4 minute read

When our nation emerges from the actual Trump era on January 20, 2021, the conditions in Washington, D.C. will not simply revert to some imagined previous era of civility and comity. 

Many congressional Republicans, including two members of the Oklahoma delegation, will likely continue to behave as though a nectarine-hued simp will destroy their political careers with a mean tweet. 

Opinion

Opinion

by George Lang, opinion writer for Free Press

Witness Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma’s Second Congressional District, a Republican so completely keistered by Trump that he swore his devotion to the president’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This is the annual bill that sets priorities and budgets for the U.S. military, and because Mullin was stuck at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, he declared his fealty to Trump and his power-play veto of defense spending. 

Mullin also missed Monday’s vote on the $2,000 direct payment of COVID-19 relief funds to every American. 

Representatives Frank Lucas, Tom Cole and Kendra Horn voted for the measure, a payment Trump insisted on as an act of gamesmanship to retaliate against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s support of the general election outcome. 

But Rep. Kevin Hern, Mullin’s Oklahoma partner in congressional Trump sycophancy, voted against the bill. 

“Hey guys, I’m stuck in Dallas, and I’m not going to make the vote tonight, which is on the veto override that Nancy Pelosi is bringing to the House to override the President on the NDAA, which I’ve been voting with the president for sure,” Mullin said in a Twitter video post. “I come straight to my gate here at the C terminal in Dallas, and at the end of the day, they closed the gate, literally in front of me —  let three people board and said the flight was full. Once again, I apologize about that — shouldn’t happen on either account, but it did. Guys, just to let you know, to make sure everybody understands where I’m at. I stand with President Trump.”

I am not sure what kind of Mixed Martial Arts-style anger management Mullin displayed at Terminal C, but thank you to the fine folks at American Airlines. 

Regardless of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Tuesday refusal to hear the bill, Mullin missed an opportunity to not only personally deny his constituents $2,000 in desperately needed relief funds, but to not fund the U.S. Department of Defense, which operates six military bases in Oklahoma. 

Mullin and Hern voted against Oklahomans’ interests and for Trump, who vetoed the NDAA specifically because he does not want the DoD to rename all those military bases that honor racist traitors to our nation, and because the bill did not remove Section 230 from the 1996 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a safe harbor protection for internet companies. 

The latter was a Trump must-have, mainly because he is mad at Twitter for labeling his election-centric tweets as “disputed.” Since the NDAA is considered a sure-thing vote each year, Trump wanted to attach a Section 230 repeal to the package like a barnacle on the underside of a warship. 

I never was a fan of Section 230 of the DMCA, mainly because it indemnifies internet companies from legal action if pirated material is found on their platforms. But this is not why Trump wants to abolish the safe harbor provision. 

Trump likely knows next to nothing about the DMCA other than what his advisors have told him, but like nearly everything he does, Trump wants to use abolition of Section 230 to punish Jack Dorsey of Twitter for pointing out his lies about election fraud. 

Certainly there are major forces in conservative politics and technology, like Peter Thiel, who likely have a few choice words for Trump about keeping safe harbor, but since Trump will not be running for office again, he does not need Thiel’s money like he did in 2016. 

Instead, Trump needs sock puppets like Mullin and Hern who will do his bidding regardless of consequences. They represent Trump, not the people of Oklahoma’s first and second congressional districts. 

This is why Dorsey should de-platform Trump from Twitter once he leaves office in January. Once he is out of office, Trump can still operate Mullin and Hern through his social media. 

These members of congress have no business standing with Trump once he no longer has power. Hern and Mullin must operate in the real world of American politics, not in an Earth 2 simulation in which Trump is the authoritarian ruler-for-life of this country.

If forced to live in reality, Hern and Mullin might notice that their constituents are suffering and our country must do right by its people long after the puppet master is gone. 


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