GOP congressman wants investigations into people who disagree with him


GOP congressman Brian Mast launched an unhinged rant attacking his political adversaries with right-wing smears.

Republican Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) used a Tuesday hearing of the new House select committee on modernizing Congress to ask that the government investigate people who disagree with him.

At the hearing, Mast, who has voted with Trump 92.5 percent of the time, launched a paranoia-laced diatribe that seemed to be taken directly from the playbook of former Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the infamous demagogue who ruined lives with his fearmongering of Communist infiltration, suggesting that his political foes "should be vetted."

"Do we have representatives who will share information with their staff — who may have no clearances? Do we have representatives who are sympathetic to terrorist groups such as the Palestinian Authority? Or would disclose information to individuals like Abbas," he asked.

"Do we have representatives who are sympathetic to socialist ideals? Such as those who would share sensitive information with like-minded leaders like Maduro? Do we have Representatives with knowledge of national security secrets that may inadvertently be disclosed on U.S. operations to states like Iran, North Korea, Russia and China?"

Mast made it sound as if merely differing from the Trump Republican party line would make a member of Congress more likely to betray America to a foreign power or release secrets to the world.

He singled out members of Congress who have criticized the Israeli government. (Mast previously volunteered with the Israeli military.)

He also complained about people supposedly "sympathetic to socialist ideals" being a threat, after he voted for the Republican tax scam.

Those cited by Mast sound like a who's who of the right's favorite targets. But Mast neglected to cite the very real security risk posed by key Trump figures such as Jared Kushner, who was granted a clearance despite CIA concerns.

They also echo the sentiment of GOP leaders like Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who said Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who is Muslim, should be removed from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

"Why would you have her on a committee that important, that sensitive?" Scalise, who has had past affiliations with Klansman David Duke, asked.

Republicans don't have much left in their arsenal besides demonization. Trump is unpopular and the party lost the House while several key Senate seats will soon be up for election.

They have benefitted from demagoguery and paranoia before. Mast's conspiracy-laden diatribe is just the latest salvo in a decades-long campaign of dishonesty.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.