Popular Post HipKat Posted March 11 Popular Post Share Posted March 11 Not since the Know-Nothing Party disappeared in the 1850s has a public figure boasted about his ignorance with as much gusto as Kevin McCarthy does. It doesn’t seem to matter what you ask the speaker of the House. He hasn’t read it, seen it or heard about it. The explosive documents from the Dominion case showing Fox News hosts privately said Donald Trump’s election lies were hokum but promoted the lies on air anyway? “I didn’t read all that. I didn’t see all that,” McCarthy told The Post. The way Fox News’s Tucker Carlson (predictably) manipulated the Jan. 6, 2021, security footage McCarthy (foolishly) gave the propagandist, giving the false appearance that the bloody insurrection was “mostly peaceful”? “I didn’t see what was aired,” McCarthy asserted. Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, in an implicit rebuke of McCarthy, blasting the Carlson propaganda while holding up a statement from the Capitol Police chief denouncing Fox News’s “outrageous,” “false” and “offensive” portrayal of the insurrection? You guessed it. McCarthy “didn’t see” McConnell do that. The benighted McCarthy has been amassing this impressive body of obtuseness for some time. If ignorance is bliss, the California Republican has been in nirvana for years now. How about Trump’s speech on the Ellipse on Jan. 6, 2021, provoking the sacking of the Capitol? “I didn’t watch it,” McCarthy said. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) calling the insurrectionists’ rampage a “normal tourist visit”? “I don’t know what Congressman Clyde said,” quoth McCarthy, and “I didn’t see it.” When his own designated negotiator reached a bipartisan agreement to form a commission to probe the Jan. 6 attack (a commission McCarthy ultimately killed)? “I haven’t read through it.” Trump, in a recorded phone call, demanding Georgia’s secretary of state “find” enough votes to overturn the election results? “I have to hear it first. Trump telling four congresswomen of color (three of them U.S.-born) to “go back” where they came from, prompting chants of “send her back” among his rallygoers? “I didn’t get to see the rally.” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) harassing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) with shouts and slander just off the House floor? “I didn’t see that. I don’t know what happened.” Trump’s ludicrous allegation that former GOP congressman and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough may have murdered a staffer? “I don’t quite know about the subject itself. I don’t know this subject well.” Trump’s scandalous claim that Democrats inflated the death toll from a hurricane in Puerto Rico to “make me look as bad as possible”? “I haven’t read it yet,” McCarthy pleaded. At best, McCarthy’s willful cluelessness is just a dodge. But this week, McCarthy’s see-no-evil approach was just plain evil. After Carlson aired his phony portrayal of the insurrection, several Republicans finally spoke up about Fox News’s lies: “Inexcusable and bull----” (Sen. Thom Tillis, N.C.), “whitewashing” (Sen. Lindsey Graham, S.C.), “dangerous and disgusting” (Sen. Mitt Romney, Utah). Speaker Kevin McCarthy speaks to reporters outside of his office on Tuesday. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images) Then there was McCarthy, questioned by reporters just outside the speaker’s office, which the supposedly “peaceful” insurrectionists had ransacked that terrible day. “Do you regret giving him this footage so he could whitewash the events of that day?” asked CNN’s Manu Raju. “No,” McCarthy replied, adding some gibberish about “transparency” (which is the very opposite of Carlson’s fabrication). “Do you agree with his portrayal of what happened that day?” Raju pressed. “Look,” McCarthy said. “Each person can come up with their own conclusion.” Talk about dangerous and disgusting. Given a choice between fact and fiction, between law and anarchy, between democracy and thuggery, the speaker of the House proclaimed his agnosticism. In doing so, he threw the power of the speakership behind the insurrectionists and against the constitutional order he swore to uphold. McCarthy’s leadership team even endorsed Carlson’s fakery, promoting a link to the segment from the House GOP conference’s official Twitter account with four alarm emojis and a “MUST WATCH” recommendation. Of course, were McCarthy to turn against Fox News, the speaker, weakened by the promises he made to secure the speakership, would be swiftly replaced by the likes of GOP caucus chair Elise Stefanik of New York (who claimed Carlson’s propaganda “demolished” the “Democrats’ dishonest narrative” about Jan. 6), or Rep. Tom Massie (R-Ky.), who went on Carlson’s show to congratulate him on his deception. So McCarthy sells out