No TrumpsπŸ‘±‍♂️ Newsbites
Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner calls fellow Republican Jim Jordan a 'political terrorist'
  • Boehner described several fellow Republicans as "political terrorists," including Rep. Jim Jordan.
  • "I never saw a guy who spent more time tearing things apart ― never building anything," he said.
  • In his book, Boehner seemed relieved that he didn't have to interact with Trump while in office.
When asked by reporter John Dickerson who would fall under his definition of a political terrorist, Jordan's name immediately sprang up.

"Jim Jordan especially, my colleague from Ohio," he replied. "I just never saw a guy who spent more time tearing things apart ― never building anything, never putting anything together."

Jordan, who was first elected to Congress in 2006, has become well-known for his verbal jousting with Democrats on both the Oversight and Judiciary Committees, along with his staunch defense of former President Donald Trump.

In the same interview, Boehner went after GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, whom he calls a "jerk" and describes as an attention seeker.

"Perfect symbol, you know, of getting elected, making a lot of noise, draw a lot of attention to yourself, raise a lot of money, which means you're gonna go make more noise, raise more money — it's really unfortunate," he said.
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A GOP congressman said so many Republican voters now believe in the QAnon conspiracy theory it could destroy the party
  • GOP Rep. Peter Meijer has warned that the QAnon movement could destroy the GOP from within.
  • Meijer said "a significant plurality, if not potentially a majority" of GOP supporters believed in QAnon.
  • Meijer is one of a small group of GOP lawmakers who've taken a stand against QAnon.
GOP Rep. Peter Meijer has warned that the rise of the QAnon conspiracy theory movement could destroy the Republican Party from within in remarks to CNN.

Meijer is one of few Republicans who've spoken out against the rise of conspiracy-theory-driven beliefs among a swath of the GOP grassroots. He was one of only 10 Republicans in the House who voted to impeach Donald Trump for inciting the Capitol riot on January 6.

"The fact that a significant plurality, if not potentially a majority, of our voters have been deceived into this creation of an alternate reality could very well be an existential threat to the party," Meijer, a freshman congressman from Michigan, told the network.

The QAnon movement emerged from messaging boards 4chan and 8chan, to be adopted and promoted by Trump allies on the far right as it spread through the Republican Party. A Republican congresswoman, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Wood of Georgia, pushed the conspiracy theory before her election last year though in recent weeks has claimed she does not believe in it.

Adherents claim, groundlessly, that a Satanic cabal of Democrats and Hollywood stars secretly manipulate world events and run child trafficking networks. They revere Donald Trump as a savior figure, who will dismantle the cabal.

But the belief of adherents that Trump would halt Joe Biden's inauguration and defeat his foes in a day of violent reckoning has failed to materialize, and Meijer warned that the dispair could fuel political violence.

"When we say QAnon, you have the sort of extreme forms, but you also just have this softer, gradual undermining of any shared, collective sense of truth," Meijer said. He told CNN that conspiracy theories fuel "incredibly unrealistic and unachievable expectations" and "a cycle of disillusionment and alienation" that could lead conservative supporters not to vote or could even lead to more violence like the January 6 attack.
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Matt Gaetz thought he could 'do what he wanted' with women's nudes, a colleague said. That's not how it works.
  • Matt Gaetz once said the recipient of a private image could do with it what they want, his former colleague said this week.
  • The Florida lawmaker has recently been accused of sharing nude images of women in Congress.
  • Insider spoke to an expert to find out why this common assumption is wrong and also dangerous.
When the state senate in Florida passed a bill that would ban nonconsensual pornography back in 2015, only two lawmakers voted against it. One of them was Rep. Matt Gaetz.

Former state Rep. Tom Goodson, who was the main sponsor of the legislation at the time, told the Orlando Sentinel this week that when he met with Gaetz to discuss his opposition, it was clear that "Matt was absolutely against it."

"He thought the picture was his to do with what he wanted," Goodson said, according to the Sentinel. "He thought that any picture was his to use as he wanted to, as an expression of his rights."

