Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is nutter. A conspiracy nutter. It’s his personality, and it preceded the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett.

For Whitehouse, there are always “dark” right-wing forces lurking and manipulating behind the scenes. In 2010, he compared his Republican Senate colleagues to Nazis for opposing Obamacare. Dana Milbank of WaPo noted at the time:

… Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) had just delivered an overwrought jeremiad comparing the Republicans to Nazis on Kristallnacht, lynch mobs of the South, and bloodthirsty crowds of the French Revolution.

“Too many colleagues are embarked on a desperate, no-holds-barred mission of propaganda, obstruction and fear,” he said. “History cautions us of the excesses to which these malignant, vindictive passions can ultimately lead. Tumbrils have rolled through taunting crowds. Broken glass has sparkled in darkened streets. Strange fruit has hung from southern trees.” Assuming the role of Old Testament prophet, Whitehouse promised a “day of judgment” and a “day of reckoning” for Republicans.

Whitehouse’s performance in going after Brett Kavanaugh earned a lot of laughs as Whitehouse obsessed over yearbook entries about barfing and farting.

Whitehouse was a laughingstock. There’s something about his personality that is incapable of knowing when people are laughing at him, not with him.

But Whitehouse is no joke. He’s a nasty piece of work who tried to intimidate the Supreme Court by threatening to restructure the court, something condemned by right and left, Republican Senators: Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) Brief “openly threatened” Supreme Court “with political retribution”

He’s a conspiracy nutter, and the focus of his conspiracy theories is the Federalist Society. He obsessed over it during the Kavanaugh hearings.

He also trotted out posters about “dark money” behind Republican efforts to nominate conservative Supreme Court Justices:

Whitehouse also trotted out the conspiracy theory to attack appeals court nominee Neomi Rao:

“Neomi Rao is another judicial nominee from the Donald Trump/Federalist Society special interest machine.  Her ideology was birthed in the petri dish of the Republican corporate donor class that believes it is above government regulation and disdains accountability to juries and the judicial process.  She has led a campaign as Trump’s regulatory czar to deliver huge benefits to corporations at the expense of public protections that safeguard families, workers, and our environment.  The Roberts Court has already demonstrated its fealty to the donor class with its string of 73 partisan decisions in their favor.  I hope Ms. Rao does not fit this pattern; her record to date suggests she will.”

But all of Whitehouse’s conspiracy theories amount to nothing more than: Republican donors support conservative judicial nominations in compliance with the law. What he leaves out is that liberal donors do the same thing, maybe on a larger scale, funding groups like Demand Justice to attack Republican nominees. But Sheldon Whitehouse is shocked, just shocked, that Republicans do it.

That was on full display today during the hearings for Amy Coney Barrett. Whitehouse didn’t ask a single question of Barrett. Instead, he spent a half hour with charts and posters supposedly showing the grand conspiracy. But again, it amounted to nothing more than Republicans spend money to support conservative nominees — much if not almost all of the money being spent to counter attacks from left wing groups funded by unknown liberal donors.

Here are some clips (full 30 minutes here)

Ted Cruz did a massive takedown of Whitehouse.

Not only is the dark money theory nonsense, it’s hypocritical. Whitehouse himself partakes of “dark money” donations:

As the Wall Street Journal noted in more than a half-dozen editorials, Whitehouse has long been a star in the dark-money puppet theater. Sometimes, he plays Geppetto, sometimes Pinocchio, but he’s a major player either way. The Journal has noted a whole series of friend-of-the-court briefs filed in Whitehouse’s name but which were funded, or for which legal work was done, by either top campaign donors or suspected top donors to Whitehouse. The same paper also raised questions, never fully answered, about a particular example of when “the senator intervened for a [specific] company after campaign cash flowed.”

Among the dark money outfits about which the Journal wanted Whitehouse to disclose his ties were ones called Arabella Advisors, the Sixteen Thirty Fund, and Demand Justice. A watchdog group called Influence Watch keeps close tabs on those left-wing outfits. It reports that Arabella is an umbrella group that doesn’t disclose its donors, nor do the subsidiary groups, and they also keep secret their “salaries, vendors, budgets, expense breakdown, fundraising, or grants to other nonprofits.” In 2018, it spent $600 million on political causes. The Sixteen Thirty Fund, in turn, was founded with seed money from the corrupt, now-defunct, left-wing organization ACORN.

Sheldon Whitehouse is a nutter. A conspiracy nutter. A hypocritical conspiracy nutter.

 

 
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