Tag: tim scott
Tim Scott

The Racial Cynicism Driving Tim Scott's Presidential Campaign

Watching Tim Scott's announcement speech, I was struck by how differently I would have responded to his message 10 years ago. In 2013 I wrote: "It's to their credit that Republicans are obsessed with getting the government to address its unconscionable and unmanageable debt, freeing up the productive private sector to create economic growth and maintaining the nation's military preeminence."

Ten years on, I'm sadder and (hopefully) wiser. As the intervening years have shown, the GOP has abandoned good faith altogether. Kevin McCarthy and his band of nihilists wouldn't recognize good faith if it hit them on the fanny. The Republicans who are beating their chests for "fiscal discipline" were obedient lapdogs when Trump increased deficits by 50% — and that was before COVID. In total, they grinned along to an additional $7.8 trillion in national indebtedness. Did I mention that they quietly raised the debt ceiling three times during Trump's term?

Sen. Tim Scott was along for the ride on all of this, so when he objected on Monday in his presidential campaign announcement that we have "spent decades getting deeper and deeper into debt to the Chinese Communist Party," it rings a little hollow.

It's not that there is nothing to like or admire about Scott. He did rise from poverty. His grandfather picked cotton. When he says, "My family went from cotton to Congress in one lifetime," he has every right to be proud. And while he wasn't exactly a profile in courage in calling Trump out, he wasn't a total sniveling coward either. After the Charlottesville "fine people on both sides" disaster, he said: "What we want to see from our president is clarity and moral authority. And that moral authority is compromised. ... There's no question about that."

When asked about raging inequality, Scott talks about education, praising the work of entrepreneurs like Eva Moskowitz, whose Success Academy schools have made such a dramatic difference in the lives of poor kids. "The quality of your education shouldn't depend upon the accident of your ZIP code," he declares. Even after years of bitter disillusionment with conservatives and (especially) Republicans, I still believe that our schools are a disgrace and reforming education is the best route to reducing poverty and hopelessness. Maybe I wouldn't use the expression "less CRT and more ABCs," but OK, it's politics. Let that pass. One cheer on policy.

I would also offer one cheer on message. During his announcement speech, Scott insisted that "We must show compassion for those who disagree with us," arguably not the most congenial sentiment for the perpetually roiled GOP base that has moved from laughing at cruelty to cheering on brutality.

Scott's boosters hope that his message of patriotic optimism (he even used Reagan's "city on a hill" cliche) will be an implicit rebuke to the dark turn the party has taken with Trump, to which one can only say, lots of luck. A party that makes Kyle Rittenhouse a pin up, dangles pardons for convicted murderers of Black Lives Matter protesters, and describes the January 6 rioters as citizens engaging in "legitimate political discourse" doesn't seem to be pining for a return to sunny optimism.

Does Scott have one unique advantage here? Sure. Republicans do love Black conservatives. I used to think Republicans lavished so much love on Black candidates and others (like Condoleezza Rice) because they were keen to prove that they harbored no racism in their souls. But since 2015, it looks different. The mask has slipped so often: Trump's Charlottesville outrage. The "s—-hole countries." The smearing of immigrants. A senator said Democrats favor reparations for "the people who do the crime." Marjorie Taylor Greene and Tucker Carlson mainstreamed the "great replacement" theory.

So Scott's pitch that his life is proof of America's virtue and lack of racism seems discordant. It seems less an affirmation of patriotism than a cynical play for Republican votes: "I'm the candidate the left fears the most." Translation: I'm the Black candidate who affirms your racial innocence. "We can choose victimhood or victory," Scott intones. "Grievance or greatness." Sure, there are people on the left who wallow in grievance, but what fair-minded person can fail to notice the victimhood and grievance that billows from every GOP outlet? "I will be the president," Scott promises, "who destroys the liberal lie that America is an evil country." Seriously? It's more like he will be the candidate who erects the biggest straw man to attack.

Is this unjust to Scott? Perhaps, though someone once said, "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up." Here is Scott, the breath of fresh air, the neo-Reaganite, on the events of January 6: "The one person I don't blame is President Trump." And here is his 2022 response to Maria Bartiromo on whether he'd be open to the VP spot with Trump: "I think everybody wants to be on President Trump's bandwagon, without any question."

