PARIS (Reuters) - French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen rebuffed on Thursday criticism by her rival Emmanuel Macron accusing her of retaining her "authoritarian" and extremist views, despite displaying a softer image in the current campaign. "This (criticism) makes me smile because we have never had a president who showed more signs of extremism than Emmanuel Macron," Le Pen told broadcaster France 2, citing police action against political demonstrations, such as the yellow vest movement. In the interview, Le Pen reiterated remarks that, if elected president, she though it conce...
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As America celebrated Independence Day weekend, Donald Trump complained about his lot in life on his Truth Social website.
Trump began with a smear of his perceived enemies, repeated his lies about the 2020 presidential, and seemed to worry about his legal liability.
"So the lowlifes Rigged and Stole a Presidential Election, and I’m the one who is on trial," Trump posted, presumably referring to the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol.
While Trump is not yet on trial, he could be in the future following Tuesday's bombshell testimony by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.
Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman says the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol has evidence Trump committed six crimes in his failed coup and cover-up.
The hearings are reportedly also "softening" support among Trump's MAGA base.
On Saturday, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirshner said the select committee had obtained both "smoking gun" and "loaded gun" evidence.
Also on Saturday, The Washington Post editorial board called upon Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Trump.
"The Justice Department has investigative powers that the Jan. 6 committee does not, and there are critical questions that remain unanswered. Mr. Garland should have no higher priority than using these powers to investigate all of those involved in one of the darkest days in American history," the editorial board wrote.
Liz Cheney is one of the few Republicans to condemn the attempted coup on January 6 and to join Democrats in the investigation. Standing against an armed insurrection is a bizarrely low bar, but Cheney deserves a little credit for being one of two to meet it.
That’s where the credit should stop, though.
It seems some Democrats, like Robert Reich, are so desperate for a Republican savior they’re not only falling over themselves to praise Cheney but arguing she might be the president we need in 2024.
Sure she might support white Christian fascism but those are just pesky details in the face of some people’s desires to rehabilitate the Republican Party and have a veneer of “unity.”
Cheney is not pro-democracy or anti-fascism. If she were, she would support voting rights. She is happy for a fascist authoritarian regime takeover as long as it’s through stolen elections and voter suppression.
Cheney only opposes armed insurrection.
Don’t get me wrong.
I appreciate her standing against the attempted coup on January 6. The mood of the country is such that opposing a violent takeover of the Capitol isn’t a given. Cheney deserves support from Democrats for her work. She’s earned it. But don’t whitewash her actual beliefs.
Cheney might oppose the insurrection but her actions over the past decade are at least partially to blame for the insurrection. As Adam Serwer writes, Cheney stoked the bigoted misinformation that laid the groundwork for Trump’s claims about a stolen election.
Cheney regularly appeared on Fox and supported unfounded claims that Barack Obama supported jihadists. She demonized the Democrats as supporting infanticide, antisemitism and socialism. When she went after attorneys in the Justice Department for defending terror suspects, her actions were so extreme even Ken Starr criticized her.
Cheney had no problem with Trump until the attempted coup.
She voted for Trump’s agenda 92.9 percent of the time. Her votes supported Trump more than Matt Gaetz or her replacement as the chair of the House Republican conference, Elise Stafanik.
Even after J6, she condemned the American Rescue Plan as sending payments to “illegal immigrants” and terrorists. She implied it allowed federal funds to pay for abortions. (The Hyde Amendment is still law.)
Cheney is well-versed in lying about abortion.
She perpetuates the Republican misinformation that Democrats support abortion “beyond” the ninth month of pregnancy, specifically demonizing Vice President Kamala Harris. Cheney is an intelligent woman. She knows the Democrats do not advocate for infanticide.
Cheney called two bills that would require universal background checks on firearm sales and give more time for them an “assault on the Second Amendment.” Cheney also continues to push extreme Islamophobic narratives and lies that Biden supports “open borders.”
