Two right wing religious extremists have rushed to defend Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his trip to Cancun while the rest of Texas is in a state of emergency. Texas is currently sandwiched between two storms, the first dropped temperatures to single-digits earlier this week, knocking out the power grid for millions, the second is slated to hit Thursday, again bringing extreme low temperatures.
Senator Cruz opted to fly to Mexico rather than stay on the ground in his home state to help Texas residents.
First, here’s what they’re saying:
What could @tedcruz do if he were here in Texas? I’m hard-pressed to say. If he’s in Cancun, that means he’s not using up valuable resources of energy, food and water that can now be used by someone else. This is probably the best thing he could do for the state right now
— Dinesh D’Souza (@DineshDSouza) February 18, 2021
The fact that people think Ted Cruz, a United States Senator, can do anything about a state power grid, even his own, is rather demonstrative of the ignorance of so many people who cover politics. They’d rather performative drama than substance.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) February 18, 2021
I’m sorry Ted Cruz is not there to emote with you people.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) February 18, 2021
“You people.” As in, millions of Texans trying to not freeze or starve to death.
What they’re exposing is their ignorance about government.
Conservatives, at least Republicans in general, tend to think government serves little important function. They love to toss around the old Reagan joke: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.'”
In times of crisis, often the government is the only entity that can effectively help.
And don’t forget – we are the government. Government is people, the people we choose to lead and represent us. We hope they do it well.
Because conservatives don’t believe in government they consistently abuse it, under-estimate it, and make it worse.
So here’s what a few experts are saying about what Cruz could have done instead of fleeing to sunny Mexico.
First, Indivisible co-founder Ezra Levin, who was the Deputy Policy Director for Texas Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett:
Former congressional staff here. Every congressional office has a big constituent services function. During local crises that part of the office gets busy and the member can get personally involved.
— Ezra Levin (@ezralevin) February 18, 2021
For a more in-depth explanation, here’s a senior fellow from the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University. Notice how he uses the same word “performative,” but explains why that’s not what good lawmakers do.
People who think the job of a member of Congress during a local natural disaster is purely performative have definitely never been around a member of Congress during a local natural disaster. It might be the single situation where they can (and do) most affect policy outcomes.
— Matt Glassman (@MattGlassman312) February 18, 2021
“In a local emergency,” Glassman says, lawmakers “are conduit to tons of resources and a resource who can effectively coordinate certain sets of actors and lean on people to make things happen. Can very much turn into administrators.”
It’s sort of like their normal casework load, but on steroids and short notice. There’s a reason members are glued to their phones and don’t sleep when a natural disaster hits their district, and it’s emphatically *not* so they can show their constituents how hard they work.
— Matt Glassman (@MattGlassman312) February 18, 2021
Apparently, no one told Senator Cruz, or his religious right supporters.
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Don Jr. Suggests Trump’s New Social Media Site Was Created to Help Republicans Win Elections
Donald Trump, Jr. is appearing to suggest his father’s new social media platform, Truth Social, was created to help Republicans win elections.
Appearing on far right host Sebastian Gorka’s Newsmax show that aired Sunday, Trump Jr. was asked in a segment about the new social media site what his “specific message” is “to those who had just kind of given up on the idea of America and free and fair elections.”
Trump Jr. did not hesitate.
“Let’s stay in the game,” he replied, after discussing Truth Social for several minutes and urging viewers to join. “I mean, you know, these are all steps that we’re taking to make sure that we can level that playing field, the playing field has been so biased for so long, right?” he claimed.
“We’ve been playing T ball while the other side has been playing hardball and doing whatever it takes,” Trump Jr. said, despite some Republicans working to overturn the free and fair 2020 presidential election.
“You know, Donald Trump opened the door for conservatives to start pushing back, to play the game the way the other side has done it. We need to keep doing that, we need to stay in this game. They would love for us just to tuck tail to run to turn the other cheek to be dejected, to take our ball and go home. We can’t allow that to happen, we have to stay in the game we have to stay involved we have to be vocal and we have to be unafraid.”
And even though Facebook was formed in 2004, Twitter in 2006, Microsoft in 1980, and Apple in 1976, he also seemed to suggest that “Big Tech” or social media platforms have been working against Republicans for 50 years.
“And if we do that and you look at what’s going on right now with the insanity of this administration and all of the leftist agenda, you realize, Americans are waking up. It’s about time, but they’re finally doing it and we’re actually able to put up a front against a huge, huge platform that has been working against us, for half a century.”
How will Truth Social level the playing field against Big Tech? @DonaldJTrumpJr lets us know.
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) October 23, 2021
COVID Disinformation Purveyor Sen. Ron Johnson Urges FDA to Not Grant Full Approval to Coronavirus Vaccine
Senator Ron Johnson has written a letter to the FDA criticizing the Biden Administration for “rushing the approval process” for political reasons, reports the conservative Washington Times.
Johnson has repeatedly earned his “Ron Anon” nickname throughout the pandemic as an opponent of vaccines (while denying he’s an anti-vaxxer) and other COVID-19 mitigation efforts. The most recent spike in cases and deaths caused by the Delta variant haven’t slowed his roll.
The Washington Times reported on the contents of his letter, which it said it had obtained exclusively:
“The Wisconsin Republican warned against the Food and Drug Administration’s pending approval of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is expected Monday.
