Monday, May 16, 2022

Where "Partisan" Is Republican

Buried deep into her piece on Saturday in The Washington Post, Ashley Parker and Michael Scherer write

Biden’s decision to dub Republicans as “ultra MAGA” — like another new Biden quip, “This is not your father’s Republican Party — represents a turnabout from his campaign persona. He ran as a unifier, promising that under a Biden administration Republicans would have an “epiphany” and bipartisanship would return to Washington.

Instead, partisan vitriol has continued to consume the nation’s capital, a reality Biden seems to acknowledge with his “ultra MAGA” descriptor — a wing of the Republican Party that he described as “petty,” “mean-spirited,” “extreme” and “beyond the pale” at a fundraiser in Chicago Wednesday night.

Biden's recent remarks, Ashley & Scherer maintain, "represents a turnabout from his campaign persona." (As I explained in my immediate previous post, they really don't, but that's off-topic.)  Moreover, they maintain, "partisan vitriol has continued to consume the nation's capital...."

If indeed- as conventional wisdom has it- Biden's recent comments are a turnabout from his promise to be a unifier, the reporter seems at a loss to understand it. Her point appears to be: Joe Biden is no longer Joe Biden, but instead has become what his enemies are.

That bothsiderism angle is, as the President himself would put it, malarkey. In the same newspaper the following day, WAPO's Marianna Sotomayor noted promotion of the Great Replacement Theory by the wildly popular right-wing talk show host Tucker Carlson, as well as by three Republican US Representatives- Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Matt Gaetz of Florida, and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.

Nevertheless, Sotomayor properly emphasized the advocacy of New York State's Elise Stefanik. In a Facebook ad posted by her campaign last September, the third highest-ranking GOP House member contended

Radical Democrats are planning their most aggressive move yet: a PERMANENT ELECTION INSURRECTION. Their plan to grant amnesty to 11 MILLION illegal immigrants will overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington.

At the time, Stefanik's hometown newspaper editorialized

Ms. Stefanik isn’t so brazen as to use the slogans themselves; rather, she couches the hate in alarmist anti-immigrant rhetoric that’s become standard fare for the party of Donald Trump. And she doesn’t quite attack immigrants directly; instead, she alleges that Democrats are looking to grant citizenship to undocumented immigrants in order to gain a permanent liberal majority, or, as she calls it, a “permanent election insurrection.

So perhaps this was not surprising:

Stefanik is much too slick to say "let immigrant babies die" or "keep the Latinos out."  However, as Yale professor Philip Gorski has told Greg Sargent, "first, it was the entertainment wing of the GOP. Now it's the political wing as well." New York Times reporters Nicholas Confesore and Karen Yourish recognize that versions of the ideas espoused in the manifesto of Payton S. Gendron, the apparent perpetrator of the mass murder in Buffalo

sanded down and shorn of explicitly anti-Black and antisemitic themes, have become commonplace in the Republican Party — spoken aloud at congressional hearings, echoed in Republican campaign advertisements and embraced by a growing array of right-wing candidates and media personalities.

Republican leaders have been spouting rhetoric which itself goes well beyond President Biden's adjectives of “petty,” “mean-spirited,” “extreme” and “beyond the pale.”  Nor is the Republican invective relegated to an "ultra-MAGA" wing, whatever that is. It is deep in the heart of leadership, including House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik. That is the partisan vitriol infecting the country and it has no parallel in the Democratic Party, even as some reporters pretend otherwise.


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