What Republican Responses to Preventable National Tragedies Really Mean

The connection broke when an Al Jazeera reporter covering Harvey on location for MSNBC criticized the oil and gas industry. The fairly progressive news network insists it was a technical issue, not a question of censorship. This isn’t Fox News, and the critical reporter was, after all, reporting live from a hurricane.

But you can’t blame people for being a little paranoid. For the longest time, it seems the list of taboo topics in mixed company have been politics, religion and climate change.

Perhaps you saw Kellyanne Conway’s CNN interview, in which she put up the false choice fallacy to avoid discussing how oil and gas executives have gotten rich while other people take the hit. Conway argued that it would be inappropriate to talk about the groups whose actions have helped make disasters like this so much more commonplace. As people die, the expert pivoter is actually using victims as a shield to protect the perpetrators, billionaires, political shills and oil and gas executives — like Trump, Pruitt and Tillerson.

They get sanctimonious and say something along the lines of, “it is inappropriate to score political points off a tragedy.” What they really mean is that they don’t want to receive blame or criticism for consistently blocking action on a solvable and deadly problem.  These bizarre right-wing responses to major gun violence events — which have gone from less than yearly to monthly to daily and beyond – blame everything from separation of church and state to anti-Trump rhetoric.

And we can’t discount the effect of the NRA, which has an incredibly outsized political impact relative to its size — see here and here for more on why — but ultimately we have to hold lawmakers accountable for the bills they do and do not support and the consequences of their action and inaction.

With gun violence an ever-more-frequent occurrence, the now well-polished and ever-more predictable pivot of Republicans when they are repeatedly forced to defend the indefensible is telling. “Now is not the time for partisan rhetoric,” “it’s disrespectful to the victims to use them for political gain”. What does this amount to? NRA-funded Republicans who want to be insulated from blame — yet they call others “liberal snowflakes.”

We’ve now reached a point where anti-climate science Republicans are finding themselves in the same boat as the NRA shills, facing criticism as the chickens of their political decisions come home to roost.

Hundred-year and 500-year storms — as well as other climate-related events, like wildfires and droughts — are becoming all-too-common appearances. We can’t allow politicians who are funded by oil and gas to use faux partisanship as an escape tactic.

This is a party that knows how to get on the same page and stick to their talking points –and we’ve seen them lie through their teeth about protecting Americans’ health and finances even as they work to strip them of health care. We cannot let them keep pulling this party trick.

Guess what? The immediate aftermath of a national tragedy is exactly the time to start talking about how to keep it from happening again, and to call out those preventing us working toward a solution. Prepare yourselves for a rhetorical pounding, snowflakes.

Photo credit: Office of the Speaker

56 comments

Marie W
Marie W3 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill7 months ago

Those of you who have said they hate Republican, y'all are part of the problem with the division has become so obvious in the last 6 years or so. What happened to being able to debate issues?

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Kathryn I
Kathryn I9 months ago

It means forget finding a resolution to climate change, that's what it means, given Republican ignorance!!! I also hate Republicans!

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Stephanie s
Stephanie s9 months ago

Thank you

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Stephanie s
Stephanie s9 months ago

Thank you

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Brian F
Brian F9 months ago

MSNBC cuts off a reporter covering climate change, and the corporate Democrats here defend them. All the reporters in corporate owned MSNBC are paid liars who will say anything for money, like Joy Reed and Rachel Maddow who make $30,000 a day, and advance this phony Russia story to divert attention from the Democrats becoming corrupt and corporate owned like the Republicans, cheating Bernie Sanders out of his primary, and anointing a horrible Wall Street crook Hillary which caused this fraud Trump to be elected. Unfortunately, Marriane C and Mike K, the two corporate fake Democrats here, are too gullible and stupid, to not see the obvious.

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Brian F
Brian F9 months ago

Marriane C Even the Judge ruled that the corrupt corporate owned Democrats cheated Bernie Sanders out of his primary, in the DNC lawsuit. Unfortunately, like Mike K, you’re a political retard who believes this Russia BS, and is stupid enough to believe paid liars like Rachel Maddow on corporate owned MSNBC, who makes $30,000 a day. For that amount of money, I would say anything, which is what Rachel Maddow does. Unfortunately gullible sheep like you and Mike K are stupid enough to believe the lies fed to you by our corporate media.

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Brian F
Brian F9 months ago

Marriane C and Mike K, the two corporate Democratic liars are here. Hillary sat on the Walmart board of Walmart, the company that exploits workers and prevents unions from having any power, and took 21 million for speeches, and millions from Goldman Sachs, and both of these two jerks defend Hillary. Hey Mike K look at the photo’s of your crook Hillary at a Trump wedding. Also look at the $500,000 that hubby Bill Clinton got for a speech to Russia. But of course, that doesn’t matter to an idiot like you and Marrianne, who defend the Democrats cheating Bernie Sanders out of his primary, and lying about the Nevada convention, by falsely claiming Bernie Sanders supporters threw chairs. I caught Marriane C lying when she tried to claim that Hillary didn’t hire disgraced liar Debbie Wasserman Shultz on her campaign, and I showed her the website that proved she did. This phony Russia investigation is being used to divert attention from the Democrats cheating Bernie Sanders out of his primary, and becoming corrupt and corporate owned like the Republicans. Unfortunately the two sellout corporate fake Democratic stogies here, can’t see the obvious.

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One Heart i
One Heart inc9 months ago

Thanks!!!

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heather g
heather g9 months ago

Thank you JoelB, I couldn't have said it better!

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