Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Colbert and Meyers take closer looks at replacing Liz Cheney and Arizona audit

Last night, two of my favorite late night talk show hosts looked at the ongoing fallout from the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen. I begin with Stephen Colbert's monologue, The GOP's Purity Test: Loyalty To The Former President, Or Else.

Republican polling shows the former president with high unfavorable ratings, yet the party's leaders remain keen to punish anyone who breaks with No. 45, prompting Stephen to ask: has there ever been anyone in government as weak as Kevin McCarthy?
Bamboo in the ballot paper? That prompted me to leave the following comment to Meanwhile in Arizona… at Mock, Paper, Scissors.
It looks like the GQP has decided to celebrate Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with stupid Sinophobia, fear and hatred of China and the Chinese. Dudes, you're doing it wrong! Anyone want to bet that these fools are circulating memes that invoke Fu Manchu (and not just Nicholas Cage playing him for laughs in "Werewolf Women of the SS")? I don't want to search; it's bad enough that I know Corona-chan is a thing.
When I repeat "everything is connected to everything else" from Commoner's Laws, I didn't think I would find a connection among anti-Asian racism, elections, the pandemic, and conspiracy theory, but leave it to Trump and his followers in the Republican Party to create one. Consider this a down payment on examining anti-Asian racism that I promised in yesterday's NASA and '60 Minutes' explore the contributions of Asian-Americans to the Mars mission of Perseverance and Ingenuity.

As for his question about Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy being weak, I remember then-Speaker John Boehner having trouble keeping the Tea Party caucus in line. This was a few months after Rachel Maddow said "I think John Boehner is bad at his job." He eventually retired, leading to Paul Ryan taking over the speakership. I have a higher opinion of both of them than McCarthy, whose district I lived in 39 years ago. Boehner may be pickled — whenever I hear him making fun of Ted Cruz, I think "in vino veritas" — but my nickname for McCarthy is Pickled Tongue after a menu item at the leading Basque restaurant in his home town, a place I know, having lived there, too.

Seth Meyers chimed in with Republicans Are Purging Anyone Who Won't Embrace Trump's Election Lies: A Closer Look.

Seth takes a closer look at the Republican Party’s fealty to Donald Trump and purge of anyone who refuses to repeat his lies.
While Meyers examined the search for bamboo in ballot paper in even more detail than Colbert, he also expressed the same sentiment that I feel; I never thought I would be on the same side of an issue as Liz Cheney it makes me a bit uncomfortable. Chalk that up to a stuck clock being right twice a day.

That Elise Stefanik has become the leading candidate to replace Cheney strikes me as ironic if one considers this intra-party conflict is over conservatism. Voteview rates Stefanik's ideological score at 0.229, more liberal than 98% of House Republicans in the 117th Congress, while Cheney's ideological score is 0.515, exactly in the middle of the current House Republican Caucus. Replacing a mainstream conservative Republican with an ideological moderate shows this fight is not over conventional ideas of left and right. Instead, it is about loyalty to Trump, which is odd considering that major American political parties generally move away from losing presidential candidates. Not now — the GOP is sticking closer to Trump than ever.

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