Owning the libs: Knox GOP sends in the clowns

Betty BeanKnox Scene

I’m so old that I remember when Lincoln Day was in February, as close to the first Republican president’s actual birthday as possible. This, of course, was back before Republicans started wearing MAGA hats and flying Confederate flags on their pickup trucks. Lincoln Day dinners of old were serious rubber chicken events, usually held in big, fancy downtown hotel ballrooms that packed in sold-out crowds. The speakers told a joke or two while building up to talking about low taxes and government interference in people’s personal lives. Contrary to the belief of the most recent Republican hero – everybody knew that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.

I don’t know how it is anywhere else, but nowadays the Knox County GOP is as apt to throw a Lincoln Day shindig in October as in February, and the keynote speaker is extremely unlikely to be anyone Honest Abe would recognize as a soulmate (modern speakers don’t have much to say about their party’s founding president).

It’s hard to imagine what the Great Emancipator would have said about Florida bad boy Matt Gaetz, who was signed up to visit Knoxville as the Lincoln Day speaker two years ago – shortly before he started being investigated on sex crime allegations which the feds only recently announced that they were halting because they couldn’t find any non-sleazy witnesses. The pandemic spared local Republicans a major embarrassment in 2020, although he would have undoubtedly owned some libs while he was here.

But they made up ground last year by paying Rush Limbaugh-wannabe Charlie Kirk, an election-denying supporter of the January 6 insurrection, $20,000 to come to town and talk up the prospects of POTUS45. Kirk has been downplaying his involvement in the Capitol Hill riot ever since things went bad. He always owns a ton of libs.

I’m tempted to throw last week’s Ron DeSantis visit into the mix, since he loves owning libs as well as anybody, but this little soiree was a private event that catered to deep-pocketed local Republicans who dare to dream a little dream of a Trump-free 2024.

No one knows why Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flew 50 Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard. He hasn’t disclosed why he chose that location. But what’s certain is the island’s isolation placed the migrants at greater risk of not receiving basic necessities.

Knoxvillians showered the Friends of Ron DeSantis coffers with money, probably counting on his reelection campaign for Florida governor to give them cover from the wrath of POTUS45.

But it seems fair to include a mention of the DeSantis visit, since he owns libs for breakfast. Especially East Coast Libs.

Which brings us to this year’s Lincoln Day honored guest:

Lauren Boebert.

Word is that Tim Burchett invited her, although this is a bit of a stretch, since Burchett was given a list of acceptable Lincoln Day speakers (Marjorie Taylor Greene must have been busy that week) that included the Colorado congressperson, whose accomplishments include dropping out of high school, marrying a man who did a couple days jail time for exposing his “private area” (this is police report wording, not mine) to some young women in a bowling alley, and losing the lease on her gun-themed restaurant, which required servers, all young women, to strap on holsters and pack heat while serving up Smith & Wesson burgers.

Boebert, who is nothing if not predictable, will praise POTUS45 (no flirting with DeSantis for her), share her views on the Second Amendment (she’s for it), abortion (she’s against it), separation of church and state (she’s against that, too) and Hunter Biden’s laptop (she hates it – or maybe loves it), while throwing in a dollop of Q-Anon and maybe an attack on transgender athletes, all while wearing a bandage dress and balancing on six-inch stripper pump heels.

Libs will be owned.

Betty Bean writes a Thursday opinion column for KnoxTNToday.com.

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