Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Menendez Talking Points, Plan B

When Senator Menendez was indicted last week, the wingnuts were ready with their talking points: Those awful hypocrites in the Democrat party, amirite? Except for...y'know...Eric Holder. And Andy Kim. And Gov. Phil Murphy. And assorted NJ legislators and county party chairs. All on the day the news broke.

True, Democratic Senators were slower to get on the bus, and Schumer came out with a particularly tone deaf statement that seemed to foreclose any real movement. Fetterman was the first to call for Menendez to resign, but for a day or so he was the only one. So where it mattered, too few Democrats were on board--and they were criticized for it by other Democrats.

In related news, the two parties are not the same.

As of today the Senate landscape is very different:
Here are all 17 senators who've publicly called on Menendez to resign:

Democratic Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Peter Welch of Vermont Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana Democratic Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen of Nevada Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York Democratic Sen. Mazio Hirono of Hawaii Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire
So much for that right-wing talking point.

Today we saw Tom Cotton trying out some replacement talking points: If you had "Democrats are railroading Menendez" on your right-wing bingo card, congratulations! I didn't. But maybe I should have; turning it against the DOJ (and for Trump) seems obvious in retrospect.

Anyway, what we have here is a classic heads-I-win, tails-you-lose ploy from the right. There is, as always, literally nothing Democrats can do in any situation that they won't find a way to attack.

Senator Menendez is corrupt as fuck. Resigning would be the right thing. Calling for his resignation is the right thing. Running against him in the primary is the right thing. And these things may also be good optics, for those who aren't committed right-wingers.

But last I checked Kurt Schlichter's tweet was still up, with no update, and a lot of blue-check types were still liking or RTing it. That's the GOP for you.

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