MAGA Malarkey: The Extremism You Missed From Republicans This Week
December 15, 2023
MAGA Republicans stooped to new lows this week with their extremism, hypocrisy, chaos, and — as President Biden would call it — malarkey. In case you missed it: Donald Trump made a pathetic attempt to clean up his “dictator on day one” comment but then immediately reiterated his admiration for Kim Jong Un. He can’t seem to stop complimenting dictators.
Elsewhere in the race for the MAGA base, Chris Sununu endorsed Nikki Haley; Vivek Ramaswamy said the Supreme Court should rule against safe, effective abortion medication; and Ron DeSantis’s extreme MAGA agenda was on display at his CNN town hall as he doubled down on his plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act and bragged about signing extreme abortion bans.
On Capitol Hill, House Republicans spent the week openly admitting that their baseless impeachment inquiry into President Biden is a political stunt to please Trump, and a new bombshell report revealed James Comer himself is engaged in the same behavior he is falsely accusing President Biden of in his baseless impeachment sham. Meanwhile, the Republican House Freedom Caucus elected far-right extremist Bob Good as chair.
In Texas, extreme abortion bans forced Kate Cox to flee the state to receive an abortion for her non-viable pregnancy after the state Supreme Court ruled she didn’t qualify to meet a medical exception.
Donald Trump made a weak attempt to clean up his “dictator on day one” comment but then immediately admitted to getting along with Kim Jong Un.
Politico: “‘I said I want to be a dictator for one day,’ Trump told the MAGA faithful at Cipriani in Manhattan. ‘You know why I wanted to be a dictator? Because I want a wall, and I want to drill, drill, drill.’”
MSNBC: “According to Trump’s own on-air comments, he envisions a near-future in which he runs for the nation’s highest office, wins, creates a temporary dictatorship, pursues some goals he considers worthwhile, and then voluntarily agrees to start honoring the United States’ constitutional system of government again.”
Politico: “In a Truth Social post hours after this story published, Trump said ‘This is a made up story, DISINFORMATION, put out by Democrat Operatives in order to mislead and confuse. The only thing accurate in the story is that I do get along well with Kim Jong Un!’ Trump did not specifically deny he was mulling the freeze-for-relief idea.”
Trump: “He asked me a question, ‘Please say you don’t want to be a dictator.’ I said, ‘No, I won’t say that. I want to be a dictator for one day.’”
MAGA Mike Johnson once complained that impeaching a president close to an election could cause “irreparable damage” to the country. But now, at Donald Trump’s behest, MAGA Mike and House Republicans are continuing their baseless impeachment inquiry, with some saying the quiet part out loud in admitting it’s a political stunt to boost Donald Trump’s campaign.
CNN: “House Speaker Mike Johnson is pursuing an impeachment strategy against President Joe Biden that he once said could cause ‘irreparable damage’ to the country when Democrats sought to oust then-President Donald Trump, according to a CNN KFile review of his past public comments.”
“He also complained that the effort derailed Congress from its real work of legislating.”
“Now Johnson, as the speaker of the House, seems to have abandoned his previous concerns about impeachment, and — with Republicans in control of the House — has said he fully supports such an inquiry along party lines and so close to a presidential election.”
Vanity Fair: “Mike Johnson Basically Admitted That Biden Impeachment Push Is a Partisan Sham: Report”
USA Today: “For what it’s worth, Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, one of Trump’s most vocal supporters in the House, has not shied away from pushing for Biden’s impeachment in part to play politics.
“If Trump, who has been impeached twice, is the 2024 Republican nominee, Nehls said he wants to give Trump ‘a little bit of ammo to fire back’ and say Biden has also been impeached.”
The Messenger: “Former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Monday suggested moderate Republicans may go along with a new attempt to launch a presidential impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden because they could face primary threats if they don’t.
“‘If you’re a Republican, do you really want to guarantee a primary opponent by voting against looking into [Biden]?’”
Bombshell reporting undercut James Comer’s baseless impeachment inquiry —it turns out Comer has his own shell company and a long record of shady business partnerships with convicted criminals.
