Leaders around the world and in the United States are condemning this weekend’s far-right wing insurrection led by supporters of Brazil’s failed ex-president, Jair Bolsonaro, who many liken to Donald Trump. Yet some are asking why newly-sworn Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has failed to even acknowledge the attack on democracy, much less denounce it.
“The Brazilian authorities are investigating one of the worst attacks on the country’s democracy in the 38 years since the end of the military dictatorship, after thousands of supporters of Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s far-right former president, stormed government buildings in the capital, Brasília, on Sunday to protest what they falsely claim was a stolen election,” The New York Times reports.
“The authorities in Brazil detained at least 1,200 people in the capital, Brasília, on Monday, according to a spokesman for the civil police, and began dismantling a tent city where supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro have been camping out since he lost October’s election. Mr. Bolsonaro’s supporters have falsely claimed that the vote was stolen,” The Times added.
“Brazil was also bracing for the possibility of further unrest on Monday as the authorities started to dismantle tent cities outside military headquarters, where Bolsonaro supporters have been camping out since October’s election. The election was won by the leftist former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.”
In the United States, condemnation rained down on Jair Bolsonaro, the “Trump of the Tropics,” who is living in Florida. He is seen as linked to both Donald Trump and Trump’s former top advisor, Steve Bannon. Bannon has reportedly been actively urging unrest in Brazil, and has called the election “rigged and stolen.”
BBC News Sunday night published a lengthy report, “How Trump’s allies stoked Brazil Congress attack.”
“Mr Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, was just one of several key allies of Donald Trump who followed the same strategy used to cast doubt on the results of the 2020 US presidential election,” BBC reports. “And like what happened in Washington on 6 January 2021, those false reports and unproven rumours helped fuel a mob that smashed windows and stormed government buildings in an attempt to further their cause.”
President Joe Biden early Sunday evening declared, “I condemn the assault on democracy and on the peaceful transfer of power in Brazil. Brazil’s democratic institutions have our full support and the will of the Brazilian people must not be undermined. I look forward to continuing to work with @LulaOficial,” he said, referring to Brazil’s duly-elected president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
House Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries declared America stands “with the people of Brazil and democracy.”
The violent attack on the heart of the Brazilian government by right-wing extremists is a sad but familiar sight.
We stand with the people of Brazil and democracy.
— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) January 8, 2023
“Everyone must stand up and condemn the attack on Brazil’s Congress, Presidency, and Supreme Court. We stand with democracy and with the people of Brazil and against the demagogues who deny election results,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer early Sunday evening.
“The violent attack on democracy in Brazil is eerily reminiscent of the insurrection on January 6th. The people of Brazil voted in a free and fair election and deserve a peaceful transfer of power. I condemn this violence and stand in solidarity in defense of democracy,” tweeted Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
“Rioters attack government buildings in Brazil, supporting a strongman’s bogus claims of election fraud. The world will suffer the consequences of Trump’s terrible example for years to come. Even as we struggle to emerge from the same dark shadow. We stand with you, Brazil,” said U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-MA).
U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) blamed McCarthy for the Brazilian insurrection.
This violent attack on Brazil’s government is the first export of Kevin McCarthy’s Insurrection Party. https://t.co/apKtdfaG8r
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) January 8, 2023
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called for the United States to extradite Bolsonaro back to Brazil.
Nearly 2 years to the day the US Capitol was attacked by fascists, we see fascist movements abroad attempt to do the same in Brazil.
We must stand in solidarity with @LulaOficial’s democratically elected government. 🇧🇷
The US must cease granting refuge to Bolsonaro in Florida. https://t.co/rzsZl9jwZY
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 8, 2023
So did U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Mark Takano (D-CA), according to NBC News.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “Using violence to attack democratic institutions is always unacceptable,” as he “pledged support,” according to The Times, to Brazil’s President Lula.
The Presidents of Argentina, France, Spain, and Uruguay all issued statements supporting Brazil’s rightful President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
But from the top elected Republican in the nation, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, nothing.
No tweets, no press releases, no remarks to reporters,
Some are outraged.
“Not one tweet from @SpeakerMcCarthy denouncing the attack in Brazil. Hoping Democratic members of congress call a no confidence vote for McCarthy’s refusal to denounce the attack in Brazil!!” tweeted SiriusXM host Dean Obeidallah.
Award-winning writer, journalist and filmmaker Steven Beschloss, who has written for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, called McCarthy’s silence, along with Senate GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s, “despicable.”
“The failure of the new House Speaker and the Senate Minority Leader to condemn the violent, anti-democratic coup attempt in Brazil is despicable,” he said.
See the tweets and videos above or at this link.
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Pelosi Delivers Brutal Response After McCarthy’s Acting Replacement Orders Her to Vacate Her Office Immediately
Within hours of Kevin McCarthy being ousted as Speaker of the House late Tuesday afternoon, his hand-picked acting successor, U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), ordered Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi to vacate her Capitol Hill offices “by tomorrow.”
McHenry, whose title technically now is “Speaker Pro Tempore,” is a staunch McCarthy ally who worked diligently behind the scenes in January to help the now-former Speaker get elected on the fifteenth attempt, had an aide issue the order.
“‘Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed,’ wrote a top aide on the Republican-controlled House Administration Committee,” Politico reported Tuesday night. “The room was being reassigned by the acting speaker ‘for speaker office use,’ the email said.”