If you're keen to prove that America is not an evil country, maybe start by ruling out running with or even voting for a truly evil figure.

Mona Charen is Policy Editor of The Bulwark and host of the "Beg to Differ" podcast.

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

Tim Scott

Whining About Border, Republicans Refuse To Fund Security Measures

Since President Joe Biden took office in 2021, congressional Republicans have hammered him with claims of a border crisis and lies that Democrats want open borders. But as they continue to demand more border security, most of the same GOP lawmakers are pushing a bill that could slash funding for it by 22 percent.

“On Joe Biden’s watch, illicit fentanyl poisoning is wreaking havoc on American families. The Biden administration’s reckless open border policies have created a national security, public health, and humanitarian catastrophe. We MUST secure the border #BidenBorderCrisis,” tweeted Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) on Thursday.

“President Biden’s open border policy is an attack on every county in America,” South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott said a day earlier, as he entered the Republican presidential primary. “A nation without borders is a nation devoid of law and liberty. Restoring hope in the future of America starts with securing our border.”

Both were among 43 Senate Republicans who signed a May 6 letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer endorsing demands by their House GOP counterparts that significant spending cuts be paired with any move to avert a catastrophic default on the national debt.

“The Senate Republican conference is united behind the House Republican conference in support of spending cuts and structural reform as a starting point for negotiations on the debt ceiling,” they wrote in the letter.

On April 26, with no Democratic support, House Republicans passed the Limit, Save, Grow Act, which would cut all programs in the federal budget by 22 percent, with no adjustments for inflation. The bill contained no language exempting veterans’ benefits, the Social Security Administration, or the agencies responsible for border security.

Zephranie Buetow, an assistant secretary for legislative affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, on March 19 sent a letter to Connecticut Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro, the ranking member of the House Committee on Appropriations, in which she said that those proposed cuts would harm national security:

The entire Department and the critical services we provide would be impacted, including but not limited to the following:

  • A reduction in CBP frontline law enforcement staffing levels of up to 2,400 agents and officers;
  • A reduction in our Department’s ability to prevent drugs from entering the country;
  • Cuts in federal assistance to state, local, tribal, territorial, and private sector partners for disaster preparedness; and
  • Reductions in TSA personnel that would result in wait times in excess of 2 hours at large airports across the country.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced on May 11 that the Biden administration was rebooting its asylum process following the end of the COVID-19 national health emergency and urged comprehensive immigration reform.

He told reporters: “Our current situation is the outcome of Congress leaving a broken, outdated immigration system in place for over two decades, despite unanimous agreement that we desperately need legislative reform. It is also the result of Congress’ decision not to provide us with the resources we need and that we requested.”

In the previous Congress, most GOP lawmakers voted repeatedly against laws that contained funding for the border security they demanded.

In 2021, 30 Senate Republicans and 200 House Republicans voted against the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which included $430 million for Customs and Border Protection to spend on “the construction and modernization of land ports of entry and equipment and fixtures for operations” and $3 billion “for critical investments in CBP’s Border Patrol stations and land ports of entry.”

Last year, 29 Republican senators and 200 GOP representatives opposed an appropriations package containing $6.3 billion for security operations at the nation’s northern and southern borders.

Reprinted with permission from American Independent.

Tim Scott

Huh? Tim Scott Responds To Abortion Question With 'Word Salad'

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) is unsure about his stance on the issue of abortion bans.

Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year, Republicans have suffered losses in major elections — including the recent Wisconsin Supreme Court race — partly due to GOP candidates' restrictive proposals around abortion bans.

While visiting voters in New Hampshire Thursday, the GOP senator was asked by Newsmax if he would support a federal ban on abortions.

Journalist Aaron Rupar shared a clip of Scott's response to Newsman's question, writing, "this is quite the word salad from Tim Scott on a national abortion ban."

"I'm very pro-life," Scott replied. "I never walked away from that. But the truth of the matter is, when you look at the issues on abortion, I start with a very important conversation I had in a banking hearing when I was sitting in my office and listening to Janet Yellen, the secretary of the treasury, talk about increasing the labor force participation rate for African American women who are in poverty by having too many abortions."

