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Bob Menendez Is GOP’s New Favorite Democrat! (GOP Has Very Bad Taste In Democrats)
Sorry, Joe Manchin!
More than half of Senate Democrats (so far) have called for Bob Menendez’s resignation. The entire caucus could soon turn against the perpetual corruption machine, but that’s still not enough to expel the alleged gold-bar hoarder from the Senate. A two-thirds majority is required, and as we know from Donald Trump’s two impeachments, Republicans are incapable of doing the right thing.
Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Menendez was an issue for “Democrats to deal with,” but unlike Tommy Tuberville, he’s at least read the Constitution and knows that’s not true. He also reportedly said that Republicans should let Democrats deal with Trump after January 6. He’s very hands-off on obvious crimes.
But why wouldn’t Republicans eagerly help Democrats end another Democrat’s political career? The most obvious answer is that they have nothing to gain: Democratic New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy would replace Menendez with a normal Democrat who’s not a crawling piece of slime. Where’s the fun in that for Republicans? If Menendez lingers in office, there’s a bruising primary that would cost Democrats time and money they hadn’t planned to spend, and if Menendez somehow wins, Democrats couldn’t publicly support him, which would give Republicans a reasonable shot at flipping the seat. New Jersey isn’t California. Murphy narrowly won re-election in 2021, and he keeps all his cash in banks.
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How Many Senate Democrats Calling For Corrupt Bob Menendez's Resignation? Almost All Of Them, Katie!
Republicans have resisted joining the calls for Menendez to spend more time at home with his wads of cash, and it’s been suggested (even by me!) that this is because they can’t publicly declare felony indictments disqualifying for public office when their mad MAGA king has collected the full commemorative set.
Upon reflection, it’s probably more complicated than that, as intellectual consistency isn’t a prominent trait among Republicans. They have no problem with rank hypocrisy.
I hate bringing up former Sen. Al Franken because folks can get goofy in the head over that situation. (Look, we got Tina Smith and Doug Jones! Move on.) However, Senate Republicans had no trouble demanding his resignation even though more than a dozen women had accused the incumbent Republican president of sexual assault.
Trump’s professional liar Sarah Huckabee Sanders shamelessly, as was her style, told reporters in December 2017 the key difference between Franken and Trump was that “Sen. Franken has admitted wrongdoing and the president hasn’t.”
You might’ve been busy in October 2016, but I think the “Access Hollywood” tape qualifies as a confession.
Susan Collins said the allegations against Franken were “credible, disgusting and appalling and degrading to women.” She later demanded he quit. This is obviously a change from her response to Menendez. While we’re sure she’s “very concerned” about all his felony indictments and blatant corruption, she said Tuesday, “It’s up to him and the voters of New Jersey to make the resignation decision.”
That’s similar to what Sanders said about the still-pending allegations against Trump: No messy investigations into his gross conduct were necessary because “the American people spoke very loud and clear when they elected this president.” (The American people had actually picked Hillary Clinton.)
Maybe what Republicans respect is Menendez’s Trumpian power move: He won’t admit wrongdoing or even apologize, as Franken did. Instead, he claims there is a conspiracy against him. He’s speaking their persecution complex language.
Menendez suggested, without a shred of bothersome evidence, that he’s been specifically targeted because of his Cuban-American heritage: “Those behind this campaign simply cannot accept that a first-generation Latino American from humble beginnings could rise to be a US senator and serve with honor and distinction,” he said, embracing the convenient “identity politics” conservatives suddenly discover when they’re in trouble. During his 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Clarence Thomas repulsively stated that the sexual misconduct allegations against him were a “high-tech lynching.” This was the sole example of racism (toward a Black person at least) that Thomas would acknowledge in his judicial career.
Wednesday, Menendez and his wife Nadine pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges, and he’s requested a private audience today with Senate Democrats. (Sen. Patty Murray will push for a separate ethics investigation if he doesn’t GTFO.) I expect he’ll just whine and beg for mercy, like a less dignified Jimmy Swaggart, but who knows, he could actually do the morally correct thing and resign. If so, Republicans will have no further use for him.
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