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“We Will Pay the Price”: Republicans Are Seriously Worried About 2024

Republican members of Congress are waking up to the reality that they’ve done nothing that could help them win the next election.

Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

House Republicans are getting increasingly frustrated at their caucus’s inability to draft laws and enact change, with some very publicly complaining about their party’s lack of accomplishments.

“We have nothing. In my opinion, we have nothing to go out there and campaign on,” Arizona Representative Andy Biggs told Newsmax’s Chris Salcedo at the beginning of the year. “It’s embarrassing.”

“The Republican Party in the Congress majority has zero accomplishments,” Salcedo agreed.

That’s in part thanks to the party’s incredibly slim majority in the House, which can currently only afford two defections on any given vote, as well as a growing rift in the Republican Party that has split lawmakers between long-standing conservative ideals and Trumpian loyalism.

The 118th Congress has passed fewer than 30 bills thus far, a paltry showing compared to previous congresses, which have generally passed more than 300.

With just 10 months until Election Day, the lacking report card is beginning to hang heavy over many Republicans, who fear it may be a death knell for their political ambitions.

“If we keep extending the pain and creating more suffering, we will pay the price at the ballot box. But if we can get on with governance and get the best policy wins we can, then you can open-field this thing,” former Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry told reporters on Thursday. “But at this point, we are sucking wind because we can’t get past the main object in the road. Once we get past that main object, then it’s the president’s performance on the economy, it’s the president’s performance on national security.”

McHenry also said Johnson needs to get a grip on the fact that Republicans “control one-third of the negotiations” so “we’re going to not get 100 percent of the wins.”

Against all odds, several openings for Republican wins lie on the horizon. The spending deal between House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer could secure big wins for spending cuts, while a Senate immigration deal could help Republicans tighten border security. Yet none of those are guaranteed for the divided caucus, which so far has effectively objected to any negotiations with Democrats.

The party has shown little interest in actually working on those openings, threatening to boot Johnson for negotiating with Democrats and opting instead to spend time nitpicking and ousting its House leadership and dragging on a meritless impeachment of President Joe Biden, which some party members have admitted has “no evidence.”

And other Republicans, instead of turning their attention to material policy change, are privately predicting Johnson’s end should the party lose its majority in the House this fall.

“I don’t think he’s safe right now,” Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene told Politico. “The only reason he’s speaker is because our conference is so desperate.”

Some conservatives saw the writing on the wall months ago. In November, Freedom Caucus member Representative Chip Roy blew a gasket, criticizing his party for continually failing to follow through on campaign promises, even when it had the majority in the House, Senate, and White House during Trump’s presidency.

“One thing. I want my Republican colleagues to give me one thing. One. That I can go campaign on and say we did,” Roy said. “One!”

“Talked a big game about building a wall and having Mexico pay for it. Ain’t no wall, and Mexico didn’t pay for it, and we didn’t pass any border security,” he added.

Supreme Court Shockingly Sides With Biden on Texas Standoff With Feds

The Supreme Court’s stunning decision puts Texas Governor Greg Abbott on notice.

Eric Thayer/Bloomberg/Getty Images
National Guard troops at the U.S.-Mexico border along the Rio Grande River in Eagle Pass, Texas, on May 23, 2022

The nation’s highest court ruled on Monday that federal agents could snip or move razor wire Texas agents placed along the Rio Grande section of the U.S.-Mexico border, siding with the federal government and President Joe Biden that Texas had overstepped its authority in national border enforcement.

The 5–4 decision, which was issued without an opinion as is the norm in cases of emergency applications, is the latest update in a monthslong spar between Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the federal government over elements of its anti-immigration effort dubbed “Operation Lone Star.” In October, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the initial lawsuit against the Biden administration, claiming that federal agents were unlawfully destroying elements of the state’s border deterrence efforts and “damaging Texas’s ability to effectively deter illegal entry into Texas.”

“Texas has the sovereign right to construct border barriers to prevent the entry of illegal aliens,” said Paxton at the time.

The case was granted an emergency request filed by the Biden administration, which argued that the wire was preventing federal agents from accessing the border and from reaching migrants who had already crossed the border.

A federal judge initially ruled for the Biden administration, but a decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals—based in New Orleans—reversed that decision last month, preventing federal agents from moving the wire except in the event of a medical emergency.

