The Republican Party has a a bad woman problem. Colorado gun nut and QAnon believer, Lauren Boebert, reported The Hill yesterday "is facing a wave of backlash following a fiery floor speech she made Wednesday in defense of Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) before he was censured by the House for posting an animated video on social media depicting himself killing another member of Congress. During her remarks on the House floor, Boebert deflected attention from Gosar's video by referring to progressive Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as a member of what she called "the Jihad Squad" and accusing Rep. Eric Swalwell (R-CA) of sleeping with a Chinese spy. 'The Jihad Squad member from Minnesota has paid her husband, and not her brother husband, the other one, over a million dollars in campaign funds,' she said. 'This member is allowed on the Foreign Affairs Committee while praising terrorists. My colleague and three-month presidential candidate from California who’s on the Intelligence Committee, slept with Fang Fang, a Chinese spy. Let me say that again: A member of Congress who receives classified briefings was sleeping with the enemy,' she said in an attack on Swalwell."
The next day, another QAnon crackpot, Georgia blowjob expert and insurrectionist Marjorie Traitor Greene, said, "Here’s the real problem with the so-called Build Back Better bill. It’s communism. America was never meant to be a communist country."
Remember when Virginia Foxx and Michele Bachmann were the female bad asses in the House? They were like school marms compared to vicious, hysterical crackpots like Boebert, Traitor Greene, Mary Miller (IL- the other QAnon congresswoman), Kat Cammack (FL), Beth Van Duyne (TX) and Debbie Lesko (AZ).
And yet, yesterday, Michelle Cottle decided to devote her NY Times column to the GOP's Bad Men Problem. She noted the violent congresswomen too and obviously, Gosar brought that on-- but not just Gosar. She noted, to get the ball rolling that the party doesn't seem to care that Georgia, Missouri and Pennsylvania have "leading candidates who have been accused of harassing, abusing, threatening or otherwise mistreating women. Once upon a time, this situation likely would have provoked a major display of concern, or at least an attempt at damage control, by the Republican establishment. Instead many party officials are brushing off related questions like pesky bits of dryer fluff. While the particulars of these cases vary-- the allegations, the candidates’ responses, the warmth of the party’s embrace-- the creeping not-so-casual misogyny is indicative of the dark path down which former President Donald Trump continues to lead the GOP."
It is not simply that Trump has long worn his shabby treatment of women like a perverse merit badge-- a symbol of how the rules of decent society do not apply to him. He also has made the Republican Party a welcoming place for other like-minded men. As president, rarely did he confront a harassment or abuse scandal in which he didn’t make clear his sympathies for the accused and his skepticism of the accusers. Pity the poor harasser. So misunderstood. So persecuted by humorless prigs. It almost takes the fun out of groping random chicks.
Republican officials are in a tough spot. Accusations of sexual misconduct or domestic violence are not necessarily disqualifying in the party of Trump. In some cases, they can be dismissed as lies-- Trump’s preferred approach-- a nefarious attack by haters. Bad behavior that is indisputable can always be pooh-poohed as unfortunate but of secondary importance within the larger battle against radical leftists.
For devout Trumpists, accusations of toxic masculinity can even be a comfort of sorts, a kind of corrective to a #MeToo movement that many in the MAGAverse consider excessive and anti-man. Remember when two White House aides resigned over accusations of domestic violence in early 2018? Mr. Trump popped up on Twitter to whine, “Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation.” Later, during the Brett Kavanaugh hubbub, Trump bemoaned what a “scary” and “difficult” time it was to be a young man in America.
The rot goes beyond the disrespect and mistreatment of women. Under Trump, the Republican Party has undergone a fundamental shift, swapping a fixation on character and morality and so-called Family Values for a celebration of belligerence, violence, and, yes, toxic masculinity. Greg Gianforte won his 2017 House race after “body slamming” a reporter who asked an unwelcome question. Charged with assault and sentenced to anger management classes and community service, Gianforte was praised by Trump as “my kind of guy” for his violent display. Last year, Montanans elected him governor.
This tendency is not restricted to the GOP’s men. Just look at the way MAGA extremists like Representatives Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene play up their swaggering, gun-toting images to the delight of the base. Before arriving in Congress, Ms. Greene got her kicks indulging social media fantasies about killing Democratic leaders.
Speaking of that, just this week, Representative Paul Gosar of Arizona, a 62-year-old former dentist desperate to be known as a MAGA butt-kicker, got himself censured and stripped of committee assignments for posting an animated video depicting him slashing the throat of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York progressive. All but two of his Republican colleagues stuck by him. Ms. Boebert took to the House floor to deliver a barn-burning defense.
Whatever the misconduct of individual Republicans, the larger scandal is in the party’s collective group shrug.
When a party prizes thuggishness, it becomes harder and harder to figure out where to draw the line. The slope is not merely getting slipperier. It’s getting steeper.
Gee, patient and colleague drugging-and-raping doctors Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) and Ronny Jackson (R-TX) don't even get mentioned in these kinds of stories any longer! And I guess everyone feels sorry for mentally challenged North Carolina twerp Madison Cawthorn who was a notorious sex predator just a short few years ago-- and, today, every bit as insane as Boebert and Traitor Greene. And no mention of sex trafficker Matt Gaetz? At least Tom Reed had the decency to announce he wouldn't run for reelection-- claiming alcoholism-- when he was exposed for assaulting a woman.