Thursday, June 10, 2021

"A Clown With a Flamethrower Still Has a Flamethrower."

"These Republicans told everybody that their election results could be trusted because they were in charge and they were so good they were models. now they are signing laws based on lies. that they know are lies because they told the world they're lies." Nicolle Wallace
(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)

I usually shy away from quoting right wingers because, well, general principle. One, after all, must take what they say while sitting in a salt mine. Even Never Trumpers like Charlie Sykes who, along with Bill Kristol, founded the right wing Bulwark let slip once in a while where they really stand politically by wistfully hoping that the Republican Party will find its true north. So, side-eyed circumspection is always called for. 
    But these Never Trump Republicans are nostalgic for a GOP that is virtually nonexistent. The mainstream Republican Party has been largely, if not entirely, subsumed by the poisonous spread of Qanon conspiracy theories and those comprising the multifaceted Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen. To those of us who don't labor under an incurable conservative sensibility, it's becoming more obvious with each day that it's as futile to wait for the return of a "sane" Republican Party to triumphantly return to the Beltway and state capitols as it is to await the return to the old pre-pandemic normal or a pre-9/11 normal. That ship done sailed. Let us call her the HMS Titanic, rearranged deck chairs and all.
     However, Charlie Sykes, right winger or no, coined a wonderful phrase that's too good not to steal and I've shamelessly appropriated it as my title. "A clown with a flamethrower still has a flamethrower," Sykes told Nicolle Wallace today. The point he was making, obviously, is we can continue laughing off these conspiracy theories regarding the election but we do so at our own peril. The peril comes in the form of voter suppression laws that have been signed into law, passed or introduced into the state committee legislatures in a horrifying 48 of our 50 states.
     Yes, Republicans across the nation, and only Republicans would dare advance such racist, hyper-partisan legislation, are trying to deny communities of color to exercise their constitutionally-mandated right to vote under the dodgy rubric of "election security." Yet Wallace, in the clip above, showed a supercut of two governors and Dan Patrick side by side first bragging about the security of their own elections only to follow that up later with their excuses as to why voter suppression laws are nonetheless necessary. In fact, this is what the Brennan Center wrote (emphasis theirs):
     "As of May 14, 2021, legislators have introduced 389 bills with restrictive provisions in 48 states. Twenty-two bills with restrictive provisions have already been enacted. In addition, at least 61 bills with restrictive provisions in 18 states are moving through legislatures: 31 have passed at least one chamber, while another 30 have had some sort of committee action (e.g., a hearing, an amendment, or a committee vote)."
     That was a month ago. Imagine how much damage those psychopaths have done or have tried to do to the electoral process over the last four weeks. And, if Republicans have shown us anything over the last several decades, the only time they ever fast-track anything is when they have the chance to deny those they deem inferior or insufficiently loyal to the party their constitutional rights.

The Party's Over... Forever
I would take this opportunity to inform the likes of Sykes as well as Rick Wilson, Steve Schmidt, Bill Kristol, Olivia Troye, George Will and all the Never Trumpers out there that their party, the party of Reagan, ain't never coming back. But I'd much prefer to see the looks of dismay on their pusses when they realize that on their own. In the meantime, I'll be off to the side making Jiffy Pop and rinsing out a beer stein to be better quaff my schadenfreude.
    Making my case is this new, more infantile version of the GOP, like the City Council in some shithole county in North Carolina that tried to ban Coke machines after its CEO criticized Georgia's voter suppression bill before eventually rescinding it. This is from the same party of foot-stomping idiots who gave us "Freedom Fries" in the Congressional cafeteria when France decided it wanted no part of the Iraq War.
     Liz Cheney, infamously, was stripped of her GOP conference chair after two votes because she had a few moments of clarity and called bullshit on Trump's, and the GOP's, lies about the election. Her vote to impeach Trump the second time didn't endear her to the Party of Lincoln, either. In fact, all 10 of the House Republicans who'd voted for the second, single, article of impeachment wound up being censured by the state legislatures in their states. Mitt Romney was booed at Utah's own state convention. There was even talk of the Utah GOP censuring him before it was quashed.
     And then there's the metastasizing madness going on in Maricopa County, Arizona that has attracted the likes of Doug Mastriano, a right wing lawmaker out of Pennsylvania that proves, if nothing else, if you build a big enough pile of shit, the flies will come. Yes, folks, despite all the bad press the Maricopa Co. "audit" is getting, hyper-partisan audits grounded in conspiracy theories and furtiveness is sounding like a really good thing to try in their states.
     Let us also not forget the 120 Republican scum who'd voted to overturn the election results just hours after an insurrection that managed to break its way into both chambers of Congress  and called for the lynching of Mike Pence. Let us also not forget the 120+ Republican scum who'd proudly signed on to Ken Paxton's quixotic lawsuit challenging election results in four states that weren't Texas. That would be the same lawsuit that took the Supreme Court about three seconds to decide they didn't want to hear.
    (That's a stunt, by the way, that earned the Henry Lee Lucas of Attorneys General an investigation by the Texas State Bar Association.)
    So, the old Republican Party not only isn't coming back any time soon, it's never coming back. The most radical members of the GOP have either aided and comforted the January 6th insurrectionists, they've embraced bizarre and otherwise comical "audits" carried out by conspiracy theorists thousands of miles from their home states, they're going after their own through censure and vindictive musical chair games while embracing the likes of Marjorie Taylor-Greene, Lauren Boehbert and Matt Gaetz.
     Meanwhile, let's give the 16th president a chance to cry it out in private.


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