When Far-Right PACs Attack Republicans, Who Wins? The American Public, That’s Who.
The Squad has served as reliable brown bogeyman for Republicans. Entire campaigns and fundraising appeals are centered around electing candidates who will stop (wink, wink) these all-powerful congresswomen of color. But now a far-right super PAC is devoting its significant resources to an even greater threat — Republicans who aren't 100 percent loyal to Donald Trump.
According to the Daily Beast, the Drain the DC Swamp PAC has spent $300,000 on a recent spate of ads smearing certain Republicans as "turncoats" and "RINO communist traitors." These aren't even the “good" Republicans (Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger) who voted for Trump's second annual impeachment. No, the commie traitors are the ones who voted for the failed bipartisan January 6 commission.
Thirty-five House Republicans supported an investigation into the Trump-inspired insurrection. It's not an impressive number, considering there are 211 Republicans in the House and 139 of them had already voted to overturn the 2020 election results. This is still a staunchly pro-sedition party. The Drain the DC Swamp PAC should've saved its money for some other evil purpose. (The PAC already helped elect Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.)
Stephanie Bice from Oklahoma and Chris Jacobs from New York both objected to the Electoral College results (without any good reason) but also voted for the January 6 commission. They might not appreciate riots any more than they do democracy.
The Democratic-controlled House was going to approve the commission regardless, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear that Republicans would filibuster the commission to death. House Republicans could've just voted like they cared that a violent mob attacked the Capitol, but there's no room for savvy political maneuvering in the GOP House that Trump wrecked. The mad MAGA king immediately singled out the “35 wayward Republicans" who defied him.
During the weeks since the vote, the PAC has exclusively targeted Trump's wayward 35, plus the few GOP senators who stood up to the pro-riot lobby. They've called them “traitors," “gun grabbers," and “communists." The January 6 commission didn't include any gun control or Green New Deal legislation, but maybe those riders were added at the last minute.
The Drain the DC Swamp PAC has also set its sights on Rep. Nancy Mace from South Carolina. This is hilarious because while Mace didn't object to the Electoral College results, she didn't vote to impeach Trump for BS reasons that involved abusing the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, and she didn't vote for the January 6 commission because she was pretty sure someone else is looking into the attack on Congress. Why get Congress involved? Sure, she condemned that spontaneous violence event that probably has no direct connection to anything a former sitting president might've said or done, but she also grossly claimed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lied about fearing for her life from a deranged mob.
Nancy Mace is terrible, but apparently not terrible enough. She reportedly “drew the wrath of conservatives" in March when she expressed mild support for inclusiveness. The sentiment was meaningless because she later voted against the Equality Act, but she did it old school where she claimed to support LGBTQ rights but not as much as religious bigots' inalienable right to discriminate against them. That's not how the MAGA GOP rolls these days. Expressing even superficial respect for minorities means you're some RINO social justice warrior. When Mace told the Washington Examiner that “no one should be discriminated against," the website Big League Politics said “the Trump-led GOP should consider putting her scalp on the wall so-to-speak during next year's primary elections."
Drain the DC Swamp even put Mace in an ad with Kinzinger and Mitt Romney, which described her as one of the "Never Trumpers who betrayed the America First movement and President Trump!" Maybe they're thinking of some other, more interesting Nancy Mace. The one we’re stuck with will probably shine Trump's shoes if it means she gets to keep her seat next year.
Anyway, we certainly prefer if Trump's toadies waste their money hitting Republicans and not the Squad. Keep up the good work, you horrible rightwing zealots.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."