Shades of Stephen Colbert: Republican National Committee Runs Most Ludicrous Poll Ever

Things continue to go south for Donald Trump and his Republican Party. But could anyone have predicted this utterly asinine nonsense? This is an actual poll question sent by the RNC:


This is how desperate the GOP is to pump up their floundering president. They have resorted to a poll that doesn’t allow the respondent to register any criticism. That’s because Trump has to be treated like like a baby who has to be given constant positive reinforcement. There are actually White House aides who have to find stories that praise Trump and deliver them twice a day to the Infant-in-Chief.

This is so pathetic it’s hard to make fun of. Not only is Trump unfit for office, the GOP is enabling his narcissism. And in doing so they even ripped off a joke by Stephen Colbert, except they are taking it seriously.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Fox News Host Considers Confederate Traitors to Be ‘Revered’ American Leaders

It’s been five days since Donald Trump fell off the crazy train into the abyss of neo-Nazi advocacy. His press conference last Tuesday will be remembered as a tribute to the white supremacists that helped to elect him. To this day they comprise a significant segment of his remaining support. And despite the widespread criticism he’s received, Trump clings to his abhorrent views.

Fox News Jesse Watters

Naturally, Fox News continues to shill for the President. They have staunchly defended the most heinous comments that flow from his diseased psyche. Somehow they have managed to justify his admissions of sexual assault, his insults to veterans, his unsavory connections to Russia, and his glaring ignorance of every subject he addresses. So it isn’t surprising that they find cause to agree with his unimaginable covenant with treasonous Americans.

The debate over the preservation of statues commemorating Confederate traitors has taken center stage at Fox News. But they are intellectually incapable of grasping the simplest concepts. They complain that moving these offensive monuments to museums will result in the abolition of history. Since when do people learn history from lumps of bronze in the park? Statues are not historical lessons, they are tributes. We have no statues of Hitler, yet most Americans have a pretty good idea of who he was and what he represented. And anyone interested in the Civil War can find plenty of information at the library.

Undeterred by that common sense, Fox News ignoramus Jesse Watters stared into his camera Sunday night and literally perverted history. He regurgitated a favorite canard of conservative white-wingers who lie shamelessly about America’s past:

“Let’s also remember that all of these Confederate war heroes were Democrats. Democrats were the party of slavery. Maybe the Democrats want to tear down these statues so the country forgets that the Democratic Party enslaved black people. But I actually think that many on the left want to destroy any monument of revered historical American leaders.”

There is so much wrong with that brief mental flatulence that it’s hard to know where to begin. Let’s start with his bastardization of history. Most people with a high school diploma know that Southern Democrats did dominate the Confederacy. They rejected the Republican politics of Abraham Lincoln who led the nation in a war against the slave states. But that affiliation flipped in the twentieth century as Democrats became the party of working Americans. That includes African Americans. President Johnson cast the remaining bigots out of the Democratic Party when he signed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. From that point on, the Southern racists abandoned the Democrats and took up with Republicans who were happy to preserve Jim Crow laws, segregation, and white rule.

Consequently, it’s a lie of omission to refer to Democrats as “the party of slavery.” And it’s readily apparent where the bigots reside today politically. The Republican Party is currently the home of the KKK, the neo-Nazis, the alt-right, and all the other groups with deceptive labels attached to institutional racism. Just ask former KKK Imperial Wizard, David Duke, or white Nationalist Richard Spencer. Both are fervent Trump supporters. The claim made by Watters is only valid if you deliberately ignore the past hundred hundred years and today’s reality.

Then Watters made the flagrantly idiotic claim that Democrats want to tear down the Confederate statues so the country forgets their role in slavery. That makes no sense at all. You don’t make people forget something by turning it into a raging controversy. What’s more, Democrats are openly condemning slavery and everyone who participated in it. And it’s Republicans who are insisting that the statues remain. The GOP is not asking to keep the statues to remind people of the Democrats’ past. They want to keep them as tributes to the slave states and the traitors who fought for them. That’s a fact that Watters has conveniently glanced past.

Finally, Watters admits that, in his view, the traitors of the Confederacy are “revered historical American leaders.” Now he is not mincing words. His theory is that Democrats want to suppress these treasonous cretins that he believes ought to be celebrated. So Watters has revealed his true feelings and his unpatriotic obsession with the people who fought to divide America.

