Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Mixed Nuts

An election often brings out people with some odd points of view about policies and how to run our lives.  In the aftermath of Trump, we’re seeing a bumper crop of crazy.

Case in point: Blake Masters running for the Senate in Arizona.

… “It’s people in Chicago, St. Louis shooting each other. Very often, you know, Black people, frankly,” Masters clarified. “And the Democrats don’t want to do anything about that.”…

After pinning gun violence on gangs and Black people—and saying, falsely, that Democratic administrations “don’t want to do anything” about gang shootings—the Stanford-educated libertarian went on to complain to Oravits that gun control efforts target “law-abiding people like you and me.”

“When they ban ‘ghost guns’ and pistol braces, that’s all about disarming law-abiding people, like you and me, that’s what it’s about,” Masters said, referencing government efforts to crack down on the surge in privately made, untraceable firearms. “They care that we can’t have guns to defend ourselves.”

Masters—a Bitcoin evangelist who routinely hawks automated surveillance technology developed by his benefactor, billionaire tech mogul Peter Thiel—claimed that “it’s pretty rare” for homemade firearms to show up in criminal activity. But his information might be outdated…

… Masters—who has likened federal campaign disclosure laws to Kristallnacht—veered into conspiratorial territory.

Democrats “don’t like the Second Amendment,” he said, because “it frankly blocks a lot of their plans for us”—an unhinged, fact-free statement that liberal officials have cooked up a plot to physically force conservatives to comply with some unarticulated evil regime, but have been held at bay by fears that a constitutionally endowed populace will shoot them if they try…

And then there’s this charmer, Billy Long running for the open Senate seat in Missouri.  His goal in life is to get Vice President Kamala Harris to resign so that Joe Biden can appoint Trump to replace her and then resign.

On Thursday, Rep. Billy Long (R-MO), a candidate for Senate in Missouri and an avid promoter of election conspiracy theories, put forward a bizarre new plan on Twitter for how he will get former President Donald Trump reinstated to office.

Specifically, he said that he will get Vice President Kamala Harris to resign, have President Joe Biden appoint Trump as vice president in her place, and then have Biden himself resign, putting Trump first in line to ascend to the presidency.

He did not specify how any of the steps of this would work, including how he would get Harris or Biden to resign or how he would persuade Biden to choose Trump as his vice president.

Voila!

By the way, he blames gun violence on abortion.

“Something has happened to our society. I go back to abortion, when we decided it was okay to murder kids in their mothers’ wombs. Life has no value to a lot of these folks.”

Yeah, we get a lot of wackos and extremists running in primaries, laying the groundwork for an interesting general election.  But what’s both scary and sobering is that both Masters and Long have already won elections in the past: people have actually voted for them over someone else.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Worth A Shot

Marcus Flowers is running against MTG.

ROME, Ga. — The request for a campaign contribution came in an email. Or was it a text? Gerald Luongo gets so many he can’t remember.

Luongo does recall that he was eager to give $25 to the Democrat — he struggles to recall his name — who’s running to unseat Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Republican congresswoman whose recent outrages include calling Democrats the “party of pedophiles” and speaking at a white nationalist’s political conference.

“What she’s saying and doing is annoying the hell out of me,” says Luongo, 83. “A disgrace.”

A few weeks after his contribution, an automated text popped up on Luongo’s phone from the same Democratic candidate. “Hey, it’s Marcus Flowers,” the text began, explaining that a donation “before midnight” would maintain the momentum needed to “end” Marjorie Taylor Greene’s “tenure of terror.” This time, Luongo gave $50.

Then another, “Hey, it’s Marcus” text arrived a few days after that. So he sent another $50.

It didn’t matter that Luongo doesn’t live in Georgia, let alone the district where Flowers is running. Nor does it seem to matter that Flowers — or any Democrat, for that matter — is viewed as having little chance of unseating Greene, who won in 2020 with nearly 75 percent of the vote in one of Georgia’s most pro-Trump areas (although his name appeared on the ballot, the Democrat running against Greene that year dropped out early, citing personal reasons).

“It’s important that we tell Marjorie Taylor Greene that not everyone likes her,” Luongo says by phone from Boca Raton, Fla., where he owns a language school. “I get to make a statement.”

A maxim of American politics in the digital age is that anyone, even a no-name challenger launching a long-shot campaign, can raise gobs of cash if they have the right opponent, preferably one who inspires widespread scorn.

