Tag: congressional republicans
Marjorie Taylor Greene

New Poll Shows Most Republicans Support "Christian Nationalism"

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) last summer proudly proclaimed, "I am a Christian and I say it proudly, we should be Christian nationalists." Now a new study shows the majority of Americans agree with her extremist view – while less than three in ten Americans overall support that belief.

The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), "a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to conducting independent research at the intersection of religion, culture, and public policy," and the Brookings Institution surveyed over 6000 Americans, asking them their thoughts on these five critical statements:

"The U.S. government should declare America a Christian nation."

"U.S. laws should be based on Christian values."

"If the U.S. moves away from our Christian foundations, we will not have a country anymore."

"Being Christian is an important part of being truly American."

"God has called Christians to exercise dominion over all areas of American society."

"Researchers found that more than half of Republicans believe the country should be a strictly Christian nation, either adhering to the ideals of Christian nationalism (21 percent) or sympathizing with those views (33 percent)" NPR says, reporting on PRRI's survey.

But overall, just 29 percent of Americans hold Christian nationalist beliefs.

NPR explains that "only 10% of Americans view themselves as adherents of Christian nationalism and about 19% of Americans said they sympathize with these views."

For those wanting to dismiss the results as just some fringe elements of the GOP, PRRI's massive report is titled, A Christian Nation? Understanding the Threat of Christian Nationalism to American Democracy and Culture.

PRRI warns that the "rising influence of Christian nationalism in some segments of American politics poses a major threat to the health of our democracy."

In Congress, it's not just Marjorie Taylor Greene. The Freedom From Religion Foundation compiled a list of dozens of members of Congress and eight U.S. Senators it says are Christian nationalists or hold Christian nationalist sentiments who voted not to certify the 2020 presidential election, and detailed some of their statements supporting their beliefs. Barely weeks after the January 6, 2021 insurrection FFRF published a press release stating the organization "believes it is also important to call to account the Christian Nationalist views of most of the 147 disruptors inside Congress who voted later that night to deny the will of the voters."

PRRI’s survey also "examines how Christian nationalist views intersect with white identity, anti-Black sentiment, support of patriarchy, antisemitism, anti-Muslim sentiments, anti-immigrant attitudes, authoritarianism, and support for violence."

In a webinar last week (below), PRRI and Brookings delved into the report, at one point noting that Christian nationalists were the most likely to say they would resort to violence "in order to save our country." As this screenshot shows, 40 percent of Christian nationalists completely or mostly agree, compared to just 16 percent of the entire nation.

PRRI has also published a lengthy video explaining the survey, and posted some graphics to social media. See them above and below, or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Mortified Mitch And Cowering Kevin, GOP 'Leaders,' Are Paralyzed By Trump

Mortified Mitch And Cowering Kevin, GOP 'Leaders,' Are Paralyzed By Trump

The day after the victory in Nevada by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, securing the Senate for Democrats, is one of those days you don’t even have to read the stories. The headlines spewing the panic on the Right are more than enough:

The Washington Post: “Republican rivals start plotting a post-Trump future -- The GOP’s disappointing midterm results spur some donors and party leaders to consider other 2024 candidates.”

The Washington Post: Election deniers lose races for key state offices in every 2020 battleground -- The candidates could have gained power over election administration. Voters rejected them in the six most pivotal states.

The New York Times: Trump Angst Grips Republicans (Again) as 2024 Announcement Looms -- While Republicans pick up the pieces from the midterm elections, former President Donald J. Trump is already forcing them to take sides in the next election.

The Washington Post: In election 2022, the party of Trump pays for being the party of Trump

The Washington Post: Congressional Republicans panic as they watch their lead dwindle -- Private consternation reached a public boiling point Friday as lawmakers in both chambers confronted the fallout from Tuesday’s elections

The Washington Post: Democrats surged to flip state legislatures, defying past GOP gains

If you’re a Republican “leader,” as Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) pretend to be, you have to be looking at the headlines and asking yourself what the fuck happened, don’t you? Well, you would if you were a sane person occupying a leadership position in an actual political party. The situation for Kev and Mitch, however, is somewhat different. If they open their traps and a natural reaction comes out, something along the lines of “Oh, my God!”, it will be read by the MAGA faithful as a betrayal of the real leader of the Republican Party, Donald Trump. If they even twitch in the direction of criticizing the Great One, they’ll be politically drawn and quartered within the hour.