Cheney not only voted for Trump in 2016 but she also supported him in 2020. While she says she now regrets it, Cheney still emphasizes that she would never have supported Biden and the actions of Republicans aren’t making her question her loyalty to the party. Her explanation also makes it clear that she supports Trump on policy.
Cheney seems most concerned with the threat to the peaceful transfer of power. A guaranteed peaceful transfer of power is obviously an important pillar of democracy but it is far from a sufficient one.
There are ways to steal an election without threatening the peaceful transfer of power. If the 2020 election had been successfully stolen through voter suppression laws or by hacking voting machines, it seems unlikely Cheney would be speaking out against such an action because there would be no threat to the peaceful transfer of power.
Cheney supports voter suppression laws that can quietly steal an election. She voted against the John Lewis Freedom to Vote Act supposedly because it gave the federal government too much power, but in the same breath said she supported requiring an ID to vote.
While voter suppression laws and trying to steal elections are linked, the link was made more explicit by the flurry of new voting restrictions introduced shortly after Biden won the election.
When confronted with the rush for new obstacles to vote, Cheney refused to see the context and instead argued each law should be looked at individually, but you can’t claim you support democracy while also supporting government obstacles to voting.
(It’s worth noting Trump’s 2016 win was in part due to increased voting restrictions enacted after the Supreme Court struck down a key section of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. The John Lewis Freedom to Vote Act that Cheney voted against was meant to remedy this.)
Cheney supports racist, sexist, anti-democratic, anti-science policies. So why are prominent (white) liberals falling over themselves to call her a hero and offer her up as a unifying presidential candidate?
Well, if they’re anything like Reich, they’re ignoring history and policy, and pretending America is more divided than it’s ever been so we need unity more than ever. (I guess Reich forgot about the Civil War).
Cheney opposes abortion, immigration reform, climate accords, police reform and even the mildest gun reform. With her opposition to voting rights, Cheney supports a quieter path to authoritarian fascism.
She just can’t stomach armed insurrection.
Stop looking for reasonable Republicans. Instead, support Democrats who support freedom, citizenship, civil rights and democracy.
Gallego challenges Sinema to hold town hall to explain supporting filibuster more than women's rights
The Arizona Democratic congressman who is reportedly considering a 2024 primary challenge of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema pressed her on Saturday to hold a town all meeting explaining why she values the filibuster more than abortion rights.
“Ultimately, Congress is going to have to act to codify Roe into federal law,” President Joe Biden said on Friday. “The filibuster should not stand in the way of us being able to do that, but right now we don’t have the votes in the Senate to change the filibuster. That means we need two more votes."
Biden was referring to Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).
Rep. Ruben Gallego, who served in Iraq as a Marine, suggested Sinema hold a town Hall to explain her position.
"Hi @SenatorSinema why don’t you have a town hall in Arizona and explain your choice to protect an old Senate Rule instead of a woman’s right to an abortion?" Gallego asked on Twitter.
"You haven’t had a town hall in awhile, I will co-host one of it helps," he added.
The filibuster is likely to be the biggest issue in the campaign if Gallego primaries Sinema. She hasn't just angered abortion rights activists with her support of minority rule, but has also angered voting rights activists and gun safety legislation advocates.
In January, Arizona Republic political columnist Laurie Roberts sized up what a Gallego-Sinema primary might look like under the headline, "Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has a headache and it has a name: Rep. Ruben Gallego."
"Liberals are furious with her refusal to vote to suspend the filibuster so the voting rights bill she supports could pass on a party-line vote. In the past, their fury hasn’t mattered. It was either Sinema’s way or the Republican highway. Democrats didn’t have a viable Plan B. Until now, perhaps," she explained. "Gallego could beat Sinema in a primary. Probably, at this point, Krusty the Clown could beat Sinema in Democratic primary. Gallego has a great story and he's a rising star on the left."
Gallego's challenge came after Sinema killed a plan to codify abortion rights and then fundraised on protecting women's health care.
