Tag Archives: Mark Meadows

Friendships honored along with a political icon

They buried a political icon today. I hope they did not bury the spirit of bipartisan friendships that this iconic figure embodied.

Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democratic member of Congress, died the other day of myriad medical complications. He served as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and became a leader in the debate over whether to impeach Donald J. Trump.

Cummings was a champion in the first degree. He fought for civil rights and also fought for civil political discourse.

As I listened to the tributes that poured in from across the political spectrum, I was struck by how much attention was paid to the honors paid by Republicans who served with Chairman Cummings. Given the nastiness that has poisoned the atmosphere in Washington over the course of time, it is instructive that so many Republicans would hail their personal affection and professional respect for this fierce Democratic politician.

One of them is Mark Meadows, a North Carolina GOP leader in the U.S. House Freedom Caucus. He is a fierce conservative. Yet he and Cummings were proud of their friendship. Meadows spoke of his love for his colleague while Cummings was lying in state on Capitol Hill — the first African-American politician to be accorded that honor. Former U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina wrote a moving op-ed for the Washington Post that spoke of the Republican’s affection and respect for Cummings.

Indeed, the ranks of strange political bedfellows is long. Former U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, a conservative Utah Republican, and the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, a liberal Massachusetts Democrat, were famous for their friendship. Yes, there are many such relationships. Yet they flourish outside of the public eye.

When a politician of Cummings’ stature passes from the scene, it enables the nation to witness how these supposedly unlikely friendships have flourished even in the climate that can destroy them.

Elijah Cummings’ death saddens me. I am heartened, though, to see these exhibitions of love and respect that are coming from those with whom this good man had many fierce political battles.

It gives me a glimmer of hope that collegiality and political comity isn’t dead.

Rep. Meadows says he’s no racist, however . . .

There goes that dadgum social media again, producing evidence that people in public life say things they ought to regret.

U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, bristled badly Wednesday when fellow House Oversight and Reform Committee member Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat, criticized him for bringing out an African-American staffer to prove he is “not a racist.” She thought that was a “racist” thing to do.

Meadows, a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus wing of the GOP conference in the House, demanded that Tlaib’s comments be “stricken from the record.” Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, who is African-American, defended Meadows, calling him his “best friend.” Tlaib apologized for any incorrect inference that might have been drawn from her comments.

But then . . .

A video showed up. It is of Meadows campaigning for Congress in 2012. He talks about the “wrong direction” the country is headed under President Obama, the nation’s first African-American president.

Then he said it is time to send Obama “home, to Kenya or wherever it is . . . ”

Birtherism, anyone? Hmm?

Well, take a look at the link I am attaching to this post. The video is in there. Yep, it’s Rep. Meadows making the Kenya reference.

Check it out

I’m not going to call Meadows a racist. Just listen. You can make your own decision.