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As a number of lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle find themselves at the center of controversy, there is one common occurrence between most of them: despite mounting allegations, none of them have plans to adhere to the calls for their resignations.
At the top of the year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, (D) was hit with a litany of sexual harassment allegations that have deeply blemished his previously vaunted handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several women have leveled accusations against him for allegedly inappropriate behavior over the last decade.
But despite calls for his resignation, Cuomo is not having it. In fact, the New York governor has dismissed the calls for his resignation describing it as "anti-democratic."
Over the last several weeks, as more details were still being reported about the allegations against Cuomo, reporters broke the story about Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and the FBI launching an investigation in connection with sex-trafficking allegations against the staunch Trump-supporting politician. Gaetz has made it clear he has no intent on resigning either. In fact, last week, the Florida lawmaker tweeted his response to the calls for his resignation.
"I may be a canceled man in some corners. . . . But I hear the millions of Americans who feel forgotten, canceled, ignored, marginalized and targeted," he tweeted. "I draw confidence knowing that the silent majority is growing louder every day."
I may be a canceled man in some corners. I may even be a wanted man by the Deep State. But I hear the millions of… https://t.co/OtJhusGo9T— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@Rep. Matt Gaetz)1618077242.0
A new report published by The New Yorker highlights the stark difference between traditional politicians and the so-called "new school of politics." The writer, Eric Lach, compared how past lawmakers have handled previous scandals in comparison to new school politicians like Cuomo and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who are embroiled in "overlapping scandals" which consist of strings of allegations that ultimately intertwine with other allegations. '
When Rep. Christopher Lee's (R-N.Y.) Craiglist scandal made headlines, he decided to resign the same day. A special election was held shortly after his resignation and he was replaced by Kathy Hochul, the Democratic county clerk in Erie County, N.Y. Now, she is the lieutenant governor of the state which would place her in the governor's seat if Cuomo opted to resign. However, that likely will not be the case because he has no plan to step down.
Even former President Donald Trump serves as a glarying example of politicians in the "never resign" era of politics. Despite never-ending allegations, scandals, and other discrepancies, resigning was never an option.
Lach explains the evolution of politics over the last decade citing the glaring difference in lawmakers' handling of scandals. "In the decade between Lee's resignation and Cuomo's current situation, what counts as a career-ending scandal in American politics has been redefined."
As of April 17, neither Cuomo nor Gaetz have any plans to resign or apologize. According to Lach, past politicians who accepted accountability "were living in a different political reality. If we were still living in it, we'd already be talking about Governor Kathy Hochul."
Well, now they're just coming right out and saying it.
Several Southern Republican members of the House of Representatives have proposed a Klu Klux Kaucus that will adhere to "Anglo-Saxon" values and vigorously resist allowing any more people of color into America under any circumstances. They're officially calling it the "America First Caucus."
The original America First movement started in the autumn of 1940, with open support for Adolf Hitler, loudly promoting their fear that white people in America were subject to being "replaced" by people of color into the fabric of our country. Those engineering this Great Replacement, America Firsters believed, were wealthy, media-connected Jews.
It also openly opposed America doing anything to stop Adolf Hitler after his 1939 invasion of Poland, and was particularly against our engaging in any kind of military action against Germany's leader.
At its peak, it had 800,000 members including future President Jerry Ford and future US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart. It was largely funded by the mind-bogglingly wealthy rightwing families who owned Sears Roebuck and the Chicago Tribune, the "billionaires" of their day.
Dr. Seuss, who seems to be making a bit of a comeback thanks to Republican hysteria, produced one of the most famous America First cartoons. It shows a kangaroo named "America First" with baby kangaroos in her pouch labeled "Nazis," and "Fascists."
The movement's leader, Charles Lindbergh, addressed the "Jews will not replace us" issue in one of his most famous America First speeches when he said of Jewish Americans, "Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our government."
Small wonder that Georgia's Marjorie Taylor Greene and Arizona's Paul Gosar, apologists for the traitors who attacked our republic on January 6th and fellow travelers with uber-racist Donald Trump, are the founding members of this new Kaucus.