This is what passes for journalism on Fox News. And it’s consistent with the network’s mission to advance Republican politics. All of their primetime hosts (Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, The Five) have articulated the same themes. They truly believe that these Confederate statues provide deserved praise to “honorable” Americans. And if they regard Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson as honorable, what are they looking for in a leader today? Of course the disturbing answer to that is that they have already found what they’re looking for. And he is presently residing in the White House.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Profiles in Cowardice: Republicans Are Refusing All Interview Requests to Defend Trump’s Bigotry

On Thursday morning Donald Trump tripled down on his support for the Confederacy and the bigotry it fought to preserve. His latest tweetstorm gushed over the “beauty” of the statues of traitors that he says “will be greatly missed.” And he’s right. They will be missed by the white supremacists and racists who have been applauding Trump’s advocacy of their cause.

Shepard Smith Fox News

However, outside of the alt-rightists and Klan members that have rallied around his pro-Nazi remarks, Trump has garnered scant support from his own Republican colleagues. Many have taken to putting out their own condemnations of the violence instigated by bigots in Charlottesville. They include GOP leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Unfortunately, in most cases they merely express opposition to racism without holding their president accountable for exacerbating the hate.

These weakly conveyed messages of tolerance demonstrate the fear that Republicans have of directly countering Trump. They remain committed to his presidency and his agenda. They just can’t bring themselves to utter his name in conjunction with the division he is fomenting.

They also can’t bring themselves to defend him on television. Every cable news network is complaining that their efforts to book Republicans to defend the President are coming up empty. This is an astonishing turn of events. Publicity-hungry politicians are actually declining to appear on TV to promote their party and president. Here are some examples of the media response to this unprecedented situation:

Chuck Todd, MSNBC: We invited every single Republican senator on this program tonight, all 52. We asked roughly a dozen house Republicans including a bunch of committee chairs and we asked a half-dozen officials. And none of them agreed to discuss this issue with us today.

Wolf Blitzer, CNN: We did reach out to Republican leaders throughout the day. They all, at least for now, refused to join us. But the invitation is clearly still very much open.

Shepard Smith, Fox News: Our booking team reached out to Republicans of all stripes across the country today. Let’s be honest. Republicans don’t mind coming on Fox News channel. We couldn’t get anyone to come and defend him here. We thought in balance, someone should do that. We worked very hard at it throughout the day. We were unsuccessful.

That’s right. Even Fox News, the PR division of the Republican Party, is unable to convince a single Republican to go on the air to support their leader. They can still book GOP advocates of nuking North Korea or throwing millions of Americans off of their healthcare plans. But asking them to backup the President’s recent cheerleading for neo-Nazis is apparently where they draw the line.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

It remains to be seen how long they can hold out. Trump is already tweeting attacks on party mates who dare to criticize him. Thursday morning he unleashed his typically infantile insults on Senators Lindsay Graham and Jeff Flake. Expect those Twitter tantrums to continue as Trump’s ultra-sensitive ego is bruised by others disloyal to Dear Leader. Before long the only people willing to defend Trump on TV will be David Duke and Ivanka. And I’m not all that sure about Ivanka.

Desperate President Tweets Threat to Republican Senators Who Are ‘Turning On Trump’

Apparently making reckless threats aimed at nuclear-powered madmen isn’t sufficiently fulfilling for Donald Trump. Perhaps his own reputation as a nuclear-powered madmen dilutes the effect. So Trump is now aiming his electoral weapons at his Republican colleagues in the senate.

Donald Trump

Included in his scheduled morning Twitter tirade was a retweet of his pals at Fox and Friends. [NOTE: Trump must be on the Fox News payroll as this is his 13th retweet of F&F so far this month, and the 121st since he launched his campaign] The article linked in the tweet was, of course, from Fox News. It dealt with the potential electoral tribulations of Republican senators who have had the audacity to be independent thinkers. In other words, they have disagreed with the wannabe dictator in the White House.

The article is titled “Senators learn the hard way about the fallout from turning on Trump.” That’s a perfectly legitimate subject of discussion. And there are GOP incumbents whose seats are in jeopardy next year. Although that’s true for those still fluffing the unpopular president. However, by posting that article Trump is blatantly warning all Republicans to refrain from challenging him, or face his wrath. There is nothing subtle about promoting the perils of “turning on Trump.”

