It’s been a bad week for the president* thus far. His wildly unpopular shutdown enters its 27th day, he’s been mocked for serving cold hamberders to jocks from Clemson, and his administration* has been leaking like a sieve. The stories about his NATO-phobia and Interpretergate have been particularly damaging as well as damning. It’s been an excellent week, however, for Putin’s plan to foment chaos in what used to be called the free world. We’ll just have to keep on rockin’…
Enough of the Insult Comedian, let’s talk about *other* Republicans in disarray. Two past malakas of the week have been in the news: Steve King and Chris Christie.
The Same Old Racist Iowa Cornholer: Emulating Captain Louis Renault in Casablanca, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy is shocked, shocked to learn that Steve King is a bigot. Based on his legendary “untrustable in hungria” comment, McCarthy is not the brightest bulb in the lamp. He’s also not very observant: Steve King was a racist long before he was stripped of his committee assignments. I wrote about it in a 2017 post called King Of The Bigots and Trip Gabriel of the Failing New York Times has compiled Steve King’s Greatest Hits. What a long, strange Trip it’s been.
Perhaps Kevin hadn’t noticed before because his head is so far up Trump’s ample rump that he’s been blind to King’s racism. It’s a lame excuse: King has been saying this shit since he was a member of the Iowa lege. This quote comes from 2002, when the Trump presidency* was just a bad dream:
Mr. King, in the Iowa State Senate, files a bill requiring schools teach that the United States “is the unchallenged greatest nation in the world and that it has derived its strength from … Christianity, free enterprise capitalism and Western civilization.”
The Congressman from next door Metry and past malaka of the week, Steve Scalise, has been too busy selling books and pretending NOT to be a more politically viable David Duke to notice King’s bigotry either. Scalise prefers code words to raw naked hatred but he’s guilty of Renault-ism as well:
The King of Bigots took to the House floor yesterday to defend himself:
Dolts like King always twist history to justify their words and actions. Many abolitionists were racists and preferred emigration and separation to integration and equality. I wonder if King has ever heard of Liberia.
The only reason Republicans stripped the bark off King’s committee assignments is that House Democrats voted to rebuke the Iowa Cornholer’s latest statements. The vote was 424-1. And the no vote came from Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush who thought the House should censure the King of Bigots.
Let’s move on to our next example of Republicans in disarray. The post title feels slightly illicit since it mocks a million such stories about Democrats in Tiger Beat on the Potomac aka Politico. Perhaps I’ll win the morning.
Governor Asshole’s Revenge: There’s a consensus out there that the Trump regime operates like a mob family. I’ve even given him a wise guy name: Don Donaldo Il Comico Insulto.
The man who wanted to be Clemenza to Trump’s Godfather has written a book that verifies the old Sicilian adage “revenge is a dish best served cold.” I wonder if the dish is pizza? I happen to like cold, leftover pizza for breakfast. I’ve also been known to hold a grudge.
Back to Christie’s upcoming tome, Let Me Finish. Yesterday, the Guardian published an exclusive article about the most explosive parts of the book, which involve the Governor Asshole/Slumlord Jared blood feud:
Christie blames this key player[Kushner] in the president’s inner circle for his ignominious dismissal shortly after Trump’s election victory in November 2016. Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, writes that Kushner’s role in his sacking was confirmed to him by Steve Bannon, Trump’s campaign chief, in real time.
As Bannon was carrying out the firing, at Trump Tower in New York, Christie forced him to tell him who was really behind the dismissal by threatening to go to the media and point the finger at Bannon instead.
“Steve Bannon … made clear to me that one person and one person only was responsible for the faceless execution that Steve was now attempting to carry out. Jared Kushner, still apparently seething over events that had occurred a decade ago.”
The political assassination was carried out by Kushner as a personal vendetta, Christie writes, that had its roots in his prosecution, as a then federal attorney, of Charles Kushner in 2005. The real estate tycoon was charged with witness tampering and tax evasion and served more than a year in federal prison.
Apologies for the long quote but I couldn’t quite channel my inner Mario Puzo or David Chase this morning, so I let the Guardian guys do it for me.
I’ve missed having Governor Asshole to kick around. I’m glad he’s publishing an *almost* tell-all book about the Trump regime. I say almost because he’s softer on Trumpberius than on anyone else:
At his first meeting with Trump in 2002, at a dinner in the Trump International Hotel and Tower, in New York, Trump ordered his food for him. He chose scallops, to which Christie is allergic, and lamb which he has always detested. Christie recalls wondering whether Trump took him to be “one of his chicks”.
At another dinner three years later Trump told the obese Christie he had to lose weight. Addressing him like one of the contestants in Miss Universe, the beauty contest organisation that he owned, Trump said “you gotta look better to be able to win” in politics.
Trump returned to the theme of girth during the 2016 presidential campaign, exhorting Christie to wear a longer tie as it would make him look thinner.
Christie hates lamb? Fuck him and the long red tie he rode in on. Was that a bridge too far? Nah, in the immortal words of Bobby Bacala:
No, Bobby, I don’t. It’s what I do.
There’s one more example of Republicans in disarray. Chinless Mitch may be preventing a vote on re-opening the government but he lost a vote yesterday, which had to be one of the most newsworthy Tuesdays in history. One could even call it Christie Gras.
The Oleg Deripaska Sanctions Blues: Team Trump wants to lift sanctions on the Russian oligarch to whom Paul Manafort owes millions of dollars, Oleg Deripaska. 11 Republican Senators joined Democrats to stop this move in its tracks; one of whom, to my great surprise, was Gret Stet Senator John Neely Kennedy of Neelyisms fame. As Neely himself might put it, even a blind pig finds an acorn sometime. Boy howdy.
This was a preliminary vote: they need 2 more GOP votes to stop Mnuchin’s folly but any sign of Republican disarray is inordinately pleasing. Props to Chuck Schumer for organizing this mini uprising. He’s showing more backbone since Nancy Smash became Speaker. Keep it up, Chuck.
That concludes this episode of Republicans In Disarray Theatre. The last word goes to the Gin Blossoms who have anthropomorphized disarray.