by E. Faye Williams
Political right/Republicans have given nearly every bad excuse possible for their own bad behavior. Truth and objectivity seem to escape their ilk. Since the swearing-in of #45 and his one-year hijacked occupancy of the people’s house, strange stories that oppose the truth emerge at every turn. After hearing one bad excuse, it’s hard to believe that an even worse excuse could materialize, but it can. Here are my nominees, in order of bad to worse, of recent right-wing idiocy:
FOUR: Despite owning a majority in both the Senate and House of Representatives and occupying the White House, Republicans blame Democrats for the government shutdown! Blaming Democrats, they have ignored their rejection of the overwhelming will of the American people and the legislative votes of several ‘principled’ Republicans who joined with Democrats against their own party.
THREE: Senators Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham exposed racist and profane statements made by #45 during a White House meeting related to the shutdown vote. Of the others present, one Cabinet Officer could only remember #45 using strong language, but didn’t say what that language was. Republican Senators from Arkansas and Georgia originally feigned failure to hear the comments and/or forgetfulness, but, as the fallout of #45’s comments became more heated, they remembered that he “absolutely” did not make the statements of which he was accused. Never mind that they were meeting to avoid a government shutdown — between not hearing and not remembering, one wonders why they were there.
TWO: After the Democratic Senate Minority Leader, unbelievably, agreed to give #45 money he’d requested to build his “Mexican Border Wall,” #45 reneged on that agreement which led to the shutdown vote. Although claiming he wanted to resolve the DACA crisis, #45 disappeared from public view, but published photographs showing him at his empty Oval Office desk hoping to make us believe he was actively working for resolution. When Democrats reached agreement with Republicans to re-open the government, #45, and many of his fellow Republicans, rewarded them with disparaging tweets and comments accusing them of “caving” to Republican pressure. Seemingly, Republicans have conveniently forgotten that democratic legislation is a process of give-and-take in order to achieve a plan with which both sides can live — even when that compromise is objectionable or disappointing to supporters.
ONE: Finally, the week’s worst rears its ugly head! Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Pat Meehan is the “hands down” winner of my “What Could Be Worse” award. Meehan is accused of sexually harassing a female staffer he obsessively labeled his “soulmate.” His infractions include creating a hostile work environment after he learned of the staffer’s involvement with a male (outside of work) other than himself and the probability that she would be leaving his office. Disappointed and angry, Meehan engaged in practices that caused his staffer to charge him with sexual harassment.
While admitting that, after learning of her serious relationship with another, he sent the young woman an emotional letter. Meehan denied that he sexually harassed her. He did, however, offer an excuse for his workplace behavior that flows straight from the right-wing Republican playbook. His excuse was that he blamed President Obama!!! He said that he worked so hard to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), that his efforts stressed him out, and that he was so stressed that any bad behavior with which he was charged had to be blamed on that Obama person! We never heard from Republicans calling for his resignation or repayment of taxpayer dollars used to pay hush money to the young woman involved. On his own terms, he announced he won’t run for re-election.
These truths are stranger than fiction. I really worry about what could be worse and when that shoe will drop!
(Dr. E. Faye Williams is National President of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc. www.nationalcongressbw.org. 202/678-6788).