Patterico's Pontifications


Republicans: Not All Lies Are Equal…Especially If Our Jobs Might Be Jeopardized

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:05 am

[guest post by Dana]

Earlier this week, Rep. Madison Cawthorne made some pretty wild claims about his colleagues in office:

Cawthorn frustrated GOP colleagues after he appeared on the “Warrior Poet Society” podcast last week and said that racy elements of the Netflix television drama House of Cards are not far from reality.

“All of the sudden you get invited to, ‘Well hey, we’re going to have kind of a sexual get together at one of our homes, you should come’ … You realize they are asking you to come to an orgy,” Cawthorn said. He added that he has seen people who advocate against addiction doing “key bumps of cocaine.”

This wasn’t the only questionable thing Cawthorne has recently said or done:

Earlier this month, Cawthorn called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “thug,” which McCarthy had previously said was “wrong.” Cawthorn also likely broke House rules when he brought Tennessee Republican House candidate Robby Starbuck onto the House floor in February. And he was recently charged for driving with a revoked license, as well as for speeding in two different counties.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wasn’t having it. Yesterday he came down on the new representative, saying that:

…Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s (R-N.C.) allegations of being invited to orgies and seeing people do cocaine were unfounded and that he would not rule out further disciplinary action for the 26-year-old freshman member.

“He’s got to turn himself around,” McCarthy told reporters, addressing a meeting he had with Cawthorn that morning…

McCarthy said Cawthorn gave him no evidence to back up that characterization. The explanation for the cocaine allegation was that “he thinks he saw maybe a staffer in the parking garage from 100 yards away.”

“This is unacceptable, there’s no evidence to this,” McCarthy said. “That’s not becoming of a congressman. He did not tell the truth.”

Asked if Cawthorn could face penalties from the House Republican conference such as being removed from his committee posts, McCarthy said that there are “a lot of different things that could happen.”

“He’s lost my trust, and he’s gonna have to earn it back,” McCarthy said. “You can’t just say, ‘You can’t do this again.’ I mean, he’s got — he’s got a lot of members very upset. He can’t just make statements.”

Of course he’s right that Cawthorn’s behavior is not becoming to a congressman. And certainly, the bogus claims cast fellow members in an ugly light. So good for McCarthy to call him out. Yet, what does it say about McCarthy and the Republican Party – especially as members and senators who have voiced complaint about Cawthorn’s smear yet any number of them defended Trump, who continues to do far worse than this chump? Certainly, Trump did not immediately receive the same level of excoriation from the collective Republican Party. And that continues to be a big problem. Even the Jan. 6 rioters didn’t even receive a Cawthorn-level of condemnation from a wide swath of the Republican Party. It speaks to the continuing misplaced priorities by Republicans who hypocritically do whatever is necessary to protect their own political futures no matter the cost. Essentially, a goober like Cawthorne makes outlandish claims and is publicly and correctly called on the carpet while Republican leadership has defended, ignored, and hesitated in saying anything to a far, far more powerful individual spreading an even more grotesque lie that besmirches the whole party. And a lie that actually threatens our democracy. Not a good look, Republicans, and certainly not the way to win back voters who left the party because of said lie. And I doubt Independents now sitting on the fence as the Biden honeymoon came to a screeching end, will be shopping the GOP. In other words, it’s still Trump’s party. When leadership and the party as a whole can publicly say about Trump and his Big Lie what McCarthy said about Cawthorn, that would indicate a solid step on road to redemption:

He’s Trump’s got to turn himself around,” McCarthy told reporters.

“This is unacceptable, there’s no evidence to this,” McCarthy said. “That’s not becoming of a congressman president. He Trump did not tell the truth.”

He’s Trump’s lost my trust, and he’s gonna have to earn it back,” McCarthy said. “You can’t just say, ‘You can’t do this again.’ I mean, he’s Trump’s got — he’s got a lot of members very upset. He Trump can’t just make statements.”