This was just one of many times Gallego has taken to Twitter to push for filibuster reform:
\u201c.\u2066@kyrstensinema\u2069 https://t.co/lOp9bBUp6f\u201d— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1656596580
\u201cBreak the filibuster and codify Roe. Women will be arrested soon for doing what\u2019s best for themselves. They have lost their autonomy and have become second class citizens. We are weaker as a country. \nBreak the glass, it\u2019s time. @SenSchumer @Sen_JoeManchin @kyrstensinema\u201d— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1656090162
\u201cThis isn\u2019t normal. It is ok to be angry. It is ok to demand action. We are Americans we don\u2019t have to live this way. Your parents didn\u2019t live this way\nDemand Republicans pass real sensible guns law, demand Democratic Senators break the filibuster and save lives.\u201d— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1653566734
\u201cPlease just stop.. unless you are willing to break the filibuster to actually pass sensible gun control measures you might as well just say \u201cthoughts and prayers\u201d\u201d— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1653436075
\u201cTime to pass this \u2b07\ufe0f\u2b07\ufe0f and no filibuster by any Senator should stop it.\u201d— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1651550709
\u201cJohn Lewis Voting Rights Act would stop this but you know filibuster\u2026\u201d— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1646105728
\u201cThe same people that came up with this idea \u2b07\ufe0f are trying to change laws to make it harder to vote, to invalidate votes. We have Democratic Senators -Sinema, Manchin that care more about arcane Senate rules than protecting your vote. \ud83e\udd26\ud83c\udffd\u200d\u2642\ufe0f\u201d— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1642788115
\u201cI wouldn\u2019t filibuster any voting rights bill on any day. Let alone the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Also @MondaireJones and I authored a portion of it.\u201d— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1642017432
\u201cLet\u2019s get rid of the filibuster when it comes to the debt limit. We have the votes, stop letting the Republicans in the Senate weaponize process.\u201d— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1633363464
\u201cOnly reason we have to negotiate this is because of the existence of the filibuster. We will never get true, effective police reform till we have filibuster reform.\u201d— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1632331338
\u201cIf we have to chose between the filibuster and preserving Roe vs Wade, it will be an easy choice. The filibuster must go.\u201d— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1630540842
\u201cThis is the best argument for us to get rid of the filibuster. 40 Senators can doom the economy.\u201d— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1628178021
\u201cThe filibuster is being used by Republican Senators to stop HR4 and SR 1. It is time to end the filibuster and pass necessary voting reforms. #endthefilibusternow\u201d— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1627331673
\u201cNo need for an insurrection. The courts, the state legislatures and the filibuster will undermine Democracy more. We need to pass the Voting Rights Act now!\u201d— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1625149033
\u201c#endthefilibuster Republicans will always have leverage if the filibuster stays.\u201d— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1623980438
\u201cFYI With #scotus now being an arm of the GOP it is important that when Democrats take back the Senate we get rid of the filibuster. We have to pass electoral reforms and not let an arcane Senate rule stop us.\u201d— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1561645758
\u201cMaybe we first have to get filibuster reform first, before any common sense gun reform. This is why the country is frustrated.\u201d— Ruben Gallego (@Ruben Gallego) 1466464127
He's also pushed on cable news:
\u201c- Gallego doesn't rule out '24 primary against Sinema\n- Calls her position on filibuster naive \n- Says she hasn't had townhall in 3 years\n- Says she's "really disappointing" voters\n- Says she has "looser principles" with Wall Street\n- "The only consistency ... is inconsistency"\u201d— Manu Raju (@Manu Raju) 1642187922
\u201c"I am [disappointed in Sinema]... I think she is not meeting the moment right now...I have faith that she will turn the corner but as of now there have been a lot of disappointing moments."\n\nI asked Congressman Ruben Gallego if he'd primary Kyrsten Sinema:\nhttps://t.co/oPHpxyGDg2\u201d— Mehdi Hasan (@Mehdi Hasan) 1637032773