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5 Republican Disgraces You Missed This Week

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5 Republican Disgraces You Missed This Week

GOP, Republicans, Rand Paul

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Every day in Donald Trump’s America is seemingly dumber, crueler, and more exhausting than the one that preceded it. This week alone saw the president’s pick for labor secretary withdraw his name from consideration, a story that was all but eclipsed by the still greater scandal of Michael Flynn’s resignation from the National Security Council amidst charges of collusion with the Russian government.

While it’s tempting to believe the centrifugal force of Trump’s cracked brand of authoritarianism will pull his presidency apart, the reality is that he remains enormously popular with Republican voters and the party’s craven politicians are unlikely to take any kind of action that could alienate them. Even if he were miraculously impeached or removed from office through the 25th Amendment, America would be left with President Mike Pence, arguably an even darker fate than the dystopian timeline in which we find ourselves.

What is clear is that to a man, from the preening “mavericks” to the proud white supremacists, the GOP is entirely complicit in the horrors of this administration. Every unconstitutional executive order, every denigration of the country’s citizenry and press comes with the party’s seal of approval. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may not like what the president is saying, but he likes what he’s doing.

What follows are five Republican disgraces you might have missed this week watching Donald Trump combust:

1. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) huddles with National Front Leader Marine Le Pen

The Iowa congressman has been one of Donald Trump’s most vocal supporters since the Republican primary. He’s also infamously argued that white people have contributed more to civilization than any other “subgroup.” Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that he sat down Monday with Marine Le Pen, a French reactionary making her own bid for president on a campaign of unapologetic xenophobia.

Le Pen made headlines of her own last week when she called on French Jews to renounce their dual citizenship with Israel and abandon use of yarmulkes in public spaces — part of a larger ban on religious attire primarily targeted at French Muslims. That didn’t stop King from glowing about the two countries’ “shared values” on Twitter, although with Steve Bannon’s liver pulsing in the West Wing, it’s safe to wonder if the congressman’s words contain more than a flicker of truth.

2. Rep. Jason Chafetz (R-UT) won’t even mask his villainy

The Utah congressman, who once said he wouldn’t be able to look his daughters in the face if he continued to support Donald Trump, began the week by accusing rowdy demonstrators at a recent town hall of being paid protesters. But he was only getting warmed up. Three days later, on the heels of Michael Flynn’s stunning ouster from the National Security Council, the chairman of the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform declared there was no need for further inquiry. “It’s working itself out,” he told reporters with a smirk.

Chaffetz finally called for an investigation on Thursday — not of the national security advisor who could have shared sensitive intelligence information with a hostile foreign government, but of the leakers responsible for his resignation. And yet the coup de grce arrived the following morning when he announced that he would be seeking criminal charges against the State Department employee who helped Hillary Clinton set up her server.

If America emerges from Trump’s authoritarian regime mostly intact, Chaffetz may be remembered as his single greatest enabler.

3. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) lets the truth slip

Rep. Jason Chaffetz makes no apologies about putting party over country, but he’s hardly alone. Sen. Rand Paul echoed the Utah congressman by suggesting that membership in the GOP itself should preclude an elected official from public scrutiny. “I just don’t think it’s useful to be doing investigation after investigation, particularly of your own party,” he droned to the “Kilmeade and Friends” radio show. “We’ll never even get started with doing the things we need to do, like repealing Obamacare, if we’re spending our whole time having Republicans investigate Republicans. I think it makes no sense.”

Paul has no interest in the Trump administration’s possible ties to a violent autocrat. He just wants to get down to the hard work of stripping tens of millions of Americans of their health insurance, if you don’t mind.

4. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) says he’s committed to fighting authoritarianism with a straight face

The Arizona senator was in Germany this week as part of party-wide blitz to assure Western Europe that the U.S. is still committed to its alliances — a campaign that has, incidentally, proven largely unsuccessful. “[The founders] would be alarmed by an increasing turn away from universal values and toward old ties of blood and race and sectarians,” he told the Munich conference. “They would be alarmed by the growing inability — and even unwillingness — to separate truth from lies. They would be alarmed that more and more of our fellow citizens seem to be flirting with authoritarianism and romanticizing it as our moral equivalent.”

Noble sentiments one and all. If only John McCain hadn’t endorsed a proto-fascist who openly mocked his war record; or waited until the release of an audio tape cataloguing his sexual abuses before retracting said endorsement; or taken literally any action to impede the rise of the very politician he now coyly refuses to identify by name. Let’s give Gizmodo’s Alex Pareene the final word on the maverick who isn’t.

5. The Senate Committee confirms Scott Pruitt to the EPA

By a vote of 52-46, a Republican-controlled Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt as the next head of the Environmental Protection Agency Friday — four days before the release of emails between Pruitt and fossil fuel companies ordered by a federal judge in Oklahoma. The two Democratic votes belonged to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), hailing from oil-rich and coal-rich states respectively.

As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Pruitt has challenged the existence of man-made climate change and sued the EPA over its efforts to limit carbon emissions, regulate smog pollution ,and protect wetlands and streams, all of which apparently qualifies him to lead the federal agency itself. In a related story, scientists warn Arctic ice melt could trigger uncontrollable climate change at a global level.

Jacob Sugarman is a managing editor at AlterNet.

