Knives Out: GOP Version

November 15th, 2016

 

This morning, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) proclaimed “Welcome to the dawn of a new unified Republican government.” By the end of the day, three Republican senators had shown that the new Republican government was anything but unified. President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team also exposed itself as not only being splintered but totally unprepared for the task awaiting them come January 2017.

 

I watched Saturday Night Live last week like a lot of people did. It was the first one after the election and Dave Chappelle was host. Dave’s monologue was funny and insightful, some of the best television all year and he closed it with these words “I’m going to give (Trump) a chance, and I’m going to ask him to give us one too.” Crystal clear, Dave. Let’s give Trump a chance.

 

So Trump selected Steve Bannon as his chief White House strategist. Bannon, the guy who runs Breitbart.com where you could find such a steady dose of clickbait, inaccurate news and straight up baiting at the expense of. . . well, let’s just say anyone who isn’t a white male. This was the chance we gave Trump and he totally botched it. How hard is that to do? “Don’t appoint a race-baiting anti-Semite bigot to your cabinet?”

 

Then you find out Trump almost made Bannon his chief of staff but didn’t because his son-in-law Jared Kushner stepped in. You should read this article on Politico about what a complete shitshow the transition has been. Bannon’s ex-wife accused him of not wanting his daughters to go to a private school with Jews. Kushner, who married Ivanka Trump, is a Jew. You do the math.

 

The phone lines have been flooded over the last few days by concerned Americans wanting their representatives to condemn the Bannon appointment. So far the only Kentucky politician to condemn it has been Rep. John Yarmuth who is not coincidentally the only Democrat of the bunch. Sen. Rand Paul did not condemn the Bannon appointment but he condemns the mere idea of John Bolton in a cabinet position, promising Politico that he would do “whatever it takes to stop someone like John Bolton from being secretary of state.”
Rand Paul avoiding the Bannon appointment and attacking both Bolton and Rudolph Giuliani (another Iraq war hawk) is interesting. Oh, wait he defends the hiring of Bannon fucking hell.

“I’ve met him. I don’t believe him to be a racist. I don’t believe him to be someone who characterizes people on race, gender, religion, you name it,” Paul said. “I think he ought to be judged by how well he performs.” – Rand Paul to Yahoo News 

 

Way to pick a hill to die on, Rand. It was an honor to vote for Jim Gray against you last week. I’d do it again in an instant.

 

Moving along, some of the old guard Republicans found less embarrassing ways to show the schisms in the new Republican government. In a press statement, Sen. John McCain of Arizona condemned the incoming administrations pillow-talk with Russia:

“With the U.S. presidential transition underway, Vladi­mir Putin has said in recent days that he wants to improve relations with the United States. We should place as much faith in such statements as any other made by a former KGB agent who has plunged his country into tyranny, murdered his political opponents, invaded his neighbors, threatened America’s allies and attempted to undermine America’s elections.”

 

The problem with press statements and open letters is that they are the written word and Trump is not much of a reader. It would have been easier to reach Trump by showing up at 5:30 pm on ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption with Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, in the hopes he’s watching.

 

To McCain’s point of attempting to undermine American elections, Sen. Lindsay Graham wants to investigate whether Russia had a role in cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee to disrupt the election. Lindsay Graham is one guy who got burned by Trump who didn’t come running back. He’s no Ted Cruz.

 

Is there more? Oh you bet there’s more. Methinks Paul Ryan is cracking if he can say this is the dawn of a new unified anything and keep a straight face. Read the summary of what happened today that I’m copying below. You’ll be gobsmacked. It’s almost like the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup but a tragedy instead.

 

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