by Richard Cameron
The GOP Zombie Apocalypse Has Begun
While the national media has been turning its attention in recent weeks to the supposedly nascent internal warfare in not only the GOP, but also the factions that comprise the Republican party, we have been keenly aware of it for most of the past year, both during the primaries and also during and after the midterms.
In various discussions with associates and readers of National Compass and at the kitchen table, as my family can attest – I early on, put down markers about how all of the intense drama would continue unabated within and without the 118th Congress throughout 2023 and into 2024, just as I had projected that the much vaunted “Red Wave” confidently touted by Republicans and the mass media, would not materialize.
The exit polling proved infinitely more accurate than the pre-election polling (for mostly obvious reasons) and it demonstrated that voters across the country and in battleground states were turned off by extremism in the GOP, combined with distaste for conspiracies about the “stolen election” in 2020.
In this time span of the next 24 months, independent, swing and moderate voters, who might have mistakenly taken Republicans at their word that they would deal with serious issues, will have witnessed these House members turn Congress into the most out of control feuding frat house imaginable.
After 2 exhausting years of it, those same independent voters will have had a belly full of disgust and disillusionment and turn control of the House of Representatives back over to the party of sanity – or at the minimum, the party that seems sane in comparison; the party that defends democracy, not necessarily because they are named after it, but because by and large, they believe in democracy.
“I can imagine a Trump-anti-Trump war over the next two years that just guarantees Biden’s re-election in a landslide and guarantees that Democrats control everything.”
– Former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich in an interview with The New York Times.
When I describe a feuding frat house, I’m not describing the ordinary sort of thing that has become baked into the pie with Republicans where they position themselves as the party of no and stage fights against everything the Democrats stand for. No, this is something we haven’t seen in anywhere even close to the dimension it will expand to.
Republicans will spend most of their time battling each other and they will be so busy doing so they will have little time to spare to lob spit wads at Democrats, although they will do their best to multi-task.
The qualification I will add is that, depending upon who actually gains possession of the Speaker’s gavel, yes Republicans will most certainly push all sorts of absurd and objectively pointless “investigations” through the sewer pipe which will entertain the party voting base, but annoy and enrage everyone else.
To be sure, the conflict will not be exclusive to the House of Representatives, but will also involve artillery fire directed at a sizable number of GOP Senators.
Speaking of the GOP Senate, it was notable that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is under attack from the far Right within his party, agrees with my overall assessment of things to come:
“We underperformed among voters who did not like President Biden’s performance — among independents and among moderate Republicans — who looked at us and concluded: too much chaos, too much negativity. And we turned off a lot of these centrist voters,” McConnell said Wednesday. “We have a problem with people in the middle who still — even though there are not as many of them as there used to be — determine the outcome.”
It’s not difficult to divine what lies ahead, because what we have seen so far is sufficiently predictive. For example, let’s look at the battle lines and opening skirmishes surrounding the ordinarily routine run up to a vote for Speaker.
The principal players are of course, current Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and fellow freakshow House member (and I do mean ‘member’ in the most pejorative sense) – Matt Gaetz (R-FL). It can be argued that Greene is the ringleader of the pro-McCarthy element and Gaetz, of the anti-McCarthy element.
Examples abound of the fracturing, which resemble a series of collapses of rapidly melting glaciers.
“MTG wants to protect McCarthy from being removed if he is elected Speaker,” Ali Alexander , a principal organizer of the January 6 attack on the Capitol and founder of “Stop The Steal”, wrote on Telegram, adding, “There is something so odd about what is going on between McCarthy and MTG. I’ve only ever once before seen anything like it. It may be time for me to intervene.” Alexander also labels Greene as a “trailer park hoodrat”.
I’ll admit that I was unfamiliar to the epithet, “trailer park hoodrat” and its origins, and purely out of curiosity, Googled it. Nearly all the many references to the slang expression point to links on various porn websites!
