Five Quick Things: Who’s America’s Dumbest State Legislator? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Five Quick Things: Who’s America’s Dumbest State Legislator?
Joe Manchin (Senate Democrats/Wikimedia Commons)

You’ve probably never heard of this guy, but he deserves to be famous.

Or perhaps, as was El Guapo, “in-famous.”

1. Democrat John Rogers of Birmingham, Alabama, is the dumbest state legislator in America

This, admittedly, is perhaps an inherited prize, as Rogers formerly had real competition from State Representative Barbara Norton of Shreveport, Louisiana, whose unforgettable parade of head-scratching gaffes most prominently included inviting her godson, the rapper Hurricane Chris, to serenade the Louisiana House of Representatives with a song of his own creation about the sexual desirability of the actress Halle Berry.

Norton was, sadly, termed out, and thus is no further competition for Rogers. But the latter has surely stepped up his game. From Yellowhammer News, which is an excellent state politics blog based in Alabama:

The Alabama House State Government Committee on Thursday morning considered the “Gender is Real Legislative” (GIRL) Act, failing to advance the legislation because no motion was made to do so.

The bill, HB 35, is sponsored by State Rep. Chris Pringle (R-Mobile). Pringle is the chairman of the State Government Committee.

HB 35 would require Alabama public schools to make sure every entrant in an athletic competition is sorted by the gender on their birth certificate. The bill also forbids any state, county or municipal government/agency from providing a facility to a single-gender competition that allows a transgender entrant.

The GIRL Act in Alabama is only one of what will be several bills making their way through state legislatures this year, particularly in light of the lawsuit filed by female high school athletes in Connecticut seeking protections from having to compete with biological males in their own classification.

But here’s where Rogers stepped in. And it was glorious:

The penultimate speaker asserted HB 35 is “a disgrace to our Pledge of Allegiance.” This opponent also called the bill “racist.”

You can watch a livestream of the public hearing here.

In what was the most bizarre part of the committee meeting, State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) said, “My favorite player is a transgender.”

“I don’t recall his name,” he added, asserting “about 20 football players are transgender” that he knows of.

Rogers during the meeting advised that the nameless individual he was referring to is a football player for the “North Carolina Panthers” and is about to be cut because he is transgender. This came after Rogers arrived at the meeting halfway through the public hearing. He told Yellowhammer News that people had been calling him to go “kill the bill,” so he drove “100-miles-per-hour” to arrive in time to attempt to do so after realizing it was on the agenda.

Rogers made a motion to carry the bill over after his remarks during the meeting. That motion failed on party lines.

Yellowhammer News after the meeting asked Rogers what football player he was talking about. Rogers commented that he was referring to former Auburn University star quarterback Cam Newton, whose name he had just remembered. Yellowhammer asked Rogers if he believed Newton to be transgender. Rogers responded that he misspoke, and that he believes Newton is “gay.” Rogers added that there is nothing wrong with that and that there are many football players who are gay. To be clear, there has been no credible reporting that Newton is transgender or gay. Newton and his longtime girlfriend in recent months celebrated the arrival of their newborn baby. It should further be noted that the GIRL Act has nothing to do with gay or lesbian athletes.

Rogers’ idiocy and the length of his filibuster essentially broke up the meeting, as the makeup of the committee in the room changed due to other business in the Alabama House. The GIRL Act is due to be brought back up in a later meeting of the committee and will likely pass on to the floor and ultimately become law in Alabama.

Rogers, some of our readers will know, had formerly earned a bit of notoriety for saying of aborted babies, “kill them now or kill them later” — a reference, he claimed, to the frequency of unwanted children ending up as violent criminals due to be executed. That earned him condemnation from that state’s Democrat senator, Doug Jones, who called Rogers’ statements “appalling.” Rogers responded by announcing he would run against Jones in this year’s Democrat primary for the U.S. Senate, something it has since become clear he will not do.

2. Carville to Sanders: Sure I’m a hack, you commie

Generally speaking, snake-headed Clintonite political operative James Carville is cringeworthy to listen to. It’s doubly cringeworthy, if you’re a fan of the true Tigers of college athletics, to listen to him when he’s wearing LSU gear as he spews forth whatever is on his mind.

But occasionally, Carville gets in dust-ups with his left-of-center colleagues, and when that happens, the cringeworthiness melts away and it’s just pure entertainment.

For example, Carville is now in a war of words with Bernie Sanders over the (dubious) future of the Democrat Party, and he may be winning over his party’s current front-runner:

James Carville is embracing the “political hack” label Sen. Bernard Sanders gave him Wednesday night, saying it’s better than being a “communist” in an obvious dig against the socialist presidential candidate.

“Last night on CNN, Bernie called me a political hack,” Mr. Carville told Vanity Fair contributor and host of Snapchat’s “Good Luck America” Peter Hamby in a phone interview Thursday, Twitchy reported.

“That’s exactly who the [expletive] I am,” Mr. Carville said. “I am a political hack. I am not an ideologue. I am not a purist. He thinks it’s a pejorative. I kinda like it. At least I’m not a communist.”

Mr. Carville, one of former President Bill Clinton’s famous “War Room” political strategists, has been sounding the alarm on the Democratic Party’s lurch to the left ahead of the 2020 presidential election and has stated that a leftist candidate such as Mr. Sanders would lose against President Trump.

Appearing on CNN Wednesday night, Mr. Sanders responded that Mr. Carville is part of the very Democratic establishment that he seeks to disrupt.

This is the kind of internecine, bad-guy-on-bad-guy mortal combat that makes those of us on the keto diet look for carb-free popcorn.

3. Trump’s half-billion haul

In the fourth quarter of last year, you probably heard, the Trump campaign and the RNC reeled in $155 million, a staggering sum. Well, they’ve only quickened that pace:

Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. today announced that the President’s campaign, authorized joint fundraising committees, and the Republican National Committee (RNC) raised $60.6 million in January, with over $200 million cash on hand. Since the beginning of 2019, the four entities have raised over $525 million. Since impeachment began in September, we’ve gained over 1 million new digital and direct mail donors across the four entities.

“The Democrats’ shameful impeachment hoax and dumpster fire primary process have only contributed to the record breaking financial support for President Trump’s reelection,” said Brad Parscale, Trump 2020 campaign manager. “With President Trump’s accomplishments, our massive data and ground operations, and our strong fundraising numbers, this campaign is going to be unstoppable in 2020.”

“The more Democrats smear President Trump, the more enthusiasm we see for him and his many accomplishments,” said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. “We already have 500,000 volunteers trained and activated, and this record-breaking support is helping us grow our grassroots army even more.”

Don’t think for one second that if Bernie Sanders continues winning Democrat primaries, which he’s likely to continue to do not all of the time but more often than anyone else, Trump’s fundraising numbers won’t go even higher. Wall Street Democrats, who stupidly still exist (given the bailouts and business incumbency protection rackets the Obama administration was guilty of, there were reasons why such animals would not be extinct, but the current crop of Dems make Obama a cross between Bob Dole and Herman Cain), will flock to Trump if Sanders is the alternative.

But, as we’ve discussed in this space, he won’t be.

4. One case of Trump’s tweeting being counterproductive

I’ve largely come around to the idea that the president’s hyperactive Twitter account, for all its imperfections, is on balance uncannily effective as a counterweight to the wall of propaganda the mainstream media has attempted to throw around him, and the more people have become used to Trump saying whatever he damn well pleases on Twitter, the less negative effects his tweets can have.

But there are exceptions, and the tweets about the Department of Justice are an example.