The slim decision saw Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Amy Coney Barrett join the court’s three liberal justices to side with Biden over Texas.

House Republicans’ Majority Just Shrank Even More. Let the Chaos Begin.

The Republican Party finds itself in a precarious position, thanks to a new round of retirements.

House Speaker Mike Johnson
Kent Nishimura/Getty Images
House Speaker Mike Johnson

House Republicans started the week with a new, even smaller majority that could set the chamber up for a remarkably unproductive session.

As of Monday, Democrats have 213 seats in the House. Republicans have just 219 seats, after Ohio Representative Bill Johnson served his last day in the chamber this weekend. There are also two other vacancies, with the expulsion of George Santos and the resignation of Kevin McCarthy late last year.

This will likely make it even harder for Congress to get anything done in its new session. If just three Republican lawmakers dissent, Republicans won’t be able to pass legislation. If Democrats win over four Republicans, they could flip the tables and push through their own agenda.

During the first half of its first two-year session, when Republicans had a larger majority in the House, the 118th Congress passed less than 30 bills through both chambers. Typically, Congress passes between 300 and 450 laws per session.

Even when Republicans controlled at least one chamber during Bill Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s presidencies, Congress managed to pass at least 70 bills during those sessions.

This Congress’s low productivity can be blamed in large part on Republican in-fighting, particularly over government spending bills and their own House speaker. The party’s farthest-right wing has repeatedly demanded to slash government spending, taking the U.S. to the brink of a disastrous shutdown multiple times as representatives fought to get their way.

This led to McCarthy’s ousting as House speaker, after he made a deal with Democrats to keep the government funded. The multiple agonizing rounds of votes for speaker, first for McCarthy and then for his successor, Mike Johnson, have paralyzed the House. And Johnson may soon be on the chopping block, as well.

More than ever, Republicans can’t afford defectors if they want to pass anything. But they have yet to achieve total unity for a single vote. It’s starting to look less and less likely that Congress will achieve anything this year, either.

You Won’t Believe the Grossest Part of Nancy Mace’s Trump Endorsement

Nancy Mace has endorsed Donald Trump for president. It’s even more hypocritical than it seems.

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Republican Representative Nancy Mace, an outspoken sexual assault survivor, has endorsed rapist Donald Trump for president, yet another example of her constant stunning hypocrisy.

Mace announced her endorsement on Monday. “I don’t see eye to eye perfectly with any candidate. And until now I’ve stayed out of it,” the South Carolina representative told the AP. “But the time has come to unite behind our nominee.”

“To be honest, it’s been a complete shit show since he left the White House. Donald Trump’s record in his first term should tell every American how vital it is he be returned to office,” she added.

It may not seem like a huge surprise that yet another Republican lawmaker has endorsed Trump for president. But when it comes to Mace, the announcement is particularly embarrassing.

Mace has made her story of surviving sexual assault a major part of her identity. She said it took her 25 years to share the story, after she was raped at just 16 years old, and it was one of the hardest things she’s ever done. Since sharing her story, Mace has at least somewhat advocated for rape survivors during her time in Congress, and repeatedly urged Republicans to adopt more moderate stances on issues such as abortion.

It’s also a little premature to call Trump the GOP’s nominee. There’s still another Republican in the 2024 presidential primary: former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who staunchly supported Mace in her 2022 congressional bid. Meanwhile, Trump endorsed her primary opponent, and called Mace an “absolutely terrible candidate,” “crazy,” and a “terrible person.”

That wasn’t enough to sway Mace’s views on Trump, as she apparently no longer even cares about her own previous warnings on the Republican front-runner. Mace had blasted Trump in the wake of the January 6 insurrection, saying his actions that day “wiped out” everything Republicans had accomplished during his term.

Trump, as a reminder, has been found liable for sexually assaulting the writer E. Jean Carroll. The judge in the case went out of his way to clarify that as we understand the common definition of the word “rape,” Trump can be considered a rapist.

Trump is currently on trial for defaming Carroll when denying her accusations. Despite the fact that Trump is now a proven rapist, Mace is backing him.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise, though: For all her talk about not passing what she calls “asshole” measures on abortion, Mace falls in line with her party every single time. Mace betrayed her purported ideals for the sake of her party’s ideology a long time ago.

Listen: Deepfake Robocall With Biden Voice Targets New Hampshire Voters

A robocall is trying to throw the New Hampshire primary.

Rachel Jessen/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Electoral saboteurs are already leveraging the tools of the day to throw the New Hampshire primary.

A robocall utilizing a digitally manipulated recording of President Joe Biden rang the phones of New Hampshire Democrats over the weekend, imploring them to “save” their votes during the presidential primary on Tuesday, calling the write-in campaign “malarkey.”

“Voting this Tuesday only enables the Republicans in their quest to elect Donald Trump again. Your vote makes a difference in November, not this Tuesday,” the call said, before dishing the phone number of Kathy Sullivan, the former chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.

Sullivan, still a prominent New Hampshire Democrat, is the brains behind Granite for America, a super PAC dedicated to urging Granite State voters to write in Biden as a candidate on Tuesday after the state rejected a new Biden-backed DNC calendar that moved New Hampshire’s historically front-and-center primaries down the totem pole.

“I want them to be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible because this is an attack on democracy,” Kathy Sullivan, a former state party chair, told NBC News about whoever’s behind the robocalls, adding that she plans to involve federal law enforcement.

“I’m not going to let it go. I want to know who’s paying for it? Who knew about it? Who benefits?” she added.

The New Hampshire attorney general’s office said it is investigating the matter as an “unlawful attempt” at voter suppression.

“Although the voice in the robocall sounds like the voice of President Biden, this message appears to be artificially generated based on initial indications,” the attorney general’s office said in a statement, noting that it had received several complaints about the unsolicited contact. “These messages appear to be an unlawful attempt to disrupt the New Hampshire Presidential Primary Election and to suppress New Hampshire voters. New Hampshire voters should disregard the content of this message entirely.”

Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez told NBC News that “the campaign is actively discussing additional actions to take immediately.”

Matt Gaetz Gets Trolled With “Bag Full of Underage Girls” at Trump Event

Representative Matt Gaetz was confronted with a reminder of his past at a Trump campaign event in New Hampshire.

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Even a Trump campaign rally in New Hampshire wasn’t far enough away to allow Florida Representative Matt Gaetz to escape his past.

On Sunday, the MAGA Republican got trolled by an audience member during a campaign meet and greet, asking if Gaetz would be interested in a “bag full of underage girls,” and emerging with a sack containing a blow-up sex doll.

“Dude,” Gaetz chortled while nervously rubbing his hands together.

The attendee was quickly escorted out.

The allegation-infused present seems to be a part of a burgeoning trend for Gaetz, who just last month received a facetious award under similar circumstances at an Ohio GOP event.

On a livestream of the Strongsville Republican Party’s Christmas gathering, Gaetz was handed a trophy lauding him for his alleged dedication to using Venmo to pay for sex with underage girls.

“Congratulations for your dedication to using Venmo to allegedly pay underage girls to have sex with you,” the presenter said.

“Oh come on man, you’re so full of it,” Gaetz responded, continuing to hold the award in his hands.

The heavy-handed accusations against Gaetz arise from a Department of Justice sex-trafficking probe into one of Gaetz’s friends, Joel Greenberg, a former tax collector for Seminole County, paying a teenage girl to have sex with him and other men. That probe named Gaetz, who Greenberg claimed had paid him via Venmo to have sex with an underage girl in his network in 2017.

Eight months after Greenberg warned Gaetz to “steer clear” of the girl, the lawmaker Venmo’d Greenberg $900 in back-to-back payments, per The Daily Beast, telling the taxman to “hit up” the girl on his behalf. At that point, she was five months past her eighteenth birthday, while Gaetz had just turned 36.

Greenberg was later convicted of sex trafficking an underaged girl. No formal charges were issued against Gaetz as a result of the DOJ probe.

However, since then, the House Ethics Committee has launched its own investigation into Gaetz, examining not just alleged sexual misconduct but also allegations of illicit drug use and other wrongdoing by the Floridian.

Donald Trump Is Having a Proper Meltdown Over E. Jean Carroll

Donald Trump has already lost this case, and he is not handling it well.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Donald Trump is freaking out about E. Jean Carroll—again—in his longest posting spree against her yet.

Carroll’s defamation trial against Trump was adjourned Monday after one of the jurors became sick. Presiding Judge Lewis Kaplan dismissed the courtroom around 10 a.m., according to reporters on scene. About 10 minutes later, Trump was off to the races.

