Twenty years living in northeast Indiana will do things to a person’s head. One of the things it did to mine was make it very comfortable with Republicans. After all, they were everywhere – if you couldn’t make your peace with them, you’d be damn uncomfortable. Like being terrified of squirrels.
And in that time, I thought I’d met the full spectrum. They ran the gamut. At one end were the moderate country-club types who ran the city and weren’t overtly racist. Next down were the county office holders and residents. When the city tried to annex the urbanized parts of their territory, they objected strenuously; it wasn’t just the taxes (which went without saying), but the crime, oh my the crime. “We don’t want to be part of the city with all that criiiiimmme,” was the lament. As though simply stretching the boundary around their subdivision would invite crime. (Spoiler alert: It didn’t.)
Then there were the hard-core rural types, who got twisty knickers over the very idea that some day, the city might sprawl out to them, that they might have to accommodate another human being’s expectations in any way. Some of them were crazy – tax protesters, third-party voters, regular callers to talk radio with fanciful theories about the Federal Reserve, which is to say, they were anti-Semites who’d probably never had a conversation with a Jew in their lives.
One of these guys hailed me outside a polling place on Election Day. “Ma’am, may I interest you in some literature from Bo Gritz?” “I thought it was pronounced ‘grits,'” I replied. “Oh no,” he said. “It rhymes with ‘rights.'” Ha ha! No thanks.
Anyway, even these guys were mostly harmless. There was that messy business in Oklahoma City at the federal building, but at least it shut them up for a time. Hard to adopt a pose of moral superiority when your fellow travelers have bombed a daycare center.
But this new type disturbs even Rod Dreher, and I’m not sure what to think of them. I’m reasonably confident they’re just flinging chum at the dumbest – but still writing checks! – members of the base. However, I honestly don’t know what to do with this steaming pile of rancid fish guts:
America is growing weary of the Republican Party not fighting for the truth or @realDonaldTrump Instead they cower to special & foreign interests. #WeThePeople will not be treated like fools.@POTUS won the election & everyone knows it.#FightForTrump https://t.co/sgpQsW0Oms
— General Flynn (@GenFlynn) December 15, 2020
Does this alarm you, or nah? Is this only grifters fighting over a drying lake full of about-to-be-beached fish, or what? What will be the upshot of it? Paul Mitchell, lame-duck Michigan congressman, was elected four years ago, and was pure Tea Party then, probably still is. He declined to run for a third term, and this week formally resigned from the caucus. It’s a toothless move. If he’s trying to send a message, and he is, nobody is listening.
But if the GOP can’t accommodate a hard-core tea partier anymore? How long do we have to pretend these people are fit to invite into your home? I wouldn’t touch Flynn with 10 feet of Sarah Palin. And yet? Here we are.
I was sleeping better, briefly. But I’m not anymore. I still expect a rather large act of violence before Jan. 20, as this tantrum goes on, and on, and on.
OK, then. Midweek, time to watch some TV. Maybe watch a sitcom, because to judge from ol’ General Flynn, soon it will be all show trials and executions. Happy hump day.