The Same Old Playbook

The GOP goes through the motions

In New York, prosecutors have convened a grand jury that could lead to the criminal prosecution of Donald Trump. And in Washington, the GOP is going through the motions of denouncing Marjorie Taylor Greene’s latest trip to Crazytown.

I hate to be the spoiler here, but we already know the playbook.

Let’s start with Greene.

The story so far: after MTG doubled down on her comparison of vaccine passports and mask mandates to the Holocaust, the GOP House Leader responded by condemning her comments.

“Condemning,” somewhat overstates the reaction. Actually, under pressure from donors, Kevin McCarthy issued a strongly worded tweet.

And that was it.

No face-to-face reprimand, no censure, no suggestion that the NRCC would pull funding, and certainly no suggestion that he would follow Adam Kinzinger’s lead and expel her from the GOP Conference.

We also got this bit on Profiles in Non-Courage from the House GOP’s new #3:

Predictably (because we’ve seen this play before) MTG responded by tripling down. Apologies? Regrets? AYFKM?

Suffice it to say that she obviously wrote her statement herself. “I'm sorry some of my words make people uncomfortable, but this is what the American left is all about,” she snarked. “And they are America last in every single way."

We know where this is going, don’t we? Cue the whataboutism and the victimism.

MTG played both cards with relish yesterday:

The media and Democrats and everyone feeding into it is allowing them to hide the truth, which is the disgusting anti-Semitism within the Democrat Party.

At a time when the Socialist Democrats and the Jihad Squad are supporting terrorist Hamas, and their supporters are attacking Jewish people on the streets of America, it's never been more important than now to stand up against forced vaccinations and mask mandates that the left is using to discriminate against Americans who refuse to comply. 

Lest this was too subtle, MTG disgorged this word salad: “The Democrats are the party of division, hate, critical race theory (pure racism), discrimination, totalitarianism, socialism, globalism, gender destruction, BDS, defunding our police, and ANTIFA / BLM terrorists.”

Even as he “condemned” MTG, McCarthy also tipped his hand. This is literally the second sentence of his statement:

“At a time when the Jewish people face increased violence and threats, anti-Semitism is on the rise in the Democrat Party and is completely ignored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


So what happens now? Stop me if you’ve heard this before:

  • You will once again be amazed by how quickly this never happened.

  • There are two variables to watch (1) the reaction by the online Trumpist base, and (2) Trump, because it’s always all about Trump.

  • As we’ve seen over and over, Trump has no genuine loyalty, but he is loath to break bad on his fiercest loyalists and he will follow the lead of the Stop-the-Steal base here.

Trump is often described as the “leader” of the Republican Party, but the reality is that he will stick tightly with the movement’s id. Even though it’s still early, there’s quite a bit of anti-McCarthy blowback at the moment, as many of Trump’s acolytes lash out at the minority leader for his criticism of MTG. Trump is watching all of this.

Greene later deleted this tweet, but it gives you a taste of what’s going on out there.


Nota bene: In lashing out at his criticism of MTG, McCarthy’s critics tend to obsess over his relationship with pollster Frank Luntz, from whom he rented an apartment at one time.

Here’s Newsmax’s deplorable Emerald Robinson:

And this:

And, of course:

Exit take Via the ADL: “1488 is a combination of two popular white supremacist numeric symbols. The first symbol is 14, which is shorthand for the "14 Words" slogan: ‘We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.’ The second is 88, which stands for "Heil Hitler" (H being the 8th letter of the alphabet.)”

TrumpWorld sweats. Via Politico Playbook:

“There’s definitely a cloud of nerves in the air,” one adviser said, adding that this feels different than the typical barrage of legal issues surrounding Trump because there is pressure on Trump Org CFO ALLEN WEISSELBERG to flip. “I think the Weisselberg involvement and the wild card of that makes the particular situation more real, because there’s no sort of fluff and made-up fictional circumstances around the guy.… The fact that they’re dealing with a numbers guy who just has plain details makes people more nervous. This is not a MICHAEL COHEN situation.”

Again, though, we know the playbook:

And I hate to be the one who says it:

On the other hand:

All the best people. Via the Wapo:

The leaders of the Nevada Republican Party are facing an internal revolt after an avowed Proud Boys member said he was invited with friends to attend a state party meeting last month and cast the deciding votes in the censure of a state official who concluded that the 2020 election in the state was not tainted by fraud.

In the past week, the Nevada Senate GOP caucus and the chairmen of the two largest Republican county organizations have called for an audit of an April state party vote to uncover who cast ballots as seated party members and proxies for a resolution against Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske (R).

F-ing great.

ICYMI: Some folks still have standards.

Quick Hits

1. Smearing the Critics

Rep. Liz Cheney, Susan Hennessey, and Natasha Bertrand have all had their integrity questioned because of their commitment to the truth, writes Paul Rosenzweig in today’s Bulwark.

The Republican party has transformed projection from a psychological phenomenon into a political strategy. In a clinical setting, projection—accusing others of one’s own flaws—is an uncontrollable behavior. While that may be true of Donald Trump (Lord knows he presents as a compelling case for psychoanalysis), it is not true for his loyal minions. For them it is a conscious effort to stuff reality down the memory hole.

Three women have exposed the viciousness and nihilism guarding the official Republican version of history by daring to contradict it. The abuse that Rep. Liz Cheney, Susan Hennessey, and Natasha Bertrand have suffered says more about the Republican party than it does about them.

2. DOJ Still Trying to Block Release of Memo About Trump and Obstruction

Kim Wehle on the Biden DOJ’s puzzling decision.

Which is why Garland’s decision to seek reversal of Judge Jackson’s decision is interesting for a reason that has little to do with FOIA exemptions: If the memo’s contents regarding the Barr DOJ’s view on whether presidents can obstruct justice became public, what would that mean for presidential accountability moving forward?

3. George Floyd’s Family Calls for Action on Bill Bearing His Name

Brian Karem wonders why the White House pulled the plug on yestreday’s press conference.

The sad fact is that with the current state of, the GOP the “right bill” may never be passed. A year after George Floyd’s death the Republican party has shown it cares little for helping out people of color or moving on serious police reform—and while the Democrats continue to want to do so, they still seem unable to solidly take advantage of the slim majority they hold in the House and the Senate.

Perhaps that’s really why the interaction with the press was limited: The Democrats don’t want us to see how they are struggling. The GOP remains a party without a heart—unwilling to support the common man. The Democrats remain the party without a head—unable to push forward necessary legislation and intent on obtaining bipartisan support that may never come.

Cheap Shots

Your typical peaceful tourist.

Congrats to all the journalists at the Washington Examiner: