Thursday, July 01, 2021


In response to the decision by South Dakota governor Kristi Noem to send National Guard troops to the Southern border and take cash from a billionaire donor to pay for the deployment, Charlie Pierce writes:
Here we have a cabal of Republican governors using their law-enforcement apparatus—and now, their National Guard troops—in a coordinated exercise in political gamesmanship, if not outright sabotage. The exercise is independently funded to prevent political blowback at home. What’s to prevent this band of ghouls from putting this kind of thing together to take more, ah, “active” measures against the administration in the future? The last time governors decided to use their states’ military as an argument in national politics, people wound up ducking behind things in Fort Sumter. People like Kristi Noem don’t care, but they are activating forces in this country that they don’t understand, and that they never will be able to fully control.
Control? Powerful Republicans don't concern themselves with whether they can control the forces they're unleashing.

They don't care because they don't believe they need to care. They think their prominence, power, and wealth, and their alliances with people of even greater power and wealth, will protect them from any negative consequences.

We've known this for years. How long has the right has been fighting efforts to control climate change? Some GOP politicians and pundits are genuinely ignorant and don't believe we have a climate problem, but many of them, and many of their donors, know perfectly well what's happening to the planet. They simply believe that when portions of the earth become uninhabitable and when climate refugees are mobilizing all over the globe, they'll be safely tucked away in some part of the planet where conditions are comfortable and unrest is far away. Or maybe they won't be on this planet at all. One way or another, they're sure they'll be able to buy their way out of trouble.

They feel the same way about the social unrest they're stirring up. Do we seem to be on the verge of civil war? Is democracy dying in America? GOP politicians don't care. Charles Koch doesn't care. Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch and their on-air talent don't care. They think they can keep making Americans fight one another with no risk that they'll be caught up in the conflict. They don't worry about America turning into an illiberal pseudo-democracy because they'll be the politicians in charge or the wealthy allies of those politicians.

Guns, too. Do we have an epidemic of firearm violence? Somehow, the massacres never take place at schools attended by the children and grandchildren of GOP politicians, Fox hosts, or billionaire right-wing donors. So why should they care?

Are they wrong to assume that they'll be safe and comfy no matter what? Maybe. But if they suffer at all, they'll suffer last, and least. So they'll continue to stir the pot and let the rest of us cope with the results.

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