Republicans’ Temper Tantrums Should Hurt Them At The Ballot Box. Instead, They’re Hurting Democrats.

Republicans are allowed to be full-bodied politicians while Democrats are forced to be the adults in the room.
Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz make an appearance at an America First rally on Saturday, July, 17, 2021.
Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz make an appearance at an America First rally on Saturday, July, 17, 2021.
MediaNews Group/The Riverside Press-Enterprise via Getty Images via Getty Images

North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R) is not a good person.

For starters, he’s a liar. During his 2020 campaign, he claimed that in 2014 he was on his way to the Naval Academy when a car crash left him paralyzed from the waist down. He has also noted that he was a successful businessman. But both claims were lies. Cawthorn had already been rejected from the Naval Academy before the car accident occurred and, according to tax records, the real-estate investment firm that he founded in 2019 claimed no income.

But that didn’t matter to his constituents, who were pleased to elect the youngest member of Congress believing him to be an astute real estate businessman who was on his way to serving the country before an unfortunate twist of fate.

But Cawthorn didn’t stop there. Since taking office, he’s claimed that he was training for the 2020 Paralympic Games until his disability began to worsen, causing him to opt out. The problem with the statement is that no one in the Paralympics was familiar with Cawthorn’s possible participation. While the statement isn’t necessarily false, it’s most likely untrue. Let me explain. Before I got married, I would tell women I was dating that I was well on my way to playing in the NBA until an unfortunate knee injury ruined my basketball dreams. If you asked anyone in the NBA, they would give you some of the same stunning, quizzical looks that Ketanji Brown Jackson gave during her Supreme Court confirmation hearing. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t believe that my training wasn’t going to get me to the league.

My assessment of Cawthorn is not a personal reflection: One of the lawmaker’s former staff members has called him a “bad person” and a “habitual liar.”

“As far as the candidate himself, I mean, he’s just a bad person,” former staffer Lisa Wiggins said in a secretly recorded phone call with David Wheeler, the president of a political action committee called Fire Madison Cawthorn.

“He’s a habitual liar and he’s going to say and do anything he can to your face but behind your back, he’s completely opposite,” she added.

Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference being held in the Hyatt Regency on Feb. 26, 2021, in Orlando, Florida.
Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference being held in the Hyatt Regency on Feb. 26, 2021, in Orlando, Florida.
Joe Raedle via Getty Images

Wiggins went on to note that his district office was littered with alcohol bottles and added that there was more liquor in his office than water, because he treats the place like a frat house.

Which is ironic, considering he was caught lying about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) being an alcoholic when she doesn’t even drink. And we can’t forget the whale of a whopper (maybe?) he told about being invited to orgies and seeing Congress members doing cocaine in front of him. He was finally reprimanded for this statement by his fellow Republicans.

But here’s the rub. Despite all of these tall tales that would likely sink a Democrat’s political future and all but ensure that they would be a one-term politician, Cawthorn is merely in a tight race for his seat.

This appears to be the way for the Republican Party: Candidates can be as vile, despicable, untrustworthy, horrid, deplorable, unpatriotic and whatever other adjectives one would use to describe Florida Sen. Ted Cruz, as they want while Democrats are forced to be the parents in the room. Currently, Democrats are facing tough questions around inflation, the war in Ukraine, gas prices, housing prices and climate change. As it stands, Republicans’ latest hustle appears to be blaming President Joe Biden for everything from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (they claimed it only happened because Biden is weak) to high gas prices (he’s holding back production of oil in the United States).

The shots against the president were so bad that Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) came to his defense after the House Republicans official Twitter account tweeted a photo of Biden walking away from a podium with the caption: “This is what weakness on the world stage looks like.”

It’s not just an attempt to undermine the presidency. It falls in line with what appears to be the Republican agenda: tear the country apart while pushing wild conspiracy theories and manufactured beefs. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) has said that Muslims don’t belong in government; mass shootings in Parkland, Sandy Hook and Las Vegas were staged; and California wildfires were not natural events but were actually started by secret Jewish space lasers — and she believed all of this before she was elected to Congress.

Currently, the junior varsity Trump, Ron DeSantis, is in a fight with Disney over his state’s draconian and mind-numbingly stupid “Don’t Say Gay” bill. While America has its eyes on the unprovoked war in Ukraine, the Florida governor is in an all-out war with “The Greatest Place on Earth.”

Because Congress is not a unified front, Democrats are busy governing the country and putting out Jewish laser forest fires that Republicans keep starting. Congress has never been a happy home, but what used to be outliers to a fundamental way of thinking have now become the basis of the aluminum foil party. They’re wasting time fighting imaginary wars against so-called cancel culture (which does not exist) and “wokeism,” which for the uninitiated can easily be defined as anything that goes against GOP doctrine. By tearing down the fourth wall of decorum, Republicans have created a playroom that allows for meltdowns, temper tantrums, out-there theories and unsubstantiated statements, which enables them to be full-bodied politicians who can present however they choose.

The party that once prided itself as fiscally responsible or closer to God than the rest of us is now the party of insurrections, crusades against critical race theory and defending Russian President Vladimir Putin — and they aren’t losing voters because of it. It’s like one day the Republican party had a spine — albeit a significantly crooked spine that pointed to archaic jurisprudence and racism — but a spine nonetheless, and then Donald Trump took office and blunt, off-the-cuff, unadulterated and unfiltered soundbites became the new GOP.

This isn’t the party that former president and GOP god Ronald Reagan exemplified; in fact, Reagan probably wouldn’t sit at this Republican cafeteria table. But this is the shakily built political landscape that we live in, in which up is down and the right is allowed to be not only batshit crazy but potentially criminal.

Currently, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz is facing accusations that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl and engaged in sex trafficking. Not only has he not resigned from office, but he’s one of the most outspoken politicians in Congress. Ohio Sen. Jim Jordan’s entire time in public office will forever be shrouded by the claims from former Ohio State wrestlers that, during his time as an assistant wrestling coach, Jordan knew that the student athletes were being sexually assaulted and did nothing to stop it. And don’t forget that in 2018, Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore was so allegedly predatory that The New Yorker reported that he was banned from a local mall because he preyed on teens — and he barely lost his election.

But I’m sure there is an explanation as to how Republicans lost their moral compass. If we could only get access to Hillary Clinton’s emails or Hunter Biden’s laptop, I’m sure we’d find it.