Rod Miller: Childish Politics in Wyoming — A Guidebook

Columnist Rod Miller writes: "Self-styled patriots (small p) or vandals have recently defaced the campaign signs of Rep. Albert Sommers. Since these juvies obviously have no clue what theyre doing, here follow a few helpful hints for them..."

Rod Miller

July 22, 20224 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Self-styled “patriots” (small p) or vandals have recently defaced the campaign signs of Rep. Albert Sommers, the Majority Floor Leader in the Wyoming House. They spray-painted “RINO” on dozens of signs in his district, and did so anonymously under the cover of darkness.

In the adult world of politics in the Cowboy State, these cretins are the equivalent of middle school jocks who sit at the back of the class and shoot spitwads at the smart kids. This is pre-pubescent politics.

These midnight taggers might believe that they are participating in that great Americana tradition of political dirty tricks, but they are kidding themselves. They lack both the intelligence and sense of theater practiced by masters of the game, like Dick Tuck and Donald Segretti.

They act like adolescent trick-or-treaters, dressed up like Meal Team Six with sugarplum MAGA visions swirling in their pea-sized brains. RINO? Really? Is that the best you got?

Since these juvies obviously have no clue what they’re doing, here follow a few helpful hints for them if they are really committed to political mischief. I’ll try not to use big words.

(1) Shoe leather is expensive, and walking is tiring. You can avoid the strenuous nature of politics if you refrain from canvassing neighborhoods and knocking on strangers’ doors. Also, this tactic prevents people from seeing your face.

(2) And talking on the phone to voters is boring. So, if you want to get your candidate’s message across, buy a bunch of spray paint and write snide stuff on your opponent’s yard signs. Have fun! Make up words!

(3) Rolls of toilet paper can be more effective than flyers, if you wrap enough of it around your opponents car or house. That’ll show ‘em!

(4) Get a Facebook account and use a star-spangled screaming eagle for your profile picture. Then you can post articles about how you think our democratic republic should work. If political research isn’t your thing, you can just make stuff up and challenge folks to prove you wrong. Its fun! Lots of your friends are doing it!

(5) Get a copy of “Logical Fallacies and Cognitive Dissonance for Dummies” and memorize it. There is a version with stick figures for the reading-challenged, if that would make things easier.

(6) “Never Give An Inch”, the immortal quote from Hank Stamper in “Sometimes a Great Notion” would make a great tattoo for you, if you can get Mom & Dad’s permission. Use the quote often. Live it.

(6) {a} For instance, when your County Clerks shows you how your local voting machines work flawlessly, pitch a hissy fit and say, “I don’t believe it! There’s a devil in the machine”

(7) To paraphrase Sam Rayburn, “Its easier to tear a barn down than it is to build one”, so always take the easy route and tear down your opponents barn. Its fun, but don’t get caught! If you do get caught:

(8) Fib. Fibbing is your friend. Done correctly, it will keep you out of hot water til after the election.

I hope the slackers who trashed Rep. Sommers’ signs really heed this advice and up their game. Their performance up until now has been pretty weak.

Meanwhile, the rest of us, the adults in the room, will look on these bozos with disdain and ridicule. And we’ll go about the grown-up business of politics in Wyoming. We’ll do the canvassing and the phone banking. We’ll debate the issues in the marketplace of ideas.

We’ll do it with our faces shown for all our neighbors to see. And and we’ll do it in the bright Wyoming sunlight.

It’s hard work, and it shouldn’t be left to children.

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Rod Miller

Political Columnist