Not A Party Worth Saving
A few weeks ago, when the Senate passed a bill to protect Asian-Americans from hate crimes, there was just one dissenting vote, severely mentally-ill Missouri Senator Josh Hawley. Yesterday, when the House took up the bill, 62 Republicans voted against it. (It passed 364-62.) Opposition in the House was led by bigoted extremists and Trump worshippers. Ohio sociopath Gym Jordan claimed it would impinge on freedom of speech and claimed, falsely, that "The Democrats have attempted to blame President Trump for this rise in violence against Asian Americans, but the facts tell an entirely different story. This violence by and large is happening in Democrat-controlled cities, many of which, interestingly enough, have defunded their police departments."
If dozens and dozens of Republican congressmembers can't agree on protecting a besieged group of Americans from predators hunting and killing them, is there anything they can agree with normal people on? How about the non-partisan commission-- minutely negotiated by Kevin McCarthy through his ally John Katko-- to investigate the failed 1/6 insurrection in which their own lives were in jeopardy. (And, as you can probably tell from Andrew Clyde's body language as he attempted to barricade the doors in the Capitol, no one really thinks these Trump domestic terrorists were just normal tourists.)
Today, the House will approve the independent commission-- but McCarthy and Scalise were told by Trump to vote no so... McCarthy (R-CA) and Scalise (R-LA) are voting no, and trying to persuade their cronies to vote no as well.
McCarthy, widely considered the most craven member of the House, issued a statement calling it a partisan decision, which was what his plan was all along even while he was negotiating in bad faith. Nick Fandos wrote that "But in yet another sign of how the former president’s election lies continue to drive wedges through the G.O.P., the position put [McCarthy] at odds with his counterpart in the Senate, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who said later he was open to supporting a commission depending on a review of the 'fine print.' ... In rejecting the commission, McCarthy essentially threw one of his key deputies, Representative John Katko of New York, under the bus in favor of shielding Trump and the party from further scrutiny. Katko had negotiated the makeup and scope of the commission with his Democratic counterpart on the Homeland Security Committee and enthusiastically endorsed it last Friday. It was all the more striking coming just days after McCarthy had maneuvered the ouster from leadership of his No. 3, Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, because she refused to drop criticisms of Trump and Republicans who abetted his election falsehoods. Cheney has said the commission should have a narrow scope, and that McCarthy should testify about a phone call with Trump during the riot.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader, immediately slammed Republican opposition as 'cowardice.' Katko was more conciliatory. He defended his work as 'a solid, fair agreement' but said the opposition was 'not something I take personally.' He predicted a 'healthy' number of Republicans would still vote for it. 'I can’t state this plainly enough: This is about facts,' Katko told the House Rules Committee at a hearing on the bill. 'It’s not about partisan politics.'"
These were the 62 Republicans who voted against the Asia hate crimes bill yesterday. I bet they will be largely the same people who vote against the independent commission today. Just watch.
After all, some of these members were complicit in the attempted coup, particularly Marjorie Taylor Greene (Q-GA), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Mad Cawthorn (Nazi-NC), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Lauren Boebert (Q-CO), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Andrew Clyde (R-GA), Clay Higgins (R-LA), Gym Jordan (R-OH), Ronny Jackson (R-TX), Mary Miller (R-IL), Mike Johnson (R-LA), Jody Hice (R-GA), and Andy Biggs (R-AZ).
I asked Moe Davis, a western North Carolina retired Air Force colonel who is likely to run against Cawthorn next year, why Cawthorn could have possibly have voted against the hate crimes bill. "Madison Cawthorn voting against the bill to aggressively combat hate crimes targeting Asian Americans," he told me late yesterday, "is no more of a surprise than him boasting to his college classmates four or five years ago that Asian women give the best blowjobs... he’s a lowlife racist scumbag with no morals, no values and no sense. He’s missed more votes than any freshman member of Congress... taking some hard earned vacation days to honeymoon in Dubai as most Western North Carolinians do... and that’s preferable to him showing up for work to just show his ass."
Last week, former Congressman David Jolly (R-FL) wrote that "Today’s GOP is not a party worth saving. Nor should our lessons learned be focused on simply recovering an abandoned ideology." Jolly was a mainstream conservative Republican from the Tampa Bay area and has been loudly anti-Trump ever since. Even before McCarthy booted Liz Cheney out of the leadership on Trump's command, Jolly wrote that "the cowardice of the GOP is on full display. Donald Trump lost the popular vote in each of his bids for the presidency, lost the House and the Senate for his party, and directly influenced a violent anti-democratic attempt to invalidate the 2020 elections. But in today’s Republican Party it is Cheney on the way out while others with richer Trump bona fides are on their way in."
He wrote that "suppose through diligent effort or the natural course of events, the GOP is ridded of Donald Trump’s leadership. What does that really accomplish? It remains the party of Kevin McCarthy, Matt Gaetz, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Marjorie Taylor Greene and a majority of current House and Senate members who voted to undermine the November 6 election and to absolve Trump of his role in the violent, anti-truth attack on the Capitol. These Republicans firmly believe the future of the GOP requires a group-think adherence to such doctrine. A new Republican Party coalition cannot seriously be built in concert with such illiberal, anti-democratic actors... Today’s Republican problem is not the mere result of Donald Trump’s behavior, it includes some critical ideological failings along the way-- from immigration to health care to taxes."
As he said-- "not a party worth saving."