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Meet The Nine Republicans Still In Congress Who Voted Against Martin Luther King Day

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Martin Luther King, Jr.’s civil rights legacy was enshrined into law when Martin Luther King, Jr. Day became a federal holiday. Meet the nine current members of Congress who voted against it.

It’s no secret that today’s Republican Party has been home to some of the most-racist beliefs in modern times. A walk through the Facebook pages of many Tea Party Republicans, or the almost regular news reports highlighting the most offensive missives of Republican and conservative leaders serve to bring that sad fact into focus.

Then there’s newly-minted Republican U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who delivered a speech before a white supremacist group as a Louisiana State Representative.

Scalise voted in 1999, as a state representative, against honoring Dr. King’s legacy by making Martin Luther King, Jr. Day a state holiday. He did so again in 2004. As MSNBC today notes, Scalise’s speech before the white supremacist group was neatly sandwiched in between those two votes, in 2002.

Scalise is not the only member of Congress serving today who has voted against Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. 

That notorious list includes eight more Republicans. In the Senate, Richard Shelby (Alabama,) Chuck Grassley (Iowa,) John McCain (Arizona,) and Orrin Hatch (Utah). In the House, Jim Sensenbrenner (Wisconsin) and Hal Rogers (Kentucky). While serving in state legislatures, Rep. John Culberson (Texas) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (Georgia) also voted against the holiday.

A handful of other notable Republican opponents of the holiday during its multiple-year evolution from concept to reality include: President Ronald Reagan, although he did sign it when it arrived on his desk with a veto-proof majority; former Vice President Dick Cheney, who voted against the bill in 1978, but voted for it in 1983; and former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who was another nay vote in 1983.

McCain, while running for president in 2008, told NBC News he regretted that vote. He was notably a prisoner of war in Vietnam when King was assassinated. Hatch called the vote “one of the worst decisions I have made as senator” in a 2007 book. And Isakson, who is on is way out of office, told The Hill he’d reverse his vote if he could. 

Meanwhile, Scalise has seen his voting record on race examined more closely. For instance, earlier this month New Orleans’ Times-Picayune reported that Scalise had voted against a Louisiana state resolution apologizing for slavery.

“Why are you asking me to apologize for something I didn’t do and had no part of?” Scalise said at the time, according to the paper. “I am not going to apologize for what somebody else did.”

Meanwhile, on this day we honor the memory of and thank Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for his work and incredible sacrifice.

 

Image via Wikimedia
Hat tip: MSNBC and The Hill

 

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Madison Cawthorn Retains High-Powered GOP Attorney for Case Seeking to Disqualify Him as an Insurrectionist

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U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is facing several six challengers to his seat in the House of Representatives this year. Two Democrats will face off, with one becoming their party’s nominee. Four Republicans are primarying the far-right freshman lawmaker, one of those five will go on to face the Democratic challenger.

But Congressman Cawthorn is facing an even great challenge, and he’s taking it seriously.

A group of attorneys is looking at both the 14 Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and North Carolina law, in an attempt to have him declared an insurrectionist and therefore unfit to serve.

“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress,” the 14th Amendment reads, “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress…shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

The New York Times Tuesday night reports “Mr. Cawthorn, 26, who is in his first term in Congress, has denounced the case as an egregious misreading of the 14th Amendment, but he has retained James Bopp Jr., one of the most prominent conservative campaign lawyers in the country, as counsel.”

Bopp, known as being one of the attorneys who won the democracy-damning Citizens United case at the Supreme Court, flooding American politics with millions (billions?) in dark money. He’s also been a vice-chair of the RNC, and is recognized as a top conservative lawyer.

The Times adds that “North Carolina’s election statute offers challengers a remarkably low bar to question a candidate’s constitutional qualifications for office. Once someone establishes a ‘reasonable suspicion or belief’ that a candidate is not qualified, the burden shifts to the officeseeker to prove otherwise.”

Other Republicans are likely worried, which should have some wondering who’s footing the bill for Bopp.

“If Mr. Cawthorn is labeled an ‘insurrectionist,’ that could have broader ramifications. Other Republican House members, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Paul Gosar of Arizona, and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, face similar accusations, but their state’s election laws present higher hurdles for challenges to their candidate qualifications. If one of their colleagues is disqualified for his role in encouraging the rioters, those hurdles might become easier to clear.”

Read the entire Times report here.

 

 

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Chasten Buttigieg Slams Florida GOP’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill for ‘Pushing LGBTQ Families Back Into the Closet’

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Former school teacher Chasten Buttigieg is slamming Florida legislation dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would ban discussion of LGBTQ issues in public schools under the guise of “parental rights,” saying it will “kill kids.”

Appearing on CNN Buttigieg asked, “what kind of country we’re building, or in Florida, what kind of state are you building where you’re essentially pushing kids back into the closet, you’re saying we can’t talk about you? We can’t even talk about your families.”

“And you know, as a kid who grew up for 18 years, being told, ‘you don’t belong, something about you is wrong.’ Sometimes you take that trauma to heart and unfortunately there are a lot of kids in this country who do the worst because we tell them, ‘something about you is twisted and you don’t belong here.'”

Buttigieg railed against the bill over the weekend, posting a tweet pointing to a Trevor Project study that he says found “42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide last year.”

The bill, sponsored by freshman Republican state Rep. Joe Harding, in part reads: “A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

Buttigieg, who is married to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, said, “if kids come into the classroom Monday morning, and they’re all talking about their weekends, and hypothetically a kid like mine says, ‘I had the best weekend with my dad. We went to the zoo, we went and got ice cream,’ is the teacher supposed to say, ‘hey, we don’t talk about things like that in this classroom’? You know, and not only what does that do to kids like mine, but also do to a kid in the classroom [who is] starting to realize that they’re different.”

Watch:

Image by Pete for America via Flickr

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Psaki Schools Doocy on Trump’s Infamous Twitter Tantrums After He Whines About ‘Hashtag’ Diplomacy

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to a question from Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy on Tuesday by reminding him that former President Donald Trump had a history of conducting diplomacy through tantrums on Twitter.

At a White House press briefing, Doocy asked why Secretary of State Antony Blinken had expressed support for Ukraine on Twitter with the hashtag “#IStandWithUkraine.”

“Has that ever worked in stopping an authoritarian regime from doing anything, a hashtag?” Doocy wondered.

“I will have to say that, unlike the last administration, we don’t think Twitter is the only means of engaging or negotiating or discussing important topics,” Psaki replied. “But it is important for us to convey to the Ukrainian people who do view commentary through a range of forums.”

Watch the video below from Fox News.

 

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