By Sid Schwab / Herald columnist
Rarely are we provided an exemplar that perfectly captures a complex subject, requiring only simple observation to understand everything: what’s become of the Republican Party, for example.
Improbably, at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conferecne (CPAC) convention, there were two. Least surprising was the featuring of Europe’s most dictatorial right-wing leader, Hungary’s Viktor Orban.
Fresh off a speech in which he’d unequivocally staked his claim to white supremacy (“we do not want to become peoples of mixed race”), he was showered with standing ovations; thus were eliminated any doubts of Trumpublicanism standing for authoritarianism, xenophobia and white grievance. CPAC is Trumpublicanism emblazoned: All of its wannabes and neverbes, its liars and demagogues, flock there as if to the Holy Land, to strut the stage, aglow with received adulation. But the most mind-blowing proof was off-stage.
Representing incarcerated Jan. 6 insurrectionist law-breakers, on display, in a cage, was an orange-outfitted “prisoner” actor, weeping performatively. Oh, the heart-rending injustice: criminals, properly found guilty in courts of law, paying for their crimes. Gathered tear-eyed as if before a creche, bearing witness, the formerly law-and-order-crowing crowds raised their hands to heaven in prayer. If the scene doesn’t confirm the mindless cult that’s become of a once-useful party, nothing does (Imgur: tinyurl.com/2crazy4u)
Insinuating herself into the cage, Marjorie Taylor Greene, idolized not in spite of but for her insanity, knelt before the man — a paid actor! — camera-ready praying and holding his hand. And yet (hold tight your head, lest it snap on the swivel) she says no one will ever convince her the insurrectionists weren’t antifa. In which case, for whom tf was she praying?
Proof of their descent into irrationality is undeniable, the Bill of Particulars long. Lauren Boebert got Orbanish applause for demanding, smug-faced and self-satisfied, that Dr Anthony. Fauci be prosecuted (Twitter: tinyurl.com/boebert4u).
Away from the convention hall, there was worse; though some was amusing. As Fox “news” reported President Biden’s record-breaking, prediction-busting jobs numbers, they ran a chyron stating “WH misses forecast on lower July jobs growth.”
Not a single Republican senator voted for the Inflation Reduction Act, which will benefit all Americans, even those who don’t care. For the first time, it’ll address climate change seriously. It beefs up the Affordable Care Act, takes important steps to lower prescription drug costs, and fights inflation. Having failed to block President Biden’s pro-America package, Republicans got back on their cruelty feet to kill a provisions in the bill capping the cost of insulin for the privately insured, which is around ten times higher in the U.S. than anywhere else. The cap would have still been three times higher.
Many of them said no to the CHIPS act, aimed at making the U.S. more competitive with China in manufacturing computer chips. Indiana’s strict anti-abortion laws are driving corporations away and causing ob/gyn doctors to look and go elsewhere. We learned that, during Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, as dozens of tips about his bad behavior came in, the FBI chose not to investigate. As despicable liar Alex Jones finally got his due, we’re reminded that Trump appeared on his show and Fox’s super-spreader Tucker Carlson called him “one of America’s most important truth-tellers.” And we read of the ongoing struggle of generals to keep Trump from using the military as his private police force (New Yorker: tinyurl.com/trumpvgens).
Which brings us to the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago, in which the party of law and order sees QAnon levels of abuse of power by President Biden. Right. With nothing but good news lately about Joe’s succession of successes, he’d raid Trump to get the news off the front pages? News like unemployment at a 50-year low; gas prices at three-month low; inflation down; al-Qaida’s Ayman al-Zawahiri eliminated; the CHIPS, PACT and IRA acts passed. What it says, in fact, is that, unlike Trump’s control of the FBI and attempts on the Pentagon, President Biden had nothing to do with the Justice Department’s decision.
For Attorney General Merrick Garland and a federal judge (appointed during Trump’s “presidency”) to sign off, there had to be compelling reasons to suspect criminal behavior, concluding, as reported, months of investigative lead-up (Washington Post: tinyurl.com/2Bcareful). But law-loving Trumpworld took time off from chanting “lock her up” to express outrage that laws apply to everyone.
Raiding Trump’s rule-skirting home is no more unprecedented than the crimes of which he’s suspected. It had to have been justified extra-convincingly, which Trumpublicans will never believe. But Trump has a copy of the search warrant. If he’s being wronged, he should make it public. Paradoxically, rational analysis was available only to Fox “news” viewers: tinyurl.com/4fox2u.
Alternatively, take it from me: Anyone being investigated by the FBI is not qualified to be president of the United States.
Oops. Sorry. That’s what Trump said about Hillary Clinton, incessantly, during the campaign of 2016.
Email Sid Schwab at firstname.lastname@example.org.