Trump made 42 posts about Carroll (and one pushing falsehoods about the House January 6 investigative committee) on Truth Social in the span of 13 minutes. Many of his posts included photos or clips of interviews that he has previously shared about Carroll. Trump’s posting rate is so fast that the former president must have some prescheduled, some drafts saved for constant reuse, someone else posting for him, or some combination of all three.

His Truth Social account shared media interview clips and social media posts that appear to come from Carroll, all stripped of context so as to paint her as some sort of sexual deviant. He also falsely claimed that the co-founder of LinkedIn is paying Carroll’s legal fees and that presiding Judge Kaplan and Carroll’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan (no relation) are Democratic operatives.

Trump has made these claims about Carroll multiple times before. This is the third time during this trial that he has gone on such a posting spree. The first time was just before the trial began, and the second was—inexplicably—as he sat in the courtroom for the first day of the trial.

It’s likely that Trump is airing his grievances online because he is barred from doing so in the courtroom. Kaplan ruled two weeks ago that Trump and his lawyers cannot say certain things about Carroll during the trial—including many of the things Trump has been posting. But the posts could come back to haunt him, as Carroll’s lawyer has already said she’ll use his words as evidence against him.

This social media screed came just three days after a bizarre campaign event, during which Trump insisted Nikki Haley was responsible for security on January 6, 2021. Trump appears determined now to use the brain cells he has left to attack the woman he raped and defamed.

This trial is just to set damages. In May, a jury unanimously found Trump liable for sexually abusing Carroll and then defaming her when denying her accusations. Kaplan ruled in September that since it was already proven Trump assaulted Carroll, the comments for which he is on trial this time are by default defamatory. Carroll is seeking at least $10 million in damages. Trump already owes her $5 million.

Trump Campaign Kicks Out Reporter After Testy Elise Stefanik Question

Donald Trump’s team refuses to answer serious questions from the press.

Elise Stefanik

Donald Trump’s campaign nixed access for a pool reporter to a New Hampshire rally on Sunday—even though he was there to represent five major news networks.

NBC News correspondent Vaughn Hillyard, who has long covered Trump, told his employers on Sunday that the GOP front-runner’s campaign had suddenly objected to his presence.

“Your pooler was told that if he was the designated pooler by NBC News that the pool would be cut off for the day,” Hillyard wrote in an email obtained by The New York Times. “After affirming to the campaign that your pooler would attend the events, NBC News was informed at about 2:20 p.m. that the pool would not be allowed to travel with Trump today.”

That eyebrow-raising decision may be in part due to a testy exchange between Hillyard and Trump ally Representative Elise Stefanik, who has played a major role in recent Trump rallies as she vies to become Trump’s V.P. pick.

At another campaign event Friday night, Stefanik—who has been in serious consideration for the number two spot among Trump’s inner circle—went full MAGA while fielding a question from Hillyard on E. Jean Carroll’s defamation case.

“How do you grapple with standing by [Trump’s] side while a jury is debating how much to award E. Jean Carroll for being sexually abused by Donald Trump?” asked Hillyard.

“The media is so biased. This is just another example of the media being out of touch,” Stefanik retorted before tirading about Trump’s odds against President Joe Biden, dubbing the case a “witch hunt.”

“Why not believe E. Jean. Carroll? It’s not me. It’s not the media. It’s a jury that found that he sexually abused E. Jean Carroll,” Hillyard interjected.

A spokesman for the Trump campaign, Steven Cheung, confirmed to the Times that the network pool did not attend the event but added that the campaign does not “bar reporters based on their reporting.” Later on Sunday, Hillyard was allowed to attend a different New Hampshire rally held in Rochester.

Still, the spontaneous ban recalls Trump’s 2016 campaign, in which the real estate mogul barred Washington Post and BuzzFeed News reporters from his events. Trump then continued the practice while in office, at one point revoking the press credentials of CNN’s Jim Acosta and banning another CNN pool reporter, Kaitlan Collins, from attending public events.

The Entire Internet Comes Together to Drag Pathetic Ron DeSantis

Pour one out for the Florida man.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

You have to hand it to Ron DeSantis: the man successfully brought a divided country together. Just not in the way he wanted.

