News & Politics

The 5 Worst Ways GOP Hypocrites Observed MLK Day on Twitter

Despite their zeal for slashing services so many people depend on, Republicans love to dress themselves in Dr. King's words.

Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (L) and Paul Ryan (R)
Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey / Flickr

If the GOP was writing a Tinder profile, its hobbies would include cutting taxes for the wealthy, pretending to disagree with Donald Trump even while voting for his bills, and tweeting about the accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr. while continuing to defile his legacy. Yes, Republicans may be holding the futures of 800,000 DACA repicipients and the healthcare for 9 million poor children hostage, but they made time in their busy social-safety-net-slashing schedules to pay lip service to Dr. King on his birthday. Here are five of the most egregiously hypocritical tributes from GOP Twitter. 

1. House Speaker Paul Ryan 

 

 

This bust of Dr. King looks like it's giving Paul Ryan the side-eye. Perhaps if it gained sentience it might scream at him. My dreams aside, Ryan was probably hoping no one would remember how, following Trump's comments that there were good people on "both sides" of the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, our current House Speaker went on "Meet The Press" and said with a straight face that Trump's "heart is in the right place." Or how about the time in 2014 he went on Bill Bennett's radio show Morning in America and railed against, "this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work," which prompted Politico to write an article titled "Is Paul Ryan Racist?" Yes, Politico, he is.

2. Corey Stewart 

 

 

Having been kicked off the Trump campaign, and failing to win the Republican nomination for governor of Virginia in last year's election, Corey Stewart wants to be a senator. While on the Board of Supervisors of Prince William County in 2007, he helped pass a resolution ordering the county police to check the immigration status of anyone stopped by police or taken into custody. If they were found to be undocumented, they had their social service benefits revoked. Where Ryan pretends to be respectful, Stewart, ever the Trumpian, takes the troll approach, twisting King's words to suit his hateful, bigoted agenda. Let's hope Stewart is as successful in his Senate bid as he was for Virgnia governor. 

3. Rep. Steve King 

 

 

It's particularly egregious that Steve King, running for America's Next Top Racist, would tweet this with a straight face. Previously, the congressman has used his Twitter account to voice his support for Dutch Islamaphobe Geert Wilders, who has compared the Qu'ran to Mein Kampf. Steve King tweeted that "Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies." When asked to explain himself, King doubled down,  telling CNN, "I meant exactly what I said." If that wasn't enough, Vice has an excellent primer on Steve King's history of racist statements, which include comparing immigrants to livestock and suggesting that electing President Obama to a second term would be doing terrorists a favor. 

 

 

4. The White House 

 

 

While not his preferred account, the official White House Twitter account is supposedly representative of Trump's administration. In his weekly address, Trump claims that "Dr. King's dream is our dream." That would be true only if Martin Luther King had harbored a secret desire to build a border wall with Mexico. (Of course, as I type, some pundit will probably claim that Trump is a genius King scholar simply because he read a teleprompter correctly and did not piss himself on camera. Cue the "Today was the day Trump became president" takes.)

5. Senator Marco Rubio 

The artist formerly known as Little Marco also weighed in on MLK Day. 

 

Perhaps this is Rubio's plea for forgiveness, for when the revolution comes and he is finally held to account for supporting the Obamacare repeal and other crimes against the social safety net. Until then, consider, as Miami New Times notes, that if Dr. King were still alive, "he probably would have hated all of the bullshit, racist Florida politicians quoting him today. And they likely would have despised him right back."

Ilana Novick is an AlterNet contributing writer and production editor.

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