Even if the former president*’s coronary arteries finally turn to cement tomorrow, it will not matter. He will live on in the forces he unleashed. One of the more promising developments I’ve noticed in the elite political press is that it is increasingly referring to “Trumpism” rather than to the person after whom it is named. (If it were to take the next step, which is to change Trumpism to “Republicanism,” that would be an admirable concession to political reality, but I don’t expect miracles.) Referring to “Trumpism” is, at least, an acknowledgement of the fact that the past four years have embedded a dangerous strain of permanent insanity in our politics, and that it may take decades to dig it out, even if its enablers are willing to try, which I don’t think they are. Right at the moment, we have some clear indications that Trumpism, and the lethal authoritarian delusions made flesh that are its clearest manifestations, are waiting for another politician to give them meaning and focus. Call it the Deep Crazy.
For example, there is this absurd exercise in Arizona, where the state senate has contracted with a pro-Trump firm called “Cyber Ninjas” to “audit” the vote count in Maricopa County, Arizona. Most recently, a local court expressed some curiosity about how the Cyber Ninjas are doing their business. The Cyber Ninjas ducked behind their lawyers. From the Arizona Republic:
Judge Christopher Coury asked the company on Friday to turn over its plans and procedures amid concerns about the security of the county's ballots and voter privacy.
But the company argued on Sunday that filing the documents in court publicly would compromise the security of its recount. And it argued that the records include protected trade secrets. The company also maintained that the documents are protected by legislative privilege, as it is working on behalf of the state Senate.
The judge’s concerns seem well-founded.
The push to keep details of the recount process under wraps comes as part of a lawsuit that the Arizona Democratic Party and County Supervisor Steve Gallardo filed against the state Senate to stop the recount altogether, contending it violates various state election laws. Responding specifically to information brought to light by an Arizona Republic reporter, he also ordered that all black and blue pens be removed from the facility. The state's election procedures manual expressly prohibits the use of black or blue pens in areas where hand count audits are conducted because voters use those colors to mark their ballots.
Coury ordered, during a hearing on Friday — the first day of the recount — that the process follow all state laws. He even left open the option of stopping the recount until Monday if the Democratic Party could post a $1 million bond to cover any potential costs from the delay.
The is madness, subcontracting the manufacture of ammunition for the next outbreak of sedition. It is a completely closed loop—the only outfit covering the kabuki recount seriously is One America News, and when the “results” inevitably “prove” that the losing candidate last November actually won by eleventy-thousand votes, a substantial chunk of the American electorate is going to believe them, and then we’re off to the races again. I suspect these results are going to warm a lot of hearts in Wabasha County, Minnesota, where the county Republican Party is entertaining speakers who are about an inch away from the Ancient Aliens dude. From the Bemidji Pioneer:
Described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "far-right conspiracy theorist," [Trevor] Loudon has a history of making toxic statements. He is a "birther" who has spread the discredited notion that President Barack Obama is not a U.S. citizen. The event was promoted on Facebook by Beverly C. Roche-Snow, Wabasha County GOP chairwoman. When contacted by Forum News Service, she hung up the phone.
Rep. Steve Drazkowski, a Republican from Mazeppa whose district covers parts of Wabasha County, did not attend the event. But he was dismissive of the Southern Poverty Law Center's labeling of Loudon as "far right-wing.”
"The Southern Poverty Law Center is a left-wing group, very far left," Drazkowski said. "If they have problems with this Trevor Loudon guy, I will tell you that Republicans, conservatives have equal problems with the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
The Deep Crazy runs deep in these parts.
Last year, the party was condemned by Jewish organizations after an image comparing mask mandates to Nazi Germany's persecution of Jewish people was posted on Wabasha County GOP's Facebook Page. A Wabasha County GOP official initially claimed that its Facebook page had been hacked. But later, Minnesota Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan said the picture was posted by a county GOP board member, who resigned at the party's request.
Also meanwhile, down in Florida, an actual member of the U.S. Congress was the star of a rally at which the freak flags flew high and proud. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has discovered that you can make a nice living as a member of Congress as long as you don’t allow Congress itself to cramp your style, was the main event, and she made sure to hit all the hot-button Deep Crazy she saw. From TC Palm:
“No matter how upset you are about the presidential election and no matter what you’re seeing in the news,” Greene said, “it’s not over. You want to know why? I’m there. And guess what else? This is bigger." … Greene described herself as the “most canceled” person in Congress. She embraced censure by the U.S. House. And she hit major conservative talking points often heard on Fox News and far-right media outlets. In a county, and a state, where the environment often is a bipartisan issue, she decried the Green New Deal as anti-business and claimed that electric-powered vehicles would make the country dependent on China for batteries. The crowd responded with a standing ovation.
The Republican Party has a Deep Crazy problem, and the country has a Republican problem. It exists in the lower levels of the party’s organizational structure to such an extent that the highest levels don’t dare cross it. It’s waiting there for another politician to give it purpose and focus. The temptation for politicians may well be too great.
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