Attorney General Bill Barr is getting exasperated with the situation. And he isn’t wrong:

In an exclusive interview, Attorney General Bill Barr told ABC News on Thursday that President Donald Trump “has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case” but should stop tweeting about the Justice Department because his tweets “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

Barr’s comments are a rare break with a president who the attorney general has aligned himself with and fiercely defended. But it also puts Barr in line with many of Trump’s supporters on Capitol Hill who say they support the president but wish he’d cut back on his tweets.

“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr told ABC News Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas.

I’ve tried to figure out a 3D chess angle here, which I’ve very often found when I’ve seen Trump tweets that initially looked like mistakes. This time I can’t find one (which doesn’t mean there isn’t some sound strategy yet to be revealed, but it also doesn’t mean there is). Barr’s point is he’s a lot more effective in doing what needs to be done when he isn’t publicly beaten about the head and shoulders with Trump demanding that DOJ do this or that.

The best recent example is the decision to ramp down the sentencing requests federal prosecutors made for Roger Stone, who everyone knows is going to be pardoned if his kangaroo-court conviction isn’t overturned on appeal. That was already happening, but when Trump tweets out a demand for it, it looks like it’s Trump’s idea.

Even if it is Trump’s idea, it’s far better politics if it happens quietly, as if sober adults have reviewed the Stone case and chosen to act more intelligently than the rabid partisan Democrats among Robert Mueller’s night-riders did.

Let’s hope Trump takes Barr’s advice and lets him work. We know the swamp still needs draining, but sometimes the machine gun could use a silencer.

5. Go to hell, Joe Manchin

Remember the 2018 Senate election in West Virginia? That state’s attorney general, Patrick Morrissey, lost a relatively close race against Democrat incumbent Joe Manchin; the latter won with 49.6 percent of the vote to Morrissey’s 46.3 percent. Naturally, there was a Libertarian in the race who pulled some 4 percent of the vote and kept Manchin in office for another six years.

Manchin’s campaign was marked by an obsequious, creepy kind of love for President Trump and an insistence that the president loved him as much as he loved the president; love that wasn’t requited by Trump, who saw Manchin for the greaseball that he is. It was the same kind of bovine excrement Claire McCaskill showered the people of Missouri with, but McCaskill didn’t have, for some reason, the same silver tongue Manchin had. She lost; he won. The campaigns were jarringly similar.

Fast forward a little more than a year, and Manchin voted, in the Senate, to convict Trump on a thoroughly partisan, laughably invalid bill of impeachment articles.

Joe Manchin requires you to have a very short memory, West Virginia:

“I don’t rule anything out. I really don’t rule anything out,” Manchin said in an interview in his office amid a series of attacks from the president. “I’m always going to be for what’s best for my country. Everybody can change. Maybe the president will change, you know? Maybe that uniter will come out, versus the divider.”

While it may defy logic that Manchin could support a president he voted to kick out of office, Manchin sees things differently. Trump did everything he could to defeat Manchin in 2018 and Manchin forgave him a week later. It might take Trump longer to forget Manchin’s vote, but the third-term senator is hopeful as always.

“It’s not different when he wanted to have lunch the week after I was elected. And he said: ‘I knew we couldn’t beat you.’ And I said: ‘it wasn’t for lack of trying.’ Boom, it’s over, let it go. I did. I’m asking him to do the same thing I did,” Manchin said. “He tried to remove me.”

Wait. We’re not done:

Yet by the State of the Union address last week, a day before the impeachment vote, Manchin had made his decision. And Trump’s partisan performance didn’t help make the president’s case.

“I saw the State of the Union, and I said: ‘It’s not who we are.’ There’s so many good things that we can do better,” Manchin said.

It’s not a surprise that Joe Manchin has no principles. We already knew that was true. The smarminess and in-your-face insincerity does rankle, though.

Sadly, it’ll be another four years before someone has an opportunity to wipe Manchin out. Let’s hope the folks in West Virginia seethe about Manchin’s double-dealing for that whole time — and act accordingly.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics. He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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