Bipartisanship? Democratic Freshmen Elect A Republican To Be Democratic Class President
Most of yesterday's news about Congress involved the dysfunctional Speaker election, like the press release from fascist Scott Perry (PA) above. These were the 20 members who voted for Gym Jordan on the 3rd roll call: Andy Biggs (AZ), Dan Bishop (NC), Lauren Boebert (CO), Josh Brecheen (OK), Michael Cloud (TX), Andrew Clyde (GA), Eli Crane (AZ), Byron Donalds (FL), Matt Gaetz (FL), Bob Good (VA), Paul Gosar (AZ), Andy Harris (MD), Anna Paulina Luna (FL), Mary Miller (IL), Ralph Norman (SC), Andy Ogles (TN), Scott Perry (PA), Matt Rosendale (MT), Chip Roy (TX) and Keith Self (TX). I hear McCarthy is especially steaming over Congressmen-elect Eli Crane and Keith Self, since he spent, respectively $910,253 and $202,906 helping them get elected. But there was more to Day One of the 118th Congress than just that.
It was like the first day of school for the 118th Congress, especially for the freshman class. There have never been as many women members (149)— and especially never been as many female Republicans (42). Also— the most LGBTQ members and Hispanic members. Yadira Caraveo (D) is the first Latina elected to Congress from Colorado. Delia Ramirez (D) is the first Latina elected to Congress from Illinois. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R) and Andrea Salinas (D) are the first two Hispanics elected to Congress from Oregon. Juan Ciscomani, an immigrant, is the first Latino Republican elected to Congress from Arizona. Michigan elected its first Black Republican—John James— and first Indian American—Shri Thanedar (D). Eric Sorenson is the first openly gay member elected from Illinois. Summer Lee (D) is the Black woman elected from Pennsylvania. Becca Balint is both the first woman and the first openly LGBTQ person ever elected to Congress from Vermont.
Some of the freshmen have found roommates, others are still looking for a place to live. One (a notorious liar) claimed— without evidence— that his apartment application was rejected and his application fee confiscated. The person each picks as chief of staff will largely determine whether or not they have a successful congrmssionalcareer— but almost none of them know that.
And then there’s Brazilian Republican George Santos, in a category all his own. He represents a Long Island district he doesn’t live in and will likely be in prison before his term ends. No one knows anything about him because he’s a congenital liar and everything he has said about himself is false. Although we now know he is Catholic (not Jewish) and probably gay (but who really knows) and owned by a Russian oligarch. The Republican freshmen should elect him classs president because there is no Republican— other than Donald Trump— who is more quintessentially Republican than George Santos. Federal and local prosecutors are investigating him for serious crimes and Brazil has re-opened an arrest warrant for him and has asked the Department of Justice to cooperate with their determination to bring him to trial.
Yesterday, Ruth Ben-Ghiat wrote at Lucid that “The success of ‘George Santos’—a construct created by a compulsive liar— makes perfect sense according to the logic of corruption and authoritarian dynamics. When an amoral autocrat captures a political party, as former president Donald Trump did with the GOP, he remakes it in his own image. His values and methods become those of the party he controls. Individuals have worth and status only to the extent that they embrace those values and methods, no matter how criminal these may be. In this way, the autocrat and his proxies also act as corruptors: they do not just give permission to break the rules, but they also let it be known that they will reward those who do. Lying and fraud have always been central to Trump's business and political practices, and they are now part of the GOP's identity and practice… Enter George Santos, who lived his whole life defrauding and lying to everyone around him. That included a 2008 episode in Brazil when he committed check fraud (Brazilian authorities are now re-opening the case). In a different ethical and political climate, such an individual might have thought twice about submitting himself to the public scrutiny of a campaign. Now, Santos fits right into a party devoted to the Big Lie and engaged in a coverup of its complicity in the attempt to overturn the 2020 election and the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. There is also something very Trumpian about Santos. Taken collectively, his lies conform to the charismatic authoritarian goal of being all things to all people (Trump’s fervent followers include neo-Nazis and orthodox Jews)… [H]ow Trump-like was Santos's assertion that he owned multiple real estate rental properties, and was suffering from his tenants refusing to pay rent, when in fact he was evicted— in Queens— three times for non-payment of rent as a tenant… When a criminal of the magnitude of Trump is in power, the whole window of possibility shifts at the local as well as national level, creating spaces for unscrupulous individuals to succeed.”
