What do you call it when your political movement has surrendered to loons who previously loomed on the shadowy fringe?
It’s called getting Loomered.
And that is precisely what has happened to the Republican Party.
Laura Loomer (R-Wackadoodle) won a Republican congressional primary in Florida Tuesday night, becoming the latest of a score of similarly bizarre figures to be chosen as the GOP standard-bearers in House and Senate races coast to coast.
Loomer has called Muslims “savages,” Islam “a cancer on society,” herself a “proud Islamophobe” and demanded “a non Islamic form of Uber or Lyft because I never want to support another Islamic immigrant driver.” She says she wants more migrants to die.
At her victory celebration Tuesday night, she stood with the founder of the white-nationalist group Proud Boys and too-radioactive-for Breitbart Milo Yiannopoulos. Her hate speech and ties to an anti-Muslim hate group have gotten her banned from Instagram, Medium, PayPal, Venmo, GoFundMe, Lyft, Uber, Facebook (which she sued for $3 billion) and Twitter (she chained herself to its New York headquarters wearing a Holocaust-style yellow Star of David).
She stormed the stage at a Central Park Shakespeare production because the Julius Caesar figure resembled President Trump, and accused the theater troupe of being “ISIS” doing “assassination porn.” She tricked undocumented migrants she found outside a Home Depot into trespassing at Nancy Pelosi’s house in hopes of getting them deported, the Daily Beast’s Will Sommer reported. She trespassed at the California governor’s mansion wearing a sombrero and poncho. She burst onstage at the Women’s March, calling organizers Nazis and demanding: “What about the Jews?”
She showed up at a polling place in a burqa and asked for Huma Abedin’s ballot.
She accosted Ilhan Omar at an event, asking, “Ilhan, why did you marry your brother?”
She stood outside a Hillary Clinton event with a bullhorn, denouncing the “enabler of a sexual predator,” and she confronted Chelsea Clinton with a request to sign a copy of her book to one of her father’s sexual-assault accusers. Loomer, who attributes 33 “suspicious deaths” to the Clintons, believes they may be trying to kill her with untraceable poison. The former Infowars contributor believes various mass killings have been “false flag” operations.
You might think Republican Party leaders would be calling in the white coats. But there was Roger Stone, the Trump confidant whose prison sentence the president recently commuted, at Loomer’s victory party, calling her the “Joan of Arc of the conservative movement.” Loomer told supporters that Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel congratulated her as a “political rock star.” The state and county GOP embraced her publicly.
Trump himself (his Mar-a-Lago property is in the heavily Democratic district in which Loomer has been nominated) issued a series of congratulatory tweets and retweets about Loomer, saying she has “a great chance against a Pelosi puppet.”
This is the new face of the Republican Party. Next week, Republicans, at a convention featuring the couple who waved guns at racial-justice demonstrators walking past their mansion, will renominate Trump, an avid purveyor of conspiracy theories. And the down-ballot nominees show how pervasive the party’s Trump-induced madness has become.
Nineteen Republican candidates and one independent who have embraced the QAnon conspiracy theory (about a pedophile ring in the U.S. government fighting Trump) have secured spots on the November ballot, according to a tally by Alex Kaplan of the liberal watchdog Media Matters for America. Overall, Kaplan has identified 76 QAnon-affiliated candidates running for Congress this election cycle.
Among them is Marjorie Taylor Greene, who after securing the Republican nomination in Georgia’s conservative 14th District last week is a safe bet for election to Congress. She believes in “an Islamic invasion of our government” and in a “global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles.” She suggested the 9/11 attacks were fake and said slain Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was the victim of an Obama administration-ordered MS-13 hit.
Trump calls her a “future Republican Star.”
There’s also Colorado’s Lauren Boebert, a favorite to win a congressional seat after ousting a GOP incumbent. Of the QAnon conspiracy theory, she said: “I hope that this is real.” Also standing with “Q” is Jo Rae Perkins, the Republican Senate nominee in Oregon.
Perkins won’t make it to the Senate. And the 27-year-old Loomer (who hosted hundreds at her mid-pandemic victory blowout, the Palm Beach Post reported) won’t make it to the House this time. Her consolation? She’s now the future of the Republican Party — to the extent it has one.
Before she stalks me with a bullhorn, I should say I don’t know whether Loomer is actually unhinged or whether she merely plays the provocateur. What’s truly bonkers is that the Republican Party now openly embraces her and a slate full of nutters like her. That’s just insane.