Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: The Repub Revanchists

No matter how grotesquely sexist / racist / classist the GOP as a whole devolves, Rep. ‘Pigmuck’ King will strive to be that little bit worse. From the Des Moines Register“U.S. Rep. Steve King: If not for rape and incest, ‘would there be any population left?'”

U.S. Rep. Steve King told the Westside Conservative Club on Wednesday that humanity might not exist if not for rape and incest.

“What if we went back through all the family trees and just pulled those people out that were products of rape and incest? Would there be any population of the world left if we did that?” he said at the event in Urbandale, Iowa…

The Kiron Republican was defending his position of not allowing exceptions for rape and incest in the anti-abortion legislation he tried to pass in Congress. Republican leadership had prevented the bills he sponsored on banning abortions from advancing through the House, despite GOP support for the measures, King said…

He actually said that, in front of the cameras — there’s video. Of course the whole forced-birth ‘But what if that aborted baby would’ve been the next Einstein?’ trope has been in use for at least the last forty years, but count on Rep. Pigmuck to bring his own personal touch. And he’s not sorry, either; he insists the outcry that’s greeted his flapmouth bigotry is nothing but a plot by his enemies…

In the hours after his remarks to the breakfast meeting, condemnation of his comments poured in from Democrats, including those running for president, as well as some Republicans…

“People think it was an organic media feeding frenzy, but no, it was orchestrated from the beginning,” he said Wednesday. “They had told me, ‘Heads up before Christmas: They’re going to try to drive you out of office and get you to resign.’ Within 24 hours, you had people saying, ‘Resign, resign, resign.’ Why? Because the New York Times misquoted me?”
Read more

The INF Treaty Ends

Valued commenter Gin & Tonic asked if I plan to write on the end of the INF Treaty. I hadn’t intended to – there’s an enormous amount of good commentary (Twitter threads here and here) on it – but as I thought about it, I have some thoughts beyond the standard commentary.

First, an overview of the situation.

The Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty was concluded between the US and the USSR in 1987. Both countries had been emplacing missiles in Europe in such a way as to dangerously shorten the warning time for a nuclear attack on Europe or Moscow. The treaty banned a whole class of missiles and largely ended the nuclear terrors of the early 1980s.

John Bolton despises arms control treaties. His rationale seems to be that the United States should give up no scrap of sovereignty for any reason whatsoever, and agreeing to limit nuclear weapons is an unjustified violation of sovereignty. Donald Trump has no idea of treaties, but if there are going to be treaties, they should only be the greatest treaties that only he could negotiate.

Russia has been violating the INF Treaty for several years now. In my opinion, the Obama administration should have tried harder to meet with Russia over the violations and resolve them. But they didn’t. All treaties have provisions for dealing with alleged violations, and the INF Treaty was no exception. But neither the Obama administration nor the Trump administration took that path.

In addition to Bolton’s hatred for treaties and Trump’s narcissism, others have suggested that China’s increasing military power justifies leaving the treaty so that the US can build missiles to use in a war against China. It’s hard for me to write that with a straight face. A US war with China is highly improbable, and that such missiles would be useful is moreso. That’s all I’ll say about that in this post.

And, of course, there is the influence of the defense industry and academic types who like to see yet another way to blow things up. So the treaty ended yesterday.

That’s the overview. The INF Treaty has some emotional overtones for me that I think have more general reverberations. Read more

Late Night Pushback Open Thread: You Come At the King, You Best Not Miss…

I’m particularly impressed with his skill at responding to the exact level of witlessness in each attack:

Read more

Repubs in Disarray!… Open Thread: Lee Atwater Wept

The ‘smart’ ones don’t mind the racism, of course, but they wish the Oval Office Squatter could be a little more discreet in front of the media kiddies…

Read more

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Now *We* Have “the Bigger Half”

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

Read more