GOP hyperventilating over the Alito Roe v. Wade leak is a 'cynical' plan to make Americans forget Jan. 6: journalist

GOP hyperventilating over the Alito Roe v. Wade leak is a 'cynical' plan to make Americans forget Jan. 6: journalist
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas speaking at CPAC 2015 in Washington, D.C., Gage Skidmore
News & Politics

Hands down, the United States’ biggest political bombshell of the week came from Politico, which, on Monday night, May 2, reported that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has written a majority draft opinion laying out a case for overturning Roe v. Wade. The identity of the person who leaked that document remains unknown, as does the person’s political leanings. But that isn’t stopping a long list of Republicans from hyperventilating against the leaker — hyperventilating that, journalist Max Burns argues in an op-ed published by the Daily Beast on May 4, is a cynical ploy to turn the political conversation away from the January 6, 2021 insurrection and the January 6 select committee.

“Republicans spent decades building the right-wing judicial machinery that enabled this week’s devastating Supreme Court draft decision that, when made official, would overturn nearly 50 years of abortion rights in America,” Burns writes. “But you’d be hard-pressed to find a single Republican lawmaker eager to celebrate what, by any measure, is a generational victory for anti-abortion rights conservatives. Instead, Washington’s political media is abuzz with the race to uncover who leaked the court’s draft plan — and no one is more outraged than Senate Republicans, who lined up on Tuesday, (May 3) to condemn the leak as a dangerous attack on democracy itself.”

Those Republicans, Burns notes, have included Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro. Graham and McConnell railed against “the radical left,” and Cruz speculated that a “left-wing law clerk” was responsible for the leak and needs to be “prosecuted” and serve “real jail time.”

That “clerk,” Burns writes, is someone Cruz “made up out of thin air because we have no idea who leaked the draft.”

“This is the same Cruz who publicly apologized for calling the Jan. 6 insurrection a ‘terrorist attack’ after Trumpist standard-bearers Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz accused him of disloyalty to the MAGA movement,” Burns explains. “And that’s the point…. Republican efforts to muddy the waters around the violent Jan. 6 attack began even as the insurrection was unfolding.”

Ranting against the leaker, according to Burns, is a way for Republicans to avoid talking about January 6, 2021.

“Unlike the chaos of Jan. 6,” Burns argues, “the Republican messaging machine was well-prepared to use this week’s Supreme Court leak to whitewash their own well-documented history of cheerleading the collapse of American institutions. But all that’s ancient history, even if the Jan. 6 Committee is nowhere near done with its work.”

Burns continues, “Republicans don’t want to talk about it anymore. They need a distraction. And so, voilà, GOP Outrage Theater has a new uber-villain: ‘the Leaker.’ But the GOP’s moral outrage over the Supreme Court leak isn’t just cynical, it’s factually inaccurate — because there are no known facts to work with! As it stands, Republicans are effectively rewriting history, while pinning blame for the Supreme Court leak on an unnamed and possibly nonexistent agent of the shadowy ‘radical left.’”

One of the most idiotic comments about “the leaker” came from the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh, who, on May 2, tweeted that the Supreme Court leak is “an attack on our system 100000000 times more serious than the Capitol riot.”

In other words, a mob of Donald Trump supporters — some of whom wanted to lynch then-Vice President Mike Pence — violently attacking the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in order to prevent the peaceful transfer of presidential power is no big deal to Walsh. January 6, 2021 was an attempted coup, and some of the Capitol rioters even threatened to murder the vice president to keep now-President Joe Biden out of the White House.

Shapiro, Burns observes, claimed that the leak was “designed to create threat to the life and limb of any justice who signs onto the majority opinion.”

“By comparison, Shapiro wasn’t nearly as worried about the actual violence that took place on Jan. 6, describing Democrats’ outrage over the attack as a ‘game,’ while hand-waving away the severity of that day with the glib remark, ‘Politics is always politics. Always.’ In the ‘law-and-order’ GOP, a leak of a SCOTUS draft decision is an assault on the fabric of America, but an actual attack on the federal government is recast by the Republican National Committee is the ‘legitimate political discourse’ of justifiably angry conservative voters.”

Burns continues, “It’s no mistake that Republicans are demanding jail for a leaker they imagine is a Democrat. With the House Jan. 6 Committee gearing up for blockbuster public hearings this June, the GOP desperately needs to convince Americans that what happened on Jan. 6 wasn’t that bad — and if it was, meh, because Democrats attack democracy, too. Since there’s no actual evidence to support their delusions, McConnell and Republicans are more than happy to make up a liberal villain in hopes of confusing Americans, and masking their own terrible legacy of antidemocratic misconduct.”

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