IMAGE: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul speaks at the Growth and Opportunity Party at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, October 31, 2015.  REUTERS/Brian C. Frank



  1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth February 19, 2017

    “[The founders] would be alarmed by an increasing turn away from universal values and toward old ties of blood and race and sectarians,” he told the Munich conference. “They would be alarmed by the growing inability — and even unwillingness — to separate truth from lies. They would be alarmed that more and more of our fellow citizens seem to be flirting with authoritarianism and romanticizing it as our moral equivalent.”

    McCain, Trump, and the GOP are slaves to an illusion called Race, and “blood”, is biological component—tissue— composed of hemoglobin, the same in all humans, descended from the same “single clot of blood”, as cited in Surah 96 of the Qur’an, having the same biochemical substances, and and serving the same biological function no matter what skin color of ethnicity of any human’s veins and arteries blood flows through.

    Some day—soon hopefully, before most of humanity are driven to the same state of madness as the likes of Trump, Alex Jones, La Pen, Putin, and David Duke—we will have come to realize that the divisive practices the GOP and other conservative forces in the world have been engaged in for decades has been for naught, all because of a disbelief and ignorance of Science and of Religion. A disbelief and lack of Faith having caused, directly or indirectly, countless innocent people to lose their deaths, and countless others to suffer needlessly.

    “O CHILDREN OF MEN! Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust? That no one should exalt himself over the other. Ponder at all times in your hearts how ye were created. Since We have created you all from one same substance it is incumbent on you to be even as one soul, to walk with the same feet, eat with the same mouth and dwell in the same land, that from your inmost being, by your deeds and actions, the signs of oneness and the essence of detachment may be made manifest. Such is My counsel to you, O concourse of light! Heed ye this counsel that ye may obtain the fruit of holiness from the tree of wondrous glory.” —Baha’u’llah



    1. Elizabethkhulbert February 20, 2017

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  2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth February 19, 2017

    As of today, starting the new week off right where the dear GOP left off the previous week, a pathetic Congressman from Utah made the ridonculous announcement that women shouldn’t get the same pay as men based on some wildly idiotic and amorphously irrational assumption that it would go against the “norm” of society.

    In other words, the “conservative” concept and stance that things must remain as they are simply because that’s the way it’s always been, is at the heart of why this Party and the very ideology of Conservatism needs to trashed and tossed in a dustbin of useless prattle and a child-like perception of the world—and anyone insisting on such ass-backwards primitive notions should be taken behind a wood shed and thoroughly thrashed to a fare-thee-well.

    This story, like so many others, succinctly summarizes in the opening paragraph(see below) the ongoing madness and general malaise afflicting a Party no longer capable of keeping up with the onward and inexorable progress of human society as a whole.

    Here’s the gist of his contorted mind’s outlook on this aspect of human affairs:

    “…In a letter criticizing a bill that addresses pay gap in the workforce, a Utah Republican said that men have traditionally earned more than women and, citing ‘simple economics’, argued that things should stay that way….”

    James Green’s letter to the editor, published in two local publications earlier this week, immediately prompted such outrage that within two days, Green had written an apology and resigned from his post as vice chair of the Wasatch County Republican Party….”



    My sole aim in pointing this out IS NOT to exalt one Party over another, but simply to point out the lamentable and deplorable state of the collective minds of those who make up the GOP structure their lack of imagination, fear of progress, and the level of thinking of the average person who supports such inane and uniquely backwards-oriented candidates with such myopic and primitive concepts about the status of women and how it needs to updated to be in conformity with the principle of the reality of the “equality” of women and men. Not “Sameness”, but “equality insofar as capacity”, intellectually and spiritually. Equal mental abilities and performances deserve equal pay, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, and class.

    It would appear that the GOP is trying its best to bring on wholesale insanity, are expressing a longing to be prehistoric and barbaric in their sentiments, and a lonely and homesick for the times when humanity was still in the stages akin to a pre-adolescent state of humanity’s evolution.

    1. FrancEs 4 Chin Cuffy February 19, 2017

      Hey Aaron. How’s that heroin up in Portsmouth, NH?

      1. FireBaron February 20, 2017

        Hey, FrancEs, move out of mommy’s basement yet?

      2. Dan S February 20, 2017

        Yo Jackass we’re not in the mood for your sarcastic comments. If your not here to make a compelling argument backed up with intelligent comments you are therefore blocked along with the likes of cretins like Godzilla. Goodbye and good riddance ????

        1. FrancEs 4 Chin Cuffy February 20, 2017

          oh really? What did you just add to the conversation baldy? GAFL

      3. GeneralOrder5 February 20, 2017

        Heroin from our pipeline in Afghanistan,…! Right, Comrade. Making Russia great again!!!!

  3. FrancEs 4 Chin Cuffy February 19, 2017

    Late Breaking News- Billary Clinton will NOT be President

    1. I Am Helpy February 20, 2017

      Weren’t you banned, special Nazi snowflake?

      1. FireBaron February 20, 2017

        ‘Zilla under a different name?

    2. GeneralOrder5 February 20, 2017

      Just like we planned in Moscow!!

      1. keka April 22, 2017

        YEP and Moscow is still doing their crap here…. these so called patriots don’t care…..I suggest they go live in Russia and see what they get…..FrancEs 4 is a vile racist nazi….just like our President….has anyone looked into Trumps family history….his grandfather was a Nazi who owned whore-houses and so was his father a racist and owner of brothels….no wonder DT has no respect for brown people or women….He also was never given any real love and guidance…only get what you can or should I say steal what you can from anyone you can….Yep that is the mentality of all those who now refuse to denounce this idiot who is taking us on a collision course in the world.


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