The insanity of the Donald Trump Republican Party and its official Ministry of Disinformation (aka Fox News) has descended to a new and reprehensible low. The GOP’s new majority in the House of Representatives, under House Squeaker Kevin McCarthy, wasted no time establishing itself as a rabidly rightist confederacy of crackpots.
Among the inaugural acts of the fledgling Trumpist legislature was a bill to suppress reproductive rights and another to defund IRS efforts to audit corporations and the wealthy. Then they formed the “Anti-Woke” caucus (whatever that means) to pursue an agenda that is contrary to the interests of most Americans.
After spending last year campaigning on the horrors of immigrants, abortion, China, fentanyl, inflation, and Hunter Biden’s stolen laptop, Republicans have settled into a schedule of the programs that really matter to them. And on Fox News GOP Rep. Troy Nehls joined Tucker Carlson to celebrate another “victory” achieved by the new majority: the reversal of the ban on smoking in the Capitol building.
Tucker Carlson was clearly ecstatic that McCarthy reversed the smoking ban. Undoubtedly he believes that this new found freedom to suck up poisonous tar and nicotine, and impose others to the same health risks, is a boon to the testosterone deprived members whose masculinity has been on the decline due to lack of exposure to cancer causing toxins and tanned testicles. “One of the biggest stories in our lifetimes,” Carlson has said, “is the total collapse of testosterone levels in American men.”
Carlson whined that he couldn’t understand why tobacco was ever banned in Congress in the first place when “you’re allowed to smoke meth in a park [and] Kids are encouraged to smoke weed.” And if he really believes that, he has been smoking something much more potent than tobacco. He then introduced Nehls saying…
“So you have to kinda wonder, why is tobacco so dangerous? Well, we thought we would ask a member of Congress who uses it, who smokes an occasional cigar. Troy Nehls joins us. Grateful that you’re here, willing to stand up for the most American of all pleasures, which is tobacco. Sorry to say it. It’s true. It founded the country.”
GIRL ? pic.twitter.com/SIs0fVFH4L
— helena hind (@cynicalzoomer) January 14, 2023
So with all of the science, over decades of research, Carlson still doesn’t know what’s dangerous about tobacco? And despite its documented deadly consequences, Carlson is crediting tobacco, not merely with being a cash crop for early American farmers, but as on par with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, etc., as having “founded the country.”
For the record, Washington, Jefferson, and others did grow tobacco for a time, but later switched to wheat and other grains that proved to be more sustainable. And the profitability of tobacco was more a result of having slave labor than the value of the crops themselves.
Carlson then asked Nehls “What is it that triggers” opponents of smoking? Nehls replied that he didn’t know, but added, “Look at a nice Ashton cigar. It’s a beautiful cigar. It’s mild.” What he failed to mention was that Ashton cigars are made in the Dominican Republic and cost about $10.00 a piece.
So this “most American of all pleasures,” that has apparently usurped that honor from baseball and apple pie, is imported from a LatinX populated Caribbean island and only affordable to privileged folks like Carlson and Nehls. What’s more, only about 12.5% of Americans smoke cigarettes, and only 3.5% smoke cigars.
Now we know that Tucker Carlson is an avid proponent of tobacco, and is also a virulent opponent of those new, less sexy M&Ms. Which is further affirmation for why his own Fox News lawyers argued in court – successfully – that he couldn’t be liable for defamation because no rational person would believe anything he says.
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