Much like mimosas on a Sunday afternoon, Republicans have shown once again that they, too, are bottomless.
In the last month alone, former President Donald Trump buried ex-wife Ivana Trump on his New Jersey golf course as crudely as one might a deceased goldfish. Then, Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) was called out by Jon Stewart, former host of “The Daily Show,” for not only voting against the PACT Act, which would provide aid to veterans exposed to burn pits, but then lying about changes made to the bill. And a hot-mic recording surfaced of Rep. Matt Gaetz assuaging Roger Stone in 2019, telling him the “big guy” would give him a pardon.
All of it happened out loud, on tape and up front. Ivana Trump’s grave is freshly covered with dirt and sits on the backside of the first tee not far from the main entrance of the Bedminster, New Jersey, golf course. It’s as bizarre as it sounds. Cruz has demonstrated he’s a liar and a horrible fist bumper, and Gaetz continues his lifelong quest of being a surrogate son to Donald Trump.
I’d imagine it’s been a hard week being a Republican, and by hard I mean it has to be tough seeing all of their evil doings done in the dark come to light.
Supposedly, in 2007, Donald Trump had this illustrious plan of building a “mausoleum with four obelisks” on his golf course. But Bedminster city officials called that idea “overwhelming and garish,” (the same words often used to describe the former president’s time in office), so that plan was scrapped. Then there was word of possibly building a mausoleum and a chapel in 2012, but that never happened. In the end, Ivana Trump, his first wife, who died after a fall July 14, was buried in what was essentially a pauper’s grave on the property. Many have speculated since that doing so gives the Trump family some kind of tax advantage, which surely isn’t the reason for a crude grave on a golf course.
“New Jersey tax code provides a ‘cemetery’ with a ‘trifecta of tax avoidance,’ with breaks for property, income and sales taxes,” a HuffPost story explained, citing Dartmouth professor Brooke Harrington. “The state requires no minimum number of graves to qualify as a cemetery.” Which means that Donald Trump has done the bare minimum to receive the largest prize. If only there was another time in his … Wait, that’s been his whole life.
You know what, it’s probably best that we move on.
In order to understand Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s spinelessness, we must first understand Heath Robinson. Robinson was a former sergeant who was twice recognized for his service by the Ohio National Guard. He suffered from lung cancer that he believed he developed because of exposure to harmful chemicals from burning trash pits during his deployment to Iraq in 2006 and 2007. But Robinson’s Veterans Affairs benefits were denied because the agency didn’t believe that his illness was directly related to his tour of duty.
Robinson died in 2020 at 39 from complications of his illness.
Last week, Cruz not only blocked a bill to help U.S. troops like Robinson who were exposed to harmful toxins from burn pits, but he was caught on camera fist-bumping his colleagues afterward. It was a crass move from the classless Cruz who spends more time working the room than working for his constituents.
It’s important to note that the bill Cruz and his cronies voted down is often referred to as the PACT act, but its full title is the “Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022.”
According to the The Columbus Dispatch, here is what the bill would have ensured:
The bill would expand eligibility for VA health benefits to burn-pit victims and provide toxic exposure screenings to veterans at their medical appointments. It also would increase training and research into the issue, particularly among veterans who served in the Gulf War and post-9/11.
In that moment, Cruz didn’t just vote nay against veterans, he voted no against Robinson, who gave his life honoring this country.
Stewart, who has spent a good portion of his fame working behind the scenes to make sure that veterans are not forgotten, had seen enough. So he used his cache to bring attention to the hypocrisy of Republican senators, who were once for the bill and then suddenly found themselves against it.
“If this is America first, then America is fucked,” Stewart said Thursday after the senators pulled their support.
“Ain’t this a bitch,” the comedian said while speaking to reporters on the Hill. “America’s heroes who fought in our wars, outside sweating their asses off, with oxygen, battling all kinds of ailments, while these motherfuckers sit in the air conditioning, walled off from any of it.”
“These are men and women, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers we just let stand outside in the heat when they can’t breathe,” he continued, gesturing at the veterans who appeared with him.
After the fist bump became public, Cruz went on a “save face” tour, claiming that Democrats tried to change the bill.
“What the dispute is about is, the Democrats played a budgetary trick, which is, they took $400 billion in discretionary spending and they shifted it to mandatory,” Cruz told TMZ Friday. “The reason they did that is they want to spend $400 billion more discretionary funds on completely unrelated matters. So, it’s just part of the out-of-control spending from the left.
Cruz and his fellow senators drew the ire of Democrats, veterans groups and seemingly all of Twitter for a bill that ultimately passed in the Senate Tuesday. But as the PACT Act lives on, so will the memory of Republicans’ hissy fit in the name of delaying aid to veterans.
“Boy, they haven’t met a war they won’t sign up for, and they haven’t met a veteran they won’t screw over,” Stewart had said when speaking to reporters earlier last week. “What the fuck are we?”
I can answer that question: We are a country full of Matt Gaetzs, which is to say that we are slimy AF, talk out of both sides of our mouths and love to say that we are for the people who fight for the country but really only care about our self-interest. Well, some of us anyway, and by some of us, I mean Gaetz. Gaetz was caught on a hot mic saying the loud part even louder when he told Trump ally and fashion plate Stone that “the boss” would likely grant clemency should he be convicted. This was in 2019, when the Trump empire was crumbling around the then-president and everyone was in the hot seat.
What Gaetz didn’t know is that Stone was miked up for a documentary, and political consultant didn’t bother to give the lawmaker a signal to let him know to stop talking.
“The boss still has a very favorable view of you,” said Gaetz, stressing that the president had “said it directly.” He also said, “I don’t think the big guy can let you go down for this.”
Gaetz then realized that he was speaking backstage at an event that had several recording devices in play so he buttoned up a bit and let Stone know he’s doing everything he can to keep him out of prison.
“Since there are many, many recording devices around right now, I do not feel in a position to speak freely about the work I’ve already done on that subject,” Gaetz said.
It’s a typical Gaetz moment in which he can’t stop tripping himself up, but the reality is, nothing’s gonna happen. There will be no committee to which he will have to answer; there will be no jail time for obstructing justice. And while Stone has committed every fashion crime known to man, the actual crimes he committed include “obstructing a congressional investigation into Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign and possible ties to Russia.” You know the case where Stone lied under oath? Well, that was the 40-month prison sentence that Trump commuted.
Yes, in a matter of days we had Trump crudely burying his ex-wife on his golf course for a tax break, Cruz proving he’s about as useful as a run-over penny loafer with no match and Gaetz continuing to build his resume to move up the deplorable ladder. But all of it essentially amounts to what we already knew: Republicans aren’t this stumbling group of idiots who just so happen to be on the wrong side of right. They are calculated, organized and will stop at nothing to gain the whole world and lose themselves. It’s kind of the American way.