That gives you a clue to where Alexander most likely picked it up. Make of it what you will, but sorry, I’m not hyperlinking any of the search results here. That aside, the choice of the phrase does evidence the inherent disdain for, let’s be frank, a sizable contingent of the Republican party’s base.
Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert and Greene have been locking horns for months in a back and forth that most observers believe is directly related to Greene’s support of McCarthy. Of Greene, Boebert recently stated at a Turning Point USA conference, “I’ve been aligned with Marjorie and accused of believing a lot of the things that she believes in. I don’t believe in this, just like I don’t believe in Russian space lasers, Jewish space lasers, and all of this.”
That doesn’t make Rep. Boebert seem sober minded in comparison with MTG, it just confirms that different people have different tastes in conspiracy theories, just as there are passionate aficionados of Star Trek as opposed to Star Wars and seldom do their preferences intersect other than on TV’s “The Big Bang Theory”.
Then there is far right MAGA personality, serial drunk, vile amateur rap artist (“Fokiss”), Alex Jones wannabe (who on the right isn’t?) and police impersonator, Stew Peters – who according to his arrest record, has been in quite a few stews of his own, and who tweets of Greene, “I see you’ve stopped talking about dildos and butt plugs”.
This was a reference to a non-sequitur uttered by Greene at a New York Young Republicans Black Tie Gala, post election, which also counted as a featured attendee, one George Santos, he of the totally fabricated resumes and back stories. More on that moron in a moment.
These aren’t your daddy’s Young Re-Pubes and Stew Peters is not an entree at any restaurant, leastwise none that I would patronize.
Greene had commented during the event that, “By the way, you can pick up a butt plug or a dildo at Target and CVS nowadays.” Rumor has it that Greene is disgruntled after having purchased some of the battery powered devices and found a couple of them defective. Hey, that is as reality based as 99 percent of the cray cray claims Greene makes about any number of subjects.
Butt (sic) what accounts for Stew Peters ongoing obsession, is ripe for speculation. In any event, he was not done with MTG. He got very personal about her moral deficits and even speculated that she could wind up in the hot place.
Peters told the Daily Beast in a phone interview that Greene was “actually a threat to national security” and declared that she would “burn in hell” one day. Word has it that a betting pool has been started to wager which of them will arrive in Sheol first.
Stewie also ruminated that “Marjorie is NOT America First, but regrettably a faker and a liar who raised millions claiming she would impeach Biden, and now backs a man for Speaker who refuses to impeach Biden.”
He also scoffed at the “wholesome Christian mom” image she promoted and alluding to her recent divorce and reports of marital infidelity, dubbed Greene a “two-bit whore.”
We think the last assertion, TBW, should be fact checked, because to our knowledge, no such thing exists, especially with the inflationary cycle we’ve been in. Somebody’s living back in the what – late 50s? As to the “wholesome Christian mom” image? Where, when – what hallucinogen was he on? – I might want to conduct a test review of it on Youtube, for purely scientific purposes, you understand.
I guess just parenthetically, keep in mind that all of these people maintain that they are Christians and “serve Christ” and yet exemplify behavior that is as far from Jesus‘ discourses to the disciples as this planet is from Uranus (nothing personal). Rhetorical question alert. Has Christianity become some transmutable prop at their disposal to further their own agendas?
White Nationalist and avowed crusader for a universal dominance of a Catholic theocracy, not to mention, mentor to budding anti-Semite Kanye West – Nick Fuentes is now also getting personal with Ms. Greene. “She wants to be the face of Christian nationalism. She’s divorced, and she’s actively an adulterer,” Fuentes said, referring to disputed reports that she was linked with a tantric sex guru. “How are you going to be the face of Christian nationalism when you’re a divorced woman girlboss?”
Greene herself, hasn’t been without a response. Greene said that she’d watched the episode of Fuentes and West on the Alex Jones poopshow and described Fuentes as an “immature young man” and “racist”, asking, “What has he ever done in his life? He knows nothing more than anyone else.” We usually pride ourselves at having answers to all sorts of questions, but we are stumped on those as well.
