Republicans Smear Democrats As Pedophiles, Perverts Because They Have Literally Nothing Else To Run On
Few people are shocked when GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says something disgusting. That doesn’t mean her words have no impact.
Monday, Greene, relishing her renewed access to Twitter, smeared GOP Senators Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins as “pro-pedophile” because they’re voting to confirm soon-to-be Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Greene didn’t invent the libel that Judge Jackson was “soft on pedophiles.” She’s just running with the ball that Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, and Lindsey Graham threw her way.
GREENE: The Democrats are the party of pedophiles ... the party of princess predators from Disney ... the Democrats are the party of teachers, elementary school teachers, trying to transition their elementary school age children.
Marge Greene tonight: \u201cThe Democrats are the party of pedophiles .. the party of princess predators from Disney .. the party of teachers .. trying to transition their elementary school age children.\u201dpic.twitter.com/MMowXlIYM9— Ron Filipkowski \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@Ron Filipkowski \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1649205748
Greene isn’t some rogue element within the party, and GOP leadership’s silence isn’t necessarily weakness. It’s arguably strategic. Republicans tee up calculated eliminationist talking points and Greene provides bigoted closed captions for the innuendo-impaired.
Susan Collins wasn’t even "very concerned” about Greene’s gross remarks. While leaving the very Senate chamber a violent rightwing mob invaded last year, Collins told Business Insider, "Frankly, this is what we've come to expect from [Greene]. So it doesn't trouble me. It's obviously ludicrous and typical.”
Greene is a sitting member of Congress who has Donald Trump’s full support. She’s not a fringe figure. Collins willingly belongs to a political party that excommunicates anyone who dares suggest that Joe Biden fairly won the presidency, but GOP leadership won’t publicly reprimand or censure Greene, who spoke at a white nationalist event just a few weeks ago.
Collins defended Brett Kavanaugh’s unhinged outburst during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings. She said at the time, "His anger and his anguish, I think is — are understandable given that he’s been accused of being involved in gang rapes of women. I mean that is a devastating allegation.” Why isn’t she angry that Greene has accused her, Romney, Murkowski, and every Senate Democrat of supporting pedophilia?
GOP Senator Tom Cotton sank to a new low, though one still a rung above Greene, when he smugly suggested this week that Jackson would’ve defended Nazis during the Nuremberg trials.
Comparing former Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson to Ketanji Brown Jackson, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) says: "The last Judge Jackson left the Supreme Court to go to Nuremberg and prosecute the case against the Nazis. This Judge Jackson might have gone there to defend them."pic.twitter.com/nf465Ox53X— Heartland Signal (@Heartland Signal) 1649193349
COTTON: The last Judge Jackson left the Supreme Court to go to Nuremberg and prosecute the case against the Nazis. This Judge Jackson might have gone there to defend them.
The late Justice Robert Jackson was chief prosecutor for the US at the Nuremberg trials, but he wasn’t a vengeful hanging judge. Unlike Cotton, he believed in the democratic principle that even the worst offenders deserve a defense. Charles Pierce at Esquire shares a passage from Justice Jackson's opening argument at the Nuremberg tribunals.
Despite the fact that public opinion already condemns their acts, we agree that here they must be given a presumption of innocence, and we accept the burden of proving criminal acts and the responsibility of these defendants for their commission.
By what passes for logic in Cotton’s twisted head, Justice Jackson was “pro-Nazi.” Attorney Robert Servatius did in fact defend Nazis, including Adolf Eichmann and Fritz Sauckel. He wasn’t "pro-Nazi" either, but he believed he could “contribute to seeing justice done.” Servatius and both Jacksons are morally superior to Cotton, whom Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison correctly described yesterday as a “little maggot-infested man.”
DNC Chair Jaime Harrison calls Tom Cotton a \u201clittle maggot-infested man.\u201d We should all come out swinging like that every single day.pic.twitter.com/oc8daH1k0I— Liz Dye (@Liz Dye) 1649251846
If there’s any compelling difference between Tom Cotton and Marjorie Taylor Greene, we guess it’s that Cotton is probably aware he’s lying. Political strategist Sarah Longwell, founder of Republican Voters Against Trump, tweeted Wednesday, "The entire GOP pitch to normie voters is, Dems are worse. So when your team tries a coup, you gotta think hard about what’s worse than that. Hence, the 'groomer' discourse."
That’s why I respectfully disagree with GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who lamented Tuesday that his pro-Putin, anti-M-I-C-K-E-Y Mouse party is a "bunch of children” who aren’t "serious about running the United States.” The current GOP is morally bankrupt. But it is very serious about demonizing anyone who’s different and (re)imposing white authoritarian rule. The pedophile and groomer smears aren’t just schoolyard antics. It’s a carefully coordinated political strategy. God help us if they win.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."