This heat-seeking rhetorical missile is meant to frighten Republicans who may be wavering in their otherwise unyielding adoration of the President. He demands constant support for everything he does and says. Any healthy expression of doubt or criticism is regarded as disloyalty. And the temptation to distance oneself from Trump’s toxicity will not be tolerated. That’s a harrowing dilemma for politicians attached to a president who can’t raise his approval ratings out of the thirties.

Trump has already made very public and embarrassing attacks on the GOP’s Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell. He has characterized McConnell as a weak loser who is responsible for Trump’s failing agenda. Never mind that Trump ran on the promise of his unparalleled negotiating skills and how easy it would be to achieve every goal he put forward. By now we should have defeated ISIS, repealed ObamaCare, cut taxes for the rich, locked up Hillary Clinton, and built a wall on the Mexican border. You know, made America great again.

Trump, however, has failed achieved to any of his campaign promises. Instead, he has brought the world to the brink of a thoroughly unnecessary nuclear conflict. His administration is a pitiful mess that has undergone unprecedented upheavals. And he is being investigated for financial corruption and collusion with Russia’s attacks on our democracy. Is this what he meant when he told his rally-goers that they would soon be “sick and tired of winning?”

So while Trump is playing nuclear chicken with Kim Jong-Un, he is also alienating his allies on Capital Hill. Previously loyal colleagues like Paul Ryan, Jeff Flake, Dean Heller, and John McCain are becoming more comfortable defying his authority. How he expects to shepherd his agenda through Congress without their help is a mystery.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump thought the presidency was like his family business where he was the king. But now he is discovering that his only tool is whining and bullying. And the more offensive he is toward his own party, the more likely they are to join in impeachment proceedings as his legal troubles continue to unfold. Keep in mind, Republicans in Congress have always preferred Mike Pence anyway.

FINALLY: Donald Trump Got Something Right: Republicans ‘Look Like Fools’

During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump thrilled his rally-goers with a typically boastful exclamation. “We’re going to win so much,” he warned, “you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning.” He nailed the “sick and tired” part, but after six months there has been almost nothing that he can claim as a victory.

Donald Trump

Most recently, his mission to repeal ObamaCare failed to pass in a Senate controlled by Republicans. Never mind that the GOP voted dozens of times to kill the popular healthcare plan when Barack Obama was president. They just couldn’t manage to do it with a fellow Republican in the White House with pen in hand.

Trump’s latest failure produced a predictable tantrum on Twitter that did nothing but affirm his affinity for whining. In a five-tweet opus, the crybaby President complained about the Senate’s voting rules and impotently demanded reform.

First of all, last week Republicans brought three separate repeal bills to the floor. They all lost with forty-nine or fewer votes. They only needed fifty-one votes to pass. So Trump’s tirade about the 60-vote rule was utterly irrelevant. There was no such rule in effect. More likely, he was just creating a distraction to take the sting off of yet another embarrassing defeat. So far he has blamed the Democrats, his press secretary, his chief of staff, and now the Republicans. Nothing is ever his fault. But wasn’t he supposed to be the brilliant dealmaker who would get everything he wanted on the strength of his magnetic personality? And . . . so much winning!

The one thing that Trump got right was his assertion that Republicans “look like fools.” And he, of course, is the titular leader of the Republican Party. The GOP’s obsession with killing a bill that polls show is favored by majorities of the public is indeed foolish. It is foolish to try so hard to replace that bill with one that has public approval in the teens. And pushing a proposal that will take insurance away from as many as 32 million people is foolhardy in the extreme.

So why is Trump suddenly ranting about arcane Senate rules that have nothing to do with last week’s vote? The answer is the same as to why Trump does almost anything: He saw it on Fox News. Saturday morning on Fox and Friends, GOP Rep. Sean Duffy was interviewed about the Senate bill’s failure. He dodged the substance of the matter to complain about his feeble senate counterparts. “We’ve passed 200 bills,” he said, “that right now sit in the Senate waiting for them to pass.” And while Duffy blamed the 60-vote rule for that logjam, the responsibility actually lies with Mitch McConnell. As Senate Majority Leader, he controls the calendar and decides what will come up for a vote and when.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Clearly, Trump was watching and, as he often does, tweeted what he just saw on TV. And it wasn’t just any news program. It was his favorite show, hosted by the biggest bunch of imbeciles on television. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes on Fox and Friends frequently discharge easily debunked falsehoods in the service of right-wing propaganda. And our incurious president retweets them without the slightest effort to confirm. It’s a cycle that repeats on a nearly daily basis. And it’s the best explanation for why Trump and his Republican colleagues – as Trump himself agrees – look like fools.