While Greene’s assessments are undeniably true, it is also indisputably an example of the broken clock getting the time correct at least twice a day, although Rep. Greene’s stats might not be quite that high or consistent. But spookily, she got two more observations correct. “I was concerned about some of the statements being made, Nick Fuentes being there as well,” she said. “The antisemitism, that has got to stop. It’s out of control, and we have no place for that anywhere in our politics or anywhere in our country.”
And all of this day to day, hour to hour drama is before any of these scary Clown Gangstas even formally take control of Congress. And then this one materialized before I could even wrap up this column.
Newly minted right wing mountebank, former Democrat Congresswoman from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard, while guest hosting for Tucker, took some hard swings at the guy that has so much fraud in the shopping cart that he is single handedly taking all the oxygen out of the Sam Bankman-Fried fraud room and that is the aforementioned George Santos.
“If I were one of those in New York’s 3rd District right now, now that the election is over, and I’m finding out all of these lies that you’ve told, not just one little lie or one little embellishment — these are blatant lies — my question is, do you have no shame? Do you have no shame? And the people you’re asking to trust you to go and be their voice for them, their families and their kids in Washington?”
Santos, who despite having lied about everything conceivable about himself and scores of others as well, will be perjuring the oath next week as a Freshman House Member.
There appears to be no end to the jaw dropping revelations, including most recently Santos on record as claiming (falsely) that his grandparents were Holocaust survivors and that his mother, Fatima Devolder, passed away from cancer related health issues she contracted from being in proximity to the fallen World Trade Center on 9/11.
About 97 percent of the Gee Ohhhhh Pee is quieter than church mice regarding Santos. We don’t know precisely what the calculus was with regard to Ms. Gabbard’s public flaying of him on Fox News, but it is interesting nonetheless.
Subsequent to that virtual dismemberment, Marjorie Taylor Greene, reflexively attacked Gabbard and came to Santos’ defense, owing no doubt to her single minded objective of getting Kevin McCarthy to 218 so she can be awarded her committee assignments. Greene tweeted:
“I do appreciate that Tulsi says words that sound conservative now even though she can’t take action to back them up,” Greene said. “I am glad she, like George, realized she made mistakes and was wrong every time she voted to support killing the unborn, taking away our gun rights, and legislated to kill America’s energy independence and the fossil fuel industry.”
Just what we have recited above scarcely begins to scratch the surface of the guns a blazing between the various camps in the Republican encampment, the elected officials and the right wing media eco-system.
All of it reminds me of an incident in the third volume, “That Hideous Strength”, of C.S. Lewis’ science fiction “Space” trilogy. There’s one scene in the story that presages the end of the deranged plotters (N.I.C.E.) and prompts one to compare it to the disssembling taking place within the GOP.
It is the scene where a campus (the fictional Bracton College) auditorium full of Bond villian types and their associates are gathered and they are overcome by the very dark forces that they have summoned by their individual and collective actions.
It starts when one of the principal antagonists rises to address the group and his comments quickly degrade into gibberish. Another rises to interrupt the first and gain control of the proceedings, but also begins to deliver incomprehensible mutterings.
Soon the entire room is infected with the verbal virus and an orgy of chaos and mayhem follow, triggering a sequence of events that culminate in the destruction of the evil plotters, their organization and its plans for mankind.
The Republican party and the MAGA, Christian Nationalist, White Supremacist, Qanon consortium surrounding it are in a similar sort of Tower of Babel mode, descending into tumult and bedlam, which unabated, will ultimately resign the party to national irrelevance in much the same fashion as it now is in California.
Another fascinating and chilling personage in Lewis’ plot is “The Head”, described by The Silent Planet Wiki as:
François Alcasan, a.k.a. “The Head“, was a French scientist guillotined for murdering his wife. In That Hideous Strength. Alcasan’s severed head is recovered by the N.I.C.E. and appears to be being kept alive by the technology of man, and regular infusions of blood, while in reality he is just a communication mechanism for the Macrobes who despise mankind and the Earth.