Gaetz's supposed outlook has become even more problematic now that the lawmaker is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegedly showing several colleagues in Congress nude videos and images of women he'd slept with. This is on top of an already existing sex trafficking probe.

What is most striking about Goodson's claims this week is Gaetz's supposed assumption that the recipient of a private photo can do what they want with it. This is not only wrong, but also dangerous for victims of image-based abuse.

According to the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, the very definition of nonconsensual pornography, otherwise known as revenge porn, is "the distribution of private, sexually explicit images of individuals without their consent."

Amy Hasinoff, an associate professor at the University of Colorado Denver who recently co-authored a study on image-based abuse, told Insider: "Just because someone consented to send a photo doesn't mean the receiver has consent to distribute it. That's a completely separate act."

"If somebody wants to distribute your sexual images, they have to get your permission first," she added.

For Hasinoff, this should be a no-brainer. It should be obvious that certain pieces of information — whether it's health, financial, or sexual information — are meant to be private. It should be obvious that, like any other sex act, consent should be sought before sharing private images.

But unfortunately, nonconsensual pornography is still far too prevalent. A nationwide study in 2017 found that 1 in 8 Americans who have social media have been targets of image-based abuse. Women were significantly more likely to have been targets compared to men.

On top of this, the consequences of this crime can be devastating: 51% of US victims have contemplated suicide, according to research carried out by the campaign End Revenge Porn.
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Corporate America is still dangerously delusional about what the GOP has become
  • The GOP corporate America used to know and love is gone.
  • What we have now is an angrier GOP willing to punish companies that disagree with it.
  • It's un-American, and it has nothing to do with the free market, but apparently the base likes it.
  • That means sorry, the old GOP went out to get a pack of smokes and it ain't coming back.
Corporations need to hear this, and probably a few half-hearted Republicans do too — former House Speaker John Boehner's GOP isn't coming back.

Boehner was perhaps the last leader of a now-dead Republican party we used to know. The one that was born during the Reagan years. The GOP that kept its hands out of the affairs of private enterprise, that championed free speech, that knew how to cut a deal, that you might want to have a glass of Merlot and a cigar with — that GOP's gone.

Instead we have a GOP that has no problem interfering with private business decisions. Govs. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas, for example, just signed legislation prohibiting private companies from requiring vaccination passports from customers.

Instead we have a GOP that punishes companies that do not share its political beliefs. In Georgia, the state House voted to strip Atlanta-based Delta Airlines of a $35 million fuel tax credit because it spoke out against a law that would make it harder for people to get to the polls. After decades of advocating for corporations to have more political power, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned companies to "stay out of politics," only to somewhat walk it back after remembering who his donors are.

Some corporations — like Jet Blue, which just restarted donations to Republicans who voted against certification of election on January 6 — are trying to get back to business as usual. Instead they should be getting ready to play defense. With this GOP corporations are likely to become collateral damage as every issue devolves into total culture war.

Yes, the Democrats want to raise corporate taxes, but the Republicans have no problem punishing companies when they stand up for basic functions of our democracy — like easy access to voting — that the party now happens to oppose. That's the choice for corporations now.

... But the GOP has found another way to deal with the disconnect between its policies and their popularity — by staying laser focused on anger and never-ending culture war. Fox News has launched two new shows centered around cancel culture because that's what excites its viewers. And the loudest GOP politicians with the most obvious aspirations for the presidency have decided that punishing corporations for being on the "wrong side" of any hot button issue is a political win with their base.

That is why corporations should get used to the reality that this is not just a phase. The Republican party requires a major adjustment to go back to what it was. Instead it is becoming more populist and more radical.

If you want to know in what direction the GOP is headed, look no futher than a man who will go anywhere the wind is blowing — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Once a protege of the Bush family, now his social media is chockablock with culture war video rants that sound like an audition for a primetime slot on Fox News. Recently he blasted Major League Baseball for the league's decision — triggered by the aforementioned voting law — to move their All-Star Game out of Atlanta. Rubio decided to hit back at MLB by ranting about its business dealings in China and Cuba, obviously lacking the self awareness to realize that at this very moment, the Chinese Communist Party is harassing companies for their political and human rights stances as well.

