Republicans Debate “Owning the Libs”

Luiz Rampelotto/Europanewswire/DPA via ZUMA

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Let’s take a little tour of the Republican leadership on this fine morning. First up, here’s UN ambassador Nikki Haley:

Haley asked high-schoolers attending a Turning Point USA summit at George Washington University whether they had “posted anything online to quote-unquote ‘own the libs,’ ” according to the Hill….The students reportedly raised their hands en masse and roared. But then Haley went a different direction. “I know that it’s fun and that it can feel good, but step back and think about what you’re accomplishing when you do this — are you persuading anyone? Who are you persuading?”

That’s nice. Now let’s look in on Attorney General Jeff Sessions:

“Too many schools are coddling our young people and actively preventing them from scrutinizing the validity of their beliefs and the issues of the day,” he said. “That is the exact opposite of what we expect from universities in our country.”…“I can tell this group isn’t going to have to have Play-Doh when you get attacked in college and you get involved in a debate,” Sessions said. “You’re going to stand up and defend yourselves and the values that you believe in. I like this bunch, I can tell you. You’re not going to be backing down. Go get ’em! Go get ’em!”

The crowd, which had erupted into a “lock her up” chant earlier, began the chant again. “Lock her up,” Sessions chuckled. The chants continued, and he added, “I heard that a long time over the last campaign.”

Here’s House Speaker Paul Ryan:

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Tuesday played down President Trump’s threat to revoke security clearances of former top officials who have criticized him….“I think he’s trolling people, honestly,” Ryan said at a news conference with other House Republican leaders. Ryan said the issue falls under “the purview of the executive branch,” not Congress, before saying again: “I think he’s just trolling people.”

It looks like “owning the libs” wins the morning, 2-1. But who knows? Maybe Haley will have a little talk with her fellow cabinet members and see if she can bring back civility to Washington DC.

I wonder how long Haley can keep this up? Almost uniquely, she’s acquitted herself well as part of Trump’s cabinet, and has avoided even a hint of criticism from Trump himself. I’m not sure how. But it seems like she needs to quit while she’s ahead. Unless she’s discovered a magic beanstalk or something, there’s no way she can avoid being humiliated by Trump forever, can she?

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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