Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


NRCC credibility plunges with identical, serial charges of 29 Dems being ‘deranged’

Rep. Lucy McBath
REUTERS/Leah Millis
At 5:13 yesterday, I received a press release from RNCC flack Camille Gallot headlined: “McBath is deranged.” McBath turns out to be U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Georgia. Naturally, the NRCC folks are not fans.

The National Republican Congressional Committee is not deranged. The National Republican Congressional Committee is not deranged. The National Republican Congressional Committee is not deranged.

I really don’t think it’s deranged (and I said it isn’t), but I think the stress of defending a certain unnamed occupant of the White House is taking its toll, if not on the NRCC’s sanity, then on its credibility. And yesterday it invested its credibility in calling 29 House Democrats “deranged.”

I’ve been building a file of NRCC press releases over the last month or two. Of course we don’t look for political neutrality — nor much respect for factuality or fairness — in press releases from such a partisan political body. (The NRCC is chaired, by the way, by Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer).

NRCC uses the word “socialist” in pretty much every press release to describe the particular Dem under attack and generally assigns an unflattering nickname to every Democratic House member or candidate, as the guy in the White House does. Sometimes it throws the S-word even at moderate liberals like Minnesota’s freshman Rep. Dean Phillips. Its latest attack on him said: “In the latest example of his socialist extremism, Dean Phillips just voted to jeopardize the safety of our troops both at home and abroad.”

But in the case of Minnesota’s Collin Peterson, they just went for alliteration and nicknamed him “Cranky Collin.”

It’s juvenile. Or should one say despicable? Well, it’s at least a parody of an organization that attaches no meaningful meaning to the word “socialism” nor to the concept of credibility or civility in political rhetoric. It’s just sad. Pitiful. Execrable. Its staff can’t be as stupid as they come across, but it’s hard not to assume that they believe they are writing for an audience of idiots.

In stockpiling some of their press releases, I’ve been planning to summarize their approach at some future point, but yesterday they went really quite berserk, or else someone just fell asleep with a finger on the “copy,” “paste” and “send” buttons, attached to a weird program that kept inserting the name of different Democrats into the same press release over and over so it could call them all “deranged “socialists.

Seriously. This really happened. In my own little email inbox.

At 5:13 yesterday, I received a press release from RNCC flack Camille Gallot headlined: “McBath is deranged.” McBath turns out to be U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Georgia. Naturally, the NRCC folks are not fans. It’s their job to help their party defeat every House Democrat.

The argument that McBath is deranged was that she had voted nay on a Republican motion. The motion proposed that the House condemn Speaker Nancy Pelosi for calling Donald Trump a “racist” after his recent, highly mature, rational and defensible remarks that four young Democratic congresswomen who don’t like Trump should go back to the countries from which they came. (Three of the four were U.S.-born, but let’s not let that get in the way.)

But, since the four soon-to-be-emigrants (if they follow Trump’s advice) were all in the black- or brown-skinned categories, Pelosi called Trump a racist, which led to the Republican motion to condemn her for unacceptable name-calling. Seriously. 190 Republican House members voted “aye,” and 231 Democrats, plus one independent, voted “nay.” So the motion failed, but at least the votes were counted and democracy prevailed — but before news of the vote outcome had even reached my inbox, the email calling McBath “deranged” arrived, based entirely on her vote, along with 230 other Democrats, against Pelosi for calling Trump a racist. Which would raise the question: Why single out McBath?

Answer: Because they didn’t.

One minute later came an email from a different NRCC flack named Torunn Sinclair headlined “O’Halleran is deranged.” Word for word identical, but this one targeted Democrat Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Arizona, who (guess what) had also voted aye.

I could see where they were going but was concerned that Sinclair might get in trouble for plagiarizing, word for word, the earlier, very well-written press release.

But before I could worry about the ethical implications of that, at 5:20, ding, Michael McAdams, another NRCC flack, sent one headlined “Pappas is deranged.” Chris Pappas, D-New Hampshire. Word for word, except for the name.

That same minute, I got another one from flack Carly Atchison repeating word for word the “deranged” attack, this time filling in the name of Rep. Cherie Bustos, D-Illinois, who, unsurprisingly, also voted not to condemn Pelosi for calling Trump a racist.

OK, I won’t keep going. By 6 p.m., the blizzard subsided. The condemnation resolution had failed. I received 29 mails over 30 minutes, identical except for the name of the Democrat whose sanity was called into question, “authored” by four allegedly different flacks — all speaking for what used to known as the Party of Lincoln.

Maybe I didn’t receive them all, but if I did, my question would be why the other 202 Democrats who declined to denounce Pelosi for her cruel, false allegation against the POTUS were underanged.

Comments (20)

  1. Submitted by Constance Sullivan on 07/17/2019 - 11:10 am.

    Evidently House Republicans charged Nancy Pelosi with breaking one of that chamber’s rules, which is (they claimed) she questioned Trump’s motives for sending out those awful tweets. They loudly made Pelosi’s words the issue, rather than the condemnable tweets by the guy who pretends to be our president.

    Eric should be as careful as the rest of us are being, in this litigious House atmosphere: Nancy Pelosi used the phrase “Trump’s racist tweets.” Meaning: The tweets are racist, not Trump, who is simply the owner/issuer of those tweets.

    A fine point that many lawyers savor.

    But Trump can’t handle Nancy Pelosi, who kept her eye on the ball yesterday and got the resolution through, despite GOP noise at her temerity–in both condemning Trump and re-unifying Dems behind “the Squad.”

    • Submitted by Chuck Mulkey on 07/18/2019 - 12:19 pm.

      What I wish I could do is get honest news that wasn’t slanted blue or red unfortunately there isn’t such a thing it truly is sad this country is so polarized that the writers and the news anchors can’t keep their own political views out of a story

  2. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 07/17/2019 - 11:11 am.

    “…my question would be why the other 202 Democrats who declined to denounce Pelosi for her cruel, false allegation against the POTUS were underanged.” Hmmm… Excellent question. Maybe some thoughtful person at RNCC HQ noticed the identical messages and decided that they might have less of the desired impact if multiple identical messages arrived in the same in-box? Too obvious, I suppose. Or, perhaps it was deemed more effective than telling 231 Democrats, plus an independent, to “go back where you came from.”

    If nothing else, it’s a sad, sad commentary on the political party I used to belong to that they can’t find anything more statesperson-iike to do than defend Mr. Trump’s bigotry. Mr. Emmer, as head of the NRCC, effectively applies the same racist tar to himself by defending the bully at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue against criticism, a bully who – having used criticism of the previous administration as the primary basis for his 2016 campaign – now suggests that criticism of his own administration is somehow beyond the pale.

    Republican hypocrisy grows more jaw-dropping every day.

  3. Submitted by John Evans on 07/17/2019 - 11:54 am.

    Tom Emmer, as chair of the RNCC, is personally responsible for this inane, hyperaggressive sliming. Since he was elected to Congress, Emmer has used a much more civil tone in his own communications. It’s just a pose that he figures Minnesotans find more acceptable. And of course, he’s right.

    But in other congressional districts, he evidently finds it useful to engage in ad hominem attacks to inflame the angry racists who form a large part of the Republican base.

    Minnesotans in his district should hold him accountable for this unethical and deplorable propaganda that does so much to degrade our political discourse and poison our politics.

  4. Submitted by Kellan Mcdonald on 07/17/2019 - 12:45 pm.

    You know the left is just as guilty along with any and all main stream journalists. According to the left anyone to the right of Mao is an alt-right neo Nazi. Anyone who dares to question whether men should be able to compete in woman’s sports is labeled as transphobic and sexist. Come on. The right is going to lable anyone to the left Tedd Cruz as a socialist and anyone even remotely politically aligned with Obama a communist. It doesn’t help that 3 people on the Democratic party openly call them selves socialist. And if you think Dean Philips is a moderate I have a bridge in Brooklyn I can sell ya.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 07/18/2019 - 01:39 pm.

      False equivalence.
      And Social Democrats are not Socialists:
      they don’t advocate the nationalization of the means of production,
      We haven’t had a real socialist running for office since Eugene Debs.

  5. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 07/17/2019 - 01:31 pm.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that to be a Conservative one must also practice psychological projection. It happens so often that there has to be some type of connection, some projection gene. This one is obvious. Their leader is deranged so they must accuse everyone else of being derange. With Donald saying the Ilhan Omar hates America because she doesn’t like how things are it should be just as obvious. I mean he based his whole campaign on how horrible America had become and he was the only one to be able to fix it. He still does it., With Korea, ALL Presidents before him had gotten it wrong, or with China ALL Presidents before him were being taken advantage of…basically everything about America was wrong until Donald got elected and “fixed” it all. Projection, its what Republicans do.

