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(147,366 posts)
Thu May 23, 2024, 09:08 PM May 23

House Democrat penalized after listing Trump's legal crises [View all]

After Rep. Jim McGovern listed a series of Trump scandals, Republicans tried to silence the Democrat. The effort had the opposite of the intended effect.


For those who don’t follow Congress closely, the phrase “taken down” probably doesn’t mean much, but for members engaged in debate on Capitol Hill, it’s quite important. NBC News reported, for example, on some unexpected drama on the House floor yesterday.

Action on the floor of the House of Representatives paused for more than an hour Wednesday after Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., listed off the criminal charges against former President Donald Trump.

As the former president’s legal crises have intensified, it’s become common for members to reference Trump’s troubles during floor arguments, though it’s usually Republicans peddling conspiratorial nonsense while defending their party’s presumptive 2024 nominee.

Yesterday, however, McGovern took some time to mock his Republican colleagues who traveled to New York to show their support for Trump during his criminal trial. “Maybe they want to distract from the fact that their candidate for president has been indicted more times than he’s been elected,” the Massachusetts Democrat said......

In general, the relevant rules are supposed to discourage House members from personally attacking each other during floor remarks. In this instance, however, Republicans concluded, after a surprisingly lengthy delay for deliberation, that McGovern wasn’t allowed to go after the former president, either — even though everything McGovern said was almost entirely true.

.......Once again, the GOP might want to familiarize itself with a phenomenon known as the Streisand effect. The Merriam-Webster definition is as good as any: “The Streisand effect is a phenomenon whereby the attempt to suppress something only brings more attention or notoriety to it.”

In other words, the more someone tries to divert attention away from a story, the more it ends up having the opposite effect.

I have no idea whether McGovern planned for this — he is, by any measure, one of Congress’ most clever members — or whether Republicans stumbled into the misstep all on their own. Either way, it was good to see the Democrat’s list get some deserved attention.

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