Republicans Can’t Do Anything Right: Sean Duffy Edition

Donald Trump’s authenticity on issues such as ending abortion may be highly questionable, but there’s still a stylistic lesson more conventional Republicans desperately need to learn from him: people are sick of timidity in response to outrageous policies and malicious smears.

Case in point: on Friday, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) said the following:

I hear a lot in this institution from minority leaders about how their communities are targeted, but what I don’t hear them talk about is how their communities are targeted in abortion […] My liberal friends, Congressional Black Caucus members, talk about fighting for the defenseless, the hopeless, and the downtrodden […] There is no one more hopeless and voiceless than an unborn baby, but their silence is deafening. I can’t hear them. Where are they standing up for their communities, advocating and fighting for their right to life?

So far, so good. Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) reacted with the usual hysteria:

After nearly 30 years in public office, not much surprises me anymore. So you can imagine my lack of astonishment when my dear friend and colleague from Wisconsin, Sean Duffy, rolled out abortion statistics among African-American women to lecture black legislators like me about defending the welfare of our constituents […] I don’t expect Rep. Duffy to understand why his comments are offensive […] What he and so many of his Republican colleagues fail to acknowledge is the underlying context behind high abortion rates in African-American communities. High rates of abortion are related to poverty and lack of access to quality care […] Rep. Duffy’s hypocrisy on this issue is as predictable as it is offensive. If he truly, truly wants to fight for the hopeless and voiceless, he should join us.

At which point Duffy falls apart. Moore’s attack is equal parts dishonest and malicious, purely an attempt to distract from his critique by changing the subject. This should have been met with doubling down on the original charge against her and her colleagues, with a healthy dose of shame added in.

Instead, he felt the need to appease his attacker. Continue reading

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Nikki Haley’s SOTU Response Was Even Worse Than You’ve Heard

Haley’s leadership-approved Republican response to Barack Obama’s State of the Union address has rightly been eviscerated for devoting so much time to attacking a leading Republican candidate rather than the Democrat president she was there to refute, and for condescending to the party’s base that they need to lighten up about their entirely-valid, perpetually-neglected immigration concerns.

Mark Steyn’s takedown of those offenses (as well as her general vagueness on the good positions she did espouse) says it all:

Unfortunately for her, this sentimentalist twaddle is not where the Republican base is. She’s looking at immigration policy from the point of view of the seven billion hard-working soon-to-be-vetted Americans-in-waiting around the planet. But one of the changes this election season is that the party base is considering immigration policy from the point of view of the 300 million Americans who are already here […]

Trump is a monster of the GOP elite’s creation. And their solution to it is to use what’s meant to be a rebuttal to the President as a rebuttal to their own leading candidates and the two-thirds of their voters who support them. Truly this is the dumbest political party on the planet.

So here I’ll focus on a few more than have gone relatively unnoticed amid the uproar, but are also highly indicative of the leadership rot within the GOP. Continue reading