In 1587, the English tried to settle in Roanoke Island again. John White, father of the colonist Eleanor Dare and grandfather to Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the New World, left the colony to return to England for supplies. He expected to return to Roanoke Island within three months. Instead, with England at war with Spain, all ships were confiscated for use of the war efforts. White's return to Roanoke Island was delayed until 1590, by which time all the colonists had disappeared. The settlement was left abandoned. The only clue White found was the word "CROATOAN" carved into a tree...
The greatest missing persons mystery in American history is not D.B. Cooper or Joseph Force Crater or even the Roanoke Island colony.
No, the greatest missing persons mystery in American history happened sometime between the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 when somewhere between 15 and 30 million Republicans all quietly vanished without a trace.
One day they were there, braying about how they had won and we had lost so "Shaddap!" and yapping loudly and patriotically about how deficits don't matter anymore and besides, anyone who doesn't pay reverent deference to President Cuckoobananas during war-time was a traitor because Freedom and also 9/11 Changed Everything...
...and then they were gone. Just gone. Leaving nothing behind but the disasters they had championed, the failures they had authored, the institutions they had torched and moldering mountains of "Bush/Cheney 2000", "Bush/Cheney 2004" and "McCain/Palin 2008" buttons and tee-shirts and bumper stickers and yard signs stretching from one end of the country to the other.
This was the party which David Brooks had assured us was doing just fucking great in 2005 except for some Liberal whiners who were trying to bring President Drydrunk McStagger down with wild tales of conspiracy (excerpted from an actual David Brooks column in the New York Times for which he was paid money):
...Harry Reid sits alone at his kitchen table at 4 a.m., writing important notes in crayon on the outside of envelopes. It's been four weeks since he launched his personal investigation into the Republican plot to manipulate intelligence to trick the American people into believing Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.Reid had heard of the secret G.O.P. cabal bent on global empire, but he had no idea that he would find a conspiracy so immense.Reid now knows that as far back as 1998, Karl Rove was beaming microwaves into Bill Clinton's fillings to get him to exaggerate the intelligence on Iraq. In that year, Clinton argued, "Iraq still has stockpiles of chemical and biological munitions ... and the capacity to restart quickly its production program and build many, many more weapons."These comments were part of the Republican plot to manipulate intelligence on Iraq. Reid now knows that in the late 1990's, Dick Cheney and other Republican officials used fluoridated water in the State Department and other government agencies to brainwash Clinton administration officials into exaggerating the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.…Harry Reid sits alone at his kitchen table at 4 a.m., writing important notes in crayon on the outside of envelopes. It has been four weeks since he began investigating this conspiracy and three weeks since he sealed his windows with aluminum foil to ward off the Illuminati…Harry Reid sits alone at his kitchen table at 4 a.m. He knows now that seven centuries ago at a secret meeting of the Bilderberg Society-Trilateral Commission-American Enterprise Institute, the six High Lords of the Secret Order of the Neocons decided to implant alien life forms into potential Democratic officials that could be activated in case there was a need to manipulate intelligence on Iraq.…
That party was just up and fucking gone by 2009.
And if that weren't a weird enough mystery, at exactly the same moment that these millions and millions of Republicans silently vanished in the political equivalent of the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, there suddenly appeared -- out of nowhere and fully-formed -- millions and millions of a brand new independents.
Or independent conservatives.
Or independent Constitutional conservatives.
Or independent Originalist Constitutional conservatives.
Or Tea Parties.
Or...well (pun intended) they still haven't settled on a name, but whatever they're calling themselves this week, one thing is for damn sure. Despite being physically and ideologically identical to the millions of Republicans who disappeared overnight, these millions of independent Originalist Constitutional conservative Christian liberty tea party patriots are definitely not Republicans. They have definitely not been loyal Limbaugh listeners and Fox News viewers who had voted Republican in every election their entire adult lives. They definitely did not vote for Dubya twice, nor did they cheer on every fucked up thing he did.
No they were political virgins who emerged fully-formed from the head of Glenn Beck, just in time to go screaming into the streets, demanding to see the black President's birth certificate, insisting that his health care plan was a complex ruse to murder their white grannies, and generally screeching that their country had been stolen from them by an illegitimate Kenyan Usurper.
It was the damnedest, most amazing thing ever, this massive, overnight body swap. The greatest missing persons case in history, followed immediately by the greatest case of mass virgin-births in history.
Weird that the press never covered it.
Or maybe -- as we have noted on this blog over and over and over again -- it was all just bullshit. Maybe, reporting the straight and easily observable fact that the GOP had finally weighed itself down with so many bigots, so many lies, so many lunatics and so many disasters that it had finally capsized and gone mad was too much for our incestuous and corrupt media to bear -- a story so disturbing in its implications that it would fuck up the Acela corridor gravy train for everyone, And so, instead of telling the simple, terrifying truth, virtually everyone in the corporate media signed off on a massive scam, run by a passel of cowards and con men on the Right.
This was the moment when Trump or something like Trump became inevitable: not in 2015 when he came gliding down the escalator, but in 2009, when the Right found out for the second time in a decade that the American corporate media would obediently refuse to call them out for lying, no matter how ridiculous, destructive and gargantuan those lies were.
And so, for your reading pleasure, one more little gem of the Fake Independent genre from Joan Walsh at The Nation:
Meet the ‘Feminists’ Doing the Koch Brothers’ Dirty WorkThe Independent Women’s Forum has leveraged its “non-partisan” brand to become an aggressive player in Republican politics.If you watch cable news, you’ve seen someone from an outfit called the “Independent Women’s Forum” promoting a conservative take on the women’s issue of the day. It’s no secret that the group leans right; it grew out of “Women for Judge Thomas,” which formed during Anita Hill’s testimony about Clarence Thomas at his 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearing, and was formally launched in 1992 by the late Barbara Olson and Rosalie “Ricky” Silberman, along with a cadre of powerful conservative women that included former second lady Lynne Cheney. Still, it’s always billed itself as “non-partisan” and “independent.” In its early years, it promoted IWF-affiliated author Christina Hoff Sommers’s brand of “equity feminism” and opposed the “radical feminism” of the ’90s women’s movement, which it argued was pushing myths about sexual harassment, pay inequities, and discrimination in the workplace and widespread abuse on college campuses. For years it played no formal role in electoralBut an analysis by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), provided exclusively to The Nation, reveals that since 2010, IWF and its political arm, Independent Women’s Voice, have become aggressive players in Republican politics, embedded in the network of organizations backed by Charles and David Koch, advocating for the Koch brothers’ myriad concerns, and playing on their “independent” label to elect GOP candidates. If this country is to elect its first woman president, Hillary Clinton will have to face down this powerful conservative women’s group to get there.Increasingly, IWF and IWV are playing a bigger and more open role in Republican politics—while boasting about the way their “independent” label gives them access to voters that groups “branded” as Republican can’t reach. As IWV president Heather Higgins told a convening at the David Horowitz Freedom Center late last year (captured in this video): “Our value here, and what is needed in the Republican conservative arsenal, is a group that can talk to those cohorts [non-Republican women] that would not otherwise listen, but can do it in a way that is taking a conservative message and packaging it in a way that will be acceptable and will get a hearing.”...
These days, the most provocative and politically incorrect thing you can call one of America's millions of newly-minted independent Originalist Constitutional conservative Christian liberty tea party patriots is "Republican".
So have at it.