WMRU9 Political Director Adam Sexton also recently interviewed Scott on the issue of abortion and shared a clip of his conversation with the senator, writing, "In a 1-on-1 interview with @WMUR9, Sen. Tim Scott @votetimscott says the Dobbs decision left abortion policy to the states, but if he's President he says he would sign a 20-week federal abortion ban into law."

The senator announced the launch of his presidential exploratory committee Wednesday, April 12.

Social media users tactfully teased Scott for stumbling on his stance.

Kaz Weida: "When you want to say yes but know it's political suicide."

Jordan Klepper: "Hell of an argument for having better conversations around abortions through perhaps the most confused conversation around abortion, I've heard."

Sarah Longwell: "Tim Scott seems to think he can run for President of the United States and never have to tell anyone his position on abortion."

Paul Waldman: "'Abortion is an issue about which people have said many things. In conclusion, America is a land of contrasts. Look over there!' [turns and runs away]."

@PrettyLupone: "Reporter: Do you support a fed ban on abortions? Tim Scott: Janet Yellen's banking summit made me anti-choice."

Charlotte Clymer: "Tim Scott gives an answer that sounds like a 9th grader trying to stretch that essay just 100 more words to meet the assignment requirements but without actually answering the question."

Ray Suarez: "Begins with 'I would simply say...' then, doesn't."

Sean Illing: "This is like popping a helium balloon and watching it fly aimlessly across the room."

Keith Boykin: "It's a yes or no question."

Watch the video below or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Trump 2024 Rivals Already Think He May Be Circling The Drain

Trump 2024 Rivals Already Think He May Be Circling The Drain

Donald Trump is looking more vulnerable every day. His legal vulnerabilities continue to mount. His standing among the party faithful is perhaps shakier than at any point since he won the 2016 GOP nomination. And his iron grip on the Republican Party just might—might—be starting to loosen.

The delicious Trump schadenfreude stew has GOP 2024 hopefuls more hopeful than ever that at least one among them will be able to topple Trump's nomination bid.

“You never know when that early front-runner is going to stumble,” remarked Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Trump detractor who is currently exploring his own 2024 bid.

Hutchinson is surely not alone, according to reporting by The Washington Post. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis just re-upped a national digital campaign to highlight his upcoming legislative agenda.

Former Vice President Mike Pence—having narrowly escaped a lynching at the hands of a Trump mob on Jan. 6—is on the hunt for fundraising staff.

And former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is laying the groundwork to recruit staff in early primary states.

Pence and Pompeo seem like laughable long shots to be sure. So does Hutchinson for the simple fact that he's a relatively sane Republican. DeSantis is widely viewed as the baggage-free version of Trump. But then again, at this point in 2015, former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was widely hailed as a rising Republican star until his lackluster performance on the national stage had cratered his chances by September.

But regardless of what kind of Republican might manage to prevail as the party devolves into fierce infighting, there's a growing sense that Trump has suffered some mortal wounds.

“Trump is certainly not who he used to be,” Mike Dennehy, a longtime GOP consultant in New Hampshire, told the Post.

While Trump is the first and only GOP candidate to have formally announced his ‘24 run, it was a clear act of desperation following his devastating impact on the party's dismal midterm performance.

But Trump's attempt to put an early lock on the field has seemingly backfired, particularly with several polls finding his support lagging among the GOP base and GOP leaners.

A recent USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll found that just 31 percent of GOP and GOP-leaners want Trump to run in 2024, while 61 percent said they would prefer someone else claim the mantle of Trump's agenda. They basically like Trump, they just prefer not to suffer another drubbing at the polls.

Trump's weakness has drawn the eager attention of roughly a dozen potential challengers, including DeSantis, Pence, Pompeo, Hutchinson, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, and North Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.

Other possible contenders include Texas Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie—and don't worry, the ever-vainglorious Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Frankly, the more interest, the better for Trump. His formula for winning the 2016 nomination was to simply take some 30 percent of each statewide primary while the other early candidates divided the rest of the electorate amongst themselves. In the GOP's winner-take-all schema, Trump easily amassed an early lead and it was almost over before it started.

But even so, this GOP primary contest certainly isn't shaping up the way Trumpworld had hoped.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.