Quite a dilemma for the boys, huh? Well, just as a reminder, their party has been here before – specifically, when Richard Nixon was clinging to the White House by his fingernails after the Judiciary Committee had voted on three articles of impeachment and plans were being made to schedule a vote in the House and a trial in the Senate way back in 1974. Republican Senators Hugh Scott and Barry Goldwater, accompanied by Minority Leader Jacob Rhodes, got in a car and drove from the Capitol to the White House and met with Nixon and told him his support in both the House and Senate was thin and he would not survive an impeachment and trial. Nixon resigned as president the next day.

I’d be willing to bet my next paycheck that ol’ Mitch is ruing the day he didn’t rally his Republican troops and push through a conviction of Trump at his second impeachment trial in the Senate in February of last year. The Constitution’s ban on running again for president would have parked Trump permanently on the sidelines of American politics and left an open field to Republicans in the midterms this year. Instead, Trump hung like a black cloud over the elections in the House and the Senate, not to mention down in the state houses the Republicans lost. So many of Trump’s hand-picked candidates lost, they practically threw a coronation when the odious J.D. Vance was able to win Ohio's Senate race.

The option of getting some Republican billionaire to loan them a plane to fly down to Palm Beach for a sit-down with The Man Himself is still open to Tremblin’ Mitch and Shiverin’ Kev. The chances of either one of them overcoming the shakes long enough to Do What Must Be Done for the Republican Party, however, are either close to zero or zero itself, their fear of Trump’s MAGA masses is so great.

It's amazing, isn’t it, to watch an entire political party full of professional politicians be aware of what must be done to save themselves and their party from a crushing defeat across the board in Washington and further erosion of their grip on legislatures down in the states in 2024, and still they just sit there petrified for their own political lives if they even move a muscle in that direction.

But that’s where they are, with Kev biting his nails as he watches the last few results come in that will determine whether Republicans regain the majority in the House of Representatives. Piece of advice, Kev: Don’t bother worrying yourself into sleepless nights. You’re finished as a “leader” of the loons who will take charge if the Republicans squeak-out enough victories to carry the day for the party in the House. You’ll have plenty of time to gaze at your pin-striped navel and wonder What Went Wrong.

Alternatively, you could pay another groveling visit to Mar-a-Lago and ask Mr. Indictment Himself for help corralling his MAGA minions in the House. That would make you look weak and him look strong, but if that’s the way you want to play it with 2024 looming on the horizon, more power to you. I know a few Democrats who hope you do just that.

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

Reprinted with permission from Lucian Truscott Newsletter

Why Would Any Voter Trust Republicans To Make A 'Better' Economy?

Why Would Any Voter Trust Republicans To Make A 'Better' Economy?

No delusion misleads American voters more than their certainty that Republicans are "better" and more worthy of "trust" on the economy than Democrats. Neither facts nor history support this durable fallacy, discredited by reams of studies over the years proving that Democratic administrations are consistently more successful in fostering economic growth, employment, family incomes, and nearly every other measure of prosperity — including reductions in the national debt.

That axiom has held true even when a Democratic president inherited the most miserable economic conditions from a Republican predecessor. It is certainly true of President Joe Biden, whose efforts to revive the United States from its pandemic slump have smashed records in the number of jobs created and sustained high employment. Inflation is beginning to abate, as are gas prices, and even so the latest quarterly data show renewed growth.

Yet because Americans are aggrieved over rising prices — and frightened by a potential recession — the mythology of Republican economic superiority now looms over the midterm elections. Evidently some voters aim to punish Biden for inflation by empowering his right-wing adversaries.

Before they do, perhaps they should ask how Republicans will exploit that enduring "trust" — and whether the result will be a "better" economy for them and their families. Based on past performance, and what Republican politicians themselves tell us, the only constituency that will see a better economy is the superrich.

In 2016, Donald Trump said he would close loopholes that allowed the very wealthy (including him) to avoid taxation. He also promised to erase the national debt and deficits in his first term. Instead, Trump and the Republicans in Congress passed an enormous tax cut that favored the wealthiest and inevitably exploded the deficit. Then the economy crashed.

Whatever their differences, that dismal Trump record is pretty much what George W. Bush achieved as president too. It is what Republicans always do.

Slashing taxes on the wealthy is what they yearn to do again — except that Sen. Rick Scott, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has added an even "better" idea: He wants to raise income taxes on poor and working families, who make too little money to pay that levy under current law.

If you're a middle-class or working-class voter, in fact, there is a familiar agenda of economic policies that you can "trust" the Republicans to promote, because they are the same policies that the reactionary party has endeavored to enact since forever. They have vowed yet again, for instance, to ruin Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which serve as economic bulwarks for most Americans. And once more they are threatening to weaponize negotiations over the national debt ceiling to ram through those destructive cuts.

