Monday, August 06, 2018

Who Will Be Left In The Republican Pup Tent After November?


The other day, we warned about not getting sucked into the political perspectives of conservatives on MSNBC, like "non-practicing Republican" Nicolle Wallace, "ex"-Republican Steve Schmidt, #NeverTrumper Rick Wilson and right-of-center Democrat Adam Schiff, just because they are anti-Trump. Anti-Trumpism is important... but that isn't what it means to be progressive-- and none of them are. That said... their anti-Trumpism can be pretty delicious-- and inciteful.

Friday night Schmidt was on Real Time with Bill Maher reprising a point on Overtime that he has often made on MSNBC-- that a shrinking GOP is getting crazier and crazier, more extreme and more divorced from America.

He announced to sustained applause that we're going to see "college-educated Republican women in these swing districts deliver the blue wave for the Democrats."

In terms of Congress,what Schmidt and others are talking about is simple. The most electorally vulnerable House Republicans this year are Republicans in swing districts where independents decide who wins elections. Take WI-01, Paul Ryan's district. Ryan,who was savvy enough to read the writing on the wall, decided to retire. So what happens now? About a third of the voters are Republicans. They'll vote for the Ryan clone he picked to run. About a third of the voters are Democrats. They'll vote for Randy Bryce, the inspiring progressive Democrat endorsed by Bernie Sanders. And about a third are independents. They've been leaning towards the Republicans in recent years. But not this year. Bryce is way ahead among independents. And that story is very similar all across the U.S., from swing districts like Maine's second, where Jared Golden is likely to meet Republican rubber stamp Bruce Poliquin, through Pennsylvania and New Jersey where the GOP is looking at unprecedented electoral catastrophes, across the Midwest and on into Washington state, where even the 4th ranking Republican leader, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, looks like she's going down to Democrat Lisa Brown, and down through California, were the GOP is likely to lose half a dozen seats, including all 4 of their remaining Orange County seats. Even once safe GOP seats in Texas, in and around Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio are on shaky ground. That's why the party is shrinking.

So where does the crazy come in? Look who's left. The districts where there really aren't enough Democrats and independents to make a difference-- the deepest red House districts that elect extremist lunatics-- primarily, though not exclusively, in the South. With mainstream conservatives disappearing you get a congressional party dominated by nut-jobs in districts where people believe the Q-Anon stuff-- members like Steve King (R-IA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Clay Higgins (R-LA), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Doug Collins (R-GA), Jodi Hice (R-GA), Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), Tom Graves (R-GA), Paul Gosar (R-AL), Ken Buck (R-CO), Brian Babin (R-TX), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Joe Wilson (R-SC)... These are crazy people. That's what Schmidt was talking about. And their constituents are crazy too.

Incredibly, even some of these members in districts like these are suddenly finding themselves in scary primaries. J.D. Scholten could actually beat Steve King in November. Dayna Steele has Brian Babib on the run in TX-36, a district where Hillary only took 25.2% of the vote. But, generally speaking, these extremist and neo-fascists are what will make up the rump of the Party of Trump after the 2018 and 2020 elections.

Florida Republican and anti-Trump political consultant Rick Wilson has no delusions about how stupid and ignorant the Trump supporters are. Over the weekend he referred to them as suckers, aggrieved and paranoid, and "thrilled to have 'An Answer' that explains everything about the world they hate and tells them Trump is great and they’re pretty good, too." Bingo!
The claims of Q-Anon make Nostradamus look like Hemingway. Naturally, they're elliptical, variable, and impossible to cross-check. Hundreds of YouTube videos, blog posts tweets, Facebook items, and speculation follow each post, a Confederacy of Dunces that ramifies this idiocy out into dumber and dumber dead ends. QAnon asks its believers to "follow the breadcrumbs" and fill in the blanks. Those blanks get filled with epic idiocy.

The glee with which the followers of this absurdity latch on to imaginary deportations of Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, and others to Gitmo is notable. Several times, Q has promised them that any moment now the rest of the Deep State will occupy the darkest holes of the American prison system. QAnon tells them that retribution is at hand, and they’re ravenous for more. Lurid and exciting for the rubes, but as of yet, Hillary Clinton walks free. If that even is Hillary Clinton, and not a shapeshifting reptilian overlord.

Those of us with the unfortunate awareness of the clownishly risible QAnon conspiracy cult have been reveling in the comedy gold, lavishly overwrought, dangerously stupid proclamations of Q for months. We've alternated between laughter and wide-eyed shock at how credulous Trump’s Army of Cletuses must be to fall for such an obvious, ludicrous con. Then again, Donald Trump put the “con” in “conspiracy” as far back as his embrace of birtherism.  If the puzzle surrounding QAnon is a fever dream wrapped in an enigma, coated with nougat, rolled in nuts and filled with a creamy center of delusional paranoia, Trump's own role in fostering it is right out of the Lil Tots' First Book of Authoritarian Strategy.

For actual authoritarians and the merely dictator-curious, building a separate, hermetic truth defined only by the Dear Leader is 101 stuff, and goes hand in hand with the relentless attacks on the free press an enemy of the people.

...Why has Q eaten the Trump-right's minds? Why does it work on them when it's so obviously, evidently a gigantic pyramid of digital horseshit?

It works because stupid people are stupid and because Donald Trump's Administration loves what QAnon does to stoke the fires of paranoia, resentment, and division. QAnon works for Trump because people who are not knowledgeable about the world, politics, government, the intelligence community and reality more broadly are desperately looking for confirmation that they're on the winning team. Q tells them that they're on the right side of history and that for once in their dreary little lives they and only they possess the secret, hermetic knowledge from inside the esoteric cult.

Q represents where the former GOP has gone in the era of Trump; possessed the desire to have a private space that makes even Fox News look mild in comparison, grasping desperately for a different reality.

When even aggressive conspiracy-pusher faux-journalist loons and alt-lite thought leaders Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec find QAnon too crazy to promote, it should make you pause. Both men were aggressive promoters of the Pizzagate theory, in which a Washington D.C. restaurant was falsely alleged to be the center of a global child sex-trafficking, cannibalism and prostitution ring. Both were all-in on the cruel and false Seth Rich story, and a raft of other pro-Trump efforts to mainline fantasy conspiracies into the American body politics.

If it's too crazy for those edge cases, it's too crazy.

No, Trump fans, the storm isn't coming. There is no Great Awakening. "Where we go one we go all" is a path to disappointment and madness, not to some brave new future where Donald Trump's genius and his army of secret soldiers purge America of a vast, secret deep state of hostile insiders and pedophiles.

Q is a meta-hoax, a recursive scam in service of a scam called the Trump Presidency. The "drops" are meaningless claptrap, noise without real signal, and most certainly not the signs of the new reality its eager marks desire.

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At 6:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give it a rest already. We had this discussion back in 2008 after obamanation and the democraPs rode that anti-red wave to FDR majorities.

How'd that pup tent end up?

The better question to ponder is just why did that pup tent balloon back up to a viable electoral juggernaut only 2 years later.

But we never discuss THAT. Too damning for the party that we must hold our nose and vote for... again... still.

At 6:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


That pup tent rose up with a great deal of assistance from obamanation. They were on the floor with a splitting headache from the pummelling the voters gave them. Obama picked them up, dusted them off, turned the other cheek, tilted his head back until his chin was most prominent, kicked his base to the curb, and then invited the GOP to take their best shot until they knocked him out.

We never discuss THAT either.


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