Dozens of former officials who served in the George W. Bush administration have decided to flee the Republican Party over its continued support for former President Donald Trump.
In interviews with Reuters, these officials said that the GOP’s transformation into a personality cult for a longtime reality TV show host had made it impossible for them to stay.
“The Republican Party as I knew it no longer exists,” explained Jimmy Gurulé, who served as Bush’s Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “I’d call it the cult of Trump.”
Kristopher Purcell, who served in the Bush White House’s communications office, told Reuters that he estimates 60 or so former Bush officials have left the party and that “the number is growing every day.”
Purcell said he was discouraged to see the GOP continuing down the far-right conspiracy theory rabbit hole even after Trump’s defeat.
“We have QAnon members of Congress,” he said. “It’s appalling.”
Rosario Marin, a former Treasurer of the U.S. under Bush, said that the only way that she would consider going back to the GOP would be for the Senate to convict Trump and drive him out of politics for good.
“Unless the Senate convicts him, and rids themselves of the Trump cancer, many of us will not be going back to vote for Republican leaders,” she said.
Image via Shutterstock
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In Wake of Buffalo Mass Shooting 203 House Republicans Vote Against Domestic Terrorism Bill That Had 3 GOP Co-Sponsors
203 House Republicans on Wednesday voted against legislation to help monitor and prevent domestic terrorism just days after an avowed white supremacist and antisemite drove 200 miles to a Buffalo neighborhood and slaughtered 10 Black people at a local grocery store. Only one Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, voted with all the Democrats to pass the bill.
Three Republicans were original co-sponsors of the legislation. All three voted against it.
The bill is similar to one that passed the House just two years ago. Many Republicans who voted for that bill voted against the one that passed Wednesday by a 222-203 margin.
The move to try to block every Democratic bill they possibly can followed 192 House Republicans voting against a bill to help protect and expand the nation’s access to baby formula amid a shortage, and 9 Republicans voting against expanding access to families on government assistance.
“House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) urged members of his party to vote against the legislation,” The Washington Post reports. “He argued, in part, that the Justice Department had previously ‘targeted and labeled rightfully concerned parents as domestic terrorists for speaking out at school board meetings’ — a false claim that The Washington Post’s Fact Checker has awarded Four Pinocchios.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) blasted the GOP.
“The problem is not that the Republican Party is racist; it’s that the Republican Party won’t call out the racists in its midst,” Nadler said. “They won’t call the insurrection … on January 6th of last year what it is: an insurrection. They call it ‘legitimate public discourse.’ It is not ‘legitimate public discourse’ when police officers are attacked, when the members of this House are attacked, when the members of the Senate are attacked. That’s domestic terrorism.”
House Votes Almost Unanimously to Condemn Antisemitism – One Republican Voted ‘No’
The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday in a near-unanimous vote passed a bipartisan resolution condemning antisemitism. The final tally was 420-1.
Congressman Thomas Massie, Republican of Kentucky, was the only “no” vote, as local Kentucky news producer for Spectrum News John Park, and Punchbowl News co-founder Jake Sherman noted:
One day after becoming his party’s nominee for his sixth term, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) becomes the only congressman to vote against House Res. 1125 https://t.co/o2bUVSqNRm
— John Park (@johnpeytonpark) May 18, 2022
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was the sponsor of the resolution, H. Res. 1125, “Condemning rising antisemitism.”
The resolution makes noncontroversial statements like, “the Jewish-American experience is a story of faith, fortitude, and progress and is connected to key tenets of American identity,” and “antisemitism is an insidious form of prejudice stretching back millennia that attacks the humanity of the Jewish people and has led to violence, destruction of lives and communities, and genocide.”
The importance of the resolution comes after a self-avowed white supremacist and antisemite slaughtered ten Black people at a Buffalo supermarket on Saturday.
The resolution also says the House “calls on social media platforms to institute stronger and more significant efforts to measure and address online antisemitism while protecting free speech concerns,” and says it “supports the right of Americans to freely exercise their religious beliefs and rejects all forms of terror and hate.”
Congressman Massie has a disturbing relationship with the Holocaust. Last year he posted, and subsequently deleted, a vile meme equating proof of vaccination to the genocide of up to 17 million people by Hiter’s Nazis, as this tweet from a former Obama White House official shows:
Rep. Thomas Massie – who voted against funding to help schools teach students about the Holocaust and antisemitism – tweeted (and deleted) this meme tonight. Care to comment @GOPLeader? pic.twitter.com/8ULy0Wgg7P
— Andrew Weinstein (@Weinsteinlaw) August 26, 2021
Here’s Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz speaking on the resolution:
The House strongly condemned antisemitism today by passing my resolution in a landslide bipartisan vote. As we honor Jewish contributions to American life for Jewish American Heritage Month, let’s acknowledge antisemitism is no relic of the past. It’s a very present danger. #JAHM pic.twitter.com/jmyq6A6MUm
— Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@RepDWStweets) May 18, 2022
Anger Over Florida Students’ Racist Photo, Superintendent’s Meeting With Far Right ‘Moms for Liberty’ Group
Martin County School District superintendent Dr. John Millay is facing two challenges this week. Parents in the Treasure Coast area of Florida are outraged after a photo of six students holding up letters spelling out a racist slur circulated on social media. Some are also concerned after Millay met with a far-right parents group, Moms for Liberty, that reportedly has strong ties to the Republican Party. Some have also called it an “astroturf” group.
“The Martin County School District is committed to promoting and maintaining a learning environment free of hateful, racist and discriminatory actions or conduct,” Dr. Millay said in a statement Tuesday in response to the racist photo, TC Palm reports. “We are moving with all deliberate speed to interview all those who may have been involved in this shameful incident, and, unfortunately, can confirm that the photo is authentic.”
Because they are minors the students’ identities are not being disclosed, but Dr. Millay says they will face “appropriate disciplinary consequences.” The photo is especially not hard to find on social media but NCRM will not post it due to the students’ status as minors.
TC Palm also reported on Millay’s Monday meeting with Moms for Liberty, which claims to be nationwide after being founded less than 18 months ago.
The group advocates against COVID vaccine and mask mandates, critical race theory, and support for LGBTQ rights, while advocating for banning books from school libraries. Last year The Daily Beast profiled Moms for Liberty:
“School books about Martin Luther King Jr. are too ‘divisive,’ claims a conservative group at the center of a Tennessee book ban battle. A story about the astronomer Galileo Galilei is ‘anti-church.’ A picture book about seahorses is too sexy.”
Also last year, Media Matters reported that Moms for Liberty “appears to be using parents as pawns to advance a far-right agenda,” and has “serious GOP connections.”
In a Facebook post on the school district’s page at least one expressed concern about Millay’s meeting with Moms for Liberty:
“Meanwhile the local county Moms for Liberty chapter (which you were so happy to meet with) is working to make sure that white kids’ feelings aren’t hurt by studying painful aspects of US history. Do you not see a link between whitewashing history and this racist behavior? I wonder how many of these kids’ giggling in the racist photo have parents in Moms for Liberty or are opposed to teaching ‘CRT.’ No doubt these same folks are ready to dismiss this racist incident as just child’s play because it reflects the same values they’ve been teaching their kids at home.”
On that same Facebook post many expressed concern over the racist photo:
“Somehow in their minds, these kids thought this was OK. They need to be taught a lesson to the contrary. It will serve as a lesson for others.”
“Until we know what the true punishment is for these kids it is still not okay it’s being swept under the rug again. I have a son at this school and it’s ridiculous.”
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