Will that be "better" for the older and disabled Americans who depend on those programs, and their families? Probably not, but what could be even worse is the recklessness of Republicans who would abrogate the credit of the United States Treasury to complete that cruel mission. So determined are they to cancel the benefits that Americans spend a lifetime earning that they would jeopardize the entire nation's economic stability.

You can "trust" their commitment to such financial insanity, which they continue to proclaim in this campaign, because they have pursued the same catastrophic scheme dating back to the bad old days of Speaker Newt Gingrich.

You can also trust the Republicans to seek total repeal of Biden's student-loan forgiveness plan, because they attempted to zero out all the federal student loan programs (the opposite of what Trump promised). Would that work "better" for middle-class students and their families? Presumably not, but it's what they insist on — with no proposal to improve college affordability.

For them it is now a matter of principle to have no principles, no platform, no constructive program. Remember when Trump promised a beautiful new health plan to replace the Affordable Care Act with something better that would insure everyone at low cost? Of course you do, just as you remember "Infrastructure Week," which came and went and came and went like Groundhog Day (until Biden finally passed the landmark Infrastructure Act).

In power, the Republicans will take that same pernicious approach to every aspect of economic policy that might improve life for working families. Not only would they refuse to increase minimum wages — highly popular across party lines — but nearly every one of them rejects the very idea of a minimum wage. They would obstruct any effort to reduce the cost of prescription drugs — also very popular — and repeal the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act that are driving down those prices. They may still be too incompetent to repeal Obamacare, but that won't stop them from trying — and they will propose no "better" insurance plan to replace the health coverage they're so eager to strip away.

What you can assuredly trust the Republicans to do is what they always do. What you must never expect from them is anything better.

To find out more about Joe Conason and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Gun Industry Pours Blood Money Into Republican Warchests

Gun Industry Pours Blood Money Into Republican Warchests

Republicans in Congress received all but $12,000 of the almost $984,000 in campaign contributions that the gun industry has donated to federal candidates so far this year.

Sen. Paul Rand (R-KY), who is seeking his third term, received the most, $38,458, according to Open Secrets, a nonprofit that tracks money in politics. He was followed by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) with $38,380 and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) with $25,610.

Scalise has remained a gun-rights supporter even though he nearly bled to death in June 2017 when he was shot at a baseball practice.

“The ability of the industry to use money to advance its policy agenda has increased given the dramatic rise in firearm sales that we’ve seen over the past two or three years,” said Timothy Lytton, a law professor at Georgia State University.

The Republican party’s support for gun rights led New York Times opinion writer Michelle Cottle to call it the “American Carnage Party.”

The National Rifle Association, the biggest contributor in the gun industry, gave $217,596 to candidates and parties and more than $5 million to other spending groups.

House Democrats are trying to pass bills that would raise the age to buy semiautomatic rifles from 18 to 21 and bar large-capacity magazines. Republicans in the Senate are expected to try to block these bills.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who has opposed eliminating the filibuster that allows Republicans to block gun safety legislation, is the only Democratic senator getting money from the gun industry. He has received $5,000 so far.

Researcher Dan Auble said Manchin’s donations were from board members of the Boone & Crockett Club, a wildlife conservation group, and Open Secrets is reviewing the classification of the contributions.

In the House, the gun industry gave $5,000 to Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) and $1,000 each to Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR). Schrader, who was first elected in 2008, lost his recent primary to progressive challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner, an attorney and business owner.

The owners of Daniel Defense, which made the rifle used in the Uvalde killings, donated $26,100 to Republican federal candidates and a total of $20,700 to WinRed, the GOP fundraising platform, and the PAC for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. Company owners Marvin and Cindy Daniel contributed to the campaigns of Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) and Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA), who owns a firearms business.

The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence has accused the NRA of using a network of shell companies to illegally coordinate spending millions with the Trump campaign and at least six other federal candidates including Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)

The Federal Election Commission, which Trump stuffed with anti-regulation attorneys, has failed to investigate the allegations that the NRA has violated federal election laws—despite a court order to do so. In November, Giffords, a gun-safety organization, sued the NRA’s political victory fund and its lobbying arm and the campaigns of Hawley and Matt Rosendale, who lost a 2018 Senate campaign but was elected to the U.S. House in 2020.

“It is clear that the NRA will continue to violate the law until someone stops them,” said David Pucino, an attorney for Giffords.

Reprinted with permission from DC Report.