Sorry Trump: House Votes to Affirm that Climate Change is a ‘Direct Threat’ to National Security

Donald Trump is unarguably the most hostile president to the environment this country has ever seen. He is an unabashed science denier who believes that climate change is a hoax invented by China. He petulantly withdrew the United States from the Paris Accords that mobilized more than 170 countries to protect the planet. His director of the Environmental Protection Agency is an avowed critic of the institution and has lobbied to abolish it. Trump opposes development of eco-friendly, renewable energy and supports expanding use of coal and fossil fuels.

Climate Change

That reprehensible record of extremist anti-environmentalism notwithstanding, many of Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress just told him to frack off. An amendment to the Pentagon’s budget sought to eliminate language that addressed the threat of climate change. But the amendment failed with the help of some Republicans and most Democrats. As reported by Axios:

“Forty-six House Republicans joined Democrats Thursday to protect language in defense policy legislation that calls climate change a ‘direct threat’ to national security and requires new Defense Department analysis of its effect on the military. The House voted 185-234 against GOP Rep. Scott Perry’s amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have stripped the language.”

The bill’s author argued that the military has more important matters to deal with and should leave climate change to other agencies. But others pointed out that rising sea levels are already threatening existing military installations. Even more troubling is the fact that global weather patterns are creating disasters that exacerbate regional conflicts. And countries suffering from drought, floods, and resource depletion can become dangerously unstable and vulnerable to extremist insurrections and war.

Opposition to Trump’s climate blindness from within his own ranks is nothing new. Earlier this year his Defense Secretary, James Mattis, openly contradicted his boss. Mattis said that climate change is “a real-time issue, not some distant what-if.” And furthermore, “it is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today.”

Mattis isn’t the first defense secretary to hold these views. In fact, six of the past Secretaries of Defense (Mattis, Ash Carter, Chuck Hagel, Leon Panetta, Robert Gates, and Donald Rumsfeld) all subscribed to the policy that climate change is one of America’s top strategic risks. And four of the six are Republicans. Especially notable is Rumsfeld, under whose leadership the Pentagon published a report on the subject. It’s title was “An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security.” The report warned that threats posed by climate change were even more perilous than terrorism.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

It’s encouraging that a few dozen Republicans joined with Democrats to kill this amendment. But it’s troubling that the majority of the GOP still voted in favor of it. Trump and the Republican Party continue to deny the accumulated wisdom of both scientific and military experts. They support an agenda that advances the interests of oil barons and apocalyptic Christianists. So this victory must be celebrated with a measure of uncertainty and a resolve to keep fighting for positive goals.

Trump Mocked for Partnering with Putin on Cyber Security as ‘Dumbest Idea’ Ever

Donald Trump just returned from his latest Embarrassing America World Tour. And even before deplaning in D.C., he has managed to aggravate his own party for some typically Trumpian idiocy.

Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

During the highly anticipated meeting with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, Trump reportedly raised the issue of election tampering. However, his approach completely failed to hold Putin to account. Trump tiptoed into the subject by phrasing it as something that concerns the American people. He never asserted that it was of concern to him. And, of course, it wasn’t, judging by his public comments on it. Once at home, Trump felt comfortable to post his latest feelings on Twitter:

Well, then. Since he pressed it twice. I’m pretty sure that’s how professionals in law enforcement handle these things. They ask the suspect twice if he committed the murder, and if he denies it, they let him go. As for Trump’s assertion that he has already given his own opinion, that’s true. He did so again a few days ago when he said:

“I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and/or countries. And I see nothing wrong with that statement. Nobody really knows for sure.”

That certainly clears things up, doesn’t it? And now that the whole election hacking scandal is wrapped up, we can move on to other pressing matters. For instance, Trump announced that he and Putin have agreed to set up a cyber security operation to prevent future electronic intrusions. Trump tweeted that:

What a grand idea. Let’s collaborate with the guy who ordered the election hacking in the first place on scheme to keep others from doing it. In other words, let’s give the burglar the keys to the front door and the times we will be out walking the dog. Makes perfect sense. In fact, it’s so brilliant that even Trump’s colleagues in the Republican Party had something to say about it.

Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that “Partnering with Putin on a “Cyber Security Unit” is akin to partnering with Assad on a ‘Chemical Weapons Unit.'” Sen. Lindsey Graham said that working with Putin to combat cyber crimes is “pretty close” to “the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.” And Sen. John McCain snarked that “I’m sure that Vladimir Putin could be of enormous assistance in that effort, since he is doing the hacking.” If that’s how Republicans are responding, needless to say the rest of the nation is at least equally dismayed. For instance, Twitter is afire with sarcastic analogies:

None of this matters to Trump. He’s still obsessed with why Obama allegedly “did nothing” about the Russian hacking that he still thinks is fake news. Trump’s PR offensive is fanning out to the Sunday news programs to spread illogical talking points. His Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, insists that “The President absolutely did not believe the denial of President Putin.” Of course not. Trump asserted the same denial before ever talking to Putin. Then his U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said that “Everybody knows that Russia meddled in our elections” Well, everybody but Trump, who still claims that “Nobody really knows for sure.” Why is his top diplomat contradicting him?

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

This would all be great material for Saturday Night Live if it weren’t so dangerous for America’s future. Trump is now going beyond merely letting Putin off the hook. He’s inviting our enemy into the situation room so he can get a better look at our defenses. It would be generous to say that this only borders on treason. And Trump’s Republican Party appears to be in complete accord with this betrayal. The question is, what will it take for the GOP to stand up for America’s sovereignty? And will they do it before even more serious damage is done?

UPDATE: Trump posted another tweet on this subject:

So Trump spoke with the man who orchestrated the election tampering without making him pay any price for subverting democracy. And now we learn that he wasted much of that time on an idiotic plan to partner with Putin on cyber security that he didn’t even think was possible. This just keeps getting worse.

A Republican Appeal for ‘ObamaCare Horror Stories’ Backfires Spectacularly

Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are continuing their efforts to kill ObamaCare. Never mind that that their proposed replacement is overwhelmingly opposed by the American people. In recent polls its support has languished in the teens. You have to wonder why a party would fight so hard for something so unpopular. Well, actually, you don’t have to wonder. It’s because they are committed to giving millionaires tax cuts, denying hard-working Americans basic human rights, and erasing President Obama’s legacy.

Medicare For All

Republicans have been unable to pass their TrumpCare legislation despite having majorities in both houses. The Senate Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell promised to bring it to the floor for a vote before July fourth. However, he couldn’t get his own party to support the bill so he postponed the vote indefinitely. Now he is engaged in backroom horse-trading (i.e. bribery) to try to get some members to flip.

In the meantime, the GOP PR machine is reaching out to improve the awful perception of their healthcare agenda. In Indiana, the home state of Vice-President Mike Pence, the party posted a request on Facebook for public feedback. Here is what they asked in a brazenly leading question:

“We were promised Obamacare would make healthcare cheaper, better, and more available, but in reality it’s turned out to be the opposite. What’s your Obamacare horror story? Let us know.”

Unfortunately for them, what they got was surely not what they hoped for. Hoosiers were appalled at the prospect of losing the Affordable Care Act. They were equally disturbed by the GOP bills currently circulating around Congress. And more than 7,000 of them made their opinions abundantly clear. Here are some select examples of the replies:

