GOP Still Doesn't Know How To Quit Trump
The GOP has reached an insane level of pining for the batshit, xenophobic and unstable "leadership" of the Trump administration. It has broken them so much that, as we approach the end of President Joe Biden's first 100 days, they're holding onto Trump like a piece of driftwood in icy waters.
On ABC's "This Week," GOP Senator Rick Scott, former Florida governor and current Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, tried to answer for his decision to give the inciter of an insurrection a made-up participation trophy.
STEPHANOPOULOS: [A] couple of weeks back, you gave former President Trump something you called the Champion of Freedom Award. That was on April 10. And you did that despite the fact that the former president continues to spread lies about the election, about Mike Pence and Capitol siege on January 6th. He said there was no threat there. Doesn't giving the president an award like that endorse that kind of behavior?
SCOTT: I gave him that award for the right reasons. [...] So, I mean, he -- I mean he worked hard. You know, every president I know would like to get more things accomplished, but, I mean, he -- he did some things that prior presidents had not gotten done.
Scott gave Trump credit for his "accomplishments" prior to his failed coup, and ignored that final act of his presidency. Scott named things like
cruelty to immigrants border security and Trump meaninglessly saber-rattling holding the Castro and Maduro regimes accountable.
But that's not how it works, as George Stephanopoulos explained:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, except you gave that award after he spread the lies about the election.
You can't just separate and award the parts you like, Dollar Store Voldemort. That's like praising the 93rd Academy Awards for a decent show while glossing over how they changed the order of awards presentation betting Chadwick Boseman would posthumously win, only for that to fail spectacularly.
Scott couldn't end the interview without lobbing an insult against Democrats' patriotism, again, to support a guy who incited an insurrection.
SCOTT: Republicans believe in this country. We know we're a beacon of light. We're not talking like Democrats are, that they trash the country every day and say everybody's a racist, because this is not a racist country.
Democrats "trash the country"? Here's a video of the "Champion Of Freedom Award" recipient:
Meanwhile over on "Fox News Sunday," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was still making excuses for January 6, specifically trying to rewrite history and say Trump was unaware that rioters were storming the Capitol, and that once McCarthy told him, he said he'd put a stop to it. Which is not what GOP Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler said about that phone call that day.
Kevin McCarthy says he supports a special congressional committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection but wan… https://t.co/EZsAcqzYq0— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1619358391.0
WALLACE: During the trial in the Senate, a Republican congresswoman said [...] that while the January 6th riot was in full force, you phoned President Trump and ask him to call off his supporters. And according to you, she said, the president responded, well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election then you are. Is she right? Is that what President Trump said to you?
MCCARTHY: What I talked to President Trump about, I was the first person to contact him when the riots was going on. He didn't see it. What he ended the call was saying -- telling me, he'll put something out to make sure to stop this. And that's what he did, he put a video out later.
WALLACE: Quite a lot later. And it was a pretty weak video. But I'm asking you specifically, did he say to you --
MCCARTHY: No, that's not --
WALLACE: I guess some people are more concerned about the election then you are?
MCCARTHY: No, listen, my conversations with the president are my conversations with the president.
You want to know how we know Trump did say this, besides Rep. Herrera Beutler's sworn affidavit in Trump's second impeachment? Because McCarthy is perfectly happy to provide confirmations or denials about his conversations with Trump when it's flattering for him or Trump. But when asked about this quote, all of a sudden it's "my conversations with the President are my conversations with the President." McCarthy likely doesn't want to outright deny something that could be potentially proven later to be true.
McCarthy also later made it clear that he would not investigate the events of January 6 unless Democrats allowed the scope to be so wide that Republicans can make whataboutisms about antifa or Black Lives Matter, to both excuse and minimize the actions of their supporters that day.
Even "normal" Republicans can't help genuflect to Trump, as exemplified by West Virginia GOP Senator Shelley Moore Capito, when CNN's Dana Bash asked her about a possible 2024 Trump presidential bid on "State Of The Union."
not exactly a profile in courage here from Shelley Moore Capito https://t.co/3zYkEGOTzr— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1619360096.0
BASH: You called President Trump's actions during the January 6 insurrection disgraceful. And you said history will judge him harshly. Would you support the former president if he runs again in 2024?
CAPITO: Well, I think that is a really premature question. And I think January 6 still is very vivid in many of us who were at the Capitol that day, in our minds, as a very sad day for our country. The Republican Party is strong. We have got a lot of folks who are not just looking to lead into 2022, but into 2024. So, we will see. I hope that President Trump plays a role. I don't know whether he will run or not, but we can sort that out as time goes on.
The GOP will never learn.
Have a week.
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Your friendly neighborhood Puerto Rican Political Freelance Writer for @wonkette. Pop Culture observer, Amateur Movie reviewer & Comics fan. Former Active Duty Marine. All opinions are mine only.