The Democratic freshmen have already elected their class president, a thoroughly corrupt Republican. Robert Garcia, an openly gay Republican who is passing himself off as a Democrat in a solid blue district for the sake of political expediency, is the first LGBTQ class president— and the first Republican to serve as a Democratic class president. Scam Bankman-Fried, Democratic Majority for Israel and AIPAC (which launders Republican money into Democratic primaries) put together around $2 million to smear his progressive challenger in the CA-42 primary and win him the nomination.
In his latest iteration, Garcia is a conservative Democrat— endorsed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus against an actual progressive. He first registered as a Republican less than a decade after Prop 187. He was very actively Republican and served as California youth coordinator for George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign and founded the Long Beach Young Republicans in 2005. Garcia downplays his involvement in both, although media clips from the time quote him proudly playing a prominent role in the club. He re-registered as a decline-to-state voter in 2007, two years before he won a City Council seat; and as a Democrat in 2010, four years before he successfully ran for mayor, according to the Los Angeles County voter registration database. “People are allowed to grow and change,” and former Republicans shouldn’t be treated as “second-class Democrats,” Garcia said, pointing to his refusal to take corporate PAC money and support for single-payer healthcare. “What matters is your record.” He may not take corporate PAC money, but if it wasn’t for the poisonous cash spent to help his campaign by Bankman-Fried, AIPAC and DMFI, he wouldn’t be in Congress today. As for his record, he is best known for having aggressively defended Long Beach as one of only two California cities still burning trash and poisoning its residents. He called it “clean technology” (not unlike “clean coal”). As mayor, he charged Long Beach residents $8 million for a recycling program that doesn't recycle anything-- just burns it.
You thought that the last remnants of that the toxic, retrograde practice of trash burning was mostly banned by the early 1990’s, right? It was, but not in Long Beach (and Modesto), which still employ trash incinerators. The EPA officially warns that incinerator burning is extremely bad for public health. The toxins in the dirty air released by incinerators increase the risk of heart disease, aggravate respiratory ailments such as asthma and emphysema, and cause rashes, nausea and headaches. According to the environmental think tank, Tishman Environment and Design Center, nearly all of the country’s incinerators are found in low-income communities, disproportionately exposing them to environmental toxins. That’s what progressives call injustice and why actual progressives-- not Robert Garcia/Gavin Newsom make-believe progressives-- fight for environmental justice.
So, yeah… welcome to the 118th Congress, likely to be the worst in living memory. It already is for Kevin McCarthy. Look at that letter Florida rat Matt Gaetz sent the architect of the Capitol. I mean, what happens to Gaetz if McCarthy actually does wind up as speaker! Kiss and make up? I don't think so; not even McCarthy is that devoid of some semblance of dignity. Or is he?
Trumpanzee to the rescue? Yesterday he again to tried deflecting his own shortcomings as a candidate-recruiter onto McConnell, attacking him and his wife: “There is so much unnecessary turmoil in the Republican Party, in large part do [sic] to people like the Old Broken Crow, Mitch McConnell, his ‘wife,’ Coco Chow, who is a sellout to China, and their RINO allies, who make it difficult for everyone else by constantly capitulating to Hopeless Joe Biden and the Democrats. The 1.7 Trillion Dollar Green New Deal ‘booster’ that McConnell and the RINOS handed to the Dems last week was a real downer and embarrassment to Republicans!” And then, someone must've persuaded him that McCarthy is going to win because this morning he put this all caps missive out on his pretend-Twitter website: