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Fools, grifters, and rinos

February 8, 2021

On Facebook, a community post urging people to take Covid-19 precautions regarding Superbowl parties garnered a response that the government was using this epidemic as an excuse to implement tyranny. Which is batshit crazy. And yet so typical, it’s almost as if the right-wing crazies share a magic eight-ball from which they read responses.

What is difficult to know, when seeing someone advocate such, is to tell whether they actually believe something so absurd? Or just see some advantage in parroting it? In short, it’s not easy to tell the fools from the grifters. New congressman Marjory Taylor Greene has been much in the news, for the conspiracy theories she has endorsed. Connie Schultz takes those at face value. That may be the prudent default. Wafi Wahadi, on the other hand, thinks she is calculatedly taking advantage:

Do I believe that Greene actually believes any of this nonsense? Absolutely not! Greene is a well educated woman…

Alas, education doesn’t seem to distinguish those who fall for conspiracy theories. But that is based on what people claim. Wahadi might be right that it tends to distinguish the fools from the grifters. If only we had some independent way of determining that.

The GOP is engaged in an internal civil war over the role that conspiracy theories will play going forward. The fools and grifters want to continue the path Trump trod, campaigning and governing on the basis of conspiracy theories. They want a political party that looks much like a cult. They are opposed by the establishment, represented today by Romney, Sasse, Cheney, and Kinzinger. United in wanting to set aside conspiracy theories, for that, their opposition will label them RINOs, cucks, and supporters of the deep state. McCarthy is trying to act an appeaser, neither giving voice to the conspiracy theories, nor standing to oppose them.

Photo shows Sanford R. Gifford, an embedded artist with the Union army, who would return from the war to paint landscapes, then die from malaria.

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