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Manu Raju is a Democrat activist and CNN reporter who camps out in congressional hallways to ask questions that help advance his party’s political agenda. He’s done it for years. Whether the Democrats are doing their Brett Kavanaugh smear, impeachment shenanigans, Russia-collusion hoax, or anything else, he’s there to ask questions that help his team. He’s been doing it for so long that you’d have to be something of an idiot to fall for it, much less more than once.
So, for example, when corporate media and other activists were pretending that New York Republican Rep. George Santos’ deceptions about his biography were the most important issue facing Americans, Raju was there. He asked Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, if he was disappointed Speaker Kevin McCarthy hadn’t called on George Santos to resign. Romney did not mock him for the question or turn the conversation to issues that actually matter, such as the open border, inflation, a troubled economy, attacks on parents, or the rise of China. He gladly took up Raju’s question as an opportunity to bash the Republican speaker.
Then Raju ran over to McCarthy and asked him what he thought about Romney’s weak response. “Romney should be disappointed that Swalwell hasn’t resigned,” McCarthy said, not even pausing for a second to dignify the stupidity of the question.
Boom. Easy. Effective.
McCarthy seems to have a quaint notion that he should follow an agenda other than the one set by leftist media and other activists. He recently provided journalist Tucker Carlson access to Jan. 6 footage. When it was announced, CNN and other leftist groups got upset. But nothing compares to the angry reaction when Carlson showed some of the footage on his top-ranked Fox News program on Monday night. The program showed footage indicating that the Jan. 6 Committee had falsely conveyed the circumstances of Sen. Josh Hawley’s evacuation from the Capitol, had falsely added audio to clips, had not pursued evidence that mysterious protester Ray Epps had lied about his whereabouts, and had concealed evidence that Jan. 6 protesters who had entered the Capitol were not treated as threats.
The media and other partisans shrieked in horror that this footage was being shown to the American people. It burst through the media-enforced narratives about the day.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., took to the Senate floor to call for the censorship of Fox News, where this author is a contributor, and prevention of more footage being made available to Americans. He said Carlson exercising his freedom of the press was a threat to democracy.
As one former White House reporter put it, “It’s frightening to see Senate leaders demand a media company ‘stop’ reporting on the government, police, issues of law and justice.”
Surely this would be an opportunity for the otherwise weak and feckless Senate Republicans to show some backbone, right? Wrong.
Romney said that showing Americans footage from Jan. 6 meant Carlson had gone “off the rails,” and compared him to Alex Jones. He also went after McCarthy for being transparent with the American people. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., took a break from working on an amnesty bill to tell Raju that Carlson showing new footage of the protest that countered the left’s narrative was “bullsh-t.” South Dakota Sens. Mike Rounds and John Thune, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, and North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer also fell for the media campaign against Carlson.
Leading the group was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Raju invited him to bash McCarthy. It’s not saying much, but McConnell was at least smart enough to decline that opportunity. But he did take the opportunity to attack a media outlet for daring to say something different than what a police leader said. Really. He said, “It was a mistake, in my view, for Fox News to depict this in a way that is completely at variance with what our chief law enforcement official here at the Capitol thinks.”
Let’s leave aside the abject offensiveness of the Republican leader saying journalists must simply repeat what governmental authorities say and not show video footage “at variance” with what the government says. What is McConnell doing? Seriously? The man only rarely speaks on camera to reporters, so his decision to do so is intentional. He brought a prop — the statement from the government official — to wave around for the camera.
Even if he didn’t agree with every journalistic decision Carlson made, he could have said any number of things to serve the American people — and Republican voters — instead of serving Chuck Schumer and CNN.
He could have said he welcomed the transparency regarding the footage from Jan. 6, that Pelosi’s manipulation of that footage was sinfully wrong, and that it should not have taken two years to get this footage to the American people.
He could have said something in defense of the First Amendment-protected right of assembly and to petition government for a redress of grievances. He could have reminded Americans about how awful it is that left-wing rioters are routinely allowed to firebomb or otherwise desecrate Christian churches, pro-life pregnancy centers, the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse, police precincts, the Atlanta site of the cop-training facility, the Keystone pipeline, and downtown Seattle.
He could have talked about the importance of election integrity and security, noting that the 2020 election — and the radical changes to the laws and processes governing it in the months leading up to it — had been bad for the country. He could have mentioned how Big Media and Big Tech conspired to meddle in that election, and that messing with people’s elections is a major problem in this country and something about which Americans have every right to be upset.
He could have said Carlson’s journalism was a reminder that one can never trust narratives from corporate, left-wing media such as CNN, the outlet where Raju works. He could have listed the lies and deceptions put forth by that network, such as the recent news that they intentionally suppressed journalism about the Wuhan Institute of Virology because they thought it might help their political opponent Donald Trump. He could have mentioned their years-long Russia-collusion hoax. He could have mentioned their lies about Kavanaugh, in which they falsely and repeatedly portrayed him as a serial gang rapist.
If he wanted to be something of a squish, but not a complete squish, he could have even said, “I think Tucker might have been a little too dismissive of the violence we experienced, but he did a remarkable service by airing so much important video that Democrats tried to hide.”
When Raju ran over to McCarthy to do his damage control over the Jan. 6 footage, McCarthy handled it with ease. Raju asked a loaded and inaccurate question and asked McCarthy whether he regretted giving the American people a chance to see the footage.
In the clip above, McCarthy also reminded CNN about how it had negligently handled information about secure locations for Capitol personnel. Boom. Easy. Effective.
And new Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance took to Twitter to criticize reporters for asking him to bash Carlson but not asking about Schumer’s push for censorship of non-leftist media.
Instead of doing things like that, McConnell copied the political framing and approach of Schumer, and ran off to Raju to supercharge the left’s latest bogus narrative.
Republicans, you have a serious problem.
In the middle of the midterm elections, McConnell went out of his way to sabotage candidates and their voters, once again pushing Democrat narratives about “candidate quality.” McConnell, the country’s least popular politician, did nothing to stop Romney from running a shadow campaign against a sitting GOP senator, fellow Utah Sen. Mike Lee. After he led the Republicans in the Senate to a loss, he responded by helping Democrats pass their $1.7 trillion omnibus bill, cheerleading for Biden’s Ukraine war, and campaigning with Joe Biden.
Instead of punishing Romney for his act of sabotage against fellow Republicans, he punished the victim by removing him from a powerful committee. Other Republican senators have also been punished by the famously vindictive and petty McConnell for not supporting his re-election as Republican leader.
Elon Musk, of all people, said it best when he tweeted of McConnell, “I keep forgetting which party he belongs to.”
It is a cruel joke on the nation that this guy is still the titular leader of Senate Republicans in Washington. Are there not even a sufficient number of adults in the Republican conference who have the stones to say something — to do anything — on behalf of Republican voters? Or are they just weak, mute cowards? At what point do they have the guts to say: “Mitch, enough is enough. Whatever limited good you may have done in the past, you cannot be a leader in the party when you defecate, day after day, year after year, on the voters you purport to represent.”
This article was published by The Federalist and is reproduced with permission.