MAGA Malarkey: The Extremism You Missed From Republicans This Week

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 doubled down on his threats of political violence, claiming that he has “every right” to imprison and prosecute his political opponents; Byron Donalds suggested Black Americans were better off under Jim Crow; the RNC is preparing for Trump’s Convict Convention; Trump’s VP contenders put loyalty to him above the rule of law; GOP VP contenders voted against protecting access to contraception; House Republicans put veterans’ reproductive health care at risk; Lara Trump and Tom Cotton refused to commit to accepting the 2024 election results; and the RNC went all in to win over voters in Ho Chi Minh City.

Donald Trump doubled down on his threats of political violence and said he has “every right” to go after his political opponents.

Axios: “Trump says he would have ‘every right to go after’ political enemies if elected” 

New York Times: “Trump Defends Vow to Prosecute Rivals, Saying ‘Sometimes Revenge Can Be Justified’”

“Former President Donald J. Trump has in recent days been escalating his suggestions that he could prosecute his political enemies if elected in November.

“Mr. Trump was offered several opportunities by sympathetic interviewers in recent days to clarify or walk back his previous statements. Mr. Trump instead defended his position, saying at points that ‘I don’t want to look naïve’ and that ‘sometimes revenge can be justified.’”

The Hill: “Donald Trump warns of public ‘breaking point’ if he’s jailed” 

Reuters: “Donald Trump said on Sunday he would accept home confinement or jail time after his historic conviction on criminal charges by a New York jury last week but that it would be tough for the public to accept.” […] 

“‘I’m not sure the public would stand for it,’ the former president told Fox News of a potential prison sentence.

“‘I think it’d be tough for the public to take. You know, at a certain point, there’s a breaking point.’”

Trump VP contender Byron Donalds suggested that Black Americans were better off under Jim Crow — and then doubled down on his comments again and again and again. 

Philadelphia Inquirer: “‘You see, during Jim Crow, the Black family was together. During Jim Crow, more Black people were not just conservative — Black people have always been conservative-minded — but more Black people voted conservatively,’ he said. ‘And then H.E.W., Lyndon Johnson — you go down that road, and now we are where we are,’ he added, referring to the former U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare.”

The Hill: “Donalds suggests Black families were stronger during Jim Crow era”

“Marcus W. Robinson, a senior spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee, slammed Donalds for his statement. 

“‘This is Donald Trump’s MAGA Republican Party: VP contender Byron Donalds is praising Jim Crow, suggesting that Black families were better off during segregation,’ Robinson said. ‘Let’s be clear: Jim Crow ripped apart Black families, and it’s absurd to suggest it was anything but a horrific stain on our country’s history.’”

Abby Philip, CNN: “A lot of them are offended by the idea that you would repeat ‘Jim Crow’ three times in your comments as if to suggest that that was a good time period because that Black families were, in your words, ‘together’…I mean, it sounds like nostalgia. Do you regret using that timeframe as a reference?”

Donalds: “…I didn’t even insinuate that.” 


Phillip: “You’re suggesting that because the Black family was together, they were better off than they are now.”

Donalds: “…I never suggested that.”

Donalds: “That was the only point. That stuff that comes up about Jim Crow and twisting my words, saying I was being nostalgic, or saying that Jim Crow was good for Black people, that’s all political spin. It’s a lie. It’s gaslighting, and that’s truly unfortunate.” 

Joy Reid, MSNBC: “So, here’s the challenge. Congressman, you started out talking about your family, talking about your mom, talking about being raised, and you on your own, brought up Jim Crow. In fact, you said Jim Crow three times for emphasis. It wasn’t the media or the Democrats or gaslighters who brought up Jim Crow. It was you. You brought up Jim Crow.” 

Fox News: Donalds: “I’m not going to do an apology tour.”

The RNC is preparing for Trump’s Convict Convention — including the possibility that Trump will address the convention virtually.

Interviewer: “The convention happens next month, and your nominee could be sentenced to actual jail time four days before everything kicks off in Milwaukee. Have you planned for that at the RNC?”

Whatley: “Yeah, we’re working on that right now.”

Interviewer: “Would he make a speech from prison?”

Whatley: “Everything is being considered at this point in time.”

Washington Examiner: “Republican National Committee Co-Chairman Michael Whatley said the RNC is prepared for the possibility Donald Trump may deliver his convention remarks from prison, noting the former president’s June 11 sentencing will come just days before the convention.”

MAGA VP contenders are tripping over themselves to pass Trump’s latest litmus test: undermining the rule of law. 

The Hill: “Trump’s allies and those jockeying for a spot on the ticket have for weeks echoed his criticisms of the case, with several potential vice presidential contenders appearing at the courthouse in support of the former president. Following the verdict Thursday, they unleashed attacks on the judge, the district attorney and the legal system.”

Tim Scott: “A friendly reminder that this trial is… A sham. A spectacle. A stunt.

“A politically motivated circus in an effort to engineer an election and keep Donald J. Trump off the campaign trail.”

