We Be Snarky Today!

Some days da snark just keeps on comin’ …

Oh da bigotry!!!

Doug Mastriano is hoping to become the next governor of Pennsylvania.  He is a QAnon supporter and was also identified as a key figure by the House Jan. 6 committee in their investigation into the Capitol insurrection and efforts to overturn the 2020 election.  He spent over $3,000 to bus more than 100 Trump supporters to Washington on January 6th to be part of the attempted coup, and he himself was photographed crossing police barricades at the Capitol that day.  This alone shows Mastriano is not a very nice dude.  But read on …

Earlier this year, he apparently hired a consultant, a man named Andrew Torba, who is the founder and CEO of “Gab”, a right-wing social media outlet.  Here is what Torba had to say earlier this month to some criticisms of Mastriano by two conservative journalists, Ben Shapiro who is Jewish and Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report …

“We don’t want people who are atheists. We don’t want people who are Jewish. We don’t want people who are, you know, nonbelievers, agnostic, whatever. This is an explicitly Christian movement because this is an explicitly Christian country. Ben Shapiro is not welcome in the movement unless he repents and accepts Jesus Christ as his Lord and savior.”

I’m gonna say this once again, for obviously some people like Mr. Torba need to hear it.  The United States of America is NOT an “explicitly Christian” country!!!  Never has been, and hopefully never will be!  This is a secular nation where people of ALL religions and people of NO religion are equally welcome!  What the Sam Hell is so difficult to understand about that???  If the good people of Pennsylvania somehow elect this jackass Mastriano to be their next governor, all I can say is they will get what they deserve!

Mastriano is running against Democrat Josh Shapiro.  Currently, Shapiro is ahead in the polls, but only by about a 1% margin … far too close for comfort.

For once, a bit of good sense in the GOP?

Censuring seems to be quite popular these days in the Republican Party.  What does it take to be censured by the GOP?  The clear-cut one seems to be speaking against Donald Trump.  Earlier this year, both Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger were censured by the GOP for their honesty, their willingness to put the country above their political party.  What this means is that both were stripped of any committee assignments they may have held, but that’s okay … it gives them more time to spend working with the January 6th committee toward ultimate justice.

Both have paid a high price in their careers for their place on the committee, their choice to do the right thing.  Adam Kinzinger decided early on that he would not run for re-election in November.  Ms. Cheney remains in the race, but with zero support from her party, she faces an uphill battle.  Also, a year ago Ms. Cheney was censured by the Wisconsin GOP for her vote to impeach Trump in his 2nd impeachment.

However, there might be a bit of common sense or ethical thought processes in the Illinois GOP.  A group of Republican state legislators and trumpists have called on the Illinois GOP to censure Congressman Adam Kinzinger for “incendiary language, wild exaggeration and personal opinions” during the House select committee’s hearings.  But … GOP governor candidate Darren Bailey, who’s backed by Trump, and Illinois Republican Party President Don Tracy are ignoring the request!  Bailey and Tracy issued statements …

“The Illinois GOP is focused on uniting the party to defeat Gov. Pritzker in November and make Illinois a safe and affordable place for people to live. That’s what Republicans are rallying around. That is our priority.”

Did they say, ‘uniting the party’???  Well, whatever their reasons, it’s a sign of hope that perhaps the grip Trump has had on the GOP is being loosened, perhaps they’ve seen that his “my way or the highway” manner is not the way to win friends and influence people?  We can only hope.

Well, folks, I’ve got more snark, but I’m running out of time, so I’ll wrap it up here and save da snark for another day!  Meanwhile … just a few ‘toons …

The GOP — It Ain’t What It Used To Be

One of the columnists I most respect is Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post.  I bookmarked his column from Thursday to further peruse and upon doing so, I thought it well worth sharing with you.  We the People can still salvage the democratic foundations from under the ashes of conservative cultism, but … we don’t have many chances left, which is why it is so imperative that we make sure everyone votes this November and in November 2024 … it may be the last best hope for the survival of the United States.