The Florida governor on Sunday ended his presidential campaign, a run that was arguably more embarrassing to watch than for him to actually do it. But what should have been a serious and bittersweet moment was instead ruined by a now-classic DeSantis goof.

“We don’t have a clear path to victory,” DeSantis said in a video message, which he accompanied with the caption, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

DeSantis attributed the quotation to Winston Churchill, but in a perfect encapsulation of what a disaster his campaign was, social media users were quick to correct him. “The quoted words in this tweet do not appear in this phrasing in any of Winston Churchill’s books, articles, speeches and papers,” a community note on X (formerly Twitter) read. “They do appear in a Budweiser print ad from 1938.”

The note was later removed for unknown reasons, but other X users had the receipts: The International Churchill Society stated the British prime minister never said that quotation. It didn’t take long before someone else found the exact Budweiser ad that did use that line.

It’s also ironic that DeSantis accidentally used a line from a Budweiser ad, as the beer brand came under fire last year from the exact people DeSantis was hoping to win over. People on the right claimed Budweiser had gone “woke” after it did a brief ad campaign with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney. And DeSantis was all too happy to fuel the fire against the company.

While the mistake is a terrible look for DeSantis, it feels like the perfect bookend to a campaign that has been a hot mess from start to finish. Throughout his campaign, DeSantis successfully managed to unite the United States in making fun of him. People across the political spectrum poked fun at how he allegedly ate pudding with his fingers, had apparently never seen a piece of pizza before, and didn’t know how to smile.

Right- and left-wingers delighted in the conspiracy that DeSantis wore lifts in his cowboy boots to make himself appear taller. Historically, taller presidential candidates tend to perform better. But instead of giving himself an edge, DeSantis made himself a heel.

DeSantis has also succeeded in uniting Floridians—against him. His popularity has dropped in the Sunshine State, and he may even go home to a state Republican Party that has soured on him.

So pour one out for Ron DeSantis. He’s just another Florida man now. But hey, at least that’s everyone’s favorite genre of joke!

The Baltimore Sun’s New Owner Isn’t Exactly a Paragon of “Family Values”

David Smith, of the conservative Sinclair Broadcasting Group, has a very, very different past.


The Baltimore Sun’s new owner isn’t quite the moral paragon he expects his businesses to be.

David Smith, the longtime chairman of Sinclair Broadcasting Group who recently scooped up the Sun in an undisclosed nine-figure deal, has lived a salacious private life at odds with his conservative media empire.

In August 1996, the Sun reported that Smith was caught by police in an undercover sting while receiving oral sex from a sex worker in a company-owned Mercedes. The Baltimore-based businessman was then detained overnight in the city’s Central Booking Center.

According to the paper, police said the sex worker broke off conversation with an undercover police officer when she saw “her regular date driving in the area.” She then ran over to a 1992 Mercedes, registered to Sinclair, and got in on the passenger side.

But that was just the one time Smith “got caught,” according to one unidentified friend of the media mogul who spoke with GQ in 2005.

“He’s a whoremonger. A real whoremonger,” the friend told the magazine. “He loves the titty bars. The only people he likes go to the titty bars with him. Those are the only people he trusts. He also goes out to Vegas all the time. He goes to the high-end titty bars. He’s always getting the private upstairs rooms, champagne, the works.”

At the time of the interview, Smith would have been in his mid-fifties.

While the Sun will not technically be included in the Sinclair media empire, it has already been warned that it will be expected to more closely resemble the politics of the Sinclair-owned local Fox station, which Smith spoke glowingly of during a contentious two-hour meet and greet with staff on Tuesday.

In the same meeting, Smith dropped that he had read the daily paper—which has been a staple in the Baltimore market since its inception in 1837—just four times.

Other upcoming changes on the menu include expecting Sun staff to conduct unscientific online polls on a daily basis, similar to the multimillionaire’s TV empire, per The Baltimore Banner.

Over the last several decades, Sinclair has become known for issuing unfounded scripts and segments from the top down to hundreds of its affiliates, resulting in toxic, Big Brother gibberish, per The New Republic’s Michael Tomasky.

Representatives for Sinclair did not respond to a request for comment prior to publishing. Nearly two decades ago, when the allegations were initially produced, David Smith and Sinclair’s executives and attorneys declined dozens of opportunities to comment when contacted by telephone, email, and when a reporter visited their office, according to GQ.