Oopsies! House Republicans Accidentally Post And Delete Creepy MAGA Midterm Agenda
House Republicans made a big old uh-oh Wednesday, accidentally posting a draft of a campaign document that included talking points about restricting abortion, complaining that it's too easy for Americans to vote, and attacking the prescription drug reforms that were included in the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act. It was only up for a little while before whoever was setting up the webpage hid it behind a password, but the document was up long enough for House Democrats to grab screenshots and post them to Twitter and to Speaker Nancy Pelosi's website. (That's the Wayback Machine archive, since the screenshots are temporarily borked on Pelosi's site.)
Dear readers, we hope you won't be too shocked, but the version of the House GOP's "Commitment to America" campaign page that's now up at Kevin McCarthy's website has been shorn of the more extreme stuff in the draft. Not that Democrats are going to let the more MAGA-y version be forgotten. Let's take a look at the stuff McCarthy and crew decided to run away from, rather than run on.
Guess Abortion No Longer Matters To Republicans!
Here are a couple of screengrabs from the draft. This first one remains in the final version (you have to click a "show our plan" button to find it):
The second has been pared back considerably! Here's the original version, promising that Republicans will "Defend the unborn, fight for life, and protect Supreme Court Justices and pro-life organizations targeted by destruction and violence."
In the revised version of the agenda's outline, "protect the lives of unborn children and their mothers" is stuffed into the same line as free speech, religious liberty, and the Holy Second Amendment:
No more fighting, and no more worries about all you abortion rights advocates trying to murder the Supremes, either. No, that does not mean you should, you monsters.
Pelosi's website goes into further detail about House Republicans' actual plans for attacking women's rights, including their support for a "personhood amendment" that would ban all abortions from the moment of fertilization — with no exceptions.
Affordable Prescriptions Are Socialist!
The current version of the House GOP platform still gripes about how Democrats want to "[impose] a top-down, one-size-fits-all government approach from Washington that will only lead to rationed care and worse services," but now it's ditched the word "socialist."
So much nicer! Now instead of "Democrat socialist drug takeover" it's now a kinder, gentler warning that "The Democrats' drug takeover scheme could lead to 135 fewer lifesaving treatments and cures" — although that claim doesn't appear to be explained anywhere. Again, Pelosi's site takes the opportunity to point out that in budget proposals, House Republicans have gone even farther, threatening to privatize Social Security and Medicare, because it's their nature, you see. When Republicans say they want to "Save and strengthen Social Security and Medicare," that usually translates to privatization.
Voting? Why Would You Let People do THAT?
The early draft of the site stays clear of the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen, but it does suggest that Democrats are attacking elections by not agreeing to voting restrictions that Republicans want. The deep-sixed version also includes some scary argle-bargle about the need to "prevent non-citizens from participating in our elections," which is pure baloney anyway. And while the average American voter doesn't care about the details of voting rules in the House, the Rs try to pretend that pandemic rules allowing proxy voting in the House is a very bad thing.
We aren't sure about the intent of the now-removed text box reading "Early voting in Georgia in 2022 came in at nearly triple Georgia's 2018 level." Was high early voting supposed to be evidence of fraud, or proof that Georgia's restrictive election law wasn't so restrictive after all, or maybe both at the same time?
The updated version gets rid of that text box, and also drops the scary bit about noncitizens voting, but it keeps the pledge to continue pushing to "increase accountability in the election process through voter ID, accurate voter rolls, and observer access" — in other words, more voter suppression — and demanding "State sovereignty" in election rules, which of course means opposing the Freedom to Vote Act and and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which would standardize voting rules for federal elections nationwide and make sure voting changes don't discriminate.
Even without the more fire-breathing MAGA stuff, there's still plenty to dislike in the "Commitment To America" agenda, like the calls to demolish public education through "school choice" and the paranoia about trans kids, however it's euphemized ("Defend fairness by ensuring that only women can compete in women’s sports"). Heck, it even drags out the old bullshit lie that the Justice Department "labeled parents seeking to attend school board meetings as 'DOMESTIC TERRORISTS,'" when in mere reality Merrick Garland made clear that only people actually making threats would be investigated for making threats.
Oh, but there we go talking about facts again. That so elitist!
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