The ‘Good’ Republicans Are Bad, and the Bad Ones Are Batshit
Since no one in Trumpworld has been punished for anything, Republicans have learned that you can do anything at all and no one will ever hold you accountable.
Chip Roy from Texas’ 21st Congressional District didn’t vote to overturn the election of the 2020 election, which made him slightly better than 147 of his colleagues who voted to change the election results because they didn’t like them.
Roy released a statement with a small group of Republican reps who wanted to follow the law despite the fact that their guy lost, warning that trying to overturn the election would “strengthen the efforts of those on the left who are determined to eliminate it or render it irrelevant.” He even went as far as to challenge the seating of representatives from states where members of his party were challenging the results of the election—a pretty bold move considering one of the people who was challenging the results was his old boss Ted Cruz.
But what a difference six months makes. Roy is no longer Team Electoral College and the Constitution. He’s joined the rest of his party—with the exception of soon-to-be-purged Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney—on Team Own the Libs Even If It Means Killing Your Supporters.
This weekend he was sounding like a mini-Newt, telling a group in a recently surfaced video that “Honestly, right now, for the next 18 months, our job is to do everything we can to slow all of that down to get to December of 2022, and then get in there and lead.” When CNN followed up, “Roy responded to coverage of his earlier comments in a statement standing by his remarks, saying he plans to ‘oppose almost everything that Congress does,’ and pledging ‘to fight with every ounce of my being to stop the radical left—and weak Republicans.’” And then of course there was his weird anti-vaxxer tweet: “come inject it.” A great message when the most contagious delta variant is taking hold and new polling from the Washington Post-ABC shows that 47 percent of Republicans “aren’t likely to get vaccinated.”
This is the Republican brand now: death before decency. What Roy’s colleague Paul Gosar learned from Trumpism is that working with terrifying far-right extremists is totally cool. Gosar is now even more far-right than Steve King, who was censured for his white nationalist statements back when Republicans at least pretended to give a shit.
Now Gosar is being praised by white nationalist Nick Fuentes—and minority “Leader” Kevin McCarthy is fine with that, just like he’s fine with Marjorie Taylor Greene raving about the Jews and Matt Gaetz (R-Sex Creep) staying on the House Ethics Committee so that he could question the head of the FBI while continuing to be investigated by the FBI.
Meanwhile Stop the Steal speaker Mo Brooks is now running for Senate in Alabama. Brooks, who was a planner of the Jan. 6 rally, according to a deleted video from Ali Alexander, claims in a new civil filing that he only spoke at the rally-turned-riot because the White House told him to. That was in the same legal filing in which he said he believes that Trump still won the election (Trump did not).
Since no one in Trumpworld has been punished for anything, Republicans have learned that you do anything at all and no one will ever hold you accountable. Local Republicans continue trying to make it harder for the “wrong people” to vote, including Native Americans in Montana this week. It’s not about racism, they insist; it’s about stopping groups that back Democrats who oppose racism.
Trump taught Republicans that they can be as shitty as they want, and no one will stop them, as long as they don’t cross Trump. Just look at former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who resigned after he was indicted on felony charges after cheating on his wife with a woman he blackmailed and abused. He’s running for Senate now, and a GOP mega-donor just gave him $2.5 million because allegations of sexual assault are no longer a barrier to entry in today’s GOP; they may even be the mark of a “real man.” Just ask Donald.
These people will continue to break rules and wreck our democracy until someone—are you listening, Merrick Garland?—holds them accountable.
If Chip Roy is the best of this rotten bunch, it’s time to toss the whole barrel. William Butler Yeats must have been writing about the Republicans when he wrote that “the best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.”