State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin), the Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, gestures to the crowd during his primary night election party in Chambersburg, Pa., on May 17. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Cult or a conspiracy? The GOP sure isn’t a normal political party.

By Eugene Robinson

May 19, 2022

Is today’s Republican Party primarily a cult of personality or a seditious conspiracy? I can argue either side of that question. But it is clear that the GOP is no longer a political organization or movement in the traditional sense. And if Republican cultists and conspirators win power in November, voters have only ourselves to blame.

It’s not as if we can’t see the dangers that lie ahead. As Bob Dylan once sang, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

The object of the GOP’s cultish devotion is, of course, former president Donald Trump. I have my doubts whether Trump will actually run for the White House again in 2024 (and risk losing twice, whether he acknowledges either loss publicly), but for now he is the unchallenged egomaniacal leader of the party he seized in 2016.

Tuesday’s primary results in Pennsylvania prove Trump’s primacy. As the party’s nominee for governor, GOP voters chose Trump’s preferred pick, a state senator named Doug Mastriano who trumpets the “big lie” about the 2020 election being stolen; was present at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 (though he says he left before the insurrectionary portion of the events); and appeared at an event associated with the hallucinatory QAnon conspiracy theory about the nation somehow being run by a cabal of pedophiles.

His Democratic opponent, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, should be able to win that race handily by simply keeping his rhetoric and positions within the bounds of reality as we know it — if, and only if, enough Democrats, independents and still-sane Republicans bother to vote in November.

The race for the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania’s contested U.S. Senate seat is, as of this writing, a virtual tie between Trump’s choice, television celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, and hedge fund titan David McCormick. Far-right political commentator Kathy Barnette faded to third after Trump declared her too extreme even for his liking.

But look again at that lineup of candidates. None has any of the experience in elective office that used to be expected of a candidate for the Senate. And the campaign consisted mostly of all three professing their undying fealty to Trump and their faith in his infallibility.

The Democratic candidate in that November contest — Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who won his primary easily, despite suffering a stroke Friday, and is on the mend — has a good chance of winning, which could increase the Democrats’ tenuous Senate majority if they can hold other seats.

In North Carolina, GOP Rep. Ted Budd, another Trump endorsee, won the primary for that state’s open Senate seat; Budd is another “big lie” espouser who voted against certifying the 2020 electoral vote, even after the Jan. 6 rioters had sacked the Capitol. One Trump-endorsed N.C. Republican, Rep. Madison Cawthorn, did lose his primary. But Cawthorn’s antics and transgressions were such that not even Trump’s lukewarm pitch for “a second chance” for the troubled young politician could save him.

The dominant pattern of the Republican primaries thus far is clear: It is very, very hard to win a statewide nomination without Trump’s support, or at least his amity; and it is impossible to win Trump’s backing if you reject his lie about the supposedly “stolen” election. How is that anything but cultlike?

This is the most dangerous aspect of the GOP’s devolution from party to personality cult: Devotion to Trump requires a willingness to betray democracy. Much of Trump’s attention is focused on states, such as Pennsylvania, where he falsely claims he was victimized by voter fraud. If Mastriano were to win the governor’s race, his handpicked secretary of state could refuse to certify 2024 election results that Trump did not like.

Vote-counting in the Pennsylvania Senate primary is not yet finished, but Trump has already called on Oz — who has a tiny, tentative lead over McCormick — to preemptively “declare victory.”

This is where the question of seditious conspiracy comes in. The Republican Party is shaping itself in Trump’s image, and Trump has shown nothing but contempt for the traditions of fair play and good will that allow our democracy to function. Refusing to accept the will of the voters is authoritarianism. Today’s GOP, increasingly, is just fine with that.

All is not lost, however. Turnout in midterm elections is traditionally much lower than in presidential years. Voters who are appalled at what the GOP has become can send a powerful and definitive message by abandoning their traditional nonchalance and voting in huge numbers. We can reject Trumpism, both for its cultishness and for its proto-fascism. We can take a stand.

It’s up to us what kind of country we want to live in. We had better speak our minds with our votes — while we still can.