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The Senate Is Now Slipping Into The Same Kind Of Unhinged Nihilism Plaguing The House

Imagine Crazies Like Cruz, Scott, Paul & Hawley Running The Show

When we talk about congressional dysfunction, the first thing that pops up is the House of Representatives, a virtual mad house with weak, incompetent leadership in the midst of a Republican Party civil war between vaguely mainstream conservatives and the neo-fascist-MAGA-nihilism crowd.

But with McConnell turning himself into a lame duck this week, that dysfunction is spreading right into the Senate, especially since there is no obvious heir and it was just hours after McConnell’s announcement before the struggle was on between John Cornyn, John Thune, John Barrasso, Rick Scott and, via Trump, Steve Daines. When Congress had to pass a stop gap CR to keep the government functioning, 97 Republicans in the House voted against it, basically the MAGA wing. When it went over to the Senate, it passed 77-13, the 13 being the MAGAts who are all about chaos, nihilism and Trump:

  • Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

  • Mike Braun (R-IN)

  • Ted Budd (R-NC)

  • Mike Crapo (R-ID)

  • Ted Cruz (R-TX)

  • Josh Hawley (R-MO)

  • Ron Johnson (R-WI)

  • Mike Lee (R-UT)

  • Roger Marshall (R-KS)

  • Eric Schmitt (R-MO)

  • Rick Scott (R-FL)

  • Tommy Tuberville (R-AL)

  • JD Vance (R-OH)

Daines was away and Rand Paul snuck out and didn’t vote, although earlier in the day he has tried to attach a poison pill amendment that would have killed the bill. Ted Cruz tried the same thing; both of them failed.

The bill was to fund the departments of Agriculture; Interior; Transportation; Housing and Urban Development; Veterans Affairs; Energy; Justice; Commerce; the Environmental Protection Agency, and a few other agencies through March 8. They have 6 more departments to do a week from now.

Sans McConnell and with a slugfest going on to replace him, the Senate may get as ungovernable and dysfunctional as the House is now. Trump has labeled two of the top contenders, John Cornyn (TX) and John Thune (SD), “RINOs.” I doubt either of them could win without Trump’s explicit support.

Alexander Bolton reported that what he sees shaping up is a power struggle between the pro-Trump forces and anti-Trump Republicans. “GOP lawmakers aligned closely with the former president,” wrote Bolton, “are urging any candidate wanting to succeed McConnell to embrace Trump. Other Republican senators want McConnell’s successor to keep a healthy distance from the controversial former president… Republicans are divided over how aligned their next leader should be with Trump. Some, such as Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) want to elect a new leader who will be a cheerleader for Trump, flying with the former president to rallies around the country. ‘It’s an imperative,’ he said. ‘We got to get somebody now who’s going to energize our base all across the country for Senate Republicans and also going to be able to get on that airplane with Trump and stand up at a rally and say, Listen, we need President Trump to win, and be very truthful about it.’ Other Republicans, who point to what they view as Trump’s spotty record endorsing Republican candidates who can actually win Senate seats in November— not to mention Trump’s failure to win re-election in 2020— want to keep a healthy distance from Trump. Some of those same Republicans are privately alarmed that Trump last month torpedoed a package of Ukraine funding and border security reforms because he wanted to deny President Biden a political win.”

One Republican senator who requested anonymity said the leadership race is becoming a proxy battle between traditional Republican senators who were allied with McConnell and MAGA-aligned conservatives who are sharply critical of McConnell’s leadership and the former GOP establishment in Washington.
“There’s that faction of individuals who have really found voice through the MAGA group and the endorsement of Trump,” the senator said.
… Mike Rounds (R-SD), who hasn’t endorsed Trump for president, acknowledged that Trump will have an impact on the race but argued that senators would be perfectly comfortable electing Thune or someone else not seen as especially close to Trump to the top leadership job.
“There are folks here who will clearly listen very [carefully] to what the former president said,” Rounds said, but he cautioned that Trump’s endorsement could both help and hurt a Senate leadership candidate. “It can influence both ways.”
Just as Trump’s endorsement could rev up Republican senators who have embraced his brand of conservative populism it could turn off GOP senators who view him as an erratic personality with a propensity for alienating moderate and women voters.
Rounds, who is backing Thune’s bid for leader, said Thune’s independence from Trump could be a selling point with colleagues.
“I’ve known John for 30 years. He doesn’t play games. He’s straightforward. What you see is what you get. He grew up in a time in which Ronald Reagan was a guy we both admired,” he said.
Rounds, who emphasized that Thune has endorsed Trump, also made the case that his South Dakotan colleague “is looking out for what is best for the Senate.”
“That’s what the Senate leader is supposed to do, is to look out what is best for his Senate conference and what’s best long-term for the institution,” he said.

Meanwhile, on Thursday in Eagle Pass on the Mexican border, a deranged Señor Trumpanzee babbled at the media “Nobody can explain to me how allowing millions of people from places unknown, from countries unknown, who don’t speak languages— we have languages coming into our country— we have nobody that even speaks those languages. They’re truly foreign languages. Nobody speaks them.”

No one speaks what languages? Spanish? Spanish is the second most spoken language in the U.S. 42 million people speak Spanish as a first language in the U.S. and another 15 million speak it as a second language. That’s not nobody. Remember when he said most of the migrants were “coming from jails [and] insane asylums.” He still says it as his rallies, even though there’s no truth to it at all. It’s important to remember that the conservative CATO Institute cites studies that consistently show that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born citizens. Trump uses this kind of ugly rhetoric to demonize and criminalize migrants, scare his low-IQ followers and justify harsher immigration policies while fueling xenophobia. There are plenty of congressional Republicans who have no problem with this at all… but some, especially in the Senate, do.

3 comentários

Jack Hannold
Jack Hannold
03 de mar.

Five of the Senate MAGAts you mentioned at the top of this post—Scott, Hawley, Cruz, Braun and Blackburn—are in the final year of their current terms. Braun is running for governor of Indiana, leaving an open seat, but the other four are running to stay in the Senate.

What effect do you think their clown antics will have on their re-election chances?


The scary part is that the reptilicans are likely to have a Senate majority next year.

02 de mar.
Respondendo a

the scary thing is that trump might just name his own senate right after he declares the democrap party illegal. that would probably put tubberville into the high chair.

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