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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, March 8, 2019

House GOP Botches Anti-Hate Vote

In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race   The update  -- just published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.  It explains how House GOP miscalculations contributed to the Democratic victory at the polls.  The miscalculations keep coming.

23 HOUSE REPUBLICANS voted against a resolution Thursday evening that condemned hate against many groups, including Jews and Muslims, in the wake of REP. ILHAN OMAR’S (D-MINN.) comments that suggested supporters of Israel might have dual loyalty -- remarks that were widely viewed as anti-Semitic. Every Democrat voted yes.
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-- THERE IS SERIOUS, SERIOUS anger -- seething, it’s fair to say -- at the top levels of the House GOP that Republicans muddled their message with a split on this vote. All week, HOUSE MINORITY LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY’S leadership team managed to keep his troops in line, allowing Democrats to spend days upon days tripping all over themselves. Now, they have taken a bit of the spotlight off Democrats for reasons that are clear to no one.
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THE PREVAILING THOUGHT in House GOP leadership and in much of the rank and file is that the folks who voted against the resolution handed Democrats a gift.
-- THE HOUSE GOP is overwhelmingly white and male, so there is definitely a concern about a slice of the party voting against a resolution that condemns hate against minorities.
-- HOUSE REPUBLICAN CONFERENCE CHAIRWOMAN LIZ CHENEY of Wyoming split with MCCARTHY and HOUSE MINORITY WHIP STEVE SCALISE (R-LA.) and voted against the bill. Sure, they’re in the minority, so fissures might appear to matter less, but when the rank and file sees that there is disunity at the top, they take notice.
Josh Marshall at TPM:
The real headline is that 23 Republicans voted against the resolution. On its face, presumably that means they voted “no” as a statement that they didn’t find the resolution strong enough. But the actual roll call, well … it’s not all that clear. Steve King, the actual anti-Semite and white nationalist in Congress, voted “present”, not doing his GOP colleagues any favors.
It’s not much better from there. The list of 23 is heavily stocked with some of the most hard right Republicans in Congress: Gohmert, Gosar, Massie, Yoho, Burgess, Palazzo, Biggs. Palazzo is a big time confederate flag supporter and … well, not great on race issues. And that applies to at least some degree to lots of those on the list. House number three leader Liz Cheney voted against it and (probably the only one party leaders are happy about) Lee Zeldin, one of two Jewish Republicans in Congress, did too.