tons of art pieces-- and that classic election video below-- made in her honor.
She was elected to Congress in 2005 and finally defeated by her embarrassed constituents in 2012. I don't know why I thought she was dead-- she's only 70-- but today I discovered she's not only still breathing, she's a freshman member of the Ohio legislature! And as much the crack whore as ever! Right now she's trying to persuade other members of the legislature to pass her "no exceptions" anti-Choice bill (HB-598) that forces women to give birth to the zygote of their rapist. (Actually, if a doctor says the mother would die giving birth, an abortion under the Mean Jean bill would be permitted.) here's Mean Jean explaining her bill in terms of the great opportunity it gives traumatized raped teenagers:
And by the way, if the rapist is the girl's grandfather or brother-- Mean Jean is in that kind of district-- that's no reason for allowing an abortion either.
There's only so far extremists like Mean Jean can push before even Republicans get fed up. That's what happened to her last time she was defeated-- it was by a conservative Republican who noted that Mean Jean was a fanatic, not a conservative. Next door in Michigan, Republicans are experiencing a similar thing right now: when is enough, enough... and how far towards authoritarianism and fascism are "normal" Republicans willing be dragged?
Nick Corasaniti and Neil Vigdor weren't reporting on Michigan Republicans' worries over recreating America in the image of the Handmaid's Tale, but about allowing champions of Trump's Big Lie to take over their party. Trump endorsed far right crackpots Matthew DePerno and Kristina Karamo, the former for Attorney General and the latter for Secretary of State and at a convention last week the state party officially endorsed both of them. That seems to have caused a rupture in the Michigan Republican Party. "After months of strain," wrote Corasaniti and Neil Vigdor, "it appears to finally be snapping as what remains of the old guard protests the party’s direction."
This week, Tony Daunt, a powerful figure in Michigan politics with close ties to the influential donor network of the DeVos family, resigned from the GOP’s state committee in a blistering letter, calling Trump “a deranged narcissist.” Major donors to the state party indicated that they would direct their money elsewhere. And one of Trump’s most loyal defenders in the State Legislature was kicked out of the House Republican caucus.
The repudiation of the election-denying wing of the party by other Republicans in Michigan represents rare public pushback from conservatives against Trump’s attempts to force candidates across the country to support his claims of a rigged 2020 vote. That stance has become a litmus test for GOP politicians up and down the ballot as Trump adds to his slate of more than 150 endorsements this election cycle.
Yet some Republicans in Michigan and beyond worry that a singular, backward-looking focus on the 2020 election is a losing message for the party in November.
...In an interview on Thursday morning, Trump disputed that a lasting focus on the 2020 election might hurt Republicans in November.
“I think it’s good for the general election because it’s made people very angry to get out and vote,” he said. He declined to say whether he would provide financial backing for DePerno or Karamo, though he praised DePerno as a “bulldog” and called Karamo “magnetic.”
Trump declined to comment on the DeVos network, saying only of DeVos, who served in his administration, “She was fine, but the one that I really liked in that family was the father, who was essentially the founder.” (DeVos’s father, Richard DeVos, who died in 2018, was also a major Republican donor.)
The most recent campaign-finance reports for the state party show that some big-dollar contributors have shifted their giving.
“A lot of the traditional donors, they just walked away,” said John Truscott, a Republican strategist in Michigan. “I don’t know how it survives long term.”
...Amid the fallout from the convention, Matt Maddock, a Republican state representative whom Trump had supported to become speaker next year, was pushed out of the House Republican caucus this week.
Maddock and his wife, a chair of the state party, had been backing fascists and dumping on more traditional conservative incumbents, which is why he's been kicked out of the party.
Before I say good night, let me share a couple of my favorite Mean Jean Schmidt remembrances. Remember she was never kicked out o the party.
A couple days ago the Cleveland Plain Dealer exposed Mean Jean as a liar (again). Schmidt, who neither confirms nor denies KGO Radio's assertions that she is a crack whore, has claimed, for no apparent reason other than psychosis (possibly brought on by extended crack use), that she earned two degrees from the University of Cincinnati. She didn't and to former Republican Congressman Bob McEwen, who is challenging Schmidt in the May 2 GOP primary based on her fitness to hold public office-- or, rather, her lack of it-- this is just another in a long list of irrational nonsense Schmidt is always spewing. (Remember when she claimed to be getting marriage proposals from Republican congressmen after she called decorated war hero Jack Murtha a coward? They all turned out to be from gay Republicans like Mark Foley and David Dreier looking for a beard.) Anyway, her campaign claims that even if she didn't actually get the degree, she should have because she attended classes... or something. Oh. Can you imagine telling that to a personnel director questioning your job resume?
An awful lot of candidates have been telling me that they plan to solve some of the employment problems in their districts with the use of alternative energy technologies... But Mean Jean Schmidt must have been drunk or on a meth bender when she came up with a jobs proposal that no one in their right mind would ever even think of, let alone talk about. She wants to import nuclear waste into southwest Ohio. One has to wonder what people in the Piketon area must have thought on Sunday when they woke up and read the Cincinnati Enquirer, which was reporting Schmidt's interest in importing nuclear waste from around the world and storing it near their town in the eastern part of the district.
Mean Jean Schmidt wasn't born with that name. Her parents christened her with the far more lady-like Jeannette Marie Hoffman. The Schmidt part came in when she married shady stockbroker Peter Schmidt, and she earned the "Mean" after her shocking debut on the House floor (November 18, 2005), when she started screeching at respected ex-Marine and war hero Jack Murtha that he was a coward for wanting to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq, deceptively blaming the entire incident on another Ohio right-wing kook, state Rep. Danny Bubp. Schmidt was ordered by John Boehner to lay low, but she's like a Tourette's victim and was soon accusing Obama of having been born in another country and not being constitutionally President of the United States. Schmidt hasn't had any impact at all in Congress and is widely considered an embarrassment and one of the least influential members of the House. The only other thing she's known for is her dogged opposition to the legitimate aspirations of the Armenian-American community. Schmidt, a dim bulb, isn't exactly someone would expect to even know anything about Armenia or Armenians. But she has been taking bribes from shady Turkish sources and helps run their anti-Armenian efforts. Friday the House Ethics Committee issued their report on her corruption, but decided not to recommend expulsion or arrest, claiming, in effect, that she was too dumb to know she had violated House rules. You have to be pretty dumb to not know taking bribes is against the rules... and the law.