MAGA Malarkey: The Extremism You Missed From Republicans This Week

MAGA Republicans this week found new lows with their extremism, hypocrisy, chaos, and — as President Biden would call it — malarkey. In case you missed it: MAGA Republicans want to raise the cost of life-saving health care instead of supporting President Biden’s plans to lower prescription drug prices, Glenn Youngkin wants to ban abortion in Virginia, Tim Scott is campaigning to ban abortion nationwide and against updating our nation’s infrastructure, Kevin McCarthy has no shame in dragging on his baseless impeachment crusade, Vivek Ramaswamy said he would have approached certification of the 2020 election results differently than Mike Pence and he doubled down on his irresponsible foreign policy views, Mike Pence unveiled more plans for anti-abortion extremism, and Fox News aired hours of disinformation to support Donald Trump. 

The Biden-Harris administration’s announcement that 10 drugs will be subject to price negotiation with Medicare was in stark contrast to MAGA Republicans’ insistence to keep the cost of lifesaving health care high and opposition to providing working families and seniors with relief. 

HuffPost: “‘Republicans, who do not appear to share Biden’s eagerness to debate the issue, have repeatedly said they hope to repeal the entirety of the Inflation Reduction Act, including the ultra-popular provisions giving the federal government the power to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs. … Both Republicans and industry groups insist allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of drugs — something governments do in every other wealthy nation — will slow or stop the development of new drugs.”

Abortion extremist Glenn Youngkin is looking to pass an extreme abortion ban in Virginia, and just the other month he became the latest GOP presidential hopeful to throw his support behind a national abortion ban. 

NBC News: “Passing a ban on abortion after 15 weeks, with exceptions for rape, incest and saving the life of the mother, would be a legislative priority for Youngkin if his party succeeds in the November legislative elections, the sources familiar with his plans said.”

On the campaign trail, Tim Scott is still bragging about voting against President Biden’s historic infrastructure legislation and the Inflation Reduction Act — legislation that is updating our nation’s roads and bridges, providing clean drinking water for America’s schoolchildren, lowering costs, and more. 

Scott: “I can tell you what I would not do is what we just saw Joe Biden do last year with his infrastructure bill … I voted against it.” 

Tim Scott also continues to campaign on ripping away reproductive freedom from women across America — tripling down on a federal abortion ban, the definitive litmus test of the 2024 GOP primary. 

Iowa Capital Dispatch: “Republican presidential candidate Tim Scott, campaigning in Iowa Thursday, said a federal 15-week abortion ban would make abortion a ‘much less political issue.’”

Reporting this week exposed Speaker-in-name-only McCarthy’s baseless impeachment crusade for what it is: a shameless political game meant to run cover for Donald Trump. 

CNN: “GOP Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, a member of the hardline Freedom Caucus who sits on the House Judiciary Committee, has previously accused McCarthy of engaging in ‘impeachment theater.’

“And one GOP lawmaker, granted anonymity to speak more freely, offered an even blunter assessment: ‘There’s no evidence that Joe Biden got money, or that Joe Biden, you know, agreed to do something so that Hunter could get money. There’s just no evidence of that. And they can’t impeach without that evidence. And I don’t I don’t think the evidence exists.’”

The Hill: “Other GOP lawmakers, however, say they are not ready to take the plunge.

“‘I think before we move on to [an] impeachment inquiry, we should … there should be a direct link to the president in some evidence,’ Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) told The Hill in an interview. ‘We should have some clear evidence of a high crime or misdemeanor, not just assuming there may be one. I think we need to have more concrete evidence to go down that path.’”

Melanie Zanona, CNN: “Meanwhile.. Trump’s patience with Republicans is starting to wear thin: Yesterday, he complained on Truth Social that the House GOP isn’t moving fast enough on a Biden impeachment. 

‘Either IMPEACH the BUM, or fade into OBLIVION,’ he wrote.”

Vivek Ramaswamy said he did not agree with Mike Pence’s actions around certifying the 2020 election results on January 6, an election that Donald Trump lost by more than 7 million votes. 

Business Insider: “Vivek Ramaswamy says Mike Pence missed a ‘historic opportunity’ on January 6, by failing to push through election reforms before certifying the 2020 presidential vote”

Sahil Kapur, NBC News: “Ramaswamy says here that he does NOT agree with Mike Pence’s decision on J6 to certify the election result. ‘I would have done it very differently,’ he says. Less clear in this reply is what he’d have done about the vote counting and under what authority.”

Daily Beast: “In a continuation of his political ignorance tour on Sunday, GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy told NBC’s Chuck Todd his actions on Jan. 6 would have looked radically different from those of Mike Pence—claiming he would have managed to propose and pass voting reform legislation, have it approved by the House, and get it signed by a president. … One problem with the plan: the Constitution does not permit the Vice President to propose legislation.”

Ramaswamy stumbled over his clueless foreign policy ideas, including doubling down on his proposals to reward Putin for invading Ukraine and let China invade Taiwan. 

NBC News: “Vivek Ramaswamy defends positions on Ukraine and Taiwan”

NBC News: “Mitchell pressed Ramaswamy on his proposal to freeze the current battle lines in Ukraine, letting Russia keep the Donbas region as long as Ukraine gives up all attempts to enter NATO. Mitchell noted that the NATO provision is Putin’s basic demand, asking Ramaswamy, ‘Isn’t that letting Putin win despite his war crimes?’”

Politico: “[Ramaswamy] has also pushed for a ‘client’ relationship with Israel, a key Middle Eastern ally, and has said his administration would not defend Taiwan from a Chinese invasion after the U.S. ‘achieves semiconductor independence.’”

Vanity Fair: “During a Monday night interview on Fox News, Sean Hannity took a jab at the biotech investor turned presidential candidate, over his foreign policy views. Ramaswamy has called for scaling back US aid to Israel by 2028 (if there is peace in the Middle East by then, that is), dropping US defenses of Taiwan once Americans have an independent supply of semiconductors, and ending support for Ukraine in the hopes of weakening the alliance between Russia and China.”

The nonprofit founded by Mike Pence promoted a debunked theory that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer, and Pence himself unveiled a “day one” plan to pursue his extreme anti-abortion agenda. 

Rolling Stone: “Pence-Founded Organization Spreads Lie Linking Abortion to Breast Cancer”

The Hill: “Pence said he would rescind any executive actions taken by the Biden White House to promote abortion and provide resources to those looking to get the procedure, as well as drop all federal legal support for abortion in the states. President Biden has signed off on a handful of executive actions to protect women’s rights to abortion across state lines and to expand birth control access in the aftermath of a Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v. Wade. Pence also said he would disband the White House’s ‘Reproductive Rights Task Force’ established under Biden.”

Fox News continued to carry water for Donald Trump by airing hours of disinformation and debunked conspiracy theories. 

Media Matters: “Fox News is running back the Ukraine disinformation campaign that led to former President Donald Trump’s first impeachment as its hosts desperately scrounge for a justification for impeaching President Joe Biden. … But Shokin is simply re-upping the conspiracy theory that Hannity, Rudy Giuliani, disgraced conservative journalist John Solomon, Ukrainian pro-Russia oligarch Dmitry Firtash, and their henchmen cooked up back in 2019 to smear Joe Biden. At the time, Hannity’s program became a clearinghouse for dubious allegations that Biden had improperly leaned on Ukraine to fire Shokin to benefit his son’s business dealings.”