These Dangerous Sociopaths Have to Go. Now.
It's not just Trump. He's got an army now.
|Jordan Zakarin||Oct 8|| 8|
Welcome to the big Wednesday edition of Progressives Everywhere!
I waited until after the debate to send this newsletter out, just in case something exciting happened that was worth addressing. Big mistake — it was mostly 90 minutes of Mike Pence ignoring rules so that he could bore us longer than he was permitted.
It was instructive to watch him operate. Pence, not Trump, is supposed to be the face of far-right American conservatism. He’s the prototype: Quiet, straight-faced, a walking bible study session obsessed with “family values” who weaves strategic lies into his mind-numbingly boring speeches to give cover to the fringe psychopathic hate agenda that he works behind the scenes to enact.
But Trump changed everything. Now, for Republicans, the louder the hatred the better. The more audacious the lies, the more they like someone. The Republican candidates that tote guns, flout the law, spew racism, buy into and promote bonkers conspiracy theories, and promise to burn down the world — they now win most of the GOP primaries in which they run.
So let’s fight these monsters head-on. In this issue, we’re going to focus on taking out the worst of the Republican Party COVID-19 super-spreaders, the cynical monsters who knowingly and willingly led to people getting sick. We’re going to focus on taking out the GOP’s outspoken white nationalists. And we’re going to focus on the QAnon freaks who are running for office for the first time.
These People Need to Lose
I’ve been highlighting some of the worst Republican COVID-19 super-spreaders at my conveniently named site COVIDSuperSpreaders.com, and let me tell you, it’s depressing to look back at just how flagrantly dishonest and dangerous so many lawmakers have been over the last eight months. We need to remove them from office ASAP, and thankfully, many of them are up for re-election next month.
Here are some of the worst and the Democrats running against them.
I highlighted Rep. Lewis earlier this year, but it bears repeating: Lewis worked tooth and nail to reopen Pennsylvania so that his non-union construction business could get back to work. Then, when he was diagnosed with COVID-19 himself, he immediately told Republicans and then waited a full week to tell House Democrats and capitol building employees. He put hundreds of people at risk for no real reason — other than the fact that he’s a callous jerk.
State Rep. Russell Diamond has been even worse. Even in early April, as COVID ripped through the East coast, Diamond spoke at a large, mask-less rally, riling up conservatives and demanding an end to shelter-at-home orders. In May, he went shopping without a mask on — and bragged about it on social media. And later that month, he began quarantining when he found out about Rep. Lewis’s COVID diagnosis — but didn’t tell Democrats. And he posted horrifying stuff like this, because he’s nuts:
Oh, and then in June, he dropped a disgusting anti-trans attack on a colleague that was so gross, Gov. Tom Wolf called for his censure.
Lewis is running in a tight race against one of our endorsees, Britney Rodas. Diamond’s race is going to be a harder climb, but he needs to feel the heat.
The far-right Supreme Court just stripped Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of her right to declare a state of emergency, which the governor of Michigan has had since 1945. The case got to them because right-wing monsters like Rep. Beau LaFave and Sen. Tom Barrett brought the case to them.
While Barrett isn’t up for re-election this year, LaFave does have to run next month. And his record is awful. Look at what he said on May 20th alone, when Gov. Whitmer urged everyone to wear a mask.
“The masks are not going to save anyone,” he said. “The masks aren’t going to save anybody. It doesn’t make much sense.”
“I’m less likely to die if I get COVID-19 than the flu,” the dummy added. “I can’t get this virus and I’ll be OK.”
Instead of protecting himself and others, he was doing shit like offering a useless proposal that would have required that the state send China an “itemized statement of the damages, costs, expenses and other losses” stemming from the pandemic.
Of course, he wound up getting the virus just last week. And yet he still says people shouldn’t have to wear masks.
This is a pattern for LaFave, who constantly gets owned on his dumb policies. Earlier this year, he walked around the capitol with a giant gun strapped to his body to protest Whitmer’s proposed gun laws, then promptly got two guns stolen from him.