31 Responses to “Republicans: Not All Lies Are Equal…Especially If Our Jobs Might Be Jeopardized”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (5395f9)

  2. From Allahpundit:

    Why are (McCarthy) and other Republicans so pissed at a well-known blowhard for telling tall tales? Cawthorn didn’t accuse anyone specifically of misconduct, after all.

    I think it’s a combination of things:

    1. Age. McCarthy and others would deny this but there’s no getting around it. Cawthorn is just 26 years old, the youngest member of Congress. …….

    2. Track record. If Cawthorn were a man of ideas, influential or even interested in shaping serious legislation, he might be forgiven for a misstep. But he’s typical of the MAGA caucus insofar as he seems more eager to build his cachet in populist media than to craft policy, which explains how he got sucked into telling tales about D.C. depravity on a podcast in the first place. …….

    3. Status. Cawthorn is liked by the base but isn’t quite the MAGA star that Greene and Matt Gaetz are, I sense. He doesn’t seem to enjoy Trump’s favor as much as they do either. To borrow a mafia term, he’s not a “made man” yet. ……..

    4. Wrong target. Because Cawthorn said that he’d been invited to an orgy by older figures whom he looks up to politically, people logically assumed that those figures must be populist conservatives. It’s one thing for him to smear Democrats or centrist Republicans but the Freedom Caucus is going to notice when he starts hinting that the right’s “values” warriors in Congress are egregious hypocrites behind closed doors……….

    5. Opportunity. It’s rare that Erick Erickson and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are having the same thought but both find McCarthy’s strong sense of indignation at Cawthorn odd given what’s gone unpunished within the caucus:

    Erick Erickson
    Why so hard on the guy who talked about orgies and cocaine and not so hard on the people who go to white supremacy rallies?

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
    Not sure why Republicans are acting so shocked by Cawthorn’s alleged revelations about their party.

    One of their members is being investigated for sex trafficking a minor and they’ve been pretty OK w/ that.

    They issued more consequences to members who voted to impeach Trump.

    ……..It’s a straightforward case of a member embarrassing the caucus for no good political reason. Members who speak at a white nationalist rally, on the other hand, embarrass the caucus for what cynics might say *is* a good political reason. Namely, they’re signaling to racists who are open to voting GOP so long as they don’t feel too unwelcome that they have friends in the House Republican caucus.

    …….So long as you’re arguably gaining more votes for the party than you’re losing by your antics, and/or so long as you’re under Trump’s political protection like Greene is, you can do what you want no matter how loathsome it is. Too bad for Cawthorn that he didn’t make the cut.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  3. Is Cawthorn in electoral trouble?

    The memo, composed on behalf of one of Cawthorn’s most formidable rivals, state Sen. Chuck Edwards, puts the freshman congressman in first place with 52% of the vote, “right on the bubble of the 50% mark,” writes the Republican pollster Glen Bolger, whose firm, Public Opinion Strategies, conducted the survey. Incumbents “who slip below that during the campaign,” he adds, “are in danger.”

    Cawthorn, who represents the mountainous region of western North Carolina, still maintains a relatively robust lead over Edwards, who came in second with 20% among 300 likely Republican primary voters surveyed between March 10 and 13. Another candidate, who is unnamed in the memo, pulled in 11%, and 17% of respondents said they were undecided. The margin of error is 5.7%.

    But, Bolger argues, with the right messaging and an influx of campaign cash, Edwards could pull off an upset. When respondents were informed of Edwards’ record in the state Senate, for instance, “52% of primary voters said they would be very likely to vote for him after hearing it,” Bolger writes. “I’ve tested this format for decades, and 30% is a good number; 52% is off the charts.”
    “Among voters who have an opinion of both Cawthorn and Edwards,” Bolger says, “the race is considerably tighter, as Cawthorn’s advantage drops to 46%-36%.”

