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Republicans Whistle (And Lie) Past the Graveyard

By Sam Youngman and Adam Parkhomenko 


David Blaine ain’t got shit on the Republican Party.


Not even one of the world’s greatest illusionists could make 175,000 dead Americans disappear the way Trump and his human hemorrhoids have tried to do with this convention. 


As the Republican gathering continues this week, the Great Revision is under way. Whereas in the past, political parties had to construct an entire new stage for their conventions, in 2020, the Republican Party is constructing a whole new reality.


But there are some failures Trump and his party can’t outrun, and all the lipstick in the world won’t make this pig pretty. 


No matter how good Melania gets at reading a teleprompter and pretending to love her meal ticket, no matter how much Kim Guilfoyle scares the ever-loving crap out of anyone who didn’t have the TV muted and no matter how many lines of good ol’ fashioned American freedom Don Jr. snorts up his nose, America will still be in pain. Americans will still be hurting. 


And all the silly bullshit in the world won’t change that. 


Republicans will make more videos that give the appearance that Trump acted early and decisively to combat a virus he downplays even to this day, leaving out all the times he told us it would just disappear or the number of times he golfed or tweeted about his ratings as the death toll mounted. And the pundits will stroke their hideous goatees and wonder aloud if it’s an effective political strategy. But in the real world, you can’t gaslight someone into forgetting they can’t go see their grandkids or that their favorite aunt is dead and didn’t need to be. You can’t fool someone into thinking the economy is great when the restaurant where they worked is shuttered and eviction is just around the corner. 


And the pandemic isn’t the only thing they’re trying to ignore away. 


Herschel Walker told us how great and not-at-all racist the obviously racist birther-in-chief is. And Nikki Haley echoed Tony Montana Jr. in declaring that America is not a racist country. But a lot of people in Wisconsin missed that message Monday night because they were out in the streets demanding equality after yet another Black man was shot by the police. 


Largely refusing to say the name “Jacob Blake” won’t help him walk again, and it sure as hell won’t make him go away. And if Republicans think they can just ignore him and hope people won’t notice, they clearly didn’t see his family’s powerful remarks at a news conference Tuesday.


From the opening gavel to whatever the f-bomb that was last night, the plan for this week’s convention has been to lie to the American people, to create another reality where the pandemic was well-handled, racism just isn’t that big of a deal and the guy who got his ass owned by a ramp is actually a real tough guy who is keeping us all safe and not an slovenly old man who believes everything he sees on Fox News and once hid from the rain. 


But the planners and the plotters of this shameful con job made one the fatal mistake that so many campaigns and candidates before them have made: They underestimated the American people. 


And to be fair, you can see why they might think that would work. After all, we did make a dim-witted game show host who believes in invisible planes president. Hell, after 2016, we came to see ourselves as the kind of nation that would collectively fall for a Nigerian prince scam because we really wanted the money to buy the Brooklyn Bridge. 


And if it was just a matter of people getting tricked, we’d be more worried than we already are. 


But it’s not. It’s about an immovable, unshakable reality that the president of the United States has repeatedly failed at his job, and those failures have cost Americans lives and jobs while tearing us apart and destroying our standing in the world. 


You can convince a lot of people a lot of stupid shit with politics and propaganda, especially when you have your own news organization at your disposal. But eventually, the real world is going to come knocking. 


And Trump’s make believe world is simply no match for the horrors he unleashed in the real one.


So yeah, Trump and his minions can spend all week pretending like they’re not responsible for the deaths of thousands and the unemployment of millions. They can pretend the birther running on segregationist policies is actually super cool with Black people. And they can pretend that we’re all dumb enough to belive this crap when our own lives have been upended.


They can lie to us all week, they can spend billions and they can even re-do the White House Rose Garden trying to put that lipstick on the pig.


But after four years of death, chaos and corruption, nobody is buying it anymore. Except, of course, the people who just like kissing pigs.

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