GOP leadership is shocked, shocked!
California Republican Ted Howze thought he could run for Congress without anyone checking his social media, or maybe he assumed everyone would stop using social media and have more “game nights" with their families. Neither happened and now he has to answer for offensive posts about Muslims and immigrants that appeared on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The inflammatory content is your typical Rush Limbaugh/Ann Coulter garbage: Hillary Clinton is accused of murdering Seth Rich. Rep. Maxine Waters doesn't just have distracting black lady hair, she's also a crackhead. Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg is a fraud who hasn't witnessed real gun violence. Also, Islam sucks. None of this is true or all that “shocking." It's boilerplate rhetoric from your MAGA relative. But Republicans like to gaslight us into thinking their party isn't a pack of bigots.
Howze claimed he didn't know how those "negative and ugly" posts got on his accounts. He certainly didn't write them! He was a regular user of Facebook, but he apparently never read its security guidelines, so he gave people access to his accounts ... for reasons. Facebook isn't Netflix or Hulu. Facebook is free.
We all know the #FakeNews media is joined at the hip with the Democrats. They don’t even hide it! Now they are afte… https://t.co/ryolDuYE2M— Ted Howze (@Ted Howze)1589988945.0
Earlier this month, Howze tried to smooth things over with a social media security PSA.
"Like many folks in my middle-age group, I learned the very hard lesson to never allow anyone access to social media accounts or passwords," Howze said in a statement.
Dude is in his early 50s. Generation X is middle-aged, sure, but we're not your nana. We understand the Internets. Howze
is was even a member of the GOP's “Young Guns" program.
"I made the mistake of allowing others access to these accounts unknowingly — and I am angered, horrified and extremely offended that these ugly ideas were shared or posted by those individuals several years ago."
Howze declined to identify the drooling bigots he trusted with his account (probably because they don't exist), but his flimsy excuse was enough for the GOP. Then more posts emerged. He signed his name to one and tagged family members in others. It's a dumpster fire of anti-Muslim sentiment, as well as conspiracy theories about Hillary the serial killer and Obama the secret Muslim who's going to impose Sharia law.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy endorsed Howze before the March primary. No one in his office thought to check social media, either, but now McCarthy is preparing to cut his losses.
MCCARTHY: The content in question on Mr. Howze's social media channels is disappointing and disturbing. Bigotry and hateful rhetoric — in any form — have no place in the Republican Party.
They keep saying this as if Trump isn't a Republican. He gave Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom shortly before the world ended and yes, there is a connection.
MCCARTHY: These posts are unacceptable and do not reflect the Ted Howze that I have briefly interacted with.
See, McCarthy didn't know Howze was a creep when he endorsed him. It's not like he spat on a Muslim or anything during the five minutes they spoke at a meet-and-greet.
National Republican Congressional Committee chair Tom Emmer was also shocked and appalled.
EMMER: These statements are unacceptable and not indicative of the Republican Party and what we are building here at the NRCC with our diverse slate of candidates.
McCarthy and Emmer pulled Howze from their “Young Guns" roster. They no longer want him, dead or alive. This makes reelection much easier for freshman Rep. Josh Harder, who represents California 10th district. He is neither a bigot nor does he hand out his social media account passwords like candy.
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Is she our next vice president?
“The View" is a depressing sight these days. Co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain are on opposite ends of the table, keeping a safe six feet distance apart. That's good news for Hostin, but it makes for a somber set. Joy Behar stopped coming into the studio last week and is in self-quarantine for her own safety. Whoopi Goldberg's working from home because she's a national treasure and must remain safe if civilization is to endure after the coronavirus.
Goldberg interviewed Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar via Skype Wednesday. She even let McCain participate. Klobuchar did a fine job auditioning for vice president. She talked up Joe Biden as the person to lead America during these challenging times.
.@amyklobuchar on Biden’s call for unity after his three-state primary win Tuesday: “He didn’t use it as a moment t… https://t.co/I15QMTy0Bk— The View (@The View)1584545605.0
Klobuchar was also gracious to her Senate colleague, Bernie Sanders, when co-host Dan Abrams asked her if it was time for Sanders to GTFO.
KLOBUCHAR: That is so his decision. Bernie is a friend. We came into the Senate together. We've worked together on all kinds of things, including the price of pharmaceuticals ... He'll make a decision when the decision is right for him. He's built a movement. He has a lot of people who fully believe in him. And I think Joe Biden's words last night say it all. He wants to bring Bernie's people with him.
McCain reminded Klobuchar that just because Biden's the nominee, we can't suddenly forget that Sanders supporters are a pack of drooling sociopaths.
MCCAIN: If Joe Biden secures the nomination, I don't think Bernie supporters are going to suddenly rally behind him. I've said on the show before that Bernie supporters are some of the nastiest people on social media. They harass people in ugly and sexist ways. How do you think [Biden] will be able to get them on his team?
It's worth noting while we're here that McCain once pushed back against a “View" guest who said Trump voters were part of a “cult." McCain's husband is publisher of The Federalist and while she's not responsible for what her spouse does, she should know that (the worst, not all) Sanders supporters do have some blue-checkmarked competition for “nastiest people on social media."