democracy to preserve his title. He gave the security footage to Carlson in the first place because he promised that to the far-right Republicans denying him the speakership during his 15-ballot quinceañera in January. Even Fox Corp.’s chairman, Rupert Murdoch, has expressed some regret over the network’s role in perpetrating Trump’s “big lie,” saying it should have been “stronger in denouncing it.” The internal documents exposed in the Dominion lawsuit show beyond any doubt that Fox News hosts knew the truth about the 2020 election and yet encouraged viewers night after night to believe Trump’s lies. Those hosts continue to deceive and manipulate viewers nightly. The same day Carlson aired his Jan. 6 fabrication, Trump said on Sean Hannity’s radio show that he would have been willing to let Vladimir Putin “take over” parts of Ukraine. But when Hannity played excerpts of the interview on Fox News, the network edited out Trump’s proposed surrender. The latest Fox News lies have proven too much for the Senate GOP leader. Though McConnell has enabled Trump at crucial moments, he said at a news conference this week that it was “a mistake” for Fox News to portray the insurrection “in a way that’s completely at variance with what our chief law enforcement official here in the Capitol thinks.” Yet McCarthy continues to put himself before his country. In just two months on the job, McCarthy “already ... has done more than any party leader in Congress to enable the spread of Donald Trump’s Big Lie,” the Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, charged on the Senate floor this week. The speaker, he said, “has made our democracy weaker.” And McCarthy isn’t finished with his depredations. Greene, given a position of influence and respectability by the speaker, is launching a probe, complete with a field trip to a D.C. jail, into the “inhumane treatment” allegedly suffered by the accused insurrectionists awaiting trial. McCarthy has also given the green light to a new probe designed to challenge the conclusions of the Jan. 6 committee. The man who will lead that panel, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), declared this week that Americans “didn’t see the other side” of the insurrection. “I think the truth is going to be somewhere between the violent videos and the supposedly peaceful actions there,” he said. No. The only truth is that Jan. 6 was a violent attack on the seat of American democracy. There was nothing peaceful about an armed insurrection attempting to overturn an election — even if some people there that day weren’t themselves violent. But that truth — and this democracy — are threatened by a dangerously weak speaker of the House, who has concluded that the only way to preserve his own power is to support Fox News in its sabotage of this country. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) at a House Judiciary Committee meeting on Feb. 1. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post) Jim Jordan comes up empty — again Spare a moment of pity for Jim Jordan. The Ohio Republican, chairman of the subcommittee probing the “weaponization of the federal government,” can’t find a smoking gun. Heck, he hasn’t identified so much as a squirt gun. His panel’s first hearing last month proved to be a dud, as witnesses (including two GOP lawmakers and a Fox News contributor) merely rattled off a catalogue of personal grievances and tired conspiracy theories about hydroxychloroquine, Hunter Biden’s laptop and the “fake dossier.” Jordan had promised that a symphony of “whistleblowers” would expose dramatic instances of wrongdoing by the feds. But last week came a New York Times report that the first three of these supposed whistleblowers, financially supported by a pro-Trump group, were “a group of aggrieved former F.B.I. officials who have trafficked in right-wing conspiracy theories” about Jan. 6 and more. Conservatives, including Fox News’s Jesse Watters, have complained about Jordan’s slow start and lack of results. Jordan has responded by firing off yet more subpoenas and more unsupported allegations. Clearly, he’s feeling defensive. “I feel like our staff is working their tail off and we’re getting things up and rolling,” he protested to Semafor’s Kadia Goba. When his weaponization panel assembled for another hearing on Thursday, the pressure on Jordan was showing. Still lacking evidence that conservatives had been victimized by the government, he instead spent much of the hearing shouting at Democrats. While the ranking Democrat, Del. Stacey Plaskett (Virgin Islands), delivered her opening statement, Republicans interrupted with laughs and heckling (the word “crazy” could be heard). Rep. Mike Johnson interrupted Plaskett mid-sentence, calling her “out of line” and demanding her description of the day’s witnesses be “struck down.” “I’m