This morning The New York Times reported a story on the rise of Hispanic Republicans in the Rio Grande Valley with a special focus on the Latina women who are leading the rise. Charlie Pierce, from his shebeen at Esquire caught the crazy that was clearly visible from orbit:
So the story ably tracks a genuine political phenomenon, and certainly one that’s worth watching going forward. But this is 2021, and these are Republicans, and sooner or later, there’s a serious bustle in the hedgerow.
Elisa Rivera, 40, said she had voted for Mrs. Clinton in 2016, but did not understand the fierce reaction against Mr. Trump. “I was following along the family tradition, my dad is a hard-core Democrat, my father was really for unions, and I thought the Democrats defended the union,” Ms. Rivera said, before adding: “But then I started to research myself and found out the Democrats are supporting witchcraft and child trafficking and things like that, things that get censored because they get labeled conspiracy theory.”
He then concludes with:
If you think the Republicans won’t weaponize this thinking, and if you think it won’t work, I have a couple of first-term members of Congress I’d like you to meet. It’s just so damned exhausting.
Pierce literally wrote the book on American’s insatiable appetite for grifts, cons, and conspiracy theories. It is excellent and well worth your time to read. And right now there has never been more of this stupidity to keep track and it is, as Pierce states, so damned exhausting. So it is understandable, especially as The New York Time‘s reporter, Jennifer Medina, did not herself make a connection in her reporting between what she quote Ms. Rivera as saying and what she quotes Texas’s Governor Greg Abbott as saying eleven paragraphs prior (emphasis mine):
“I’ve never been onstage with so many accomplished, articulate Latinas as I have been tonight with this group of ladies,” he told an enthusiastic crowd. “This is amazing. If I were the Democrats, I would be very afraid right now, because there is a storm coming, a storm that is going to win Hidalgo County. I wanted to be here in person, wanted to say thank you.”
One of the signature components of the QAnon conspiracy theory is the Storm:
One phrase that serves as a special touchstone among QAnon adherents is “the calm before the storm.” Q first used it a few days after his initial post, and it arrived with a specific history. On the evening of October 5, 2017—not long before Q first made himself known on 4chan—President Trump stood beside the first lady in a loose semicircle with 20 or so senior military leaders and their spouses for a photo in the State Dining Room at the White House. Reporters had been invited to watch as Trump’s guests posed and smiled. Trump couldn’t seem to stop talking. “You guys know what this represents?” he asked at one point, tracing an incomplete circle in the air with his right index finger. “Tell us, sir,” one onlooker replied. The president’s response was self-satisfied, bordering on a drawl: “Maybe it’s the calm before the storm.”
The Storm was then picked up on 4chan and it was off to the races:
On October 28, someone calling themselves Q began posting a series of cryptic messages in a /pol/ thread titled “Calm Before the Storm” (assumedly in reference to that creepy Trump quote from early October). Q claimed to be a high-level government insider with Q clearance (hence the name) tasked with posting intel drops — which he, for some reason, called “crumbs” — straight to 4chan in order to covertly inform the public about POTUS’s master plan to stage a countercoup against members of the deep state.
In this fantasy world, all of the far right’s wildest dreams come true: Q promises that Clinton, Obama, Podesta, Abedin, and even McCain are all either arrested and wearing secret police-issued ankle monitors, or justabout to be indicted; that the Steele dossier is a total fabrication personally paid for by Clinton and Obama; and that the Las Vegas massacre was most definitely an inside job connected to the Saudi-Clinton cabal.
They believe all of this will be coming to a head any day now. That “The Storm” — of arrests, political turmoil, and Republican vindication — is coming. Though there have been some, uh, miscalculations as for exactly when.
Governor Abbott, or more likely his speech writer, seems to be fluent in Q speak. To the point of being able to work a coded reference into an otherwise innocuous speech to a Republican organization that means one thing to those in the group and another to those outside of it who are not aware of how the group uses these specific terms. Like The New York Time‘s reporter that seems to have missed the dual meaning of Abbott’s statement and failed to link it to what she reports, eleven paragraphs later, she was told by Ms. Rivera.
We don’t have to wait for Republican members of Congress or candidates seeking to serve in Congress to use this language, Republican elected officials, like Greg Abbott, are already using it.
We are off the looking glass and through the map.