For Marcus Flowers, 46, an Army veteran who only recently discovered an interest in politics, the right opponent is Greene, who in the past has made comments that even fellow Republicans called “appalling,” “disgusting” and “bigoted,” and who has energetically echoed former president Donald Trump’s false claim that he won the 2020 election. Flowers, among three Democrats competing for the chance to face Greene, rarely utters more than a few words without mentioning her. “I’m Marcus Flowers,” he likes to say, in an easy-on-the-ears baritone, “Army veteran and Democrat running to unseat Marjorie Taylor Greene.”

This strategy helped him raise more than $8.1 million by early May, according to his most recent campaign finance report. As of Monday, according to the Federal Election Commission’s website, he had raised more money than any congressional challenger in the country, despite the fact that experts doubt a Democrat can win Georgia’s 14th District, even with a recent redistricting making it ever so slightly less red.

“This district is solidly Republican,” said Andra Gillespie, an Emory University political science professor. “If the goal is to unseat Marjorie Taylor Greene, I would not hold my breath.”

There’s a distinct difference between a hopeless mission and a Quixotic quest.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Disarray Is The New Normal

Charlie Pierce:

Well, it looks like soon-to-be-ex-Rep. Madison Cawthorn will have plenty of time to use that two-for-one VIP pass he picked up on his last vacation trip to Berchtesgaden. However, it’s important not to fall for the riff that this is an example of the Republicans policing the Crazy in their ranks. Cawthorn was a public embarrassment to the party and he crossed too many important moneybags in North Carolina for those people to tolerate any longer. These are the people who fund the Crazy in that newly insane state. Then, of course, there was his now-famous rambling about cocaine-and-sex orgies among his fellow Republicans. Perhaps he will feel sufficiently unencumbered now to go into further detail, perhaps with visual aids. One can only hope.

(The fellow who excised Cawthorn, a state legislator named Chuck Edwards, is, of course, no bargain either. He knows where all the GOP G-spots are. However, he is unlikely to cast, say, Chuck Grassley in a Beltway reboot of Caligula. The bar is not altogether high.)

Besides, if the GOP really were committed to rooting out the prion disease afflicting the party’s higher functions, its voters wouldn’t have handed such a thumping victory in Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial primary to theocratic nutball Doug Mastriano, whose campaign platform seems to have been lifted wholesale from the Book of Armaments. Mastriano, a Christian nationalist who also is a 2020 election Truther, and who hired buses to bring people to Washington for the January 6 rally that ended up in the storming of the Capitol, won the nomination by more than 20 points. From NBC News:

In a speech at his election night rally, Mastriano said his campaign “has no place for hate, bigotry and intolerance,” adding that his movement is “under siege” from opponents and members of the media who don’t “like groups of us who believe certain things, and they paint us in these awful descriptives…Everyone in this room can believe whatever they want, and they should not be mocked for that,” he said. “And that includes us on the Republican side. And I will not stand for you mocking, you know, me, my wife, my family or what we believe or anyone in this room here. This is America.”

That’s a bit snow-flakey if you ask me.

Mastriano suggested at a rally this month that his administration would be so far to the right as to make other conservative governors, like Florida’s Ron DeSantis, look as if they were middle of the road. “You guys think Ron DeSantis is good? Amateur,” Mastriano cracked, adding: “We love you, Ron, but this is Pennsylvania. This is where the light of liberty was set in 1776, where this nation was born.”

Ben Franklin to this guy? I sense a certain slippage.

Returning to North Carolina, former Governor Pat McCrory got squashed in that state’s Republican senatorial primary by Ted Budd, a Freedom Caucus congressman who voted against certifying the current president’s election. Budd also got the most kind blessings from El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago, but his campaign got a real boost from late spending by the plutocrats of the Club For Growth. In Idaho, the Republican governor beat the Republican lieutenant governor, who spent most of their term together trying to usurp the governor’s power whenever he went out of town. The less said about those people, the better. Disarray? Who? Us?

The Democrats can’t just run their campaigns as if they are running against normal opponents.  These people are not only nuts, they’re dangerous.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Shitstorm

This ad for a Democrat running to unseat Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) is scatological in the extreme and most assuredly NSFW, but it might just work in Colorado.

HT to Betty Cracker for the title.