Even among congressional Republicans, Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) has earned a reputation for over-the-top rhetorical excesses. For example, the right-wing lawmaker’s embrace of bizarre conspiracy theories surrounding the Boston Marathon bombing are still offensive nearly two years later.
But Andrew Kaczynski reported the other day on Duncan’s latest argument, which would have been hard to believe were it not for the audio recording.
Republican Rep. Jeff Duncan says that Dianne Feinstein is a traitor for releasing the report on the CIA’s interrogation and detention techniques. […]“It’s a bad situation. I think America is less safe on a lot fronts and I disagree with the release of the information from Dianne Feinstein,” he added. “I think she’s as much a traitor to this country at this point as I thought about Edward Snowden and his release of information about other investigations and abilities from an intelligence stand point.”
Look, I don’t really expect much from Jeff Duncan, and I’m not beholden to traditional norms in which members of Congress refer to one another in the most respectful of terms.
But when a member of Congress refers to the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee as a “traitor to this country,” it’s not a casual rebuke.
There’s been far too much of this sort of garbage rhetoric. The week before, Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) said of the torture report, “[I]t’s almost treasonous, and it borders on treasonous.”
Remember, these far-right lawmakers aren’t concerned about torture; they’re concerned with the Senate Intelligence Committee publishing a report documenting torture.
But while Perry at least added weak qualifiers like “almost” and “borders on,” Duncan was more direct in calling Feinstein a “traitor” – all because she had the audacity to work with her colleagues from both parties on a report documenting U.S. activities.
Duncan, by the way, is the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee’s oversight panel, and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s panel on counter-terrorism. The right-wing lawmaker, in other words, is in a position that would presumably require him to be responsible and mature.
As best as I can tell, Feinstein has not publicly responded to the Republican’s condemnation.