GOP Stupidity Open Thread: Steve ‘Pigmuck’ King, Not Having A Great Week

Seems like maybe Steve King is the GOP equivalent of that ratty old couch that’s been demoted from the living room to the basement tv room to the awkward angle by the garage entrance, because it’s a convenient place for dumping sports gear or taking off your muddy boots. It was the best you could find, back then, and the horseblanket plaid wasn’t too bad with the crocheted afghan thrown over it. But this year the big Thanksgiving gathering is at your house, and the more you spruce up the rest of the place, the nastier and stinkier that old hulk looks. And yet, getting the nasty thing maneuvered out and hauled away…

After making racist statements for years, Steve King is starting to lose support in the Republican Party. But Republicans still broadly expect him to win his congressional race next week, and aside from losing some financial backing, it’s not clear anything will change for him if he comes back to Congress next year.

One week before Election Day, Rep. Steve Stivers, the chair of the House Republican campaign arm, disavowed King in a tweet. “Congressman Steve King’s recent comments, actions, and retweets are completely inappropriate. We must stand up against white supremacy and hate in all forms, and I strongly condemn this behavior.”

Three corporations — Land O’Lakes, Intel, and Purina — that had previously donated to him publicly announced they would not give him any more money in the future, putting some pressure on other donors to withdraw support…

The backlash comes in the final week of King’s most competitive reelection campaign in years. His opponent, Democrat J.D. Scholten, has outraised King dramatically, and on Tuesday, the Cook Political Report changed its rating of the race in Scholten’s favor, moving it into the Lean Republican column.
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Raw Venality Open Thread: When Your Only Instrument Is A Racist Dog Whistle…

Eventually, even the media stenographers start to lose patience:

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Repub Idiocy Open Thread: Project Veritas, Still A Clown Car

Only in a truly dumb, bloated dinosaur of a political party could a submoronic parasite like James O’Keefe III and his nitwit minions do so well for themselves…

A conservative group that creates undercover “sting” videos infiltrated the campaign of Abigail Spanberger, a Democrat in a tight race with Rep. Dave Brat in Virginia’s 7th District.

The campaign said a young woman working for Project Veritas posed as a Democratic volunteer and spent every day over the past several weeks in Spanberger’s suburban Richmond campaign office, performing basic office tasks — and peppering her office mates with questions that eventually raised red flags.

Campaign staffers on Wednesday confronted her and asked her to leave, a video released by the campaign shows…

O’Keefe released two videos, both capturing conversations between Jorge and Spanberger staffer Michael Phelan. In one, Phelan says Spanberger thinks President Trump’s proposed border wall is “stupid” and a waste of money. Spanberger has publicly opposed the wall, saying there are better ways to enhance border security.

In the other video, Jorge marvels at the “diversity” of Spanberger donors, noting that they include former FBI director James B. Comey and Jonathan Soros, the son of billionaire philanthropist George Soros, who has become a frequent target to the right…

The latest poll shows Brat — a former economics professor who won the seat four years ago after a shocking primary upset over then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R) — virtually tied with Spanberger, a former CIA agent and federal law enforcement officer.

Brat cruised to a 15-point reelection win two years ago but faces a strong challenger in Spanberger, whose résumé may appeal to swing voters and moderate Republicans turned off by Trump…

Problem with relying on ratfvckers — once you let them in, the bastids never go away. Ask ’embattled Trump aides’ about the ever-helpful Roger Stone, for instance!

Good News: Rep. Steve ‘Pigmuck’ King’s Re-Election Is Under Threat

I’ve said for years that Steve King seemed to take pride in being the most out’n’proud racist in Congress — whenever another Repub rep said or did something particularly vile, ‘Cantaloupe Calves’ King would rush to top them. But his position was impregnable, per conventional wisdom, because the agribusinesses located in his district gave him unlimited funds to remind the local racists to vote for him. That may finally be changing…

Full props to Judd Legum for leading this protest:

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GOP Xenophobia Electioneering : Trump Will Build His Wall Out of “His” Soldiers’ Bodies

… because those troops mean as little to him as the crappy green plastic ‘army men’ figures normal kids use as disposable toys.

