I suppose I should find it perversely funny that the GOP is so bereft of actual content or ideas these days that they’ve chosen to return to the same deeply idiotic well they always draw upon whenever they need to gin up support among the more outwardly racist among them: getting irrationally mad at California Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
But, at this point, it’s just exhausting and annoying and painfully, painfully stupid.
Here’s where things stand: Last Saturday, Waters traveled to Brooklyn Center, Minnesota to take part in the social justice protests that have occurred regularly since (now former) police officer Kim Potter shot and killed 20-year-old Duante Wright during a traffic stop. Addressing protesters and media alike, Waters offered impassioned calls for pursuing justice for marginalized communities who have been terrorized by police; she thanked protesters for risking their safety in the name of civil rights; and she lamented the frustration that comes with watching case after case in which unarmed black people are killed by law enforcement.
You know, the sort of broadly inspiring protest language that’s been a part of the civil rights movement for decades upon decades
Waters also said the following during her time on the ground in Minnesota:
We’ve got to stay on the street and we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business
Aggressive? Maybe. Unprecedented? Again, this is the sort of language that’s been used in the civil rights movement for years. But, because the conservative fever swamp has been itchin’ for an ol’ fashioned, bad-faith circle jerk to distract from the past few months of Democratic momentum, those two sentences — removed from their context — became the newest rallying point for Republicans in congress, and their enablers across conservative media.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy plans to introduce a resolution to censure Waters. Rep. Lauren Boebert is already fundraising off the comments. Marjorie Taylor Greene has called for Waters to be expelled from Congress entirely, calling her a “danger to our society.”
On the Senate side of congress, Josh Hawley drew attention to the real crime being perpetrated here: that Waters still has a Twitter account.
And over on Fox News, Tucker Carlson devoted precious airtime to turning Waters into his public enemy no. 1, bloviating that “Maxine Waters is someone who supports mob violence. She always has supported it.
“She believes in mob violence for political ends,” he continued during Monday evening’s broadcast. “That’s why she’s been calling for it for decades.”
This also happened:
The hypocrisy here is staggering, even for Republicans. Boebert, Greene, and Hawley actively helped instigate a mob of deranged insurrectionists just a few months ago. Carlson cheered them on. McCarthy basically let it happen. But suddenly, an octogenarian Black woman suggests that perhaps police murdering people in the streets is a problem that deserves a little pushback from the community, and how dare the Democrats tolerate this sort of unpatriotic lunacy??
And it’s not just the hypocrisy that’s so impressive. It’s the shamelessness with which it’s been deployed that really elevates this whole exercise to new and exciting heights. Here’s No. 3 House Republican Rep. Steve “David Duke without the baggage” Scalize explaining why Waters’ comments were bad, while Trump’s pre-insurrection Nuremberg-ish speech was a-okay.
I mean…come on man! I know you think we’re all idiots, but do you really think we’re that dumb?
I’m not sure if I should feel angry, or just insulted by this level of unapologetic hypocrisy. Either way, though, The fact that this is what the GOP has chosen to focus on is a sign that they’ve really hit the bottom of the barrel in terms of what they think they can get traction on. I suppose there’s some small measure of comfort to be taken in that.