  • I saved over $100/month on individual coverage through the marketplace, for the exact same coverage from the exact same insurer! The horror!
  • Being able to afford to buy insurance through a market rather than having to rely on employer-provided insurance allowed my best friend to leave her job and start her own business.
  • My kids have a genetic illness. After the ACA was passed, we felt relieved that they would never be denied coverage. And there is no worry of a lifetime cap on their care. Thanks Obamacare!
  • I lost my job and found out I had skin cancer 2 weeks later. If it weren’t for Obamacare, I wouldn’t have been eligible for another insurance plan because I would have had a major preexisting condition. I was able to go on to the open market place and select an affordable option that covered the bulk of my treatments. I’m now cancer-free and didn’t have to lose everything to pay for chemo. Thanks Obamacare for being there exactly when I needed it!
  • The “horror” is that Republicans would take it away without a decent replacement. Or replace it with a giant tax cut to the wealthy instead of actual…ya know…health care.
  • No horror story about ACA. The real horror is a bunch of white guys making decisions about women’s health and bodies.
  • I am a single mom of two young children. Before IN joined the ACA, I was denied health coverage. Thanks to Obamacare my children and I both have healthcare while I’m back in school pursuing my nursing degree. Thank you Obama!
  • Prior to the ACA (Obamacare) I was denied coverage for my pregnancy because it was considered a pre-existing condition. I then went on state funded Medicaid because it was he only available option, besides going bankrupt.
  • Obamacare makes my dad able to obtain insurance with a preexisting and covers his $15k/month medication. Thank you, Obama, for giving my dad years on his life!
  • I’m a pastor here in Indiana, and Obamacare has been wonderful for some of the people in my congregation. Thanks to Obamacare, they now have affordable health insurance for the first time.
  • My premiums went down in 2017 under the ACA. My daughter had her gall bladder removed in January that left a bill totaling $93,000.00 but under the ACA my bill was $ 2000. I love my ACA. Stop lying.
  • My son was dx with leukemia at 5 months old. Thanks to ACA he can not be denied health coverage. The horror
  • My mom is fighting cancer because of the ACA. So your party of “pro life” and “family values” can shut the hell up. You don’t care about us. You care about tax cuts for the billionaires.

Will the Republicans pushing for their cruel and greedy alternative to ObamaCare be moved by these comments? It’s impossible to tell from this Facebook post. The party has not responded to any of the comments. But there are some diehard, Fox News infected, Trump disciples out there making irrational contributions to the debate. One found it “Interesting reading all the Soros-hired leftwing shills and their fake posts.” Right. George Soros hired more than 7,000 people to post unique and moving appeals to retain and improve ObamaCare.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

That’s the sort of lunacy that we have to contend with in order to preserve the first national healthcare plan the United States ever had. It’s indicative of a deeply deranged segment of the population that regards anything they don’t like as “fake.” The good news is that mental health care is covered under ObamaCare. So these poor souls may be able to get the help they desperately need. That’s is, if they don’t succeed in killing it.

Trump, Jr and Other Republicans are Already Blaming Democrats for Scalise Shooting

Wednesday morning a deranged man opened fire on a group of Republicans practicing for a charity baseball event. Fortunately there were no fatalities, but several people were wounded including the GOP House Whip, Steve Scalise. Capital Police returned fire and killed the gunman. This is a horrific act of violence for which there is no excuse, and members of both parties have come together to condemn it. For the most part.

Donald Trump, Jr

Sadly, there are some on the right who leaped to the opportunity to take political advantage of this tragedy. And at the top of the list is the eldest son of Donald Trump, Don, Jr. The Trump scion retweeted conservative pundit Harlan Hill who posted this offensive and false sentiment: “Events like today are EXACTLY why we took issue with NY elites glorifying the assassination of our President.”

Trump and Hill are referencing a production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar where the title character was made up to resemble Trump. But they are woefully ignorant of the content of the play which concludes that political violence is abhorrent and counterproductive. What’s more, they never had any complaints when the same play was staged with President Obama in the role of Caesar.

More to the point, Trump, Jr. is demonstrating a callous disrespect for the victims and their families by rushing to politicize this shooting. It exposes his obsession with partisan antics aimed at disparaging Democrats. And he isn’t alone. Other Republicans have also dived into the scummy end of the pool. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) called it a “political rhetorical terrorist attack.” Fringe wingnut radio talker Michael Savage tweeted “I warned America the Dems constant drumbeat of hatred would lead to violence!” Alex Jones’ InfoWars deemed it “media-inspired terror attacks.” That’s notably different than his take on the Sandy Hook murder of twenty children as a hoax staged with actors.

Conservative websites like the Drudge Report and Breitbart News joined in the pile on against Democrats and liberals. Never mind that every Democrat who has spoken out about this has unconditionally condemned it. And then there’s GOP congressman Chris Collins (R-NY), who assigned the blame solely to Democrats for rhetoric that he said “fuels the fires.” He continued:

“I can only hope that the Democrats do tone down the rhetoric. The rhetoric has been outrageous. The finger-pointing, just the tone and the angst and the anger directed at Donald Trump, his supporters. […] Maybe this is a wake-up call. I’m not saying it will be. But let’s hope we could disagree on a more polite, conversational basis.”