This reporter isn't just running defense for the Communist Chinese government, she's doing it at the expense of all… https://t.co/e1KK2uh2gN— Mollie (@Mollie)1584549557.0
Klobuchar didn't take McCain's bait and just stuck to the unity message.
KLOBUCHAR: [Sanders] knows what the stakes are here. And if and when he makes that decision that he would endorse Joe Biden, I think that he will do everything to bring his supporters with him.
She later politely sidestepped Sunny Hostin's questions about whether she was on a shortlist for Biden's vice president. Still, look at her face when she discusses the possibility. She's not Meryl Streep. She wouldn't look that happy if she suspected Biden was seriously considering Pete Buttigieg.
HOSTIN: Biden said on Sunday that he would commit to a female woman VP. Are you that woman?
KLOBUCHAR: I'm not talking about hypotheticals. I don't think he's talked to anyone about this. There are great women throughout this country and no one knows better about being vice president than Joe Biden. He did the job really well with Barack Obama for eight years. Right now, we're in a crisis and I think that's why people are turning to him. That's why you saw the voter turnout you did in Arizona and Florida. Because even though there was a risk to go to vote, a lot people went to vote.
That was very good deflection. Klobuchar kept making the case without saying anything that she's the “female woman" for this ticket. She's every female woman.
Sen. @amyklobuchar on so-called 'Bernie Bros': “[Sen. Sanders] knows what the stakes are here. And if and when he m… https://t.co/xUhr8BatW6— The View (@The View)1584549444.0
Klobuchar shared a lovely story about a time when Biden visited Minnesota for an event. This was years ago when we still had "events." She called to thank him and mentioned that her friend's husband who'd helped with the event had suddenly died. Biden asked for her friend's cell phone number.
KLOBUCHAR: [Biden] called my friend while she was driving home from work her first day. He made her pull over to the side of the road and write his cell phone number on her hand and told her he could call her whenever it was hard because he'd lost his own family members. That's just a story. No one knew that story until I told it on the show. That's the kind of empathy he has for people.
Klobuchar is an experienced politician who knows her stuff. You could tell when she talked about what was needed at the federal level to combat the coronavirus, but the vice presidency is ultimately a support role. It demands someone willing to cede the spotlight and convince people to vote for the top of the ticket. Klobuchar showed she can hit it out of the park for Uncle Joe.
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Shameful yet predictable, isn't it?
The saying goes that Texas isn't truly a "red" state; it's a non-voting state. Texas ranked 41st in the nation for voter turnout in 2018 — the year of the Blue Wave, when nationwide turnout was through the roof. Texas is the second-largest US state, so that's especially alarming.
Why don't Texans vote? It's not that they just don't give a damn: Texas officials go out of their way to keep Texans from voting. Last year, Texas closed down more polling places than any other state. According to a report from the Leadership Conference Education Fund, Texas closed down 750 polls since 2012. The closures are obviously and grossly targeted to disenfranchise minorities.
From The Guardian:
McLennan county, home to Waco, Texas, closed 44% of its polling places from 2012 to 2018, despite the fact that its population grew by more than 15,000 people during the same time period, with more than two-thirds of that growth coming from Black and Latinx residents.
It's shameful, and more evidence that Chief Justice John Roberts helped make Jim Crow great again when he gutted the Voting Rights Act. It doesn't even matter whether deliberate malice or incredible naïveté motivated Roberts, the ramifications have been grotesque.
Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in Texas by nine points. That seems decisive, but it's no Indiana. Texas was actually one of six states in 2016 where the winning margin was between five and 10 percent. The others were Georgia, Virginia, Ohio, New Mexico, and Iowa. Most are considered "battleground" states.
Texas, like Georgia and Virginia, has become more competitive as the population grows more diverse. That's bad news for Republicans, who don't bother modifying their positions to appeal to the changing demographic. No, they just violate the fuck out of Texas state law. For instance, Brazoria County, just south of Houston, has a combined minority population of more than 20 percent. By an extreme coincidence, the county closed almost 60 percent of its polling places between 2012 and 2018. This fell below the statutory minimum. The county clerk, Joyce Hudman, who still has a job, said the closings were "inadvertent" — as if we're talking about plants someone forgot to water so they died rather than actual buildings someone actively shuttered. She pinky swears that this won't happen again.
What should worry Republicans is that despite all their underhanded shadiness, Democrats have made steady progress in the state. Clinton lost Texas by the lowest margin for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1996. Beto O'Rourke came within two painful points of sending Ted Cruz back to the fifth dimension. It was Texas's closest US Senate race since 1978. This was powered by O'Rourke's strength among minority voters.
Only California has a smaller share of non-Hispanic white residents than Texas. During the 2018 US Senate race, Cruz warned about Texas becoming like California — with all the tofu and sprouts from that Steve Martin movie. This was not just fear mongering. Republicans are terrified of losing Texas. They have no path to 270 electoral votes without Texas in the Republican column. Spending lots of money defending Texas also isn't a pleasing prospect for Republicans. But Democrats Lizzie Fletcher and Colin Allred have already flipped districts in the state. Republicans can pull all the dirty tricks in their dirty trick book, but the purple rain is gonna fall.
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