If he’s gonna watch Fox News like it was a paid job, can’t his aides at least add some Shep Smith segments to his playbacks?

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GOP: How Can You Call Us Anti-Semites When We’re So Careful Not to Use the K-Word?

Editor of the National Review, promoter of Sarah Palin, Rich “Sparklepants” Lowry:

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A Penetrating Glimpse Of The Obvious

Thirty six years ago, on September 12, 1982, a Lebanese Maronite militia invaded two refugee camps occupied by Palestinians.  As The New York Times remembered on the 30th anniversary of the disaster,

In the ensuing three-day rampage, the militia, linked to the Maronite Christian Phalange Party, raped, killed and dismembered at least 800 civilians, while Israeli flares illuminated the camps’ narrow and darkened alleyways. Nearly all of the dead were women, children and elderly men.

That reference to the flares points to the miserable truth behind the blood and broken bodies:  the people on the spot, those militiamen handled the killing.  They pulled the triggers, broke the women, shattered the bodies. They were guilty of those crimes; they did the worst that human beings can do.

But there were others who stood aside, hands nominally clean while the predictable result of their actions and their studied inactions played out in Sabra and Shatila.

After the fact, the Israeli government ordered an investigation into the massacres, and they got a real one.  It concluded that

Israeli leaders were “indirectly responsible” for the killings and that Ariel Sharon, then the defense minister and later prime minister, bore “personal responsibility” for failing to prevent them.

Sharon didn’t fire a single shot; no blood spattered the shoes of his colleagues, and the Israeli soldiers on the front lines in Lebanon did nothing more than stay out of the way.  But as the report concluded, those in charge in Israeli knew what would happen if the Maronite militias gained free rein in the camps, and they let events unfold anyway. They were guilty not of murder, but of enabling the killings, of giving permission for an atrocity.

Adam, below and elsewhere, has laid out a compelling case that Donald Trump is similarly guilty of complicity in the ongoing racist and anti-Semitic violence occurring now in America’s civic space.  When you tell armed and angry supporters that they have enemies, that those enemies are ruthless, relentless, and Jewish or Black or Brown, then for all that Trump himself never slams home a magazine, he’s the man giving those who do kill a target list and permission to go after it.

What I want to add to that is that this responsibility, this complicity in the slaughter of innocents lies with the entire public apparatus of the Republican Party.  They have had every opportunity to push back on Trump’s white supremacy, his barely-coded demonization of Jews, his overt and explicit racism.  Concerned Jeff Flake and sincere Susan Collins — and the more important figures, the Paul Ryans and the Mitch McConnells and the Mitt Romneys and the rest — all had opportunity after opportunity to say no.  Just no: that this isn’t what the Republican Party is about; that it’s dangerous and hateful and so on.

Instead we got the pieties, “incivility” policing and the rest.

And now we have a body count of at least ten in just the last two days, not even to mention the assassination campaign that fortunately did not succeed.  They were all victims of exactly the kind of hatred Trump explicitly fomented as recently as last night — after the two deaths in Louisville, KY.

Democrats’ condemnation is important, because the country has to hear that hate is vicious, deadly, and to be reviled.  But as a matter of effectiveness, the Republicans have a far greater duty here: they can hold Trump priorities hostage, and they give permission to the GOP “tribe” to recognize that there are, there need to be, lines beyond which our politics should not go.

That’s the duty the Republican party has entirely failed. It’s why the current GOP must go, root and branch.  And it is why each Republican in power — the elected officials and their staffs, the party apparatus, all of them — bear exactly the same kind of indirect responsibility carried by the Israeli commanders and politicians who presided over those massacre.  It didn’t take a genius to realize that a nightly incitement to violence would end in actual murder. As it has, repeatedly over the last two years, and ten more times in the last two days.

I got nothing more. The US government is in the hands of a cabal that is, so far, willing to trade street murder for tax cuts and Supreme Court seats.  That rule has to end.  Which we knew.  Hence the PGO.

Images: Nicholas Poussin, Massacre of the Innocents, before 1665.

Mattia Pretti, Pilate washing his hands, 1663.