The GOP may not raise corporate taxes, but it now behooves it to attack corporate interests in other ways. Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley — a young man who has had quite a lot of success fundraising after helping to incite the January 6 Capitol riot — tweeted about punishing "woke" companies using antitrust legislation to break them up. I needn't tell you that punishing companies for taking a political stance is not what anti-trust legislation is for.

This is the direction the Republican party is moving in. Remember that it did not present a platform during the 2020 presidential election. It did not reiterate a belief in the free market or free speech or small government or democracy. All it had was Donald Trump, and the anger that blew John Boehner and his GOP away. It's time to come to terms with that.
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Paul Gosar is the GOP's under-the-radar hardcore culture warrior
  • The seeds for Trump's "big lie" about the election were planted years ago by a conspiracy-pushing "own the libs" Republican fringe.
  • Rep. Paul Gosar has been ahead of the GOP curve in embracing the further reaches of the fringe, for more than a decade.
  • It's really a wonder Rep. Paul Gosar isn't a bigger star in the post-Trump GOP.
Mainstream Republicans desperately want to believe that the QAnon-supporting Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and the performative handgun-toting Rep. Lauren Boebert are anomalies to their party. They see the new upstart GOP members of Congress as part of a fringey runoff leftover from the Trump era — something to be managed, but just a short-term nuisance. But to a substantial extent, Greene and Boebert's paths to Capitol Hill were paved by Rep. Paul Gosar, who's been "owning the libs" and hammering the culture war hits for more than a decade.

The congressman has been ahead of the curve in embracing the most destructive ultra-nationalist elements of the right. And he just recently spoke at a conference hosted by a white nationalist.

He's helped push the Overton Window to a point where such behavior doesn't even get you censured by the party leadership.

... In terms of actual lawmaking, Gosar's record is thin. It's not easy getting legislation passed, but of the 11 bills in which Gosar served as the primary sponsor, all but one was a government land swap or the renaming of a public building.

Being a House backbencher gave the Arizona lawmaker plenty of free time to dedicate to the ever-expanding culture war. In particular, Gosar excelled at stoking conspiracy theories and overwrought controversies.

A practicing Catholic, Gosar in 2015 made a show out of boycotting Pope Francis' address to Congress.

In a column, the congressman said he wanted no part of listening to the pope giving "socialist talking points" and focusing on the "false science and ideology" of climate change. Instead, Gosar hoped the pope would denounce ISIS' murder and persecution of Iraqi and Syrian Christians — something Pope Francis had already done, forcefully and repeatedly.

When a neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville in August 2017 turned murderous, Gosar speculated that the whole thing was a false flag operation set up by an "Obama sympathizer" and funded by the conspiratorial right's go-to boogeyman, financier and political activist George Soros.

Gosar has shared QAnon and white nationalist memes on social media, even retweeting an account "that's so crazy that the big QAnon pushers thinks [sic] it makes QAnon look bad," according to "QAnonymous" podcaster Travis View.

He unambiguously endorsed fantastical Trumpist conspiracy theories when he wrote in 2019: "I have a tip. I think high level FBI agents may have colluded with British agents and Democrat operatives to initiate an illegal coup against @realDonaldTrump and @POTUS."

Naturally, he's also made time to jump on the "[Jeffrey] Epstein didn't kill himself" bandwagon.

Gosar hasn't done all of this in a way that can be conceivably excused as "old man knows not what he retweets." He's only 62, and appears to be a true believer of the unbelievable.

Over the years, these antics were regularly dismissed as fringe and unrepresentative of the party. But it was tolerance of the Gosar-wing of the party that helped convince Republican voters to believe in such fact-averse lines of thinking.
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or Trump-ism

Trumpism refers to the nontraditional political philosophy and approach espoused by Donald Trump and his supporters. The term Trumpism can also be used to directly refer to an outrageous or idiosyncratic statement made by Donald Trump.

Trump, whom many observers consider an anomaly, left the White House by saying, “We will be back in some form.” His legacy is “Trumpism” – a wave of white nationalism.

Trumpisms are Bushisms on steroids.