Max Boot, so, so wrong in his premise that the GOP was ever the smart party, wrote in his Washington Post column today that in the 1980s, when he "became a Republican, the GOP took pride in describing itself as the 'party of ideas.' But under Trump’s leadership, Republicans have reclaimed their old reputation, dating back to the 1950s, as the 'stupid party.' What’s even more telling: This is not a source of shame or embarrassment for the party’s populists. They’re the stupid-and-proud-of-it party."
Can anyone really say who is more stupid and ignorant, Lauren Boebert, the QAnon gun-slinger from Colorado, or Madison Cawthorn, a delusional and manipulative North Carolina Nazi-- the Pinocchio of the 117th Congress? Cawthorn made a play for first place recently in an awe-inspiring display of incoherence about the Bible he pretends to base his life on. Writing for Right Wing Watch this morning, Kyle Mantyla reported that Cawthorn, claiming he has "to look Nancy Pelosi in her cold evil eyes every single day" [though he only met her once, when she swore him in], was babbling about "a spiritual battle" on Capitol Hill. "I am tired," he told radical religious-right activists at Temple Baptist Church in Mount Airy, North Carolina, for the North Carolina Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Salt & Light Conference, "of the Republican Party that believes if we bend the knee to the Democrats and the radical leftists and the socialists enough times, then eventually they'll start liking us... I will tell you, the only way we take our country back, is when strong, God-fearing patriots decide it is time for us to stand up and say NO to your tyranny. It is time for the American Christian Church to come out of the shadows to say... blah, blah, blah"
But that video didn't capture the funniest part of the little twerp's harangue, released last week by Right Wing Watch-- and in an ad by Cawthorn himself. The renowned GOP Biblical scholar told his drooling audience of imbeciles to "look back into the Old Testament. Look at David, look at Daniel, look at Esther. Look at all these people who influenced the governments of their day to uphold Christian principles." [Emphasis was his.]
David, Daniel, and Esther are Jewish figures who were mentioned in the Hebrew Bible hundreds of years before Jesus or the existence of Christianity, so it makes no sense to insist that they “influenced the governments of their day to uphold Christian principles.”
Predictably, Cawthorn doesn’t actually care about the coherence or accuracy of his statements and has now turned those remarks into a fervently Christian nationalist reelection ad for his campaign. The ad, which was released Sunday afternoon, urged Christians to “take our country back.”
Cawthorn, along with Boebert and Marjorie Traitor Greene, is one of the spokesmodels for the new Republican Party. In the fringe bubble, he's a super-star. Aside from being dumber than a brick of shit, he's an anti-patriot and he's stoking the flames of civil war and secession. Ed Kilgore, reporting for New York Magazine this morning, wrote about the mindset, without singling Cawthorn out. "Acknowledging a national political and cultural divide does not, however, mean jumping to the conclusion that the United States would be better off just calling it a day after 245 years. That view is, however, a growing sentiment among Americans, especially in MAGA-land, as some recent polling suggests. 52 percent of Trump voters in a new University of Virginia Center for Politics poll said they now favored red states 'seceding from the union to form their own separate country,' compared with 41 percent of Biden voters who said the same about blue states. There is, moreover, an abundant literature of neo-secessionism on the political right these days, much of it coming from intensely pro-Trump quarters ranging from Glenn Beck’s Blaze Media fiefdom to the Claremont Institute. In this latter MAGA hothouse, secession is nestled within the concept of a 'National Divorce' in which the two mutually hostile sectors of the country would go their own ways."
I'd love to be rid of them-- the useless, unproductive, superstitious, ignorant, handout states. They elect people like Cawthorn, Greene, Gohmert... Kilgore has a different opinion.
[T]he MAGA movement resembles the proto-Confederates in that it has a powerful sense of loss, that in Trump it had its big chance to Make America Great Again but was robbed of victory by tyrants who will now flood the land with the votes of swarthy immigrants and destroy American enterprise with a socialist administrative state. The Confederates, having been denied control of their native country via the organization of a sectional party united by opposition to national recognition of property rights in human slaves, sought a new country rooted in the what they viewed as the better parts of the old. And not for a moment did they admit to themselves they were aggressors.
Now as then, there are elements of the left happy to let the reactionaries go in order to liberate themselves from the gridlock and paralysis that big national divisions operating under a limited-government Constitution encourage. This February at the Nation, Nathan Newman argued for “blue-state secession” adopting this point of view. And back in 2018, here at Intelligencer, Sasha Issenberg offered a vision of a breakup of the United States via the construction of two big coalitions bound by interstate compacts that were blessed by the federal government, with Red and Blue Federations restrained by a Neutral Federation that contained the old federal Capital and many of the old battleground states.
So might we drift apart more or less peacefully this time around? Possibly, but count me out when it comes to agreeing to a National Divorce. Yes, I might derive great joy from the overthrow of the U.S. Senate and its filibuster and the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court. I would feel much safer in a progressive nation that didn’t arm its citizens to the teeth, didn’t view other nations as “shitholes” full of subhuman orcs to be subdued, and didn’t accept calamitous climate change as just the price of doing business.
But how could I happily accept the accelerated subjugation of women and people of color in a new adjacent Red America, any more than abolitionists could accept the continuation and expansion of the slavery they hated? Would it really be safe to live near a carbon-mad country in which the denial of climate change was an article of faith? And could I ever trust that a “neighbor” whose leadership and citizens believed their policies reflected the unchanging ancient will of the Almighty would leave our fences intact?
I don’t know if the hypothetical leaders of an America facing red-state secession would have the unshakable will of a Lincoln. And it’s not at all clear that young men and women in Blue America would be willing to take up arms in large numbers to resist secession with fire and blood. But this Union is still worth fighting for, no matter how frustrated we all are with congressional chaos, with elections that feel like nuclear exchanges, and with “debates” taking place between people who can barely communicate with each other. I’m not willing to peacefully give up our Constitution, abused and abusive as it has sometimes been; our capital with its surly bureaucrats and devious pols; or the bonds of kinship and history that connect me with so many red-state people, much as we disagree on most everything other than college football and fried food.
So I say to the would-be secessionists: Please don’t go. And if it’s somehow in my power, I won’t let you go. I have no illusions of compromises yet untried or “third ways” left unexplored. So let’s have it out right here in America, as peacefully as we can manage. Perhaps if we continue to battle for control of our common country one side or the other may win a popular mandate to exercise real power and change the facts on the ground, breaking the perpetual stalemate. If not, then let’s consider the wisdom of those who crushed the Confederacy in the belief that the misery of political conflict is better than the literal civic death of national disunion.
I say, please go-- and take Idaho, Wyoming and the Dakotas (and Facebook) with you-- but leave Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh, Asheville, Virginia, New Orleans, Louisville, Nashville, Memphis... with us. [Presumably, there are parts of Florida that would want to remain loyal to America too, but they'll have to speak up for themselves... although I did notice that Trump lost by landslides in Broward, Orange, Alachua, Leon and Gadsden counties.]