  6. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 07/17/2019 - 02:55 pm.

    Just more evidence of the Trumpification of the Republican party.
    Time to send them back to where they came from.

  7. Submitted by Jim Roth on 07/17/2019 - 04:46 pm.

    Perhaps they carefully and with all appropriate deliberation selected those they perceive as being from districts that voted for Trump. I realize that’s giving them some credit that is most likely undeserved.

  8. Submitted by Julie Stroeve on 07/17/2019 - 05:03 pm.

    Nice job, Eric Black…not everyone can write about this depravity with such clarity and wit. You give me such hope! I hope All In and Lawrence O’Donnell get you on for national coverage very soon!

  9. Submitted by Doug Duwenhoegger on 07/17/2019 - 07:10 pm.

    You have to pander to your poorly educated bully base.

  10. Submitted by Drew Gmitro on 07/18/2019 - 07:18 am.

    Why don’t you do an article on all the “nasty names” and ridiculous things the liberal far left say every time the President of the United States says ANYTHING. The word “racist” is used and thrown about concerning everything and anything this president says. I’m not even a Trump supportor but I find myself actually pulling for him and my entire family plans to vote for him in 2020 based on how far off the rails and out of touch the democrats have become. You’re article is one more example of this “Trump Derangement Syndrome”. The left believe in identity politics and everyday Americans are sick of it. This President loves this country and tries to uphold the laws of this country. The left comes across as hating white males, police, ICE, and even our military at times, standing up for felons and illegal immigrants over them. Their views are not mainstream and they’re going to find this out in 2020 when they get another four year’s of Trump.

    • Submitted by Karen Sandness on 07/19/2019 - 09:15 am.

      The real Trump Derangement Syndrome is when his fan club, including Evangelical Christians, who claim to stand for the teachings of Christ, gloss over flagrant adultery, boastful lecherousness, hiring illegal immigrants on one hand and using them as bogeymen for his base on the other, stiffing contractors who work for him, continuing the Republican tradition of overpriced no-bid contracts for cronies to provide substandard goods and services (e.g. $775 a day per person to keep detained migrants in squalor), compete disregard for the truth, and yes, a lifetime of racism.

      As a Christian (though not an Evangelical) myself, I am genuinely puzzled by how people who go to church and wave their hands while singing “Our God is an Awesome God” and can’t stop talking about how saved they are, can see this incompetent who blatantly violates every Christian moral principle as “their” candidate.

      The only explanation I’ve heard is some contrived nonsense about Cyrus, the ancient kind of Persia, who let the Jews return to Jerusalem.

      Derangement for sure from some people who call themselves Christians but have obviously never learned the actual teachings of Christ and who instead appear to worship the most flawed of all the many flawed presidents in American history.

  11. Submitted by Jon Ruff on 07/18/2019 - 09:58 am.

    If you’re looking for a fair and balanced appraisal turn, as I do, to “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them” by my favorite communist pawn Al Franken.

  12. Submitted by scott gibson on 07/18/2019 - 10:39 am.

    So you’re not a Trump supporter, but you deplore how he’s being picked on for what he himself says. And you and your family plan to vote for him. That means you’re a Trump supporter.

    Democrats are, apparently, far off the rails and out of touch. Perhaps that’s because conservative media (and there is a lot of that, too) has quite deliberately chosen to focus so heavily on the antics some freshman congresswomen, such as AOC or Omar. These folks have little actual political power. Outlets, like Fox, want to make them the face of the Democratic Party (not Democrat Party, btw) in much the same way that Dems would like you to feel folks like Steve King are typical Republicans.

    I can’t speak for ‘the left’ (a group which, I guess, some folks feel is anyone who dislikes our president), but I don’t hate white males, the police, or the military. ICE yields less approval, but I don’t know anyone, personally, who wants ‘open borders’. This simply means the right is just as guilty of building up their own bogeymen, and by doing that misrepresenting large groups of people.

    Trump is the most uncivil, thoughtless, small-minded (in many ways) president of my lifetime. I am 65. This is not a statement about ANY of his policies. That is a separate issue. I feel his remarks about ‘the Squad’ (crudely parroting what he saw of Fox) were more xenophobic, than racist. The right feels that Dems use ‘racist’ way too much. It’s an easy word they are doing their best to turn back on Democrats by trying to make themselves seem reasonable victims. But I feel the charge of xenophobia stands.

