MAGA Malarkey: The Extremism You Missed From Republicans This Week
August 18, 2023
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: Mike Pence bragged about his MAGA credentials, Vivek Ramaswamy floated a plan to let China invade Taiwan, MAGA Republicans continued to deny the climate crisis, Ramaswamy proposed putting Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block, and Tim Scott bragged about his tax giveaways for the ultra-wealthy.
Mike Pence described himself as a MAGA Republican and highlighted his four years as Trump’s wingman who helped pursue an extreme MAGA agenda.
Chuck Todd: “Do you consider yourself a MAGA Republican?”
Pence: “I’m incredibly proud of what we did in the Trump-Pence administration for four years, and you better believe it.”
Vivek Ramaswamy unashamedly floated a plan to let China invade Taiwan.
Ramaswamy: “We will further deter China from annexing Taiwan by shifting from strategic ambiguity to strategic clarity: we will defend until 2029 but not afterward.”
Washington Examiner: “Vivek Ramaswamy cuts off interview after floating plan to let China attack Taiwan after 2028”
Ramaswamy: “Our interests include Taiwan until we have achieved semiconductor independence. … after the end of my first term, we will be in a position to say our commitments will be different. Xi Jinping will not go for Taiwan until the end of my first term.”
Ramaswamy: “My message to China is clear. Do not mess with Taiwan before 2028. And before 2028, our commitments are strong. After 2028, we have semiconductor independence. We have very different commitments, lower commitments, significantly lower commitments.”
The Maui wildfires are another horrific disaster made worse because of climate change, but Donald Trump and other MAGA Republicans are still denying the climate crisis.
Trump: “The aftermath is going very poorly, with the governor of the island wanting to do nothing but blame it on global warming and other things that just happen to pop into his head.”
Washington Post: “Trump reiterated some of his frequently repeated falsehoods
and petty grievances. ‘The global warming hoax, it just never ends,’ he said. He mocked the concept of sea levels rising, disputing widely held science. ‘To which I say, great, we have more waterfront property,’ he said. ‘There was a big thing about global cooling — what will be next?’ he said. Trump said he was
more concerned about ‘nuclear warming’ than global warming.”
Ramaswamy also became the latest 2024 Republican candidate to propose putting Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block.
Leland Vittert: “The only way to fix that is entitlement reform — Medicare, Social Security, possibly Medicaid reform. Are you up for that?”
Ramaswamy: “I am up for that after we have delivered economic growth.”
Tim Scott said “the most important thing” he’s done was help write legislation that gave tax handouts to the ultra-wealthy and big corporations while leaving working families behind.
Scott: “Perhaps the most important thing I’ve done in public office is 2010, is I was one of the three main authors of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. So I helped write the tax cuts that we saw in 2017.”
New York Times: “A new tax break that President Trump frequently touts as a boon to black Americans and hard-hit communities is spurring relatively little job creation while disproportionately helping high-profit real estate projects and not small businesses, an extensive new study by the Urban Institute has found.”
Iowa Starting Line: “GOP Tax Plan Hurt Farmers, Small Businesses”
Forbes: “Trump Tax Cuts Helped Billionaires Pay Less Taxes Than The Working Class In 2018”
CBS News: “Two years after Trump tax cuts, middle-class Americans are falling behind”
The Guardian: “They were billed as a ‘middle-class miracle’ but according to a new book Donald Trump’s $1.5tn tax cuts have helped billionaires pay a lower rate than the working class for the first time in history.”
New York Times Opinion: “President Trump’s 2017 tax cut, which was largely a handout to the rich … helped push the tax rate on the 400 wealthiest households below the rates for almost everyone else.”