Updated: Feb 9, 2022
It's like we're in an amusement park fun house where everything is distorted and weird, and where up is down and down is up. That apparently is Republican politics today. Consider this past week.
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It was a time when the venerable, stodgy old Republican National Committee (RNC) labels as traitors two GOP patriots, Reps. Liz Cheney (WY) and Adam Kinzinger (IL) because they're helping to investigate the January 6th attack on the Capitol by a mob whipped up by Donald Trump trying to overturn the 2020 election.
The RNC censured Cheney and Kinzinger Feb 4 at its annual meeting in Salt Lake City. According to that motion, the RNC will "immediately cease any and all support of them as members of the Republican Party for their behavior, which has been destructive to the institution of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Republican Party and our republic, and is inconsistent with the position of the conference."
By a voice vote, those 168 members of the RNC in attendance also ripped Cheney and Kinzinger for "participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse".
Yep, that's what those rioters we're doing. They were engaging in legitimate political discourse as they beat police officers, smashed windows, and desecrated the halls of our Democracy. And a bunch of them are headed to jail as a result of that legitimate political discourse. Although, Trump hinted that if he is elected president again, some of those rioters might be pardoned.
So, in Trump's mind, bad is good.
And so it is clear that the Republican Party has officially sided with Trump in his continued attack on our election process and on American Democracy, for which so many have fought and died. They have endorsed and embraced a tyrant who even now continues to propagate the "Big Lie" that the election was stolen, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Pence Speaks Up
Meanwhile, that same day former Vice President Mike Pence told a meeting of The Federalist Society in Florida that he did not have the authority to overturn the election as Trump had sought, and as his mob had demanded as they shouted "Hang Mike Pence" during the riot.
“Frankly there is almost no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president,” Pence said. “I had no right to overturn the election. The presidency belongs to the American people and the American people alone.”
Is Pence a hero for saying that? No, he's not. He was simply doing his job and to do otherwise would have made him a criminal and a traitor. Nevertheless, he has designs on the GOP nomination for president and not many Republicans believe that crossing Trump is a good thing. So while Pence is a boring right-winger, at least he has some integrity and courage.
Trump, of course, was displeased with Pence's statement and claimed that the Vice President was not required to automatically certify the vote count "if obvious signs of voter fraud or irregularities exist." Of course, such signs did not exist, except in Trump's narcissistic mind.
Meanwhile, we learned this week that Trump, during his presidency, routinely ripped up presidential correspondence and records and tossed them in the trash, much to the consternation of White House staffers who warned him that he was violating federal law. The Presidential Records Act requires that such records be preserved and turned over to the National Archives.
Remember when former Hillary Clinton was excoriated, harassed and incessantly investigated by the Republicans for using a private email server for official public communications instead of the official State Department servers?
That controversy was a major charge against her by the Republicans during her 2016 presidential campaign against Trump. Eventually, an FBI report concluded that Clinton had been "extremely careless", but had not acted with "criminal intent."
So what about Trump? He routinely, intentionally tore up documents and records, and even took some with him to Mar-a-Lago after he was kicked to the curb. Those records, including letters from Barack Obama and North Korea's Kim Jong Un, had to be retrieved by the National Archives. We taxpayers paid for that.
Now, the National Archives and Records Administration has asked the Justice Department to investigate Trump's handling of White House records. The Washington Post reported that officials recovered 15 bosses of materials from Mar-a-Lago that were not handed back to the government as required.
Finally, a QAnon President?
As if all of that were not enough, this past week also brought word that QAnon Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has been encouraged to run for President of the United States. Of course, when you think about that unthinkable possibility, you have to consider the source: conspiracy theorist InfoWars host Alex Jones.
It was one wacko encouraging another.
For those of you who have forgotten, QAnon is an American far-right political conspiracy theory and movement centered on false claims made by an anonymous individual or individuals, known by the name "Q", that a cabal of Satanic, cannibalistic pedophiles operated a global child sex trafficking ring that conspired against the former U.S. President Donald Trump during his term in office. Experts have described QAnon as a cult. (Wikipedia).
Now, to be fair, Greene disavowed her past support for QAnon in remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives before she was stripped of her committee assignments. She was booted from the House Budget and Education and Labor committees because she expressed support on social media for the assassination of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and for other outrageous actions -- including her QAnon connection.
“These were words of the past and these things do not represent me," Greene said of her support for QAnon. She said she stopped believing in 2018 when she found that QAnon followers were spreading “misinformation.” However, in December 2020, she tweeted about an article that called QAnon a "refreshing and objective flow of information", calling it "accurate."
So, up is down and down is up. Patriots are traitors and traitors are patriots. Ripping up presidential records and absconding with other historically important documents is fine, but sending out emails on the wrong account is a crime.
And the idea of a wacko like Greene actually occupying the White House is advanced in public discourse. Even if it is by someone as irresponsibly outrageous as Alex Jones.
Oh, I forgot. The two of them -- Jones and Greene -- also last week defended a Fox News personality’s comparison of White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci to Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor who performed lethal medical experiments and assisted in mass killings inside concentration camps.
Lara Logan, a former 60 Minutes correspondent working with Fox News, was dropped by her agency UTA following her remarks to that effect on the network’s Fox News Primetime in November.
What a crazy week! You can't make this stuff up!