So Collins’ idea of being more polite is to accuse Democrats – and only Democrats – of inciting violence. And his solution to finger-pointing is finger-pointing. Just for the record, Republicans have been notoriously hostile toward Democrats for decades. And that has only worsened during the Era of Trump, who famously suggested “2nd Amendment solutions” to handle Hillary Clinton. And who can forget the images of Obama being lynched that were circulated endlessly by right-wing trolls. In many cases they were further disseminated by GOP officials.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Republicans are right to admonish anyone who glorifies violence against political adversaries. They’re right to condemn such violence when it occurs. But they are just bending the arc of hypocrisy to the breaking point when they assert that they are not at least as guilty of hostile partisan rhetoric. And they need to extend their outrage to abortion clinic bombings, assaults on Muslims, LGBTQ people, women, African Americans, Latinos, etc. Then they can start to consider lecturing Democrats on civility.

Maddow Blog: GOP Senate is Secretly Destroying ObamaCare While Trump Scandals Dominate Headlines

There has never been a presidency before like the one America is suffering through now. In less than five months Donald Trump has scored record low approval ratings. There are credible calls for impeachment swirling around Washington and the nation. And no wonder. He is being investigated by a special prosecutor for scandalous allegations involving his unsavory connections to Russia. His efforts to implement an unconstitutional Muslim ban have been repeatedly struck down by federal courts. The tax reform he advocates (for the wealthy) has gone nowhere in Congress. His anti-media fetish continues to drill deeper into the realm of pathological paranoia. And all the while he exalts himself as the Second Coming of a political Messiah.

Donald Trump Mitch McConnell

Among his many failures is the callous attempt to deny healthcare for tens of millions of Americans. Trump and his Republican colleagues in Congress continue to pursue their efforts to repeal ObamaCare despite the public’s disapproval. The GOP plan is languishing with support of only twenty-one percent, with fifty-six percent opposed. Meanwhile, support for ObamaCare is growing.

That may explain why Republicans are now engaged in a clandestine scheme to kill ObamaCare while they think no one is watching. This brazenly overt legislative deception is an insult to voters. When asked why they are withholding the plan from public view, a senate aide replied “We aren’t stupid.” That’s an admission that they know their plan sucks and would be met with stiff resistance from the American people. But it’s even worse than that. According to Steve Benen of the Maddow Blog:

“The word ‘un-American’ is probably used a bit too often, usually to impugn others’ patriotism, but in the case of Republicans overhauling the nation’s health care system, the process is un-American in a rather literal sense. In the United States, we have a legislative system elected officials are supposed to use to pursue their goals and policy priorities. In 2017, however, Congress’ GOP majority has decided to abandon the American policymaking model, without defense or explanation, while pushing life-or-death legislation affecting one-sixth of the world’s largest economy.

“There is nothing like this in the American tradition. Republican leaders are being so secretive about their health care overhaul that even other GOP senators have no idea what they’ll soon be asked to pass.”

Benen goes on to note the “breathtaking hypocrisy” of the GOP who complained bitterly when ObamaCare was before the Congress. They falsely asserted that the Democratic bill lacked transparency. That’s despite the fact that there were dozens of public hearings and hundreds of hours debate before ObamaCare was passed. Neither of which have occurred during the Republican effort to undo it.

Trump has been throwing one of his trademarked tantrums over what he calls “obstruction” from Democrats. “If we had the greatest bill in the history of the world on healthcare,” he said, “we wouldn’t get one vote from the Democrats.” First, of, as noted above, he doesn’t have the greatest bill in history. Secondly, he must have forgotten that ObamaCare didn’t get one vote from Republicans. But at least Democrats allowed them to discuss and amend the bill before passage.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

The media is justifiably transfixed by the current crises in the White House. The possibility that the President could be prosecuted and/or impeached is the story of the century. However, they should not be so consumed by that that they fail to inform the public about what Republicans are trying to do under the radar. It is a perversion of democracy and a disservice to all Americans. The GOP must not be allowed to get away with shoving their monstrous mutation of healthcare down the nation’s throat. We need to pay attention and pull the curtain aside to reveal and resist the Republicans’ appalling agenda.