Appearing on MSNBC’s the 11th Hour with host Brian Williams, former GOP campaign consultant Steve Schmidt warned that Democrats need to accept that the Republican Party has changed drastically after four years of Donald Trump and the Jan 6th riot — and failure to recognize that simple fact puts the entire country at risk.
Using one of Schmidt’s tweets where he called Trump’s “truth” a “hideous deception” as a jumping-off point, the former Republican warned, “We’re in trouble.”
“Objectively, since the insurrection on Jan 6th, the Republican Party is far more radical,” Schmidt began. “Far more committed to the lie that Trump has told, fully committed to the authoritarian movement.”
“Should the events repeat themselves, the Republican Party is in a much different place than it was this past election with regard to being prepared to subvert the legal and lawful results,” he continued.
“The Democrats have done nothing since coming into office,” he added. “They have done nothing to prevent any of the abuses we have seen, done nothing to harden any of the infrastructures”
He later added, “This is a serious moment.”
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DeSantis ‘Shuts Down’ Question of How He Would Handle His Kids Being LGBTQ: ‘We’ll Leave That Between My Wife and I’
Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, currently polling 40 points behind GOP 2024 presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, in a rare TIME magazine interview refused to answer a reporter’s question about what he would do if one of his three children were LGBTQ – but he did spend time promoting his parents’ rights platform.
“I think we were viewed, really from Day One, as the candidate that had the strong record on the issues important to parents,” the Florida Republican told TIME’s national political correspondent Molly Ball in a 30-minute interview at the Iowa State Fair published Wednesday,
“’It has been an issue, really, from the beginning,’ he says of the ‘parents’ rights’ agenda that has been central to his struggling presidential candidacy. ‘And so I do think we’ve tapped into that, and we’ll continue to do it.'”
Parents’ rights is the latest conservative code word for “family values,” as TIME’s national political correspondent Molly Ball notes.
But it really was really a platform the Florida governor grabbed after it proved to be a winning issue for Virginia Republican Glenn Youngkin in what had been a “long-shot” gubernatorial battle. Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s infamous gaffe on parents’ rights gave new life to the Republican political novice’s campaign in September of 2021, just weeks before the election and just weeks after DeSantis announced he would run for re-election.
“As governor of Florida, DeSantis says, education policy is part of his purview, but it’s also personal,” Ball writes in her TIME interview.
DeSantis told her, “I also just see it through the lens of a dad of a six, five and three-year-old.”
“We understand some of the things that parents are concerned about and that parents are going through. And that impacts how we view these policies, particularly when it goes to things like parents’ rights to be involved in the education.”
Ball writes, “Framing it all a crusade for ‘parents’ rights’ is a neat trick politically, highlighting a throwback, traditionalist view of what used to be termed ‘family values,’ but with a very 2023 culture-war spin.”
“Kids should be kids—there shouldn’t be an agenda,” DeSantis told Ball. “I didn’t feel like there was an agenda when I was growing up.”
Ball reports, “I ask DeSantis about the rights of parents of trans children, who are being prevented by the state from accessing the medical care they may believe is in their kids’ best interest. He points to the ongoing debate over transgender treatment in Europe, where some experts have recently been moving away from a purely affirmative approach, arguing that the state has an interest in preventing ‘sterilizing children at age 13 or 14′ or performing sex-change surgery on minors.”
DeSantis’ remarks do not appear to be representative of heath care options for minors in the U.S., based on a May report from The Annenberg Public Policy Center’s Factcheck.org.
DeSantis continued his remarks against appropriate medical support of transgender youth.
“As a parent right now, I can’t take my six-year-old daughter and get her a tattoo, even if I want to do that,” he told Ball. “You don’t have the right to do things that are going to be destructive to kids. I think that some of these parents are being told by physicians who are making a lot of money off this that you have to do this, otherwise your kid can end up doing something like commit suicide. I think that they get bullied into thinking this is the right decision.”
LGBTQ youth suffer far higher rates of suicide ideation and suicide attempts than their non-LGBTQ counterparts.
A May, 2022 NPR report titled, “Nearly half of LGBTQ youth seriously considered suicide, survey finds,” specifically mentions DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” legislation.
Ball also reports DeSantis shut down her question about the possibility of his children being LGBTQ and what he would do.
She writes, “when I ask how he’ll respond if one of his children turns out to be gay or trans, his eyes flash momentarily, and he swiftly shuts down the question. ‘Well, my children are my children,’ DeSantis says. ‘We’ll leave that—we’ll leave that between my wife and I.'”
‘Straight Up Communism’: Nikki Haley, Marjorie Taylor Greene Increasingly Share Similar Rhetoric to Attack Democrats
Fifth-place Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is ramping up her rhetoric ahead of next week’s first GOP presidential debate, sharpening her spear to target Democrats and President Joe Biden with charges of communism, just as top Trump supporter U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has been doing.
Haley, the former Trump UN Ambassador, attempted to paint herself as a reasonable Republican when she was the governor of South Carolina, but is now rated a “Hard Core Conservative” by OnTheIssues. Over the past few years she has positioned herself as tough on China, gradually but increasingly weaving remarks attacking “Communist China,” and the “Chinese Communist Party” into issues here at home.
