Worrying About Republican Retaliation Is Pointless. They Retaliate Even When They Have Nothing to Retaliate For

While I slowly work up a longer post Cole asked me to do on the real point of the Durham Special Counsel investigation, which keeps getting pushed father and farther back because of actual work, I wanted to just briefly remark on the veiled and not so veiled threats made yesterday by House Republicans in regard to the censure of Congressman Gosar (R-AZ), who is an avowed anti-Semite and white supremacist, as well as his being stripped of his Oversight Committee assignment. Charlie Pierce has already done a longer piece on this, and I recommend it because he’s great to read and he’s right, but I want to focus on the threats made by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and others that if/when the Republicans retake the majority in the 2022 elections that they will do to the Democrats what the Democrats have done to them. This was, of course, met with some skepticism on the claims that Democrats don’t tweet out videos showing them killing their Republican colleagues, or threatening them, or trying to rile up their supporters to attack them, so there isn’t really anything to worry about.

This is the wrong way to look at the threat. And it is the wrong reason to look at the threat because we know what Republicans do when they get a solid House majority and believe they won’t ever have to give it up. Back during the Bush 43 administration, as Karl Rove was working his plans for a permanent Republican majority, or at least control of the Federal government even if they didn’t really make up a majority in the US through extreme gerrymandering, voter suppression, and one patriotic war per term (Iraq was supposed to be term 1, Iran term 2, then 9-11 happened and we got Afghanistan and Iraq in term 1 and, fortunately, no Iran in term 2), and Grover Norquist was talking about gelding the Democrats in the congressional minorities like farm animals, Republicans actually acted out despite having nothing to retaliate for. Democrats were locked out of committee rooms. Committee meetings would be officially scheduled in one place, when the Democrats showed up, they’d find empty or locked rooms, while the Republicans ran the meetings without them somewhere else. Democrats would schedule minority committee member hearings and find the microphones cut and/or the lights turned out on them.

In 2005, the Republicans had nothing to retaliate for and they retaliated anyway. What we’re seeing now with the House and Senate Republican caucuses, let alone the legislatures and governorships they control in 23 states and the legislatures or governorships they control in several others, is not something new. It isn’t something we’ve never seen before. It is just a more extreme form of the extreme behavior they have been demonstrating since the late 1990s.

Doing what has to be done, doing the right thing, is the only thing that matters right now because worrying about what the Republicans will do if/when they win in 2022 is a trap. We already know what they will do, especially if they get a large enough majority in the House. If their majority is large enough they won’t just censure Democrats or prevent them from serving on certain committees, they’ll just expel them. All while crying crocodile tears that they were forced to do this by the overreach of Speaker Pelosi in 2021. They’ve been telegraphing who their targets are. Frankly they’re doing it not to indicate what they’ll do to them in terms of censure or preventing them from serving on certain committees, they’re doing it in the hope that one of their loosely tethered to reality supporters will get the message and rid them of those meddlesome members of the Democratic caucus. Congressman Crenshaw* set Congresswoman Omar up for assassination several years ago. Congresswoman Boebert, whose white supremacist, anti-Semitic campaign manager was raided by the FBI yesterday, and who has more arrests all by herself, let alone in conjunction with her convicted of domestic abuse and lewd exposure to a minor husband, then your average career criminal, did it again last night. She also set up several other Democrats in her one minute of hate.

This is why finding a way to get the voter rights and electoral reform bills through the Senate are so important. If they aren’t passed soon, let alone at all, then the Republicans will retake the House just as a result of the extreme gerrymandering they’re doing right now. Not to continue to be a downer, but you cannot out organize the extreme gerrymanders that are being put into place in NC, Ohio, Florida, WI, and other states with either complete GOP control of the state government or where an extreme gerrymandered Republican supermajority in the state legislature has stripped the Democratic governor of their power to veto legislative redistricting maps. The Republicans continue to preview through their House and Senate majorities, as well as in the 23 states where they have complete one party control of the state government, what they will do if they come back to power in Congress, let alone Congress and the presidency. We don’t have to speculate. We’re watching it in real time.

Open thread!

* There’s only one former Navy SEAL in the House of Representatives:

And that former Navy SEAL has already made a video of his fantasies of what he’d do to just every day Americans who disagree with him.

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