Associated Press: “Interviews and records reviewed by The Associated Press provide new insights into the financial deal, which risks undercutting the force of some of Comer’s central arguments in his impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden. For months, the chairman of the House Oversight committee and his Republican colleagues have been pounding Biden for how his relatives traded on their famous name to secure business deals.
“In particular, Comer has attacked some Biden family members, including the president’s son Hunter, over their use of ‘shell companies’ that appear designed to obscure millions of dollars in earnings they received from shadowy middlemen and foreign interests.”
Daily Beast: “James Comer, Like Joe Biden, Also Paid His Brother $200K”
“If Comer genuinely believes these transactions clear the ‘shady business practices’ bar, he might want to consider a parallel inquiry into his own family. … unlike with the Bidens, Comer’s own history actually borders a conflict of interest between his official government role and his private family business—and it’s been going on for decades.”
The Texas Supreme Court, at the direction of Trump-endorsed MAGA Republican Ken Paxton, blocked a pregnant woman from getting an emergency abortion — and she had to flee the state to seek reproductive care.
CNN: “The Texas Supreme Court has temporarily blocked a pregnant woman from obtaining an emergency abortion in a ruling issued late Friday. The court froze a lower court’s ruling that would have allowed Kate Cox, who sued the state seeking a court-ordered abortion, to obtain the procedure. ‘Without regard to the merits, the Court administratively stays the district court’s December 7, 2023 order,’ the order states.”
USA Today: Opinion: “Texas is showing Americans the dark future women face if Republicans have full control of abortion rights. The state’s abortion laws are so draconian, a 31-year-old woman had to ask a judge to grant her and her doctors permission to end a nonviable pregnancy that is putting her health and future ability to have children at risk.”
Texas Tribune: “Donald Trump claims credit for saving Ken Paxton”
MSNBC: “Mika: Texas’ AG is so desperate to mimic Trump he’s behaving in a cruel, brutal fashion”
Chris Sununu is in his endorsement flop era, and his latest victim is MAGA extremist Nikki Haley.
New York Times: “But just how much weight it will carry is an open question in a primary in which nothing — not endorsements, not debates, not 91 felony charges — has changed the basic dynamic: Mr. Trump is the overwhelming favorite, and everybody else is fighting for second place.”
Washington Post: “Sununu’s endorsement means the Republican governors of the first two nominating states, Iowa and New Hampshire, are publicly supporting different Trump opponents. But Trump leads by a wide margin in polls of both states, underscoring the stark disconnect between many Republicans and their state elected leaders.”
In New Hampshire, Nikki Haley refused to comment on state Republicans’ proposed extreme abortion ban after vowing to sign any national abortion ban that landed on her desk and throwing her support behind extreme abortion bans.
HuffPost: “Republicans in New Hampshire filed one of the most extreme abortion bans in the country on Tuesday.”
Haley: “The question asked in Iowa was, ‘If you were governor of South Carolina and they sent you a six-week bill, would you sign it?’ And I said yes.”
Haley: “I think a wrong was made right when [Roe v. Wade was overturned].”
Haley: “Is there a place for a federal law [banning abortion]? I think there is.”
Newsweek: “Haley described herself as ‘very pro-life’ and has spent most of her political career fighting for anti-abortion legislation, including signing a law as South Carolina governor in 2016 banning the procedure in most circumstances after 19 weeks of pregnancy unless the mother’s life is at risk.”
Ron DeSantis doubled down on echoing Donald Trump’s plan to rip away health care and skyrocket costs for millions of Americans by repealing the Affordable Care Act.
DeSantis: “That was one of [Trump’s] big promises as president, he had Republican majorities, and didn’t get the job done. … I opposed Obamacare, I did support the repeal and replace … What we’ll end up doing is effectively just superseding Obamacare.”
DeSantis: “We must repeal ObamaCare … I have no desire to ‘improve’ or ‘reform’ ObamaCare. I intend to repeal it.”
DeSantis: “Obamacare should never have been passed.”
DeSantis: “The full and complete repeal of ObamaCare is one of the most critical issues of our time.”