LaFave won an easy election in 2018, but this year, his primary had nearly as many Democratic votes as Republican ones, indicating it could be a close race this time. His opponent, Renee Richer, is a fifth-generation Michigander, a family farmer, and someone who really could pull this thing off.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson
Another Republican who refused to enforce or endorse masks and paid the price. Parson could have single-handedly issued a mask order. Instead, he said he’d personally wear one now and again, traveled around the state meeting people without any protection.
I bet you can guess what happened next! Yup, Parson then got COVID. Sensing a pattern? (The pattern is that Republicans are very stupid.)
Parson one of the most despicable governors in the country, and not just because he refused to take COVID seriously (including trying to send kids back to school over parents’ concerns this summer).
Back in May, he said that people shouldn’t vote if they didn’t feel safe doing so. He has continuously defended that awful couple that pulled guns on Black Lives Matter protestors, saying that he’d pardon them. It’s gone somewhat under the radar, but he has been supportive of eviscerating the anti-gerrymandering law that Missourians overwhelmingly supported in 2018. And he’s very pro-cop.
Running against him is Nicole Galloway, the popular state auditor. She’s about 10 points behind in the polls, but Parson needs to feel the heat. An upset is possible.
North Carolina State Rep. Larry Pitman
There are few more consistently awful people, let alone legislators, than North Carolina’s Larry Pittman. He is the quintessential religious right-wing Republican, but with an extra twist of audacious insanity. He’s suggested seceding from the union over gay marriage, proposed hanging abortion providers, compared Abraham Lincoln to Adolf Hitler (twice!), and spread egregious lies about COVID-19.
This summer, he really went for the racist gold. During the height of the Black Lives Matter protests, Pittman called protestors “ignorant thugs,” “criminals,” “domestic terrorists” and “vermin.” He also called for police to shoot them.
Pittman barely survived a Republican primary this year and now he’s got a really excellent Democratic challenger in Gail Young, who nearly took him out in 2018. North Carolina is trending even more blue this year, so I feel very good about her chances.
Ohio State Rep. Nino Vitale
Absolutely bonkers right-wing Republican Nino Vitale didn’t just tell people not to wear a mask, he told them to not even get tested. And this wasn’t in March, when Trump was trying to stop people on a cruise ship from entering the country to keep numbers down. No, this was in July.
Why’d he do this? He was pissed off that Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine mandated face masks in counties with heavy COVID-19 outbreaks. In May, he dropped an anti-semitic slur on Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton — who is Jewish — for extending a stay-at-home order as the virus killed thousands.
He also said that masks don’t keep anyone safe and protested with maskless people carrying big ol’ guns at the Ohio state capitol.
Vitale is in a pretty red district, but he does have a Democratic candidate running as a write-in with support from the state party. He needs to feel some heat, so it’s worth helping Democratic candidate Ted Greek make it as possible.
There are a number of other egregious Republicans that I want to highlight, but in the interest of space and time, I’ll hold off on any long biographies. Here are their names and links to why they’re so awful — their challengers are on the ActBlue page above, so you can donate to them, too!
Can You Help Us?
Together, we’ve raised nearly $2.8 million now for progressive candidates and causes, plus over $1.5 million for bail funds and civil rights groups. That’s over $4.3 million raised!
To make this sustainable, I need your help. I don’t get paid by any politician for this work. In fact, it costs me money to do this. So, I’m offering a premium subscription. If you become a member of Progressives Everywhere, you’ll get:
Nightly emails with deep dives into elections and the crucial political stories not getting enough attention.
Exclusive updates from candidates and interviews with other progressive leaders.
A new best friend (me).
It’s just $5 a month and one of the best investments you can make this election season. Why? For your $5, you help:
Raise money for great candidates being ignored by national donors.
Power campaigns across the country.
Finance new projects like AbsenteeBallots.info, which is helping to inform and register voters nationwide, and COVIDSuperSpreaders.com, which is ensuring that people remember who caused this national disaster.
We’ve got one shot at saving this country. Let’s work together to make it happen. I’m excited for you to join our team.
Important News to Know
OK, I said we’d skip the news tonight, but I can’t help myself. Too much going on!
Texas: As expected, the GOP-dominated Supreme Court ruled that Harris County couldn’t send out absentee ballots applications to everyone in the county.
This was an exhausting, stupid back-and-forth case that shows just how much Republicans hate voting rights.
