Yet another Republican Senator will not seek reelection

Republican Senator Roy Blunt from Missouri has joined Senator Rob Portman of Ohio in choosing not to run for reelection. Both could be viewed as more “statesmen-like” in a caucus who has misplaced that definition. Blunt’s own words are telling, as gleaned from the article called: “This GOP senator slammed Trumpism on his way out the door,” by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large. Here a few paragraphs:

“Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt said something on Monday — following his surprise retirement announcement — that is worth paying attention to as we continue to monitor the control that former President Donald Trump continues to exert over his party.

‘I think the country in the last decade or so has sort of fallen off the edge, with too many politicians saying, ‘If you vote for me I’ll never compromise on anything,’ and the failure to do that — that’s a philosophy that particularly does not work in a democracy. We’ve seen too much of it in our politics today at all levels, and rather than spending a lot of time saying what I’d never do, I’d spend more time saying what I’d try to do and be willing to move as far in the direction of that goal as you possibly could rather than saying, ‘I’ll never do this.’

Blunt is arguing that the Trump-led push for total purity to principle — or, more accurately, utter fealty to whatever the former President decides he thinks that day — makes for a miserable political existence. (And left unsaid but heavily implied: a very long stay in the minority in Washington.) Who Blunt is talking about in that quote doesn’t require too much reading between the lines to figure out.

There’s no question that the fear of a Trump-backed challenger in his 2022 reelection race played into Blunt’s decision. Ditto Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who previously shocked the political world with his retirement announcement last month.

Here’s what Portman said about that decision:

“I don’t think any Senate office has been more successful in getting things done, but honestly, it has gotten harder and harder to break through the partisan gridlock and make progress on substantive policy, and that has contributed to my decision.”

Sadly, to this independent voter, seeing the Trump party, which has replaced the Republican Party, embrace conspiracy-minded parroting along with outright lying is disturbing. But, don’t take my word for it. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof wrote a piece about Portman’s retirement saying the GOP is losing a statesman and replacing him with a kook, referencing one of the more notorious new GOP Representatives. Blunt would be on the statesman side.

This GOP senator slammed Trumpism on his way out the door (msn.com)

You might be a conspiracy parrot

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy is famous for his “you might be a redneck” bit making fun of himself and people he has observed. Using the pacing of his bit, please consider the following regarding conspiracy parrots.

-If you believe Jewish space lasers are causing wildfires, then you might be a conspiracy parrot.
-If you believe that 27 people were not killed at Sandy Hook, then you might be a conspiracy parrot.
-If you believe the Parkland High School shooting was a hoax, then you might be a conspiracy parrot.
-If you believe the former president won the election and it was stolen from him, you might be a conspiracy parrot.
-If you believe the former president did not invite and incite violence on the capitol building, you might be a conspiracy parrot.
-If you believe Hillary Clinton was running a child pornography ring from a pizza parlor in DC, then you might be a conspiracy parrot.

These themes are bounced around the popular conspiracy platforms. It should be noted the Sandy Hook hoax concept was used like a hammer by Alex Jones of Infowars. He lost a lawsuit for bringing mental anguish to the loved ones of victims. It should be also noted a North Carolina man is in jail for believing the child pornography story showing up at a pizza parlor armed and dangerous.

And, numerous people have been arrested for storming the capitol building on January 6 after buying into the former president’s BS about the election. The full word BS was used by the Attorney General William Barr to define the former president’s bogus claims to his face.

