Georgia GOP Debate Was A Pissing Match Over Who Wants To Help Trump Destroy Democracy More

INSIDE: Threatening A Dictionary ... Blinken In Ukraine ... Orrin Hatch
DALTON, GA - FEBRUARY 01: Former U.S. senator and Republican gubernatorial candidate David Perdue speaks at a campaign event on February 1, 2022 in Dalton, Georgia. Purdue kicked off his campaign, in which he will fi... DALTON, GA - FEBRUARY 01: Former U.S. senator and Republican gubernatorial candidate David Perdue speaks at a campaign event on February 1, 2022 in Dalton, Georgia. Purdue kicked off his campaign, in which he will first face incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in the May primary, the winner of which will face likely Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams, speaking on teacher pay and law enforcement. The Perdue campaign aired a video endorsement by former President Donald Trump at the event. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images) MORE LESS

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Perdue Opens Gubernatorial Debate With Big Lie

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) faced off with GOP primary challenger and Trump lapdog David Perdue in a debate on Sunday–and it got pretty ugly.

  • Perdue, out to prove his worthiness of the ex-president’s endorsement, immediately dove right into pushing Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was stolen. Like, that was literally Perdue’s first sentence: “First off, folks, let me be very clear tonight: the election in 2020 was rigged and stolen.” (It wasn’t).
  • Perdue also blamed his defeat in Georgia’s Senate runoff race on Kemp, one of Trump’s biggest punching bags after the state went to Biden and Kemp refused to overturn the results. Kemp fired back at the former senator, saying that “weak leaders blame everybody else for their own loss instead of themselves.”
  • Kemp bragged about passing “the strongest election integrity act in the country” after the 2020 election “because a lot of things were done by other people.”
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Michigan Far-Right Candidate Says Families Ought To Be All-White

Right-wing radio host Randy Bishop, who’s running for Michigan state Senate, complained on his show last month that commercials were trying to make him “feel guilty” because “I think a family should be a white mom, a white dad and white kids.”

  • Bishop also sprinkled his rant with some white nationalist “Great Replacement Theory,” claiming that “[t]hey want us to die and go away,” which “they’re going to try to do […] through politics this year.”
  • Bishop, a longtime conservative who was an outspoken advocate of a pro-Trump 2020 election audit, filed to run as a Democrat in the open primary race last week to, by his own admission, discourage actual Democrats from voting in the state GOP’s open primary. However, one of the GOP primary candidates is accusing Bishop of being part of a “pay for play scheme” to help another deeply conservative candidate beat establishment GOP candidates in the race.

Guy Allegedly Sent Violent Threats To Dictionary Over Female Gender Definitions

The Justice Department announced on Friday that a California man had been criminally charged with interstate communication of violent threats for allegedly making “hate-fueled threats” against Merriam-Webster, Inc. online over the dictionary’s definitions of “female,” “girl” and “woman.”

  • The man allegedly threatened to shoot up and bomb Merriam-Webster’s headquarters several times, claiming the dictionary had “caved to the cultural Marxist, anti-science tranny [sic] agenda and altered the definition of ‘female’ as part of the Left’s efforts to corrupt and degrade the English language and deny reality.”
  • Merriam-Webster shut down its offices in Massachusetts and New York for about five business days as a result of the threats, according to the DOJ.

Warren Roasts ‘Traitor’ McCarthy For Lying About Potentially Asking Trump To Resign

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) a “liar and a traitor” on Sunday after he was caught blatantly lying about a call with fellow House GOP leaders several days after Jan. 6 in which McCarthy said he’d urge Trump to resign over the Capitol attack.

Key Analysis

“Kevin McCarthy and the intoxication of power” – The Washington Post

US Diplomats To Return To Ukraine

After an unannounced visit to Kyiv, Ukraine this weekend amid Russia’s invasion of the country, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Monday that the U.S. would resume sending its diplomats to Ukraine next week and would be looking at reopening the U.S. embassy in Kyiv.

  • Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin traveled to Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. They were the highest-ranking officials to visit Ukraine since Russia began its assault on the neighboring country.
  • Biden officially nominated a new ambassador to Ukraine on Monday morning. The nominee, Bridget Brink, will be filling a post that’s been empty for more than two years.

An Air Force General Gets Convicted For First Time

Air Force Maj. Gen. William T. Cooley became the first-ever Air Force general to be convicted in a court martial on Saturday after he was found guilty of abusive sexual conduct. 

  • Cooley was convicted for forcibly kissing his sister-in-law in 2018. She had also alleged that the general groped her and forced her to touch him over his clothes in the same incident, but he was found not guilty of those allegations.
  • The general faces up to seven years in prison, plus dismissal from the Air Force. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for today.

Macron Fends Off Far-Right Challenger

French President Emmanuel Macron defeated challenger Marine Le Pen on Sunday in a decisive victory in France’s widely watched presidential race.

Sen. Orrin Hatch Dies At 88

88-year-old Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the longest-serving Republican in Senate history, died on Saturday due to complications from a stroke he suffered on April 15, according to one of his sons.

  • One bizarre paragraph in Hatch’s obituary in the New York Times describes the senator as “a gentlemanly conservative rock” who also “blocked labor law reforms and fair housing bills with filibusters, tying up Senate business for weeks” and “voted against the Equal Rights Amendment, which would have enshrined gender equality as a bedrock civil right.”

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Correction: An original version of this post misidentified Bishop’s party affiliation. He’s running as a Democrat.

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