It’s all Trump’s GOP now

On the one hand, it’s such a trivial little thing, but on the other, I agree with Greg Sargent that Martha McSally’s actual pride in her petty and childish mis-treatment of a reporter speaks to what’s become of the Republican Party:

If you were a United States senator who just snapped angrily at a reporter for politely asking whether compelling new information about a matter of great import to the nation was weighing on your understanding of that consequential matter, you probably wouldn’t see this as something to advertise.

But then again, you’re not Martha McSally of Arizona. McSally just did exactly this — yet she is now treating it as a badge of honor; as something to boast about.

In a perverse way, it’s fitting that this episode is going viral at exactly the moment when President Trump’s impeachment trial is getting underway — that is, when Trump’s defenders in the Senate are set to put on a great show of pretending to give serious consideration to the case against Trump, before voting to acquit him.

McSally’s vile little performance puts the lie to that notion as effectively as anything possibly could.

What happened is that CNN’s Manu Raju, a hard-working reporter, dared to ask McSally whether new information surfacing about the conduct for which Trump has been impeached should lead GOP senators to admit new evidence at his impeachment trial.

McSally snidely brushed off the question and called Raju a “liberal hack.” Raju then tweeted a neutral description of what had happened.

McSally then proudly tweeted out a video of the episode:

The exchange went like this:

RAJU: Senator McSally, should the Senate consider new evidence as part of the impeachment trial?
McSALLY: You’re a liberal hack. I’m not talking to you.
RAJU: You’re not going to comment, Senator?
McSALLY: You’re a liberal hack, buddy.

There’s been talk that McSally staged the episode to excite the Republican base. And indeed, Republicans are already using it to raise money for her reelection campaign, in which McSally is very vulnerable.

But, whether or not this was a setup, McSally is now treating this as something that will give her a political boost, which is just beyond pathetic.

Note that it is now seen as “liberal” to merely ask a Republican senator whether she feels any obligation to consider the full set of facts before exercising her constitutional duty to vote on whether articles of impeachment — passed by the elected representatives in the other chamber of Congress — merit removal.

What’s seen as “liberal” here, plainly, is that this question should be asked of Republican senators at all.

Look at the larger context here. Senate Republicans are hoping to pass, with 51 GOP votes, a process in which tough votes on whether to hear new witnesses and evidence are deferred until after opening statements are heard.

In so doing, they are already laying the groundwork to vote against hearing new witnesses and evidence at that point, while pretending they did so as part of a fair process in which they genuinely weighed the case against Trump delivered during those opening statements.

If seeking truth and asking reasonable questions of politicians is “liberal” and rudely responding is worth conservative fundraising, damn is our country in trouble.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

2 Responses to It’s all Trump’s GOP now

  1. Mike in Chapel Hill says:

    Our country is beyond “in trouble.”

  2. R. Jenrette says:

    There is no rational discussion any more. All statements from the GOP regarding Democrats in any way include a nasty jab. Do they really want half if not more of the country to become their enemies? I think they do because they think that the passion they arouse in their supporters will keep them in power.

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