It is appalling in this day and age that something like the right to contraception is even debatable. But there they were, 194 Republican representatives voting against a measure that guaranteed Americans’ right to contraception.
There were also votes on bills to codify rights to same-sex and inter-racial marriages and to bar prosecution of women who travel out of state for an abortion. Again, an overwhelming majority (if not all) of Republicans voted against passage.
The bills all passed from all Democratic and a smattering of Republican votes.
I heard one weasel saying later that he voted against the bill because he thought it was unnecessary and was merely a publicity stunt on the part of the Democrats.
I would say that all those Republican “No” votes are what makes it necessary because they obviously can’t be counted on to uphold a very basic freedom, one supported by all but the wingnut fringe.
People like Mike Pence speaking to conservative gatherings and pushing for a national ban on abortion make it necessary. And this angle is how you know the Right’s draconian abortion laws aren’t really about saving lives but control. If it was really about eliminating abortion, they’d be all in on contraception, the number one way to prevent pregnancy aside from celibacy. But they’re not; they’re gearing up for a fight on contraception as soon as they can reach a majority in Congress and the presidency.
I agree with every word of this message:
Or in fewer words, Big Business Republicans love to support restrictions on abortion because it doesn’t cost them anything. And in return, they reap the votes from the Religious Right. It’s the perfect issue, as long as they don’t care about the quality of Americans’ lives. (And they don’t.)
I find the prospect of travel restrictions to be particularly onerous. Are we really going to become a country with checkpoints at every state border, with some uniformed prick asking for papers? Papers dealing with one’s medical health? And they want to talk about “Freedom” and “Liberty,” while pushing banana republic crap like this? The freedom to travel unhindered through this country is one of our signature benefits. I’m hoping once some of these proposals start circulating, the backlash will be fierce. But given our gnat-like attention span, I’m not optimistic.
This Week in Duplicity
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' administration announced he's reallocating some COVID-19 relief funds and sending $450 a child directly to struggling families in the state.
Yes, I think that’s a fine idea. But remember, just last week, I ran a quote from Mitch McConnell where he said the reason for the current “labor shortage” is that people are flush with government cash handouts? This just shows that Republicans don’t really have any specific principles, like “giving away money is bad.” It completely depends on who’s doing the giving. This week, apparently giving away money is good. Maybe they’ll get back to us again next week when a Democrat does it and they’re against it again.
More on the Hearings
The hearing in prime time last Thursday was the mid-season finale, designed to hold us until they air the next episodes in September. Thursday’s hearing focused on what TFG didn’t do, from the time his speech ended to the time he finally released a video telling people to go home, over three hours later. Meaning, that he did nothing to stop the violence. In fact, as he watched it all unfold, by himself in the West Wing dining room, he made calls to various senators, pleading with them to stop the vote counts.
It wasn’t until the National Guard finally showed up, at the Vice President’s behest, and all the Senators and Representatives were safe, that he finally consented to tell his fans to end the siege and go home. In other words, not until after it was clear that his last-ditch effort to overturn the election had failed.
One of the more visceral impacts was hearing that Pence’s Secret Service detail was calling out last goodbyes to their loved ones over the radio, as they were about to make a break for safety. That’s how serious the threat of violence was. It was a far cry from the political tourism angle first proffered by Republican apologists for the Capitol attackers.
The side-trip to take a whack at Josh Hawley was interesting because it had so little bearing on the big picture. I think some of the people on the committee, (probably Liz Chaney) just wanted to put a little hot sauce on his ass, just for being a punk. So there he was, egging on the crowd from a safe distance one minute, and Hawling Ass through the Capitol hallways the next, trying to flee the surging mob he just saluted. Naturally, it spawned a cottage industry of Running Josh memes. These were my two favorites:
Frame-by-frame capture of Josh Hawley’s escape.
It was also shown, via White Housel logs, that there were no phone calls noted from the President during those three hours. That can’t be an accident, all calls are to be logged for posterity. There were also no photographs allowed. The White House photographer was barred from the room where TFG was staying. This is also irregular.
This lack of record-keeping jibes with the Secret Service texts that somehow disappeared. I find it inconceivable that their deletion was an accident… just a big “oopsie” during the course of refreshing their tech. Funny how they didn’t disappear until after they were requested by the committee.
My favorite take I read on it was that what was on those texts must have been immeasurably bad to be worse than the heat they’re taking for deleting them. This should get people fired, if not prosecuted.
Although to hear the Republicans tell it the last few years, the only problem with the Secret Service is that two of their agents had sex with each other and neither one liked Trump. That’s the real institutional bias!
My guess is that if these texts ever surface, they’ll show that there was, in fact, a plan to remove the Vice President from the Capitol and keep him away, so to scuttle the vote count.
I don’t think there was ever any doubt that TFG wasn’t going to call in any military muscle to repel the attack. They were doing exactly what he asked them to do, and it was unfolding exactly the way he wanted, other than that he wasn’t there in person to continue to rally his mob. But it shows exactly how cavalier he was about the lives of others. There was no concern about physical harm coming to friends, enemies or allies alike.
“They’re not here to hurt me…” that should be on his tombstone.
It also came out that a couple of his campaign aides were upset that he never acknowledged the death of Officer Brian Sicknick. The committee had their texts, one of which said, “If he talked about the deceased officer, he could be implicating himself… If he acknowledged the dead cop, he’d be implicitly faulting the mob. And he won’t do that, because they’re his people. And he would also be close to acknowledging that what he lit at the rally got out of control. No way he acknowledges something that could ultimately be called his fault. No way.”
That, my friend, is TFG in a nutshell. Never acknowledge, never admit, always deflect, always point the blame elsewhere. If you say it enough times, people will believe it.
I loved the outtakes from his videos, the “Go home, I love you” speech on 1/6, and the follow-up on 1/7. Anyone who sees that can never again talk about how Biden can’t read a teleprompter or has someone feeding him his speech. This guy can’t even say the word “yesterday.”
Maybe if he’d only listened to more Paul McCartney.