The new polling from Navigator Research this morning shows how well Biden is doing with normal Americans. They report that "he gets high marks for his handling of his job as president, as well as for his handling of the pandemic and the economy, Americans see Biden as prioritizing the pandemic and the economy in his first 100 days, followed by infrastructure and climate change as important tertiary focuses [and that] majorities feel Biden’s policies put working and middle class people first and trust him to tell the American people the truth."
Now compare him to a completely typical Republican. Let me pull one out of a hat... ahh... Idaho state Rep. Aaron Von Ehlinger, except his name isn't really "von" anything, just Aaron Ehlinger. He added the "von" (which indicates nobility in Germany) while he was in college at the University of Alabama. Before being appointed to the Idaho House last year he was a substitute teacher and a real estate agent. His Lewiston area swing district is 96% white. The only thing he ever accomplished was forcing a 19 year old legislative intern to blow him.
This morning, the Associated Press reported that "von" Ehlinger "was previously warned against hitting on women who work at the Statehouse after his colleagues heard complaints from other staffers... The Boise Police Department has a criminal investigation underway, and the Legislature’s Ethics Committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing on Wednesday to determine if the lawmaker 'engaged in conduct unbecoming a representative which is detrimental to the integrity of the House'... Von Ehlinger has denied the allegations and maintains the sexual encounter was consensual."
The ethics committee documents include text messages, letters and transcriptions of interviews the committee did with von Ehlinger, his colleagues, other Statehouse staffers and the young intern who made the rape report. Several of those interviewed testified that they had grown concerned about von Ehlinger’s behavior after hearing that he had flirted with staffers or otherwise made women who worked at the Statehouse uncomfortable.
One staffer asked a supervisor for help after she said von Ehlinger made her feel uncomfortable and asked her on a date. That situation was resolved with an email from the staffer who told the lawmaker that she was married and not comfortable being alone with him, according to the documents.
In another instance, a lobbyist reported that von Ehlinger followed her around and made her feel uncomfortable during events outside the Statehouse, and that at one event she was worried he might have even rifled through her purse in an attempt to find her home address.
...At various times, Speaker of the House Scott Bedke and House Majority Caucus Chair Rep. Megan Blanksma were alerted to the complaints, according to the documents. Blanksma was concerned enough that she asked a colleague to warn von Ehlinger that he needed to remain strictly professional and avoid any behavior that could be perceived as flirtatious.
Von Ehlinger did not seem receptive to the warning, Blanksma told the committee.
“I hate to attribute, you know, any particular attitude to him but, it was, he was defensive when he came upstairs and I don’t know that he appreciated the effort or the spirit in which the suggestion was made,” Blanksma said. “I felt that he was pushing back on me even suggesting that path forward.”
Von Ehlinger told the committee that despite the warning, he still thought it was appropriate to ask staffers out on dates because he believed if the individual had a problem with it, they would let him know, “and that the matter would be closed.”
The 19-year-old intern told the committee that von Ehlinger brought her back to his apartment instead of to her car after dinner because he said he had to pick up something first. When they were inside, she said he physically carried her to the bedroom and at one point he was kneeling on her with his knees on top of her shoulders.
She said she told von Ehlinger she didn’t want to have sexual contact and at one point lied and said she wasn’t on birth control in hopes that he would be dissuaded. She said the lawmaker ignored her, forcing her to have oral sex.
The documents also include transcripts of a call between the intern and von Ehlinger, in which she confronted him and said he forced her to perform oral sex.
“Like I told you I didn’t wanna do that. I said I was was uncomfortable,” she told von Ehlinger during the call.
Von Ehlinger countered that he thought she was enjoying the physical interaction, but said he now has regrets.
Are all Republican men like this? Um... there are exceptions, but this is the right-wing mindset. "It was consensual. She loved being forced to suck my dick. What woman wouldn't?" That's the purest essence of conservatism I've ever heard in my life. Let's step that up to a more societal level. This morning CNN reported that DC police officer Michael Fanone, "who was brutally assaulted while defending the US Capitol during the January 6 insurrection" said last night on Don Lemon's show "that it's been difficult to watch some [Republican] elected officials and others 'whitewash' the episode in its aftermath."
The far right Trumpist coup terrorists stun-gunned him several times and beat him with a flagpole during the attack on the Capitol, which almost all Republicans poo-poo and describe as non-violent or an attempt by Antifa to make Trump look bad.
Though Fanone didn't name Donald Trump specifically, the former President falsely claimed in an interview with Fox News last month that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol behaved properly with law enforcement and there was "zero threat" to the building.
Trump also claimed that some of the rioters "went in, and they are hugging and kissing the police and the guards."
His false account conflicts with reams of video evidence of the violence that broke out on January 6, criminal charges filed against participants, law enforcement officials' testimony, police officers' accounts of the violence and lawmakers' descriptions of the fear they experienced that day.
Fanone suffered a heart attack and a concussion during the insurrection and is now dealing with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I experienced the most brutal, savage hand-to-hand combat of my entire life," he said Tuesday. "Let alone my policing career, which spans almost two decades. It was nothing that I had ever thought would be a part of my law enforcement career, nor was I prepared to experience."
Federal prosecutors have filed charges against Thomas Sibick, who allegedly participated in the assault of Fanone. Prosecutors said Sibick was seen in police body-camera footage assaulting Fanone while he lay on the ground outside the Capitol during the riot.
During the brawl outside the Capitol, Sibick allegedly grabbed Fanone's badge and radio, and he later posted a photo of himself holding a police shield on Facebook, court filings say.
"I want people to understand the significance of January 6," Fanone said Tuesday. "I want people to understand that thousands of rioters came to the Capitol hell-bent on violence and destruction and murder."
Take a look at Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger's brand new video, "Opportunity." It sounds like Kinzinger is a progressive Democrat. But he isn't. He's a conservative Republican. He knows Trump is an enemy of America and doesn't mind saying so... but refuses to see what his party is and refuses to do anything about that.
Can you blame all Republicans for this kind of behavior? There are a few outliers, but yes, you can and should. It's what the party is now-- not just their elected officials, their operatives and their media, but their voters as well. And not just in the U.S., but wherever conservatives get their hands on the levers of power. Example: There are two right-wing ultra-Orthodox parties in Israel, Shas and UTJ-- politically identical with politicized evangelism in the U.S. The head of Shas was convicted of bribery 15 years ago and is about to be indicted for tax evasion. And the head of UTJ, a disgraced cabinet minister, is about to be indicted for interfering in the case of a child rapist.