How quickly they turn on you in Trump’s Republican party these days. How can you explain the perplexing phenomenon of the mere mention of the name of a former Republican presidential candidate garnering loud boos and catcalls at the California Republicans’ fall convention?
That’s exactly what happened when former White House Senior advisor Steve Bannon addressed the crowd in an Anaheim convention center and attacked Senator John McCain according to a report in The Los Angeles Times.
It wasn’t only the Arizona Senator whose name elicited a torrent of negative response from the dwindling number of California Republican faithful. They also erupted in jeers when Bannon, now back disseminating alt-right propaganda at Breitbart News, attacked former President George W. Bush for indirectly chiding the Trump administration’s divisive policies of bigotry and falsehoods as contrary to American values in a speech in New York last week.
“President Bush to me embarrassed himself. Speech writers wrote a highfalutin speech,” Bannon said. “It’s clear he didn’t understand anything he was talking about. … Just like it was when he was president of the United States.”
Bannon’s comments on Senator McCain were no more sympathetic, given the former war hero’s role in the defeat of Republican plans to strip health care away from millions of Americans by repealing Obamacare. While at least acknowledging McCain’s military service, which was more than Bannon’s former boss could do, the Breitbart editor said:
“He’s just another senator from Arizona.”
Bannon was addressing a group that is becoming an endangered species in California, with both Bush and McCain both having earned substantially more votes from state voters in their respective presidential bids than Trump did last year. And yet, as their numbers shrink, California Republicans are becoming more radical and vociferous, as this tweet from a Los Angeles Times reporter on the scene demonstrates.
The crowd at #CAGOP17 just booed George W. Bush and John McCain. "Hang him!" one man yelled about McCain.
— Seema Mehta (@LATSeema) October 21, 2017
While hanging is a penalty often called for when punishing acts of treason like colluding with foreign powers to win an election, calling for the lynching of a Senator who voted his conscience when faced with a congressional end run on proper senatorial procedure in drafting and debating legislation is generally frowned upon in civilized society.
With the Republican party in California now under the sway of the lunatic fringe, perhaps we’ll be fortunate enough that it will refrain from emulating the California condors that rebounded from the edge of extinction.
What are your thoughts?