Politico adds that “House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ staff helped Pelosi’s office make the move, according to a spokesperson for the former speaker.”
Pelosi, who was honored with the title “Speaker Emerita” in 2022 by the House Steering and Policy Committee in an effort to help unite the House, did not vote for or against McCarthy’s ouster. She remained in California to attend the funeral of her friend and colleague, the late U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.
But Pelosi, the first and only woman Speaker of the House, who served from 2007 to 2011 and again from 2019 to 2023, did not take McHenry’s order lying down.
“With all of the important decisions that the new Republican Leadership must address, which we are all eagerly awaiting, one of the first actions taken by the new Speaker Pro Tempore was to order me to immediately vacate my office in the Capitol,” Pelosi said in a statement, according to Politico’s Nicholas Wu. “Sadly, because I am in California to mourn the loss of and pay tribute to my dear friend Dianne Feinstein, I am unable to retrieve my belongings at this time.”
“This eviction is a sharp departure from tradition. As Speaker, I gave former Speaker Hastert a significantly larger suite of offices for as long as he wished,” She noted.
“Office space doesn’t matter to me, but it seems important to them,” Pelosi added. “Now that the new Republican Leadership has settled this important matter, let’s hope they get to work on what’s truly important to the American people.”
‘Radical Left Marxists’: Trump Launches Attack Hours After Judge Imposes Gag Order
Just hours after New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron imposed a limited gag order and directed Donald Trump to remove his social media post targeting and attacking, by name, the judge’s law clerk, the ex-president Tuesday evening issued an attack targeting the legal system, and apparently, by extension, Attorney General Letitia James.
Judge Engoron’s Tuesday order barred Trump from “posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” as Politico reported. The judge’s gag order did not extend to any officer of the court, witnesses, or anyone else involved in Attorney General James’ $250 million civil fraud case against Trump.
“Consider this statement a gag order forbidding all parties from posting, emailing or speaking publicly about any of my staff,” Engoron said Tuesday afternoon. “Failure to abide by this order will result in serious sanctions.”
Judge Engoron had announced in court: “This morning one of the defendants posted to his social media account a disparaging, untrue and personally identifying post about a member of my staff.”
“Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I will not tolerate them in any circumstances,” Engoron added.
Politico described Trump’s social media post as “a message alleging [the law clerk] ‘is running this case against me.’ The message was pulled from an account on X with fewer than 200 followers. Trump then linked to an Instagram account for Greenfield’s campaign for a judgeship in Manhattan civil court.”
“’How disgraceful! This case should be dismissed immediately!!’ Trump added. He also posted a photo of her alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and referred to her as ‘Schumer’s girlfriend.'”
And while the judge ordered the social media post taken down, there’s nothing that can be done about the email blast Trump sent to “millions” of his supporters that included the post, as The New York Times reported.
Tuesday evening, despite having already been given one gag order, Trump appeared to tear into the legal system and Attorney General Letitia James in a series of false claims.
After claiming James’ civil lawsuit against him was unconstitutional and election interference, Trump wrote the decision to apply that statute to him “was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know.”
“It is so unfair that I am being tried under Section 63(12), which is unconstitutionally being used to punish me because I am substantially leading Crooked Joe Biden in the polls,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “It is a Consumer Protection Statute, and not meant, at all, for Election Interference purposes, which is what this is all about! Under this Section of the law, I am not even entitled to a JURY (there is no checking of a box alternative!).This was done by Radical Left Marxists design, and is not the America we know. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
As The New Yorker reported last week, the law Trump is referring to was “passed at the behest of one of” James’ “Republican predecessors, Jacob Javits.”
‘Terrorist Attacks’: Murphy and Cornyn Slam House GOPers Over McCarthy Ouster
After U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and seven of fellow far-right House Republicans voted to oust their own Speaker of the House for supporting a bipartisan vote to keep the federal government of the United States from a shutdown, a powerful Senate Republican and Democrat are both strongly denouncing the work of the few GOP extremists who toppled Kevin McCarthy.
U.S. Senator John Cornyn, a hard-core Republican of Texas and a former member of the Senate Republican leadership team, blasted the eight House Republicans for their “terrorist attack,” and warned it will happen again.
“We saw a similar thing happen to Boehner, Ryan, and now McCarthy. I’m sure the next speaker is going to be subjected to the same terrorist attacks,” Senator Cornyn said, according to HuffPost’s Igor Bobic.
Responding to a Texas radio talk show host from his official social media account, Sen. Cornyn added, “A handful [of] House members just want to blow up the institution and themselves in the process. Sad.”
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) called the ouster “a deeply embarrassing moment for America. A consequence of a Republican Party that has become so radicalized that it can no longer function as an organized political party.”
“Nobody should be rooting for this circus,” added Sen. Murphy in video recorded as he watched the House voting to remove McCarthy as Speaker. He warned that the ouster of McCarthy will now take the House away from the critical work of keeping the government open after November 17, “instead of working on a budget.” And he warned that no new funds to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war have been authorized.
“These are life and death stakes,” Murphy said, lamenting this “makes us look so weak and foolish around the world.”
Let me tell you about the real world consequences of Kevin McCarthy’s ouster as Speaker. No one should celebrate this day. This level of dysfunction is terrible for America. pic.twitter.com/7NsQrz7Pro
— Chris Murphy 🟧 (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 3, 2023
Watch Sen. Murphy’s remarks above or at this link.
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