When asked about Texas woman Kate Cox having to flee her state to access critical abortion health care, DeSantis bragged about the extreme abortion bans he has signed in Florida.
CNN: “Florida law allows abortions after 15 weeks if two doctors confirm the diagnosis of a fatal fetal abnormality in writing, but doctors in Florida and states with similar laws have been hesitant to terminate such pregnancies for fear someone will question whether the abnormality was truly fatal. The penalties for violating the law are severe: Doctors can go to prison and face heavy fines and legal fees.”
Associated Press: “Asked about Cox’s case at a CNN town hall, DeSantis, who signed a six-week ban in his state earlier this year, said that ‘these are very difficult issues’ and pointed to Florida’s exceptions allowing abortions when the mother’s life is in danger or for a ‘fatal fetal abnormality.’
“‘We have to approach these issues with compassion,’ said DeSantis, though there have been reports in Florida of women who have not been able to obtain abortions under the exception because their doctors, facing steep penalties if they are wrong, were unwilling to perform the procedure. The window of time for women to make the wrenching choice is also limited.”
“Cox’s case and others like hers ‘prove exceptions don’t exist in reality,’ said Angela Vasquez-Giroux, vice president of communications and research for the national group Reproductive Freedom for All.
“‘If politicians like DeSantis and Haley really believed in exceptions and in compassion, they would have been fighting to find ways to work with doctors to clarify these laws and to help people facing these nightmarish situations in their own states to access care,’ she said. ‘They threw compassion out the window the moment they signed these bans.’”
Gary Fineout, Politico: “The 6-week ban has not yet taken effect. Fla’s current 15-week ban does not include an exception for rape and incest. DeSantis signed that measure into law as well.”
Florida Politics: “DeSantis, however, has signed two laws that make it even more difficult than it is in Texas to get a medical exception to Florida’s abortion bans.”
Vivek Ramaswamy called on the Supreme Court to strike down the approval of a widely-used safe and effective abortion pill.
The Hill: “Ramaswamy: Supreme Court should rule against FDA approval of abortion pill”
“‘I believe that the Supreme Court should put the FDA back in its place,’ he said.”
Ramaswamy: “It’s my opinion… that the FDA exceeded its statutory authority in using an emergency approval to approve something that doesn’t fit Congress’s criteria for what actually counts as an emergency approval.”
House Republicans elected far-right extremist Bob Good as House Freedom Caucus chair, a champion in pushing forward their extreme MAGA agenda: chasing a baseless impeachment inquiry for political gain, advocating for ripping away health care and essential benefits, and calling for a government shutdown to score political points.
Axios: “Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), in an interview with Axios, floated using impeachment threats as leverage in policy negotiations: ‘A fair trade off: we won’t pursue impeachment, but you go back to Trump border policies that were working.’”
@RepBobGood: “The Bidens believe they are above the law and are relying on the media to run cover for them. No Republican should vote against a formal impeachment inquiry.”
Axios: “Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), who is championing a total abortion ban co-sponsored by more than 160 House Republicans, said, ‘We need to do what our base sent us here to do and what is the right thing to do, which is to ban all abortion.’”
Good: “We’re going to end the policies that have been expanded [Medicaid].”
Protect Our Care: “Self Insurance Protection Act: Introduced by Congressman Bob Good, this legislation will protect access to stop-loss insurance, insurance for employers who self-fund their employee benefit plans, but do not want to assume liability for losses. This promotes use of non-ACA compliant plans such as AHPs and other self funded benefit plans.”
Good, January 2023: “We will have zero leverage … if we’re not willing to threaten [a government shutdown] and willing to follow through on it.”
The Hill, August 2023: “Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) — who in July said ‘we should not fear a government shutdown’ — went even further when talking to The Hill last week.
“‘Eighty-five percent or so of the government continues to operate, and most Americans won’t even miss it,’ Good said. ‘And if that’s the leverage that we need to utilize to force the Democrats to accept spending cuts and an end to the harmful policies that are, again, crushing the American people — I mean, then we need to do that.’”