“He said the fast-track decision appeared more political than scientific since it skipped the usual formal advisory committee meeting and did not fully account for the reports of deaths and disabilities suffered by people after being vaccinated.
“‘I see no need to rush the FDA approval process for any of the three COVID-19 vaccines. Expediting the process appears to only serve the political purpose of imposing and enforcing vaccine mandates.'”
In the letter, Johnson also charged that “over the last year and a half, the decisions of federal health agencies have dramatically affected the lives of all Americans. The impact of these decisions has been felt in Americans’ treatment options, employment, schools, housing and travel, and in countless other ways. The human toll of the social restrictions and economic devastation is incalculable.”
The Washington Times did report this from the Biden administration:
“U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told “Fox News Sunday” that moving the Pfizer vaccine from “emergency” to “full approval” would make mandates more appealing.” There are universities and businesses that have been considering putting in vaccine requirements in order to create a safer, a workplace, a learning environment,” he said. “I think this announcement from the FDA would likely encourage them and make them feel more comfortable in putting some requirements in place.”
Johnson’s stature as a de facto spokesperson for the virus has long been documented. Last month, Washington Post fact checkers gave Johnson four Pinocchios for his campaign of vaccine misinformation. It quoted this bizarre claim from Johnson in a July 14 interview on Fox News’ “Hannity.”
“The fact of the matter is it looks like natural immunity is as strong if not stronger than vaccinated immunity. … There is a risk to the vaccine. Again, it’s very small, but there are some pretty serious side effects, including death. We are already over 5,200 deaths reported on the VAERS system. That’s a CDC, FDA’s early warning system.”
“Johnson has emerged as the leading vaccine skeptic in Congress this year,” the Post reported. “For months, the senator has been peddling misinformation about coronavirus vaccines, undeterred by fact checkers, federal health agencies, medical experts and a growing body of scientific research. We previously dug into two Johnson claims that resurfaced in this interview on Fox News, a network whose right-wing personalities consistently bash the Biden administration’s vaccination efforts.”
A month earlier, in June, there was this from CNN: “YouTube suspended Johnson’s account after it posted a video of the senator making dubious claims about treatments for the coronavirus. In the video, Johnson voiced support for using hydroxychloroquine against the virus, the same drug Donald Trump enthusiastically endorsed and used as a preventative treatment for coronavirus last year.”
It has all been part of a pandemic-long quest for Johnson to stoke support from the Trump base. Among his most notable strange moments, Johnson brought forth a parade of dubious doctors at a December Senate hearing on the pandemic for the purpose of “elevating fringe theories,” in the polite words of the New York Times. Johnson was so repulsive that he even bridged the partisan divide on the subject. Here’s more from newspaper:
“Mr. Johnson’s inflammatory public statements and his decision to give a platform to an assortment of contrarian doctors promoting alternative treatments have also irked some fellow Republicans, who have privately groused that he is acting irresponsibly.”
‘#TrumpIsALaughingStock’ Trends as Americans Mock Right Wingers’ Belief Today Would Be #TrumpReinstatement Day
According to the QAnon crowd, the far right fanatics, the MyPillow cultists, and MAGA maniacs, August 13 is the day Donald Trump would be “reinstated” as president. And while the day is not over yet, there is exactly zero chance “the former guy” is going to be back in the White House any time soon.
Americans will not see a shadow “cabinet” or anyone else declaring “martial law” and bringing Donald Trump back into power. There will be no Supreme Court decision kicking President Joe Biden to the curb. And Democrats will not be rounded up as “traitors” and jailed – or worse.
Instead, many Americans will have – and already are having – a field day reveling in mocking the insanity that has come to represent the Republican Party, as #TrumpIsALaughingStock, #TrumpReinstatement, and other amusing hashtags trend on social media.
Trump’s spokesperson, still allowed to tweet out his press releases, posted one on Friday that appeared to acknowledge the conspiracy theory he would be reinstated. After blasting President Joe Biden, it asks, “DO YOU MISS ME YET?”
For many the answer is “no.”
Here are some of the best takes:
Oh look at that, they lied again. Biden is still the President.
— tiredTexan (@tired_in_texas) August 13, 2021
— Liberal15 ⭐⭐ (@Liberal151) August 13, 2021
I was up all night practicing my dance for #ReinstatementDay. I think I finally got it.
— Mel the Enforcer (@Fah_Lo_Me) August 13, 2021
— Garland John Gates (@garlandgates) August 13, 2021
I assume since the price of bleach hasn’t gone up today and the stores still have lots of toilet paper, Trump has yet again failed to assume power. lol😁#TrumpIsALaughingStock
— Leigh (@LeighCBrandt) August 13, 2021
Congratulations to all #Qanons who are finally realizing that you’ve been duped again. #ReinstatementDay is a joke and the #TrumpReinstatement joke’s on you. You’ve finally caught up with what every country at the UN knew in 2018: #TrumpIsALaughingStock pic.twitter.com/Un4N8TJnJj
— Richard Hine (@richardhine) August 13, 2021
Trump Reinstatement Day is like April Fools’ Day but for actual fools.#TrumpIsALaughingStock
— Juan Rivera (@BoricuaEnMaui) August 13, 2021
— NoDogma13 (@NoDogma13) August 13, 2021
— Michael Essentially (@Essentialworker) August 13, 2021
— ✌🏻 The Dude ✌🏻 (@TheDudeTrader1) August 13, 2021
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