Doug Burgum: “This verdict is a travesty of justice.” […]

“This Lawfare should scare every American.”

J.D. Vance: “This decision is a disgrace to the rule of law and our Constitution.”

In reality, the only thing that Donald Trump is guilty of is being in the courtroom of a political sham trial.”

Byron Donalds: “What happened in NY is disaster verdict by a crooked judge and a crooked prosecution. Donald Trump is innocent. To hell with what the jury said.”

Tom Cotton: “This verdict, like the case itself, is a travesty of justice. The nakedly partisan judge biased the trial at every turn, from allowing an unconstitutional indictment in the first place to excluding key evidence to rigging the jury instructions.”

Marco Rubio: “The verdict in New York is a complete travesty that makes a mockery of our system of justice.” 

Axios: “The rush to defend the former president caters to Trump’s fondness for public displays of loyalty after attendees at the courthouse trial became a veritable who’s who of Trump loyalists.” 

NBC News: “It was a fast and furious — and wholly unsurprising — political coda to a Trump legal case that had also turned into an unofficial audition stage for his potential running mates.”

Trump’s VP contenders in the Senate blocked a bill to protect access to contraception. Then, MAGA minions hit the airwaves to rail against the bill. 

NBC News: “Senate Republicans block bill to protect Americans’ access to contraception”

“The vote on the Right To Contraception Act was 51-39, falling short of the 60 votes needed to defeat a filibuster and move forward in the chambers [as] Republicans said the bill is unnecessary as the use of birth control is already protected under Supreme Court precedent.”

Republicans who voted against include: Marco Rubio, Tim Scott, Tom Cotton, Marsha Blackburn, Mike Lee, and Joni Ernst. 

HuffPost: “Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) pointed to Democrats and largely declined to answer when asked why he joined fellow Republicans in blocking a bill that would guarantee access to contraceptives on Wednesday.

“‘Why vote nay and explain how that’s not a bad issue for Republicans?’ Fox News host Bret Baier asked.

“Scott, who is reportedly being considered as former President Donald Trump’s 2024 running mate, argued that people already have access to contraceptives, claimed that ‘will continue,’ and accused Democrats of politicizing the issue.

“Then, he changed the subject to abortion.”

Jake Tapper, CNN:  “If Republicans win the White House and take control of the Senate, which, they have a decent chance of doing, and retain control of the US House, should voters expect contraception to be at risk as the right to abortion is at risk?”

Youngkin: “‘I believe this is very much a publicity vote and not one based on real policy.’”

Alabama Political Reporter: “In a speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday, Alabama Senator Katie Britt criticized the Right to Contraception Act currently being championed by Senate and House Democrats. She called the decision to hold a vote on the bill today part of a ‘Summer of Scare Tactics’ and a ‘campaign of fearmongering.’” […]

“While Britt also pointed out that ‘contraception is available in every state across the nation,’ some Republican politicians and appointees have begun suggesting contraception may be a future target for government regulation.”

MAGA Republicans slipped a poison pill into the VA’s must-pass funding bill, once again putting veterans’ reproductive health care at risk.

NBC News: “House Republicans approved a veterans’ funding bill on Wednesday that would limit abortion access for troops and veterans, setting up another partisan clash with Democrats in the Senate and the White House ahead of a Sept. 30 deadline to fund the government.

“A controversial provision in the spending bill would prohibit the Department of Veterans Affairs from offering abortion counseling and, in some cases, abortion procedures to veterans and their beneficiaries. It overturns a Biden administration rule that allows the VA to provide abortion care when the life or health of the mother is in danger or in cases of rape or incest.”

RNC co-chair Lara Trump and Trump VP contender Tom Cotton refused to commit to accepting the results of the 2024 election.

Peter Alexander, NBC News: “Will you commit to certifying the 2024 election results no matter who wins?”

Cotton: “…I will accept the results of the election and certify them if it’s a fair and a free election.”

Kasie Hunt, CNN: “Will you commit to accepting the election results in 2024?”

Lara Trump: “Of course. If this is a free, fair, and transparent election, absolutely… We can’t repeat an election like we had in 2020 where you had half the country with huge, sweeping questions about what happened that never got answered.”

Hunt: “Well, there was zero evidence of widespread fraud that could have changed the ultimate outcome in 2020.”

Lara Trump: “Absolutely not, most of those lawsuits were swept away on clerical errors… But then people wanted to know, what happened across the country? We never got those answers.” 

The RNC, still struggling to build a campaign operation in Wisconsin, decided to go all in to win over voters in… Ho Chi Minh City?

The Hill: “Dems troll RNC for promoting convention with Ho Chi Minh City photo”

“Democrats took a swipe at the Republican National Convention (RNC) after its website included a background picture of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam rather than Milwaukee, where the party’s convention will be hosted next month.

“The background picture of Ho Chi Minh City went viral on social media Tuesday after a Boston Globe reporter posted a screenshot of what appeared to be the RNC’s “News and Updates” website section. As of Wednesday, the screenshot had more than 598,000 views and 3,700 likes.”