The devolution of the Republican Party has been a sight to behold—but it’s been a particularly fraught experience for ex-Republicans.
I know if the Democrats had nominated Charlie Sheen for president in 2016 and then proceeded to abandon all their previously held goals and principles in exchange for a chance to appear on teevee in a “Tiger Blood” T-shirt, I might have been a little disillusioned, too.
But that didn’t happen. Donald Trump happened, and plenty of old-guard Republicans are sick at heart about it. After all, that’s not their kind of evil. The genteel George H.W. Bush in professorial garb—now that’s their kind of evil. A shambling mound of lipids and lard-steeped curly fries in a blue suit and preposterously overlong tie? Not so much.
But that guy sent frissons of elation and electricity throughout the dimmest bulbs on the marquee, and so he’s now got his party by the shortest of short hairs.
Who’s aware of this? Everyone who’s been watching. That’s why when a member of the party’s House delegation says the most absurdly shocking and offensive things imaginable about Jewish people and the Holocaust, the House minority leader can only hope to issue a phlegmatic legume fart of a response that satisfies exactly no one.
You probably already heard about Marjorie Taylor Greene’s latest adventure in trolling, wherein she equated mask requirements during the middle of a deadly pandemic with the systematic oppression of Jews during the Holocaust.
That should earn her a strong rebuke from her party, if not an ejection from Congress. But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s tardy statement hardly met the moment:
“Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling. The Holocaust is the greatest atrocity committed in history. The fact that this needs to be stated today is deeply troubling.
“At a time when the Jewish people face increased violence and threats, anti-Semitism is on the rise in the Democrat Party and is completely ignored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“Americans must stand together to defeat anti-Semitism and any attempt to diminish the history of the Holocaust.
“Let me be clear: the House Republican Conference condemns this language.”
Well, at least he managed to call MTG’s statement “appalling” … before quickly turning his attacks on Democrats, none of whom has ever, as far as I know, compared mask requirements to concentration camps and ghettos. But I really don’t think this is a both-sides issue. And maybe he should condemn Marjorie herself instead of her “decision” and her “language.”
Former Republican and current Lincoln Project honcho Rick Wilson appeared today on LPTV to dunk on not just MTG but McCarthy as well.
Take a look:
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) May 26, 2021
WILSON: “This woman is not an outlier. She is the core of the Republican Party. She is the heart and soul of the Republican Party. She is more important in the Republican Party ecosystem than Kevin McCarthy. He issued a pusillanimous, limp-dicked statement today about her finally after getting beat up for hours and hours on end, and I gotta tell you something: He does that because he wants to stay [minority leader]. And he knows that she is the future of the GOP. She is the core, the heart, the soul of what the Republican Party now stands for. It is idiotic, it is violently stupid. It hates experts, it hates authority, it hates science, it hates culture. It hates everything except their reflexive trolling of the rest of the country. She is a monstrous person. She is a person who I would not piss on her if she was on fire. She is a person who deserves all the public … shame you could possibly imagine. But here’s the thing: Kevin McCarthy will not take a single step to expel her from Congress. She is the heart and soul of the Republican Party today. She is exactly the center of it, she is what they have become, and everybody in the Republican Party who goes, ‘Oh, no, that’s not me,’ they only do it quietly. They won’t go out in her face and say, ‘Shut the hell up.’ They won’t go in her face and say, ‘You are a crude, anti-Semite clown.’ They won’t do that because they understand she is their future. She is the party as it is written today, she is the party as it is comprised today. I find her so repulsive and so disgusting that it is all I can do not to get myself thrown off social media by saying what I really feel about her. But that is a woman who has officially fucked around and will find out.”
Are most Republicans as loony as Marjorie Taylor Greene? Well, that would be impossible. But, importantly, the vast majority of them are nevertheless all aboard the Wacky Wagon. So, from a practical standpoint anyway, there’s really not that much daylight between them and her.
Wilson is right. This is what the Republican Party is now. The only question is, can it adapt and survive in its new skin, or will evolutionary pressures finally cull it from the herd?
We’ll see. But they’ve hitched their carriage to these horses now, and they better hope the view of those hateful beasts’ backsides is something they want to enjoy for the duration of their political careers.
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In contrast to Donald Trump’s shambolic bearing, appearance, and comportment, Aldous J. Pennyfarthing is a natty hail-fellow-well-met and a gentleman.