In their introductory documentation, they argue that they're only interested in promoting or voting for infrastructure that "befits the progeny of European architecture." It doesn't take a dog to figure out what that whistle means.
In fact, they are quite proud of the racism. According to a document obtained by Punchbowl News, the Kaucus' main aim is to "follow in President Trump's footsteps, and potentially step on some toes and sacrifice sacred cows for the good of the American nation."
And what sacred cows might those be?
"[S]ocietal trust and political unity are threatened," they say, "when foreign citizens are imported en masse into a country…"
As Donald Trump would say, they're not talking about immigrants from Norway.
Republicans understand what the new Kaucus is all about, and a few who aren't rushing to join are instead objecting to their racism and xenophobic hatred being so open and public.
Representative Liz Cheney, no shrinking violet but also apparently having a few scruples that must've skipped the previous generation, tweeted about the new Kaucus without mentioning it by name:
"Republicans believe in equal opportunity, freedom, and justice for all. We teach our children the values of tolerance, decency and moral courage. Racism, nativism, and anti-Semitism are evil. History teaches we all have an obligation to confront and reject such malicious hate."
Her opposition will probably cause a few hundred more Republicans to eagerly join the Kaucus.
State-by-state organizations haven't been announced, but it won't be all that difficult for them to set them up and enlist members: all they have to do is buy the mailing lists for the existing Klan and White Citizens Council organizations in each of the Southern states.
America's most horrific crimes and our deepest wounds have always involved race. The largest genocide in the history of the world is arguably the near-extermination of Native Americans by European invaders. The slave trade to this country turned the South into a violent ethnonationalist police state. It's Black residents lived in a state of terror that persists in many ways to this day.
We are still, this time by political proxy, fighting the Civil War, our nation's bloodiest and most destructive conflict.
Greene, Gosar and others who are promoting this new Kaucus may think they are just conducting the most recent in a long line of racist GOP publicity stunts designed to raise their Fox News media profile and double down on the millions they raise every month promoting division and fear.
But, they are also giving aid and comfort to the traitors who attacked our Capitol on January 6th and tried, for the second time in America's history, to end our democratic republican form of government.
They're contributing to the regional and racial hatred and fear that have, in the past, done so much damage to our republic and destroyed so many lives.
We've seen politicians use cheap and rhetorical devices like this to promote hatred and division in other countries.
Without exception, it has ended in disaster.
America must learn the lessons of its past. If we fail to, as the old saying goes, we shall be doomed to repeat our most terrible mistakes.
This week, Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Lauren Boebert (R-CO), notorious for their sympathy to the QAnon conspiracy theory, were the only two representatives to vote against a bipartisan bill that reauthorizes a pair of programs establishing a national bone marrow registry — which allows patients with leukemia and other diseases that attack the immune system to receive lifesaving transplants.
According to The Daily Beast, faced with outrage and backlash, both lawmakers put out statements attempting to explain why they rejected the bill — but neither of their explanations made any sense.
Greene's spokesperson, Nick Dyer, put out a statement saying, "Nothing in this bill prevents the funding of aborted fetal tissue by taxpayers. It opens the door for the [National Institutes of Health] to use this bill to research the remains of babies who were murdered in the womb." However, this is a non-sequitur because the bill specifies procedures done with "adult stem cells," which by definition do not come from "aborted fetal tissue."
"That blood has been used successfully thousands of times to help treat diseases ranging from cancer to osteoporosis, is credited with saving lives, and is typically fine with anti-abortion groups," reported Matt Fuller. "Certainly, it was fine with the other 200 House Republicans who voted Thursday — almost all of whom consider themselves 'pro-life.'"
Boebert, meanwhile, claimed her objection was about cost. "This bill added hundreds of millions of dollars to the national debt, while not receiving a CBO score or going through the committee process," she told CNN. This is false, according to the Beast: "While it authorizes $31 million per year for the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program for the next five years — and $23 million per year for cord blood inventory program over that same period — the bill is not a spending measure. It will take an actual appropriations bill before actual money goes to the actual programs."
Greene and Boebert have been among the most controversial freshman members of the GOP House caucus. Greene, in particular, was stripped of committee assignments earlier in the year following unearthed social media activity in which she endorsed the killing of prominent Democrats.
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