Not only does this thematic element of the reanimated head appear to presage the most ominous functions of Artificial Intelligence, but also, in some respects, the Head in the laboratory, could be analogous to Donald Trump, with the key exception that Trump has always spoken gibberish although his gibberish is taken to be gems of wisdom by his lemmings and Trump’s ‘intelligence’ doesn’t even rise to the level of artificial.
The parallel is flawed in another important respect. François Alcasan is an disembodied diabolical intellect inhabited by dark ethereal spirits of great shrewdness and metaphysical discernment.
On the other hand, Trump’s head is a vast dystopian wasteland, devoid of reason or curiosity beyond the purely material – but with an infinite facility of recognizing the potential in others for anger, hate, spite, willful ignorance, cruelty, avarice and self obsession, which he exploits to deceive and mislead the most willing among us to suspend their disbelief in a cheap demi-God, with a urine colored UFO atop his head and Orange stained skin.
There is a perception, even among some in the Republican party that fatigue is setting in with more voters. “I think that’s one of the reasons that we didn’t see a red wave … the idea that people are sick and tired of the noise, and they’re sick and tired of the fighting,” Rep. David Joyce, an Ohio Republican, said of the impact of an upcoming January 3 floor fight. “And I know I get that wherever I go in my district is, ‘why can’t you guys just get things done?’”
Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee and Mitt Romney’s niece, with whom she seldom sees eye to eye, told host Stuart Varney, who now sees Trump as the root of GOP troubles, asked, “Most importantly, how do we get independents to support Republicans and how we get Republicans to support other Republicans?”. “This infighting within our party is never going to help that. We need Trump voters, we need McCain voters, we need Romney voters and then some in order to beat the Democrats,” she added.
Congresswoman Greene on the other hand, is evidently of the view that no repositioning, change in optics or broadening the message is in order, instead, she recommends a hardening of the battle lines within the party:
“The base will no longer tolerate Uniparty Republicans, which are viewed as America Last, and I have been making that clear inside our conference while the base has been making it loud & clear on the outside,” Greene wrote. “This must continue in order to keep our conference moving right.”
And we previously alluded to the internecine warfare emerging between the GOP conference in the House and their colleagues in the Senate. Prior to the vote on the stop gap funding bill, a group of 13 House Republicans vowed to retaliate against their colleagues in the Senate over the year-end omnibus spending bill that lawmakers would need to approve to avert a government shutdown.
A tersely worded letter—signed by Reps Chip Roy, Matt Gaetz, Scott Perry, Dan Bishop, Andy Biggs, Matthew Rosendale, Ralph Norman, Bob Good, Byron Donalds and Andrew Clyde, and Representative-elects Anna Paulina, Andy Ogles and Eli Crane—warned Senate Republicans against backing the massive bill or risk being a target of their own party.
“We are obliged to inform you that if any omnibus passes in the remaining days of this Congress, we will oppose and whip opposition to any legislative priority of those senators who vote for this bill, including the Republican leader,” the letter reads.
“We will oppose any rule, any consent request, suspension voice vote, or roll call vote of any such Senate bill, and will otherwise do everything in our power to thwart even the smallest legislative and policy efforts of those senators.”
The writing is already on the wall about the tumult, disorder and animus yet to be witnessed. Expect the fight for Speaker to be ridden with pandemonium and the run up to the GOP Presidential primaries to be a brutal clash that bloodies the winner, whoever that may be, rendering him a weak animal limping into 2024 and that is even if Trump is indicted for his cornucopia of crimes beforehand.
Swing voters are going to demonstrate their disapproval in droves. Democrats will not only regain control of the House, but in a dramatic fashion in terms of the number of seats they will gain.
Republicans themselves already see and understand this, but they have allowed themselves to be trapped in a walled in dead end with nowhere to turn to escape it. Long term pain, short term gain. Sympathy for their predicament, I have none.
I invite the readers to submit in comments, their predictions on what this next year in GOP fratricide holds for our politics.