    Another section of the poll includes a series of negative statements about the 26-year-old incumbent. A decisive majority of voters said they would be “much less likely” to cast a ballot for Cawthorn after they were told, among other things, that he had “unveiled a new plan for the federal budget that includes cutting Social Security benefits,” “proposed creating a new nationwide European-style consumption tax” and “favors cutting the U.S. military budget.”
    …….. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) announced on Wednesday that he was endorsing Edwards in the primary. “It comes down to focus on the district, producing results for the district, and in my opinion, Mr. Cawthorn hasn’t demonstrated much in the way of results over the last 18 months,” Tillis said in an interview with CNN, which broke the news of the endorsement.
    In a recent interview with JI, Edwards, who entered the race last November, said that “western North Carolina can do better” than Cawthorn. “Right now,” he argued, “the U.S. House floor is not a training camp for folks to learn how to lead legislatively.”

    Edwards…….entered the new year with nearly $330,000 on hand, $250,000 of which he personally loaned his campaign, according to the latest filings from the Federal Election Commission.

    That number put him ahead of Cawthorn, who has pulled in nearly $2.9 million since the beginning of 2021 but was sitting on just over $280,000 as of Dec. 31.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  4. There needs to be a program where a House member from each party is paired together, and there is a vote in the chamber as to whether or not to expel both of them, which must pass by a 2/3 majority. We can pair up Madison Cawthorn with Ilhan Omar, Matt Gaetz with Rashida Tlaib, Hal Rogers with Steny Hoyer, Darrell Issa with Peter DeFazio, Marjorie Taylor Green with Cori Bush, and so on. That might be a lot of fun to watch unfold.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  5. He takes after trump. By the way how many people has socialism killed in the ukrainian war? Answer: none both countries are run by crony capitalism. Just like our country from slavers to robber barrons and now vulture capitalists.

    asset (db8e80)

  6. @4. Meh. When it comes to managing a group, ‘The Wicked Witch of the West’ ain’t no ‘General Savage’ 😉

    “Stovall… Work out a reassignment of quarters so every man has a new roommate.” – Frank Savage [Gregory Peck] Twelve O’Clock High, 1949

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  7. In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say whaddabout trump now, whaddabout trump tomorrow, whaddabout trump forever.

    JF (889bad)

  8. I think it’s just sour grapes, honestly.

    nk (1d9030)

  9. “I’m calling for a use it or lose it policy.” – Squinty McStumblebum 3/31/22

    The mind is a terrible thing to waste, eh, Joe?!


    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  10. I wonder if I have time to get into the primary for the Illinois 5th. Did you know that Stephen A. Douglas was its first Representative?

    nk (1d9030)

  11. You tolerate the actions of the man with the gun, more than you do the guy without one.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  12. Just like our country from slavers to robber barrons and now vulture capitalists.

    Venezuela is calling. I’ll pay for your ticket.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  13. Circular firing is a thing with the big tent party.

    mg (8cbc69)

  14. Meanwhile: today- gas, Shell: $6.40/gal., reg; $6.50/gal.,hi-test; $6.60/gal., premium. Ralph’s/Kroger: 2 lbs, fresh ground hamburger; $13. Lettuce, $1.99/head… store brand peanut butter, 28 oz., $6…

    Attaboy, Joe!

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  15. Was it the big lie? It should have been obvious, but apparently came as a surprise to many, that there is no effective after-the-fact remedy for voter fraud. Once ballots are cast and counted, the game is over. Recounts will only tabulate the same fraudulent ballots a second time. Voter fraud that is successfully carried out on a mass scale cannot be undone within the 2 1/2 months before inauguration. The only effective approach is to tighten up procedures to prevent fraud from happening in the first place. (This is why Democrats fight tooth and nail against voter ID requirements and all other election security measures.) With time, people that want to learn more, are learning more.

