We don’t know if he brought red and pink Starbursts.
Anyway, if anyone had any doubts about it, the GOP = Trump = The Coup Klux Klan. This is as clear as it gets.
But wait! There’s more!
Meanwhile, Tiger Beat’s email thingie goes to Wyoming:
TARA WRITES FROM CHEYENNE, Wyo. — When the opportunity arose to fly across the country to see whether a slick-suited, 30-something congressman from Florida could stage a substantial rally in the name of DONALD TRUMP — in the district of a thrice-elected congresswoman with next-level name recognition — I knew I couldn’t resist.
And you know what, MATT GAETZ pulled it off.
On the steps of the Wyoming statehouse Thursday, at least 800 people were chanting “USA! USA!” while the GOP upstart (joined by DONALD TRUMP JR. via phone) blasted the state’s only congresswoman, LIZ CHENEY.It was a pocket-sized crowd compared to an actual Trump rally, but the maskless baby boomers in red MAGA caps emitted that same feverish voltage.
I knew going in this was Trump country, and that Cheney angered his many fans with her vote to impeach him. But I wanted to try to gauge just how deep the anger ran.
My takeaway, after an admittedly short stay and small sample size: If Cheney were up for reelection in 2021 instead of 2022, she’d be in serious trouble.
Honestly, it was hard to find anyone who would defend Cheney — and I really tried to talk to as many people as I could not at the rally. I stopped at a biker bar, a gun shop, a vape shop, a hardware store, a steakhouse, a diner, a dentist’s office and a pawn shop.
It wasn’t easy to get people to talk to me with my mask on. I had to shout many times that I didn’t want to get Covid-19. Some people actually said they wouldn’t speak to me unless I removed my mask.
Mask peeves aside, here’s a sample of what I saw:
— At Harbor Freight Tools, when I uttered the name “Liz Cheney,” an employee behind the cash register hurled a threatening epithet. Then a beefy and tattooed supervisor, Torrey Price, 48, came over mad as hell. His mask hung below his nose when he told me, “I don’t think she spoke for Wyoming.”
Price never votes in primaries but said he will in August 2022 — to oust Cheney. He shared more of his thoughts: the election was stolen, the U.S. Capitol raid was staged, and the number of Covid deaths were grossly inflated. He and his colleague Joe agreed on all of these points, adding that they would not be getting the vaccine.
— At the Outlaw Saloon, I envied the way a recently vaccinated NYT reporter sauntered into the biker bar maskless, when earlier, a middle-aged DJ in a cowboy hat asked me for my credentials. Likely because there were only two masks in the bar — the one on my face and another on a table, with the words “political prisoner” printed in red. The guy who threw down that mask predicted the size of the rally against Cheney, telling me the night before, “I guarantee you there will be 600 people there.” I didn’t believe him.
— At the steakhouse, our comely waitress said “a lot of people are fired up” about Cheney. As a lifelong native of Wyoming, she said Cheney made a grave mistake by not representing the people of her state.
— Lisa Totten, a 47-year-old clerk at City National Pawn, was probably the easiest on Cheney. She sort of remembered her from a parade, but thought Cheney was the mayor. Totten called Trump “embarrassing,” but voted for him anyway because she’s a gun-toting Republican. She said Cheney had “done a good job.” But unfortunately for the congresswoman, Totten has never voted in a primary and said she’s not motivated to vote in the next one.
If there was any doubt this is still Trump’s Republican Party, my time in Cheyenne dispelled it.
“The verdict is clear: The vast majority of Republicans will stand firm with former President Trump. The next phase is clear, too: Republicans are rallying around a common grievance that big government, big media and big business are trying to shut them up, shut them out and shut them down.
“The post-Trump GOP, especially its most powerful media platforms, paint the new reality as an existential threat. This means political attacks are seen — or characterized — as assaults on their very being.”
Then The Hill goes THERE:
The centrists’ worry is that the party is branding itself as the party of insurrectionists and conspiracy theorists. This spells catastrophe for the GOP’s ability to appeal beyond a hardcore base, they say.
You don’t say?