To most conservatives, a RINO (a right-wing insult and acronym for “Republican In Name Only”) used to mean one who hewed to a few progressive-ish positions—like, say, not believing that 11-year-old rape victims should be forced to give birth to their uncles’ babies. Now it just means anyone who doesn't love and worship Donald Trump with all their heart and all their soul and whatever’s left of their Social Security check after they’re done buying cut-rate black market horse insulin to keep them nominally alive for another blissful month of Trump-lovin’.
Today, no matter how well-established one’s GOP bonafides are—and how zealously one may champion conservative policy and ideals—anyone can magically transform into a RINO overnight due to one cross word directed at Dear Leader. That’s especially true for electeds not moving every lever of government at their disposal to return the ocher arschloch to his gilded throne in Washington.
One man who fucked a clown and found out—and is still finding out—is Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. Kemp originally offended His Majesty when he certified President Joe Biden’s electoral win in Georgia—because, well, Biden won. Now he’s squashing some Georgia legislators’ attempted blitz against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who has the temerity to hold Trump accountable for his (alleged!) election crimes.
RELATED STORY: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is making Kevin McCarthy look really, really pathetic
The Associated Press:
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday offered his strongest denunciation to date of efforts by his fellow Republicans to go after Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, dismissing the moves as “political theater that only inflames the emotions of the moment.”
Some Republicans in Washington and Georgia have been attacking Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis since even before she announced the indictment of former President Donald Trump for conspiring to overturn the 2020 election. Kemp said that any calls for a special session to impeach Willis or defund her office were wrong and that she had done nothing to merit removal.
A special session, the second-term governor said, “would ignore current Georgia law and directly interfere with the proceedings of a separate but equal branch of government.”
What happened next is so funny and ironic that you may need to sit down, assuming you didn’t already collapse in a heap of jiggling protoplasm when you read about an elected Republican actually defending the rule of law and separation of powers in the Year of Our Mord 2023.
In the wake of Kemp’s latest outrage, professional rat-fucker Roger Stone, a longtime Trump confederate and consumer of bad fashion, claimed that Kemp is an illegitimate governor whose law-following is just a cloak to cover up his own electoral malfeasance.
For the nontweeters:
STONE: Kemp likely stole his election over Stacey Abrams which is why he doesn't want us looking too closely at the 2020 Election. I never want to believe it, but now I do.
Of course, Abrams, who lost the Georgia governor’s race to Kemp in 2018 and again in 2022, cried foul after their first matchup, claiming Kemp, who in 2018 was still in charge of Georgia’s elections as its secretary of state, went out of his way to disenfranchise voters.
A lawsuit filed in November 2018 by the Abrams-affiliated Fair Fight Action cited “voting issues that affected the state including voter purges, registration applications put on hold, Election Day troubles at predominantly nonwhite voting precincts, and problems with voters’ absentee and provisional ballots,” according to a November 2018 story in Vox.
But, significantly, Abrams never assembled a secretive cabal to upend the results or inveigle election officials into magically “finding” votes.
And Stone’s tweet is particularly odd given that, up to this point anyway, Republicans have universally derided Abrams’ claims. But hey, Stone and his ilk will use any weapon they can when they’re huntin’ RINOs. And anyone who fails to kiss Trump’s nougat-festooned ring will find themselves in deep MAGA shit.
RELATED STORY: Marjorie Taylor Greene attacks Kemp, threatens a Senate run, and fishes for Trump's VP
Consider former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who certified Biden’s victory in the state even though Trump didn’t want him to. Trump noticed, and hoo-boy, Ducey sure is persona non grata now, despite a record that would make any old-school conservative proud.
As The Associated Press wrote in December 2022, “Ducey ... cut taxes, vastly expanded school choice, restricted abortion and built a makeshift wall on the U.S.-Mexico border in defiance of a Democratic president, checking just about every conservative box.”
But there was one very important box Ducey never checked: humbly serving as Donald Trump’s grateful organ-grinder monkey.
Ducey walked a tightrope during Trump’s presidency, initially forging a strong alliance with him and never issuing public criticism, even when his tweets or border policies threatened to be problematic for Arizona.
But their relationship crumbled live on television, when Ducey silenced a call from Trump — signified by a “Hail to the Chief” ring tone — as the governor signed the paperwork certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s narrow presidential victory in Arizona. Trump more recently called Ducey “one of the worst governors in America.”
Consider also the tragic case of one Mike Pence, the oleaginous house ferret who crossed Trump exactly one time and (barely) lived to tell the tale. MAGA long ago 86’d Mike, despite his nearly unassailable conservative credentials, but as Trump’s faithful lapdog, he was poised to make a presidential run into a shallow ditch—instead of the yawning abyss he finds himself in now. He appears to be running for president simply because he thinks Jesus can do anything. And while Jesus once turned water into wine, turning Pence into a viable presidential candidate is a considerably heavier lift.
Here was the Big Liar himself on Goof Social after Pence recently challenged his blithering bullshit:
“WOW, it’s finally happened! Liddle’ Mike Pence, a man who was about to be ousted as Governor Indiana until I came along and made him V.P., has gone to the Dark Side,” Trump ranted. “I never told a newly emboldened (not based on his 2% poll numbers!) Pence to put me above the Constitution, or that Mike was ‘too honest.’ He’s delusional, and now he wants to show he’s a tough guy.”
There are too many more fantastic, highly competent people Trump once hired—who mysteriously became low-IQ disasters the moment they challenged him.
Fox News’ Bret Baier, of all people, recently ticked off an exhaustive list of these characters in an interview with Trump himself.
BAIER: “This time your vice president Mike Pence is running against you. Your ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, she’s running against you. Your former secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said he’s not supporting you. You mentioned national security adviser John Bolton, he’s not supporting you either. You mentioned Attorney General Bill Barr, says you shouldn’t be president again, calls you a consummate narcissist and troubled man. You recently called Barr a gutless pig.
“Your second defense secretary is not supporting you, called you irresponsible. This week you called your White House chief of staff John Kelly weak and ineffective and born with a very small brain. You called your acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney a born loser. You called your first Secretary of State Rex Tillerson dumb as a rock and your first defense secretary James Mattis the world’s most overrated general. You called your White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany ‘milquetoast.’
“And multiple times you have referred to your transportation secretary Elaine Chao as Mitch McConnell’s China-loving wife.
“So why did you hire all of them in the first place?”
Excellent questions! But we’ll never get a good answer from Trump—or anyone else in the MAGAverse, for that matter. Because the obvious—and, indeed, only possible—answer is that they didn’t show sufficient deference to the guy who was loudly suggesting we put an alligator-filled moat at the border, inject COVID-19 patients with disinfectant, and nuke North Korea while pretending it was someone else.
In other words, they gainsaid their cult leader—and that’s the one thing worthless peons like governors, attorney generals, and presidential cabinet members are not allowed to do.
And so the Republican Party has finally and forever hitched its wagon to a would-be dictator who will likely be dead within 10 years—or perhaps five, if McDonald’s ever decides to make the McRib a permanent menu item.
Best of luck, Republicans. Trump has killed your party, and unless something seismic happens before the 2024 presidential election, it’s likely to be buried with him, barely alive.
Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.