The GOP Rejects The Culture of Consequences
Indulge me for a moment with a bit of ancient history from the Before Time.
Actually, it’s just two years ago.
In January 2019, House Republicans stripped Representative Steve King (R-Bigot) of his committee assignments, tossing him off the Judiciary and Agriculture Committees.
King had a long history of racism, but had stayed in the GOP’s good graces for years, and had even become something of a kingmaker in Iowa politics…
I tell the story of King to highlight (1) the contrast with the case of Marjorie Taylor Greene, (2) the political malpractice of last night’s vote, and (3) how rapidly the GOP is devolving.
To be sure this has been a looooong time coming. The 2019 GOP had already spent years indulging Donald Trump’s penchant for racism and conspiracy theories, and rationalizing his birtherism, his lies, and his cruelty.
But they apparently still had some lingering, residual instinct for political hygiene. Two years later, the GOP’s immune system to crazy has been completely destroyed.
After Capitol riots, desperate families turn to groups that ‘deprogram’ extremists
Her brother couldn’t make it to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, but she worried that he would join a new insurrection — that one day “he would be one of the people on TV.”
The woman in her 30s asked her family to make plans, she said, hoping to keep her brother busy. Then she contacted a nonprofit called Parents for Peace that seeks to pull people back from extremism, hoping to “save” him, after years of dismay at his hatred of Muslims and Mexicans and now alarm at his anger over the presidential election.
Dissecting her brother’s life and their relationship in weekly sessions, she started to wonder whether she was part of the problem.
The woman, who did not want her name or location made public so as not to upset her brother, is part of a surge of desperate families and friends calling organizations that aim to deradicalize and “deprogram” extremists across the ideological spectrum. Such organizations say demand for their free services has never been higher.
The Knives Come Out for Josh Hawley
The elite conservative world saw the Missouri senator as America’s next great statesman. Instead, he’s revealed uncomfortable truths about the movement.
Hawley’s combination of conservative politics, news-anchor gravitas, apparent ambition, and Ivy League success made him a target of liberal hatred from the moment he arrived in the Senate. But lately, all that Hawley specialness has attracted a special kind of rage from his former allies in the conservative world, too. On January 6, a violent mob stormed the Capitol to stop the certification of Electoral College votes. Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer, Brian Sicknick. When news outlets around the world wrote the story of the riot, many illustrated it with a photo of Hawley, raising his fist to a crowd of then-peaceful protesters.
The Missouri senator became the avatar of the congressional insurrection, the one lawmakers started before the mob showed up. Conservatives and liberals alike blamed Hawley for encouraging the Capitol attackers by questioning the legitimacy of the election. Sure, seven other senators, including Alabama’s Tommy Tuberville and Kansas’s Roger Marshall, also challenged the results, as did 139 members of the House of Representatives. But Tuberville was schooled by Nick Saban, not John Roberts—the former Auburn coach wasn’t marked for political greatness. It didn’t even matter much that Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who has a similarly elite résumé, stuck it out with Hawley and disputed Arizona’s Electoral College results. “Ted is now just that annoying fly in the room—okay, we’ll swat it eventually,” a Republican campaign operative told me. “Josh is seen as so much worse.”
How did Hawley become the most hated man in Washington? Sometimes, ideological allies turn on one another because they don’t want to admit their collective sins, and they need somebody to blame.
A big step forward on Biden’s agenda poses new challenges to Trump’s GOP
In the early morning hours on Friday, Senate Democrats passed a measure laying the groundwork to move President Biden’s big economic rescue package via the reconciliation process, by a simple majority. Republicans are already thundering with outrage.
The move does indeed pose a serious challenge to Republicans. But it’s one that runs deeper than merely moving toward passing this one package without them. It also suggests a reset in dealing with GOP bad-faith tactics across the board — and even the beginnings of a response to the Donald Trump era and the ideology loosely described as “Trumpism.”
First, the new move suggests a growing recognition that the conventional understanding of how “bipartisanship” works has things exactly backward — and that Republicans have manipulated the public debate on this topic for far too long.
A thread on evangelical home schooling:
Thread: I was a evangelical homeschooler who was raised to view the idea of democracy as fundamentally bad. Here are some clippings from the homeschooling material my parents used..
They very much pushed the idea of a shadowy “one world government”, and said that democracy is doomed to fail, has always failed.
Jamelle Bouie/NY Times:
Marjorie Taylor Greene Knows Exactly What She’s Doing
The once-porous border between the right and the far right has dissolved.
What’s distinctive right now isn’t the fact that someone like Greene exists but that no one has emerged to play the role of Buckley. A longtime Republican leader like Mitch McConnell can try — he denounced Greene’s “loony lies and conspiracy theories” as a “cancer” on the party — but after he served four years as an ally to Donald Trump, his words aren’t worth much.
Those once-porous borders, in other words, now appear to be nonexistent, and there’s no one in the Republican Party or its intellectual orbit to police the extreme right. Representative Greene is the first QAnon member of Congress, but she won’t be the last and she may not even ultimately be the worst.
Nan Aron/USA Today:
Courts are key to all Biden and Democrats want to do. Don’t lose focus on them.
We need judges who understand the challenges real people face. What’s at stake is nothing less than legal and social progress for future generation
A nearly year-long pandemic has killed over 450,000 Americans and put millions out of work. Last month, the rising tide of white supremacy led to an attempt to take over the very center of our nation in a Capitol attack fomented by then-President Donald Trump himself. Without question, our new president has his hands full — not to mention his commitment to tackle the climate emergency, restore American leadership abroad, and ensure every American access to quality health care.
But at the heart of addressing any of this — and securing lasting prosperity and justice for Americans for decades to come — are our courts. This is the opportunity for Senate Democrats to appoint forward-thinking, qualified judges who better reflect the people they serv