CPAC, Trump and the Disturbed, Unhinged and Confused Republicans of the Week
The Conservative Political Action Conference [CPAC] always seems to bring out the worst in Republicans so there are quite a few disturbing statements to choose from. It's difficult to know where to start, but here are some of the most outrageous.
1. Rep. Paul Gosar seems to think that climate change can't be real because of photosynthesis.
Axios: "At a Capitol Hill press conference Wednesday opposing the Green New Deal, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) was asked by a young person what he is doing to address climate change. He responded:
"Unfortunately you haven't been taught about photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is where plants take carbon dioxide to produce oxygen. That's a problem in today's world. We haven't taught kids exactly what's going on in America and in science."
Paul, the trees are trying their best; they just can't keep up. And yes, this is the same congressman whose siblings took out an ad supporting his opponent last Fall.
2. Former Republican Gov. Paul LePage opposes a bill pending in the Maine state legislature that proposes eliminating the Electoral College in favor of the popular vote because he seems to think it would reduce the influence of white voters.
Maine Beacon: “Actually what would happen if they do what they say they’re gonna do is white people will not have anything to say. It’s only going to be the minorities that would elect. It would be California, Texas, Florida,” said LePage."
The electoral college over-represents small population states like Montana and Wyoming that have few minority residents. That seems to be Lepage's rather racist point.
3. President Trump wants us to believe that Kim Jong Un had no idea that American student Otto Warmbier was being tortured in N. Korea's prisons before he was released and died soon after.
CNN: "President Donald Trump on Thursday said he does not hold North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un responsible for Otto Warmbier's death after Kim denied knowledge of the American student's maltreatment."
"He felt badly about it. He felt very badly," Trump said at a news conference after his second summit with Kim, after saying they discussed the matter privately. "He tells me that he didn't know about it and I will take him at his word."
Mr. President, why would you take Kim Jong Un's word for anything? He is a cruel and murderous tyrant that presides over the largest human rights disaster in the world. The Warmbier family is outraged; so should we all be.
4. Roy Moore is thinking about running again in 2020 for the Senate.
Roy, Americans have short memories, but not that short.
5. Conservatives feel they have to destroy the legacy of former Senator John McCain in order to legitimize Donald Trump. McCain was one of the most respected and influential Republicans of the last half-century, but he had little regard for Trump and his extreme views on immigration.
At the annual gathering of right-wing Republicans, the Conservative Political Action Conference [CPAC], Michelle Malkin attacked "the ghost of John McCain", among others, for their support of comprehensive immigration reform and received a standing ovation. The crowd's response provides good insight into the character of the folks that attend CPAC.
6. CPAC has become the place Republicans can say all the crazy things they think but can't say to normal humans.
NPR: "Former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker compared abortion to taking a baby home and murdering it."
And at CPAC, former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka claimed that the Green New Deal is a Stalinist plot. They want to "take your pick-up truck, they want to rebuild your home, they want to take away your hamburgers," Gorka said.
Calm down Sebastian, no one is after your burger.
Enough craziness for one week.
[Ed. Note] This will begin a semi-regular tradition at Illuminate and if you have any nominations for this column, please feel free to send them along. We love hearing from you.