“The Chinese Communist Party is building missiles and we’re arguing over gender pronouns. China is laughing at us,” Haley declared in June.
Despite her false suggestion that somehow the Chinese military is stronger than the American military, and despite her clear attack on transgender people, Haley earned an “Amen” from Caitlyn Jenner, but rancor from many others.
“I was just in Beijing,” wrote New York Times diplomatic correspondent Edward Wong. “I can tell you I didn’t have a single conversation with anyone about the use of pronouns in the US or about any American ‘culture war’ issues.”
On Wednesday, Haley moved from attacking Communist China and the CCP to accusing the President of the United States of signing into law a “communist manifesto.”
“The so-called ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ is a communist manifesto filled with tax hikes and green subsidies that benefit China and make America more dependent on Beijing. While Joe Biden cozies up to Xi Jinping, American families are footing the bill for all this spending,” Haley claimed.
Her rhetoric increasingly mirrors that of far-right Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene.
“It’s an old Republican trope,” Rolling Stone reported earlier this month, “to claim everything Democrats do is communism. But Marjorie Taylor Greene took it to the extreme, as she is wont to do, claiming that with the indictments of Donald Trump, ‘Americans are actually seeing what communism really looks like.'”
“The more times they indict Trump, the more people realize that the Biden administration is a communist regime,” Greene had told Fox News.
And on Tuesday, while again defending Trump, Greene combined his four criminal indictments totaling 91 charges, calling the prosecutions “straight-up communism.”
Marjorie Taylor Greene claims that Jack Smith, Merrick Garland, Fani Willis, Alvin Bragg, and Democrats are guilty of a criminal conspiracy to keep Trump from winning the election pic.twitter.com/JFANZaAkEE
— Acyn (@Acyn) August 15, 2023
Watch the video above or at this link.
Images via Shutterstock
Trump Next Week: ‘Major’ News Conference, GOP Debate, Arraignment on 13 Felony Charges Including RICO
If Donald Trump decides to appear on stage at next week’s first Republican 2024 presidential debate, he will be standing center-stage, in the middle of about a half-dozen other candidates, none of whom have been indicted on 91 felony charges in four different jurisdictions for alleged crimes including racketeering, conspiracy, and obstruction.
Trump has yet to declare if he will participate in next week’s GOP debate on Wednesday, which comes just two days after what he claims will be a “major” news conference during which he will present a “Large, Complex, Detailed but Irrefutable REPORT on the Presidential Election Fraud which took place in Georgia.”
“Based on the results of this CONCLUSIVE Report, all charges should be dropped against me & others,” Trump claimed on his Truth Social website Tuesday morning. “There will be a complete EXONERATION! They never went after those that Rigged the Election. They only went after those that fought to find the RIGGERS!”
Politico senior legal affairs reporter Kyle Cheney notes, “Trump’s attempt to do a version of this in a Sept. 2021 letter to Brad Raffensperger is literally a charge in the indictment.”
Trump’s attempt to do a version of this in a Sept. 2021 letter to Brad Raffensperger is literally a charge in the indictment. pic.twitter.com/fmrvBvETx3
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) August 15, 2023
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ sweeping 41-count indictment of Donald Trump and 18 of his allies alleges the defendants “constituted a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in various related criminal activities including, but not limited to, false statements and writings, impersonating a public officer, forgery, filing false documents, influencing witnesses, computer theft, computer trespass, computer invasion of privacy, conspiracy to defraud the state, acts involving theft, and perjury.”
Trump has yet to confirm his plans for the Wednesday GOP debate, although he has suggested he may not participate. If he agrees to, he will have to sign a document agreeing to support whoever GOP primary voters decide will be the party’s nominee. Currently that appears to be Trump, who is leading second-place Ron DeSantis by nearly 40 points, according to the current Real Clear Politics average.
But that could change, as Trump, by Friday of next week, will have to present himself in Fulton County to be arraigned on the 13 felony charges he faces for his alleged attempts to overturn the election in Georgia. This will be his fourth indictment (fifth, technically, counting the Florida superseding indictment,)
Separately, Trump has also been indicted by a grand jury in Washington. D.C., also for his alleged attempts to overturn the election. He has been indicted by a grand jury in Miami under the Espionage Act for alleged removal of classified and other documents from the White House, refusal to return them, and obstruction of justice, among other charges. Trump also faces an indictment in New York for alleged falsification of business records in the case surrounding his alleged hush money payoffs to a porn star.
Up until Monday, Trump was facing 78 felony charges. Now, in total, the Republican ex-president has been indicted on 91 felony counts in total: 4 felony counts in Washington, D.C., 34 felony counts in New York, 40 felony counts in Florida, and the latest set of 13 felony counts in Georgia.
This time, he is expected to be fingerprinted and there will be a mug shot, according to the Fulton County Sheriff.
See the social media post above or at this link.
Image via Shutterstock
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