    Richbert88 (ddc02c)

  16. DCSCA needs to stop shopping in La Jolla.

    Here in NM, Kroger ground beef is $5/lb, gas at the same store is $3.59 with the store card discount, lettuce the same, Kroger peanut butter, 28 oz, 2.39. Bacon is 3 1bs/$15 stack pack.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  17. @15: Ballots that are legally issued and legally cast are not fraudulent. Now, you may argue that they changed the law in ways they should not have, but at that moment it WAS the law, so again, no fraud.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  18. @16. Kevin needs to buy a map: NM ain’t California.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  19. Thank God.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  20. @19. LOL Kevin be lovin’ his Joenation. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  21. OT: Why Putin will never use nukes in his Ukraine war, reason #2345744332:

    Russian troops withdrawn from Chernobyl with ‘acute radiation sickness’: report

    ‘Several hundred Russian troops have been withdrawn from the Chernobyl nuclear facility in Ukraine after suffering from “acute radiation sickness” and are being treated in Belarus, according to reports. The Pentagon confirmed earlier that the Russian forces began to pull out from the defunct facility, which was taken on the first day of the invasion, after a pledge by the Kremlin to scale back its offensive.’

    Sing it, Vlad: ‘You’ll never get rich, just radiation sick, by diggin’ a ditch- you’re in my Army now!’

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  22. @12 No thanks I will stay here to help america live up to its ideals. From Thomas Paine to John Brown to AOC today.

    asset (6e32dc)

  23. Thomas Paine would be aghast at what AOC wants. So would John Brown. AOC is a would-be dictator, sure of her cause and willing to break any egg to make her omelets.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  24. @19. LOL Kevin be lovin’ his Joenation.

    Said the man in Commiefornia.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  25. Prediction: Biden releasing oil from the reserve will not bring prices down. Prices move on expectations. Right now oil drillers are taking Biden at his word that he will put them out of business and returning capital to investors rather than exploring for oil that Biden does not want them to pump.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  26. @24. No argument. A state that taxes it’s citizens .51/gal., on gas, leaves the roads as cratered as the moon and coddles sanctuary cities as havens for illegals ain’t a place to recommend Easterners to move to.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  27. But did Thomas Paine fill out a bodice the way Alexandria Ocasio Cortez does? AOC is the “bearded Spock universe” version of MTG. She will be President the next election after the Death Star blows up Alderaan.

    nk (1d9030)

  28. Unfortunately for Americans, it takes a special kind of narcissist to run for political office. Honestly, after a lot of thought, that is why I’m a conservative. Less government is better, not only for the freedom, but to minimize the impact that these narcissists have on the rest of us.

    Hoi Polloi (121542)

  29. Kevin,

    Correct me if I’m wrong but the oil released won’t be for months. The pipelines in the area are at capacity, and trucking soooo much is unstainable as a semi permanent solution

    EPWJ (0fbe92)

  30. Here’s today’s WSJ editorial take on the oil release (not paywalled):

    President Biden knows inflation and gasoline prices are killing Democrats in the polls, and he’s scrambling to show he’s doing something about it. Except he still won’t do what would really make a difference: Take his foot off the neck of the U.S. oil and gas industry.

    His latest gambit on Thursday was to say he’ll release 180 million barrels from the national Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the next six months. This would be the biggest release in history and reduce the reserve to its lowest level since 1984. But the oil will need to be replaced, which will push up future demand.

    This is one reason markets responded with a yawn. Crude prices fell a mere 4.9%. Markets don’t respond only to short-term demand and supply fluctuations. They also take into account long-term expectations and policy signals. And the Administration continues to signal that its goal is to bankrupt oil and gas producers. But before shooting them, Mr. Biden wants their political help.

    The White House underscored Thursday that it wants to “immediately increase supply” while accelerating the “clean energy” transition. The President also said he wants to make companies pay fees on wells from leases that they haven’t used in years and on acres of public land that “they are hoarding without producing.” But the law already requires companies to produce oil or gas on leases or return their leases to the government.

    But read the whole thing.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  31. I know humans lie and God knows I like to tell stories that get “better” over time, so I have that log in my eye.
    It OK to lie to Nazi’s if they ask if you’ve got Jews in the attic, but lying for political gain is pernicious

    steveg (e81d76)

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