So You Want To Invoke Republican Martin Luther King Jr.

Welcome to the Sunday Show Rundown. With today's day of remembrance for civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., it's only fitting we look at the ways bad politicians use his legacy and a sanitized, Disney-like version of his life as a weapon to pervert his dream.

First we have senator from Oklahoma and alternate universe Conan O'Brien, James Lankford.

This is what a Conan with zero joy or humanity would look like.

Appearing ABC's "This Week," Lankford started the stupidity by throwing out this ironic bit of fortune cookie wisdom about the shutdown:

LANKFORD: The problem that we've had for the past 30 days has been everyone's been staring at everyone, playing politics instead of policy. Politics is a lot easier than policy on this and what we've got to do is get a proposal on the table.

That is very rich coming from a Republican senator after a stolen Supreme Court seat, an (alleged) sexual assaulter appointed to another Supreme Court seat, eight years of obstruction for President Obama, and Mitch McConnell enabling Trump to have his record-breaking shutdown by not debating the bills passed in the House.

But then he came up with HIS brilliant plan to end the shutdown: A "straw-man proposal"! Brilliant!! why didn't anyone think about writing all this down and using the rough draft?! I mean, it worked for Trump's deficit cratering tax cut, so why not for border security.

LANKFORD: Now what I encouraged the White House to do and multiple others encouraged the White House to do is put out a proposal. They've listened to a lot of Democrat and Republican members for the last month, they've heard all the demands, they know all the background on it, put out a straw man proposal, get something out there the president can say, I can support this, and it has elements from both sides, put it on the table, then open it up for debate.

You heard the man. A straw-man proposal it is! But the real kick in the pants was, of course, using MLK's legacy to decry civility after he was shown video of sociopathsstudents from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky disrespecting a Marine Vietnam veteran and indigenous elder peacefully marching on the Lincoln Memorial.

LANKFORD: The key issue that I would say is in our culture for whatever reason, in our current culture, whether it's on social media whether it's at events, I see people trying to stop hate with more hate. That doesn't help us as a culture. If there's anything we should have learned from Martin Luther King Jr. is hate doesn't drive out hate, only love drives out hate.

So first he removes the responsibility form the shit parents who raised these smug little twerps by blaming "the culture." Then he follows that with a nice side dish of "both sides" by equating people standing up TO hate as the same as those perpetrating hate to begin with. Standing up to bullies is not BEING bullies, Lankford. He truly is an idiot.

Turns out running a Christian summer camp is a lousy preparation for Congress. Who knew?

We conclude with Vice President and racist Race Bannon from "Jonny Quest," Mike Pence.

Appearing on CBS's "Face The Nation," Pence first gave us HIS update on the shutdown:

PENCE: the President also announced that-- that he'd be willing to support legislation that provides temporary relief, three years of-- of temporary legal status for those in the DACA program and also those who have temporary protective status. It really is an effort to -- to compromise and -- and we really look forward to the Senate taking this bill up Tuesday --

Ah, yes, the ol "Republican Compromise." You know, the one where they compromise by offering set of political hostages they took for another set of hostages. Not surprising that Trump's way of negotiating is taking hostages as leverage but, for the rest of Congress, this is a bad way of negotiating.

Then, after Margaret Brennan informed him that this plan of theirs is a "nonstarter," Pence tried to "George Glass" the nation:

PENCE: think it is an act of statesmanship on the President's part to say, here is what I'm for. It includes my priorities, it includes priorities that Democrats had-- have advanced for some period of time. And we believe it provides a framework--
BRENNAN: Which--
PENCE: --a framework for ending this impasse, securing our-- our border and reopening government.
BRENNAN: I-- I didn't hear you say which Democrats are supporting it though.
PENCE: Right. Well--
BRENNAN: I need that.

But the worst moment is when Pence compared Trump to Rev. Martin Luther King (Stephen wrote it up for you here). This was absurd on several fronts:

  1. Pence's "favorite" quote of MLK is the one he reads verbatim on tv.
  2. MLK "worked through the legislative process" (guess all those marches, boycotts, arrests and speeches were just PR)
  3. Pence walked out of a football game when a man who peacefully protested, like Rev. King, took a knee. So ... we don't believe him.

Or as put more succinctly by the brilliant Marc Bernardin:

Watch below for the full interview of Mike Pence to catch all the smug, faux sincerity that Pence always dishes out.

Wait ... Was there someone missing? Nope! Rudy Giuliani's batshit craziness was covered fully HERE. See ya' next week!

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Michael Mora

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.


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