not striking down that, and I get to have an opinion,” she replied. “You don’t get to determine what’s struck down!” said Johnson. Jordan leaped in. “You do get an opening statement and it’s about over.” Jordan, though he had already given his statement, then launched into a fist-shaking tirade: “I’m talking now...You guys don’t care! You don’t care! … You don’t want the American people to see! You don’t want the American people to see! What happened! The full video! Transparency! You don’t want that!” Jordan’s disjointed harangue continued at length. “Is this your question time?” Plaskett inquired. “No! I’m responding to your ridiculous statements!” Jordan shouted back. “Okay,” Plaskett said, “well let’s get on with it.” “Oh, so now you want to get on with it!” Jordan roared. He shouted his way through the introductions, botching his lines. It continued similarly from there. Johnson interrupted again. The Republican witnesses interrupted to argue with Democrats on the panel. Jordan repeatedly granted himself impromptu rebuttals of Democratic lawmakers. “You’ve got the wrong understanding!” he shouted at Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), going on a tangent about a “left-wing journalist” and Black Lives Matter. It was all sound and fury signifying nothing but the obvious fact that, once again, Jordan hadn’t delivered the goods. Speaker Kevin McCarthy, with Republican Reps. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), left, and Julia Letlow (La.), speaks about the proposed "Parents Bill of Rights" on March 1. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP) They’re on a mission from God Republican culture warriors have been exceptionally busy making sure that American schoolchildren are freed from the terrible burden of learning. Among the treatises being removed from classrooms, The Post’s Hannah Natanson reports: Mary Wollstonecraft’s 18th-century classic “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.” Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.” Anne Frank’s “The Diary of a Young Girl.” And Christopher Columbus’s journal. A quarter of teachers say their classes have been affected by the new educational gag rules. This week, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce took up the battle to dumb down America’s youth. It marked up a national “Parents Bill of Rights” and a companion bill aimed at keeping trans girls from competing in youth sports. Democrats pointed out that both were solutions in search of problems. Controversies involving trans kids in sports number only in the double digits — hardly enough to merit federal action that further stigmatizes children who are just over 1 percent of the population and already face high suicide rates. And despite the right’s “parents rights” crusade, parents are largely satisfied with their children’s education and the lessons they are taught. But the panel’s Republicans were not to be persuaded on these points. They claimed to be doing God’s will. Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) announced that parents’ “God-given right to make decisions for their children has been ignored and at times attacked.” Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) declared that “Democrats reject that God created science of sex” and further informed the panel that “the fact is, God does not make mistakes. He creates us perfectly unique as individuals, and all of us are either immutably male or immutably female.” This is a “moral” matter, he said. And Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah) affirmed that “parents and not school employees are charged by God to raise their own children.” It rarely ends well when politicians claim to be doing God’s bidding. To see the evil it produces, look no further than the Grand Hyatt in Washington, where on Sunday the Development Corporation for Israel, the formerly reputable group that sells Israel Bonds, will be hosting Israel’s finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich. Just a week ago, Smotrich, from the Orthodox, far-right Religious Zionist Party, called for a Palestinian village in the West Bank to be “wiped out.” This fundamentalist zealot, who claims “I work for God,” tried to walk back his murderous remark after an outcry. Smotrich, and House Republicans such as Foxx, Good and Owens, may think that God supports their brands of persecution. But I side with Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.), who responded to the moralizing Republicans on the House Education Committee this way: “I can tell you that the God that I serve teaches me to love my neighbor — all of my neighbors.” Amen. 1 3 1 Quote “There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind, never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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