Just when you thought the grey old white men of the Republican Party couldn’t get any more sexist, weak or cowardly, here comes Senator John Cornyn whining about the supposedly “radioactive” woman of color whom President-elect Joe Biden has picked to head the Office of Management and Budget.
Cornyn’s gripe isn’t about Neera Tanden’s qualifications (she is the current president of the Center for American Progress, a former senior health-care policy adviser to Obama-Biden, and she worked for Hillary Clinton’s first presidential campaign), or some policy she supports. No, the man who saw no evil from the vile, foul, lying, insane tweets the President of the United States of America regularly sends is offended about Tanden’s tweets. For example, Tanden repudiated Michelle Obama’s legendary 2016 catchphrase “when they go low, we go high”, tweeting, ”going high doesn't f--king work'. Other examples include Tanden loving the nickname “Moscow Mitch” when it was applied to the Senate majority leader in 2019, calling him a “Voldemort” whom she also accused of “fiddling, while the markets burn.” She’s described Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a key swing vote on Justice Kavanaugh’s confirmation, as “the worst” and, in a statement following his confirmation, labeled Collins “the chief advocate for Judge Kavanaugh, offering a pathetically bad faith argument as cover for President Trump’s vicious attacks on survivors of sexual assault.”
Yup. She said it. And now she’s Biden’s “worse nominee so far,” according to Cornyn, with “no chance” of confirmation, according to his spokesman Is this man serious? Tragically, he is. This is more of the same odious gaslighting, hypocrisy and outright lying that Republicans in thrall to Trump have spent years making into America’s “new normal,” which includes his sexist, racist treatment of a woman of color he’s holding to a higher standard than he’s applied to the white man in the Oval Office who attacks and demeans American democracy and decency daily.
The Republican party has a gender gap. Yes, they gained much needed female members in the House of Representatives in 2020, and they held onto their female senators in the Senate, except Martha McSally of Arizona, but Joe Biden carried suburban college-educated white women and black women by large margins. Cornyn himself had the scare of his political year from female Army veteran MJ Hegar, and ended up winning just 53.9 percent of the vote, down from 61.5 percent in 2014. But even as Texas turns from red to purple, men like Cornyn do not worry about respecting women, or respecting people of color. They worry about power and keeping it in their hands.
Funny, this past summer when GOP senators were asked about Trump's tweets, specifically when Sen. John Cornyn was asked about Trump’s tweets attacking the 75-year-old protester in Buffalo who was pushed to the ground by police and injured, he just walked away. And when Trump betrayed his oath of office, Cornyn and his fellow Republican senators voted to exonerate him. Now they want us to feel their outrage over things like a (now-deleted) tweet from last year where Tander said: "Can people on here please focus their ire on McConnell and the GOP senators who are Up This Cycle who enable him: Cory Gardner, Collins, Ernst, Cornyn, Perdue, Tillis And many more." Go figure.
I had no idea that the “advice and consent” criteria for presidential nominees was mean tweets. The Republicans are, once again, making up new rules that apply only to others and never to them. Enough.
Over the long 50 days before Joe Biden becomes president, take this talk from the GOP seriously. They have a purpose. They have an audience. Attack anything that doesn’t represent Trump’s America. Attack anyone who is not a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant. Question their motives. Question their loyalties. Question their patriotism.
Cornyn and the rest of them are irresponsible at best, un-American at worst. There is no honest way to be concerned about Tanden’s tweets or some other Biden pick’s taxes after four years of running like little boys from reporters’ questions about this president who spews endless foul trash and has kept his own tax returns hidden for the past five years.