    Trump wants to define what it means to love this country. He wants to conflate it with loving him. It is the very peak of his narcissistic nature. His grandstanding on the 4th was an attempt to militarize that celebration of freedom. If you didn’t like Trump, you must not like the military, you must not love America, etc. Trump demands loyalty, and since he is not worthy of it himself, he ties it in with love of country or religion.

    People know that Trump’s definition of what it means to love America is paper-thin. Ans I am, hopefully, including even a lot of folks who see themselves as Trump supporters. They know that the sacrifices it takes to make this country great are far more complex than he presents, but they feel threatened and circle the wagons.

    There are quite a few calls right now, from both sides, for more civility, understanding, careful listening and not shouting, but almost all suffer from the defect of saying ‘let’s be nicer to one another’, just prior to making one last shot at the opposition before saying ‘no tags back.’ I have seen two such attempts recently from Republicans. I am confident there have been similar from Democrats. Sort of, ‘let’s disarm … you go first.’

    • Submitted by Jon Ruff on 07/18/2019 - 11:09 am.

      I mostly agree with you, but I think you’re too kind. Everybody seems to forget what “President Bone-Spurs” said further back than yesterday..
      Xenophobic becomes racist when the people you want to exclude are all
      “unwhite”.Don’t forget Omar has been a resident/citizen longer then has Melania.

  13. Submitted by Bob Petersen on 07/18/2019 - 02:18 pm.

    So liberals all cry foul when anyone in the Republican party plays in the world of identity politics. This has been a ploy of the Dems and liberals for a very long, long time. Only now, the Republicans are finally fighting back. What’s good for the goose…

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/19/2019 - 09:16 am.

      The gander should then shut its pie-hole about identity politics.

      The Republican Party is where it is today because of identity politics. The appeals to the white working class (because the working class of other colors doesn’t count), or evangelical Christians, or gun owners, for that matter, isn’t playing identity politics, then the term has lost all meaning.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/19/2019 - 09:25 am.


      The problem with hypocrites is they don’t know when they’re lying or being dishonest. No one is complaining about Republican’s playing identity politics. The complaint is that they’re playing a politics of racism, xenophobia, sexism, and division. The complaint is that Republican’s have no coherent concept of integrity.

      The fact that Republicans and “conservatives” always try to “defend” themselves or their comrades by pointing to someone else they think is just as guilty is always a display of moral vacuity. Even IF someone else is incoherent, dishonest, racist, etc. etc. that gives no one else license to be so. Just because someone else built death camps doesn’t give us the license to build death camps for instance. The fact that such elementary moral reasoning is beyond the grasp of the self-declared moral geniuses and “values” champions is beyond dispute at this point.

      Meanwhile, if any Democrat were to play a politics of resentment, dishonesty, bigotry, or division, they would be condemned by liberals for doing so. You may recall the dust-up in liberal circles regarding allegations that Omar made anti-Semetic statements? If you pay attention around here you’d notice that we spend just a much time arguing about Democrats as we do Republicans. You would notice for instance that liberal support for Joe Biden is shaky precisely because of his past affiliations with racists and sexists.

      So no, liberals do not have a double standard, and even if we did, that couldn’t sanction YOUR double standards. You have willingly and enthusiastically followed Trump into the abyss. When a Democrat led us to War in Viet Nam, our response was: “Hell no we won’t go”. THAT’S the difference.

  14. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/19/2019 - 09:50 am.

    Let’s be clear, this Republican dishonesty and toxicity is a direct result of Tom Emmer’s leadership and directive to be “ruthless”. Why is Emmer’s sponsorship of dishonest and racist politics NOT controversial enough to report directly?

    If Omar sponsored and endorsed behavior and politics like this the media would be all over her like cheap suit. If Omar told fellow Democrats to go out and be “ruthless”, “centrists” and Republican alike would pouncing on her and her “antics”. But Emmer gets a pass… it’s not Emmer it’s the NRCC.

    Listen: someone has to ask the question: Does the fact that Emmer is a white male shield him from the scrutiny leveled at politicians who are not… white males? WCCO routinely goes out and digs up some controversy about Omar (recently they were “reporting” on a two year old marriage license controversy). But here’s Emmer in the middle of rant storm and we don’t even hear crickets. What’s up with this? I think I’ve seen one article that directly ties Emmer to the campaign he’s responsible for.

Leave a Reply