Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Is Dan Bishop the Biggest Dick in Mugstomp-on-the-Potomac?


Dan Bishop beat Democrat Dan McCready in a special election for the NC9 congressional seat in September 2019. In Congress, Bishop promptly joined the Freedom Caucus, a collection of soreheads that Bishop clearly determined to out-shine. (Bishop now represents NC8.) The acid in his veins sloshes like mango juice in a rolling barrel, and since 2019 he's never failed to grab the microphone and scorch the neighboring landscape.

He plays The Scourge of God. While he was running against McCready in 2019, he forced the ex-Marine to return a donation from fellow Congresswoman Ilhan Omar by smearing her (and McCready by association) with Muslim extremism and even anti-Semitism, a nasty move worthy of a too-clever-by-half white supremacist who enjoys the game.

Before September of 2019, Bishop had served terms in both the NC House and the NC Senate. In Raleigh, he was known as abrasive and obnoxiously conservative. The infamous Bathroom Bill, HB2, was his baby and led to a national boycott of North Carolina by major employers, conventions, sporting events, and entertainment figures. (He's terrible at economics.) About all that collateral damage, Bishop was defiantly unrepentant.

Another result of Bishop's nastiness: During the protests against Trump and trumpism at the 2017 Inauguration, former Gov. Pat McCrory, who had signed Bishop's bathroom bill into law, got recognized by a group of LGBTQ demonstrators on a Washington street, and when he began to run away from them, they gave chase, and there was film of McCrory's embarrassment. Bishop proposed criminalizing peaceful protests with a five-year minimum sentence. In 2020 Bishop became the first member of Congress to divulge the name of the whistleblower whose memo (about a phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky) sparked the first House impeachment inquiry. The federal Whistleblower Protection Act makes it illegal to divulge the name of a whistleblower, but so far as I know, Bishop experienced no repercussions.

Peach of a guy.

The Freedom Caucus held a fomenting press conference yesterday to denounce Speaker Kevin McCarthy's deal for ending the debt limit crisis, and Bishop was front and center. (Plenty on the left hate that deal too. As one activist said, "I'm sorry, but 'it could have been worse' just doesn't do it for me any more!") “This is a career-defining vote for every Republican,” Bishop said. “Many more need to emerge [in opposition] if there is any path to salvaging what we began as a unified conference .… We’re prepared to stand up and take the slings and the arrows.”

Unified conference? I'm no fan of Kevin McCarthy, but Dan Bishop clearly seems to hate the guy. Bishop was one of the 20 hardcore holdouts on McCarthy's elevation to the speakership. He was quoted at one point saying he'd rather resign from Congress than see McCarthy as Speaker of the House, but he denied he ever said that. He finally voted for McCarthy on the 12th roll-call (of 15), because he was reportedly promised his own subcommittee to investigate federal law enforcement agencies, which Bishop claims have been "weaponized against Republicans."

Yesterday, at the press conference, when a reporter asked the Freedom Caucus lawmakers if any of them now supported "vacating" the speakership (Motion to Vacate, which any single congressperson can now make, with humiliation awaiting for someone), Bishop was the only Republican to raise his hand.

The temperature of Bishop's malice is what fixes my attention. Whether it's queer people or Black people or a weak fellow traveler that feels Bishop's lash -- or reporters trying to gather facts -- he consistently confuses cruelty with ideological purity. "I am vindictive; therefore, I am right." 

What should scare the plaid pants and golf shoes off the citizens: Reportedly, Bishop is aiming to run for NC Attorney General. Same report also says that Bishop has already scared off the candidacy of the Republican who was considered a frontrunner candidate -- former US Attorney Andrew Murray, who now serves as district attorney for Henderson, Polk, and Transylvania counties.

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