The Supreme Court already ruled that people under the age of 65 couldn’t vote absentee unless they had a good excuse (and the threat of COVID didn’t count).
Harris County simply wanted to send out applications to everyone so that those who were eligible (people with doctor’s notes, those who would be out of town, etc.) would have an easier time applying.
And yet! That’s too much voting rights for the Texas GOP.
Texas: Yes, a second story in a row, but this is connected. Attorney General Ken Paxton, who led the charge against absentee voting this summer when he threatened voters and voting rights groups with felony charges if they even tried it, is in really deep shit.
On Sunday, I highlighted a bunch of new allegations against Paxton, who, again, is already under indictment for alleged corruption.
Now, he’s being accused of abusing his office and engaging in bribery by his own employees.
He refuses, of course — after all, he is the top lawyer in the state and loves to abuse his power already. Why not keep it up?
Louisiana: Speaking of evil attorneys general, Jeff Landry is giving Paxton a run for his money.
Today, word broke that Landry demanded that counties not apply for grants given by Mark Zuckerberg to better run their elections during a pandemic.
This ran counter to what the state’s top elections official suggested, because obviously, more money to run an election is a good thing. In fact, it’s the only good thing Mark Zuckerberg has done in years!
Not only did Landry order counties not to apply for the money, he’s now actually suing Zuckerberg over it.
I don’t think that private companies or people should be funding elections, but I also don’t think states should be starving their election administrations so that democracy eventually dies. It’s a sad place we’re in, largely because of people like Jeff Landry.
Facebook: Oh, speaking of Mark Zuckerberg, the House antitrust subcommittee came out with a huge 450-page report today about how the government should go about breaking up tech monopolies.
It’s a really impressive document and comprehensive plan!
Regulating tech monopolies also something that there is some rare bipartisan agreement on, even if Republicans wouldn’t sign on to this plan.
We could see some real progress on this if Biden shows a willingness to take them on. Lots of Obama alums work for big tech, but times are quite different than they were in 2012.
Florida: The voter registration deadline passed on Tuesday night after a tech glitch caused massive outages on the state’s registration site on Monday. Everything about how this state disenfranchises people is enraging.
As we all know, last month a Trump-dominated federal court ruled in favor of Florida’s Jim Crow poll tax law that more or less eviscerated the massive civil rights victory that was Amendment 4 in 2018.
A little while later, billionaire former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a bunch of exorbitantly rich celebrities scraped together some of their loose change to put $20 million toward paying off the fines and fees that were keeping returning citizens from registering to vote. Their donations were only going to help about 35,000 of the 770,000 disenfranchised voters, but at least it was something.
Immediately after that, Pam Bondi, Florida’s absolute corrupt dullard of an attorney general, asked the FBI to investigate Bloomberg, as if he were the real enemy of democracy there.
The only way to overturn this horrid decision is to win back Florida — and you can donate to some great candidates trying to do just that right here!
Vice Presidential Debate: A few thoughts on tonight’s debate…
The fact that fracking was one of the main topics of the debate when 210K Americans have died and 7 million have been sickened, 20+ million are unemployed, all of California is on fire, and white nationalists are marching through the streets… it was irresponsible and sad.
Another bad question, this one part of a pattern: Moderators ask whether raising taxes will hurt the economy in every debate. It’s an outdated, harmful right-wing frame that makes tax cuts a default, no matter how much the GOP has given away to the rich. It turns investing in working people into a risky policy, not a vital one.
Pence tried to turn criticism of Amy Coney Barrett’s fringe-right beliefs and cult membership into some sort of bigotry, but it ain’t gonna work. In fact, I do think someone’s religion should come under attack if their beliefs inspire them to strip people of human and political rights, endorse policies that would make women live as quasi-slaves, and take us back to the 1700s.
(Then again, Democrats need to get REAL busy fighting her nomination, because as always, they’re choking away their momentum and any chance of stopping it.)
Wait, before you go!
Figured I’d give it one more shot: Please subscribe and join the team!
You can also make a one-time donation to Progressives Everywhere’s GoFundMe campaign — doing so will earn you a shout-out in an upcoming edition of the big newsletter!