Commentary

Republicans seem to have decided they don’t like the democracy thing

June 20, 2022 7:00 am

A pro-Trump mob breaks through police barriers at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Screenshot from a video published by ProPublica). Courtesy of Colorado Newsline.

Important things we now know, thanks to the January 6th committee:

  • White House Chief of Staff and election fraudster Mark Meadows suggested Italian satellites may have sabotaged Trump votes.
  • The Proud Boys have nothing to be proud of. The sad camo. The backwards ball caps. The racism. They wrote up a nine-page plan to occupy congressional offices, “rushing the buildings” and targeting “specific senators” from whom they’d somehow demand an election do-over. They called it “1776 Returns.
  • Ivanka is clearly a bot. Its beige plastic skin. Its blank tar-pit eyes. It seems to be malfunctioning, too. Could be a motherboard issue: Has anybody checked under the hair for an error code?
  • Jared Kushner, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabia, said the White House lawyers who summoned enough decency to threaten resignation over Trump’s seditionary lies were just “whining.”
  • The inevitable Florida connection: Publix heiress Julie Fancelli paid Don Jr.’s shouty squeeze Kimberly Guilfoyle 60 grand for a two-minute “introduction” at the Jan. 6 Reichsparteitag.
  • Former Attorney General Bill Barr is a shameless harlot whose only redeeming quality is a peculiar resemblance to the University of Georgia mascot. Barr smelled the stink rising from Oval Office gents and resigned, while praising Trump for the “unprecedented achievements you have delivered for the American people” — whatever he imagines those “achievements” to be. Before he turned on Trump, that is. Man’s gotta sell books.
  • Rudy Giuliani apparently was drunk when he told Trump to declare victory and they’d figure out how to steal the votes later. He’s probably still drunk. And on his way to being disbarred.
  • Trump thought it might actually be a good idea to hang Mike Pence.

D.C.’s Arya Stark

The House hearings on the violent near-coup at the Capitol is the most exciting television since “Game of Thrones,” though with less sex and fewer beheadings. The whole show is a kind of House Stark versus an orange-tinted Night King: dead and wounded all over the Capitol’s marble floors, turncoats insisting they tried to stop him (honest!) while Liz Cheney, the Washington, D.C., version of the name-taking, butt-kicking Arya Stark, presents all that damning evidence.

Liz Cheney. Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

You don’t want to get in the way of Liz C., daughter of the equally ruthless Dick, as she exacts her revenge on those who murdered whatever credibility the Republican Party had left after 2016.

There was a time when America was pretty good at the democracy thing. We had a decent hold on reality, at least. Presidents understood what “you lost” means. Political parties occasionally worked together.

But since the Obama administration, eight years of decent progress on social justice, it’s becoming clear something has gone very wrong with Republican brain-wiring.

Or as we say in Wakulla County, them people ain’t right.

Candidate Herschel Walker is in the grip of several delusions: For one, he claims there’s some kind of mist you can walk through that kills COVID and, for another, that he’s qualified to be a United States senator.

To be fair, the poor fellow spent years on the gridiron being repeatedly hit in the head.

And gym rat Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene may be suffering from ’roid rage. Over Memorial Day weekend, she put out a statement that fake meat grown in what she called a “peachtree dish” will be forced on us by Bill Gates who will somehow be able to “zap” you from inside your guts should you be so bold as to eat a real cheeseburger.

‘Dead horse’

Gov. Ron DeSantis addresses a news conference on June 15 in Madeira Beach. Source: Screenshot/Florida Channel

Hostility to the truth is now the Republican brand. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz continues to bang on about how the FBI incited the Jan. 6 riot, while Gov. Ron DeSantis dismisses the whole thing: Trying to overturn the 2020 election? So 2021. “Why are they constantly beating this dead horse?”

No doubt DeSantis also thinks Watergate was just another equine corpse not worth talking about.

But this 2020 pony looks pretty lively: It’s landing sharp kicks on many a Republican posterior.

Of course Il Duce needs to play down the insurrection. He’s hardly going to diss the Christian nationalists, white supremacists, neo-Nazis, Oath Keepers, and latter-day confederates who did their damnedest to destroy the fairly elected government of the United States. They’re his core voters.

There are now at least six Proud Boys on the Miami-Dade Republican Executive Committee.

Republicans seem to have decided they just don’t like the democracy thing. Or the free thought thing. All that challenging of America’s greatness and goodness and God-favoredness. All that annoying science getting in the way of destroying the planet for money. All that equality stuff. All that voting by unsuitable (read: Black, Latino, Native American, poor, elderly) people.

Authoritarianism is so much easier. So much more profitable.

They don’t care if the U.S. government is a criminal operation and the president interested only in enriching himself. The entire Cheez Doodle regime was a feast of treasonous acts, murderous thoughts, epic lies, reality-denying, grift-enabling, tantrum-throwing, finger-pointing, back-stabbing, psycho-coddling, and ass-showing.

Loser

The U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Credit: Screenshot, CNN.

Trump knew that he lost the 2020 election. Everyone around him knew it, too, from his feral children to his congressional toadies to his alarmingly unglued “lawyers” such as John Eastman, who admitted that even if Mike Pence had decided he had the power to hand the presidency to Trump, the con man from Queens would lose 9-0 in the Supreme Court.

By then the country might be in flames.

From Hannity to Rupert, Mitch to the My Pillow Guy, they knew there was no real voter fraud, no manipulation of voting machines by Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez (dead since 2013), no suitcases full of votes in Georgia, no bamboo-infused ballots illicitly flown from Asia to Arizona.

Trump lost. But he was prepared to destroy the country to feed his ego. He still is.

2024 is coming.

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Diane Roberts
Diane Roberts

Diane Roberts is an 8th-generation Floridian, born and bred in Tallahassee, which probably explains her unhealthy fascination with Florida politics. Educated at Florida State University and Oxford University in England, she has been writing for newspapers since 1983, when she began producing columns on the legislature for the Florida Flambeau. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Times of London, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Oxford American, and Flamingo. She has been a member of the Editorial Board of the St. Petersburg Times–back when that was the Tampa Bay Times’s name–and a long-time columnist for the paper in both its iterations. She was a commentator on NPR for 22 years and continues to contribute radio essays and opinion pieces to the BBC. Roberts is also the author of four books, most recently Dream State, an historical memoir of her Florida family, and Tribal: College Football and the Secret Heart of America. She lives in Tallahassee, except for the times she runs off to Great Britain, desperate for a different government to satirize.

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