They Know Their Base

I call your attention to two posts detailing the character flaws of the two Republican leaders in Congress. In a post titled McConnell: Trump Tricked Me Into Backing His Coup, Jonathan Chait eats Moscow Mitch for breakfast and spits out the bones and gristle. Meanwhile, A.D. Stoddard expands upon Kevin McCarthy’s faults in Kevin McCarthy Is a Disaster: Have you ever read a poem called “The Snake”?

I shall, however, manfully resist any temptation to quote from these pieces, because I don’t think they quite get to the heart of the matter.

The Heart of the Matter

For me, the most salient thing about McConnell, McCarthy, and their ilk is not their hypocrisy, it is not their cynicism, and it is not their lust for power—though they have all of these traits in abundance. No, for me their most salient characteristic is the extraordinary contempt in which they hold the majority of their base. Their core belief is that the majority of their voting base is made up of gullible idiots—inferior beings who richly deserve to be fleeced and exploited.

Their con game goes back more than four centuries, to the time in the second half of the 1600s, when Virginia elites stabilized their rule by encouraging poor White folks to fear and hate the rising number of Black slaves.

It persists to this day. Go to a country club in the South and listen to how the ladies who lunch speak of the “rednecks” whom their husbands employ.

Quo Vadis, Country Club Folks?

Right now, in Georgia, 38 percent of the voting base believes the Big Lie about the “stolen election,” while about 49 percent vote Republican. In other words, as of January 5, about 11 percent of Georgia’s voters knew that the God Emperor was spreading horse manure, and knew that the two Republican senatorial candidates were indulging fascistic batshit, but voted for them anyway.

These folks have some decisions to make about how they are going to act, going forward.

It’s not just their leaders who have to choose. It’s their country club followers, too. Will they keep on with their game of conning the rubes? Indeed, is it even possible to keep on with that game? Or, after about 450 years of exploiting the poor White folks, have the country club set come to the end of the line?