Dave Simpson: Conspiracy Theorists, You Say?

in Dave Simpson/Column

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Well, NOW we’re getting somewhere.

A while back I wrote here that I wouldn’t know an Oath Keeper, a Proud Boy or a White Supremacist if he was sitting across the breakfast table from me.

And yet we’re told – by our president, no less – that people like that are the biggest threat facing our country. Worse than open borders, drugs streaming into our country, rampant big-city crime, and the prospect of war with Russia.

I’ve been a Republican for decades, hung around newsrooms where politics and politicians pop up regularly, and even lent a hand covering several sessions of the Legislature back in the 1980s.

In all that time I never met one White Supremacist. If someone was a Proud Boy, well, it would be news to me, and I’ll be darned if I know what they were so all-fired proud of.

And until recently I couldn’t have told you the name of a single Oath Keeper if you threatened me with a “ghost gun” you built in your basement.

But last week Rep. Liz Cheney’s spokesman said she wasn’t going to attend the big Republican State Convention in Sheridan because party chairman Frank Eathorne is an Oath Keeper who was in Washington on January 6, 2021, and she wasn’t about to attend a convention with a guy like that in charge.

Apparently – I’m new to this – the oath that Oath Keepers keep refers to the oath police officers, members of the military and politicians like Liz Cheney take to support and defend that U.S. Constitution. No problem there.

But, according to the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, Oath Keepers also believe in conspiracies (!), sort of like Democrats and most of the media believed in that whole, debunked Russian collusion conspiracy crock when Trump was president. You remember that cock-and-bull story.

According to a story on the website WyoFile, a onetime member of Oath Keepers from Cody called that group “a fairy tale here” that was little more than “a presence in a computer 12 years ago.”

Some threat.

There was obviously more to Liz Cheney’s decision not to attend the convention than an aversion to Frank Eathorne. The party that voted to not recognize her as a Republican anymore might not have let her in the door.

According to the news coverage, there was plenty of action at Sheridan even without our eye-of-the-hurricane congresswoman in attendance.

On Saturday, party members voted 225 to 63 to not seat all but three of Laramie County’s 37 delegates. So they all got up and walked out. That’s the largest delegation in the state, out the door over an alleged rule violation in balloting at their March county convention. And most of Natrona County’s delegation, the state’s second largest, was also deep sixed in a flap over dues not paid since 2019.

Rodney King asked the famous question, “Can’t we get along?”

Apparently not.

So the two largest groups of Republican delegates were shown the door. But there were no fist fights, or profane emails urging anyone to commit suicide. So under-represented Laramie County Republicans like me can at least feel good about that.

(I now have a senator with no committee assignments, and a county party minus 34 of it’s normal convention delegates. This is getting ridiculous. )

To punish Laramie County Republicans for possibly disenfranchising some convention alternates last March, all but three members of the delegation get disenfranchised now. Go figure.

Resolutions were passed to disband the EPA, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Department of Education – boilerplate, yadda-yadda-yadda Republican fever dreams that nobody’s going to get down off their horse to read.

The amazing thing is how little any of this affects the lives of most of us. In the photo of our delegates walking out of the convention, I didn’t recognize one face.

State party politics is sort of a hobby – like spelunking, or flying model airplanes – with little connection to everyday conservatives who just want smaller government, fewer regulations, lower taxes, secure borders, less crime, inflation relief, and a whole lot less of this “woke” insanity.

You’d think Wyoming Republicans could reaffirm those priorities in a 10-minute Zoom call.

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