Steve Scalise Still Not Sure Who's President ... OR IS HE?
We are now over a month removed from Donald Trump's failed insurrection, which cost the lives of five people. After months of telling his voters the only way he could lose would be a stolen election, and weeks of lying and saying he actually won, Trump and the GOP carefully cultivated their most brainwashed voters, and insurgents attacked the Capitol.
But ultimately, democracy prevailed, and Joe Biden is president.
But this near-miss for authoritarian Republicans has not stopped them from continuing to perpetuate Trump's Big Lie. A perfect example of this is the House GOP Whip Steve Scalise.
On ABC's "This Week", Jonathan Karl asked Scalise if he asked Trump to take responsibility for his actions when he visited him last week at Mar-a-Lago.
KARL: When you met with the former president, did you ask him to take responsibility? Did he take responsibility?
SCALISE: Well, Jonathan, I was in Florida doing some fund-raising throughout a number of parts of Florida, ended up at Mar-a-Lago, and the president reached out, and we visited.
Mar-a-Lago isn't a 7/11, dude. You don't just "end up" there. Not sure why Scalise is making it seem like he fell, tripped and landed on Trump's home, but Karl pressed him on it, slightly.
KARL: But -- but, wait a minute, I mean, he hasn't taken responsibility. You heard Kevin McCarthy say -- I mean, do you agree with what Kevin McCarthy said [in a clip Karl had just played], that the president must take responsibility, that the facts demand that he take responsibility for what happened on January 6th?
SCALISE: Well, first of all -- now, I wrote a Wall Street Journal editorial about where I think the responsibility lays for January 6th. And surely, there's a lot of blame to go around.
It's "fine people on both sides" all over again. Scalise tried to make the same false equivalences and bullshit excuses Trump's lawyers did at the second impeachment trial.
It was then that Karl concluded with the simplest question, the one he should have started with:
KARL: Joe Biden won the election. He is the legitimate president of the United States. The election was not stolen, correct?
SCALISE: Look, Joe Biden's the president....
Oh, good, progress! Well, I'm so glad at least someone on House GOP "leadership" is finally ...
SCALISE: There were a few states that did not follow their state laws. That's really the dispute that you've seen continue on. [...] But at the end of the day, when you look at where we are in this country, either we're going to address the problems that happened with the election that people are still -- millions of people are still concerned about -- the Constitution says state legislatures set the rules for elections. That didn't happen in a few states. And so, going forward -- look, Joe Biden's the president.
Goddamn it! This has been litigated, debunked and proven false. If there was even an iota of legitimate truth to this, the GOP would be repeating it ad nauseam. But here we are with elected GOP politicians, even after the tragic culmination of Trump's Big Lie, still leaving room for Trump's Big Lie. Because if "millions of people are still concerned" because Trump and the GOP have lied to them and told them to be concerned, shouldn't we also be concerned?
Karl tried one more time, only for Scalise to double down, uninterrupted and un-fact-checked.
KARL: But -- but, Congressman, I know Joe Biden's the president. He lives at the White House. I asked you, is he the legitimate president of the United States, and do you concede that this election was not stolen? Very simple question. Please just answer it.
SCALISE: Look, once -- once the -- once the electors are counted, yes, he's the legitimate president. But if you're going to ignore the fact that there were states that did not follow their own state legislatively set laws, that's the issue at heart, that millions of people still are not happy with and don't want to see happen again.
The GOP is beyond saving at this point.
The true lesson the GOP took from its failed insurrection is that it was a razor's edge away from stealing this election. That's why they're keeping the lie going. That's why they're introducing (more) voter suppression bills in key states under the guise of "fixing" election integrity.
Either we keep up the fight for voter turnout, and against voter suppression, or we can sit back in shock in 2022 as Republicans make gains solely based on who they're able to successfully exclude from voting. That's it.
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.