Truthteller ridiculed more than conspiracy parrot

Truthtellers are not of great value to the Republican party. It seems an allegiance to parroting inane conspiracy theories has more currency. In support of this contention, Jason Lemon of Newsweek wrote the following piece “Chris Wallace Calls Out Republicans for ‘More Visible Outrage’ at Cheney Than at Greene” which incredulously frames how low the new Trump party had fallen. “Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace called out Republican lawmakers for showing ‘more visible outrage’ at GOP Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming for voting to impeach former President Donald Trump than at Georgia’s freshman GOP Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene‘s promotion of bizarre conspiracy theories. Some pro-Trump Republicans in the House of Representatives have called for Cheney’s removal from her No. 3 leadership position as chair of the House Republican Conference following her January 13 impeachment vote. Meanwhile, few GOP lawmakers have expressed public outrage following multiple reports on Greene’s past promotion of unfounded conspiracy theories and support for violence against fellow lawmakers on social media.  ‘You’ve got a situation right now where there is more visible outrage inside the GOP over Liz Cheney, a member of [Republican] leadership voting to impeach the [former] president over—rather than some of these wild conspiracy theories being espoused by Marjorie Taylor Greene,’ Wallace pointed out during his show Sunday. He suggested that Republicans should take action against Greene and asked whether she should potentially be expelled from Congress or removed from committees.  ‘What are their options here?’ Wallace asked panelist Susan Page, the Washington bureau chief for USA Today. ‘I think it tells you a lot about where the Republican Party is right now,’ Page responded. GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy plans to have a meeting with Greene regarding her incendiary social media posts and bizarre claims. ‘These comments are deeply disturbing and Leader McCarthy plans to have a conversation with the Congresswoman about them,’ Mark Bednar, a spokesperson for McCarthy, told Axios last week. Representative Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican who joined the nine other House Republicans in voting to impeach Trump, said Sunday that he’d support removing Greene from committee assignments, but he pushed back against expelling her from Congress altogether.”  Note, Senator Mitch McConnell aired some comments this morning calling Greene a “cancer” on the Republican party. McConnell’s comments are welcome, but they are somewhat forced being this late with respect to Greene. And, he was too calculating in any criticism of the former president when Trump parroted inane conspiracy theories along with his usual lies. I read McConnell took the former president’s election fraud claims not seriously, as a vacuum was left by Republicans refusing to call out the former president. Quite simply, when you do not stand up to a bully or let lies stand without pushback, the bullying and lying will continue. Rep. Liz Cheney and others did, but they are being vilified by the mob. Guess what – the former president continues to do both. Chris Wallace Calls Out Republicans for ‘More Visible Outrage’ at Cheney Than at Greene (msn.com)

Republican Senator warns against being the party of conspiracy theory and talk show hosts

One of the three key reasons I left the Republican Party over twelve years ago is its tendency to make things up. Aided and abetted by radio talk show hosts and the Fox prime time line-up, whose primary mission is misinformation not news, the party became more distasteful to me. I have noted before the outgoing president did not create this untruthful bent, but he has certainly shown how to leverage it more.

Now, with social media allowing less fettered information to proliferate, conspiracy theories have found an accepting home. This is not just my opinion. In an article in Business Insider by T. Porter called “GOP Senator Ben Sasse warned that the QAnon conspiracy theory movement is destroying the Republican Party,” he rakes the now-Trump Party over the coals. Here are a few paragraphs, with a link below.

“Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska has warned in an op-ed in The Atlantic that the QAnon conspiracy theory movement is destroying the GOP.

 ‘We can dedicate ourselves to defending the Constitution and perpetuating our best American institutions and traditions, or we can be a party of conspiracy theories, cable-news fantasies, and the ruin that comes with them,’ writes Sasse of the GOP.

Adherents of the QAnon conspiracy theory believe, groundlessly, that a cabal of Satan worshipping child abusers control the world. Followers of the movement were on the front line of the Capitol riots, in which a police officer and a rioter who had shared QAnon slogans on social media were killed. 

Swaths of the GOP have embraced the movement, and Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has openly backed the movement. Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska has warned that the QAnon conspiracy theory movement is destroying the GOP in a blistering op-ed for The Atlantic.

We must confirm our sources (and check other sources) when we espouse information, especially the more sensational. We must ask more why questions of people who are articulating things that are too sensational to be true. We must summon a few seconds of courage to say, “I don’t agree with that” or “I don’t see how that could be true.”

Truth has become a victim in the last four years. Among many poor legacies to choose from, one that will linger on is Trump’s escalation of the term “fake news.” The biggest purveyor of fake news in America convinces unsuspecting followers that others are lying. And, that may be the worst conspiracy of all.

GOP Senator Ben Sasse warned that the QAnon conspiracy theory movement is destroying the Republican Party (msn.com)

When you hear the word conspiracy…

When you hear the word conspiracy, do yourself a favor and dig further. When such a word is uttered by someone known for his lack of credibility, do not believe him and dig even further.

It is amazing to say this about the person who has arguably the best intelligence staff briefing him, but the president of the United States chooses to parrot conspiracy theories rather than stick with the facts. His five biographers and a sixth author who ghost wrote “The Art of the Deal” for Trump have all noted the president has a problem with the truth.

What has troubled me in the last two days is two GOP Senators (Rand Paul and Joni Ernst) have uttered Trump-like conspiracy theories. I won’t do justice to their comments by repeating them, but it is truly disheartening.

It is bad enough that GOP Senators remain silent when the president verbally or physically abuses the office. It is even worse when they rationalize his comments or behavior.

But, when United States’ Senators parrot Trump-like conspiracy BS, that is a “bridge too far.” Disheartening is a word I used above, but it is more than that. It is embarassing that a Senator would pattern their behavior after the worst toddler. Senators, I will say to you what I have written about the president – if you cannot add value, please stop talking.