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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/23/22

Judge Jackson's Hearing Proves That All the Sold-Out GOP Has Left Is Performance Art

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They've sold out to big money and don't give a rat's ass about the issues that really matter to most Americans

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It's somewhere between comical and tragic watching the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Lindsey Graham throws his trademark hissy fit and storms out, John Cornyn tries to sound erudite and fails, Marsha Blackburn outs herself as a fanatic, Ted Cruz thinks Black judges should vet children's books about racism, and Josh Hawley and Tom Cotton just end up making fools of themselves.

But none of them really care. None of the Republicans do.

And I don't mean that as the frame for a polemic. This is intended as a serious analysis of what's happened to the GOP over the past 40 years, which informed their behavior in that committee meeting yesterday.

In 1976 (Buckley) and 1978 (Belotti) the Supreme Court legalized political bribery, unleashing a flood of cash for the Reagan campaign of 1980. Most Democrats at that time were still funded mostly by the unions, so they weren't paying such attention to the possibility of dark money.

As I lay out in The Hidden History of the Supreme Court and the Betrayal of America, the Court doubled down on those decisions in 2010, blowing up over 100 federal and state laws that regulated money in politics in Citizens United.

It opened a door the GOP and a handful of Democrats were eager to rush through.

The entire Republican Party has since sold itself out to rightwing billionaires and giant corporations and as long as they have that support - and the billions of dollars to carpet-bomb their states with advertising every election - they don't give a rat's ass about the things they're pretending to be so very, very concerned about.

Every one of those Republican senators had two simple goals for the hearings.

The first was to smear the Democratic nominee in a way that will guarantee that - over the next 24-hour news cycle - the name "Judge Jackson" will repeatedly occur in the same headline or sentence as "child porn," "Critical Race Theory," or "terrorists from Gitmo."

The second was to craft a short soundbite of their own performance art that Fox "News" and other hard-right media can play on a loop. White Republicans dressing down a Black woman? Perfect for conservative hate media.

Even if they make fools of themselves, they all know that the first dictum of public relations - taught to them by Donald Trump himself, who candidly and correctly credited it to PT Barnum - is: "There's no such thing as bad publicity. Just spell my name right."

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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