News & Politics

Dems Hail DNI Coats, Pile on Rep. Ratcliffe as 'Demagogic,' 'Television Character,' and 'Fascist Clown'

Dems Hail DNI Coats, Pile on Rep. Ratcliffe as 'Demagogic,' 'Television Character,' and 'Fascist Clown'
Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas., asks questions to former special counsel Robert Mueller, as he testifies before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The long knives are coming out for the highly respected Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), President Trump’s pick to replace outgoing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, as Dems signal that they will fight his nomination.

Trump announced on Sunday that he had chosen Ratcliffe as his nominee for DNI.

Democrats are famous for repeating identical talking points designed to convey party unity and conformity on a particular issue, so it’s no surprise that the DNC cobbled together messaging to disparage Ratcliffe with lightning speed.

Multiple liberal politicos, including Sen. Liz Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and others are using the 70s-era phrase “speak truth to power!” to describe the hapless fossil Coats and to suggest that Ratcliffe is too inexperienced and partisan to be Trump’s new DNI.

Surprisingly, Senator Chuck Schumer, who is known for pushing lame Democrat talking points, managed to put out a statement without using the phrase, opting instead to slam his “demagogic questioning” of former special counsel Robert Mueller last week.

In fairness, Ratcliffe’s grilling of Mueller was a work of art, and surely caught the attention of the president.

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough went way off-script on “Morning Joe” Monday morning, repeatedly referring to the mild-mannered Ratcliffe as a “fascist clown” who was “screaming and humiliating himself” during the hearing.

“Well, you know, what a clown show for a guy like that to be attacking a Marine hero, a guy that changed the FBI,” Scarborough said. “He doesn’t know what Robert Mueller did or didn’t do. Maybe he didn’t give a type of performance that Ratcliffe gave, the screaming and humiliating himself.”

And by the way, Mika, Ratcliffe was the guy who I think spurred a discussion here, where I asked a question: if Republicans are really — I hate to even call them that, a Trumpist, a Trump sycophant, is going to call every Democrat a socialist, can Democrats call Ratcliffe a fascist? Because it seems fair to me that if they’re going to mislabel Democrats who are not socialists, socialists, then we should just start calling Ratcliffe a fascist. And call him a fascist throughout this entire process. Call him a fascist for the rest of his career until this fascist apologizes to capitalists who are Democrats who he has mislabeled.

Except Ratcliffe didn’t accuse all Democrats of being socialists. He said: “Democrats and socialists on the other side of the aisle.” As Newsbusters points out, there are at the very least two “Democratic Socialists” in the House: Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and another in the Senate, Bernie Sanders. That doesn’t count the 98+ members of the DSA-linked Progressive Caucus.

As one would expect, Obama’s former CIA director John Brennan was also not impressed with Trump’s choice.

A CNN reporter mocked Ratcliffe — a two-term congressman serving on the Judiciary, Intelligence, and Homeland Security Committees — for being a former small-town mayor.

Ratcliffe, however, has rather impressive national security credentials.

In 2004, he was appointed the chief of anti-terrorism and national security for the Eastern District of Texas in the Department of Justice. He was named Acting U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Texas in 2007 and subsequently appointed U.S. Attorney by former Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

Ratcliffe played a role in the federal government’s case against the Richardson-based Holy Land Foundation, a nonprofit that was funneling funds to terrorist group Hamas. The eventual conviction of group members in 2008 was a landmark victory for federal anti-terrorism efforts.

“At the time, it was the largest terrorism financing case in history,” said Nathan Garrett, who played a big role in the case as U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Texas. “It was significant in and of itself, in that it was a multimillion-dollar fundraising arm of the Hamas operation.” But it also helped demonstrate the Justice Department’s commitment to fighting terrorism, he said.

CNN’s Ken Dilanian (aka “Fusion Ken”) suggested that Ratcliffe was too conservative for the role of intelligence chief.

Interesting line of attack, but according to the non-partisan website GovTrack, Ratcliffe is in the middle of the pack of Republican lawmakers.

Sen. Chris Murphy dismissed the nominee as a “television character” who is an “inappropriate choice” for the nonpartisan post.

“I don’t know this guy,” Murphy (D-Conn.) said on MSNBC. “I think he’s a television character that the president has watched on TV, and he wants to put somebody in this position who’s going to agree with his political take on intelligence.

“I’ll certainly do my own evaluation, but it strikes me as a very inappropriate choice for the job in a moment when we are trying to lift intelligence out of the political soup,” Murphy said, accusing Ratcliffe of acting as “one of the president’s accomplices in trying to politicize intelligence.”

Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) predicted broad Democratic resistance to the confirmation of Ratcliffe.

“I’m not sure he’s qualified for the job,” Peters told CNN.

If only he could speak “truth to power” like Dan Coats!

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