Opinion|| Nads in a Wringer
Remember when kids online were swallowing spoonfuls of cinnamon and setting their genitals on fire for likes and clicks? Adults like me would shake their heads, sigh, and be thankful to be a boomer because we just licked frogs and ran naked through mud-filled parks on acid trips. Those terror-filled trips generally resulted from believing in the invulnerability of youth, but Republicans have discovered fear and loathing is an invulnerable political tool for their base. The—can you top this—elements that have turned a once-worthy opponent into a frothing mad dog is both sad and damaging to the politics of America.
Republicans have developed something for everyone, from the offensive to the absurd to the dangerous. In the past several weeks, Senator Rand Paul has suggested that veterans and active duty service men—exposed to toxic burn pits should not get health care from their government. Carl Paladino, who in the past has praised Adolph Hitler as “the kind of leader we need today,” is running for Congress in New York state. In his own game of can you top this, Paladino recently called for the execution of Attorney General Merrick Garland for authorizing the search and seizure at Trump’s club in Mar-a-Lago. After a public outcry, Paladino now says he was being “facetious.”
There is a dangerous element of GOP politics that is not only embracing racism, anti-Semitism, and White Nationalism but sees it as a strategy. I am unsure if that says more about the lack of quality of GOP candidates or the lack of scruples of their voters. Members of the GOP, despite the poison they are fed regularly, rally around the cauldron (waving American and Confederate flags) and drink from their cup of excuses. If they take it, there is solace for what remains of ‘Big C’ conservatism. Denouncing Trump en masse would be a start. Minority leader Senator Mitch McConnell keeps running to the ledge to grab what is left of sanity in his party from falling over the edge but cannot bring himself to say Trump is pushing us all over. Unlike a wrangler that leads a horse to water, Donald Trump is a firehose drowning his followers in lies and rhetoric.
Mr. McConnell came close to saying it yesterday when he told the public what we already know, the GOP’s “candidate quality” for the upcoming 2022 election may cost them victory. In a reporter gaggle yesterday, McConnell said, “I think there’s probably a greater likelihood the House flips than the Senate,” the minority leader continued. “Senate races are just different; they’re statewide. Candidate quality has a lot to do with the outcome.” That lack of quality includes Blake Masters, who fairly or unfairly has been associated with Nazis. Dr. Mehmet Oz has given new meaning to the word carpetbagger. Don Mastriano is still an election denier who participated in the January 6 insurrection and is deflecting charges of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. Incumbent Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said the insurrectionists were Black Lives Matter (in white face, I guess) or Antifa.
The Republican party has to either believe in a society where everyone gets to participate or succumb to the branch spearheaded by the ideas of extremist Laura Loomer. She supports white nationalism with a caveat, “I don’t oppose people who say that they wanna have their own ethnostate or — I don’t see anything wrong with white nationalism. But you need effective leaders — people who aren’t Richard Spencer, people who aren’t James Allsup — to effectively convey that message.” Next, she will put her Nads in a wringer for likes and clicks.
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