Rod Miller: The Wyoming GOP Rides For Too Many Brands

Columnist Rod Miller writes, "Columnist Rod Miller writes, "When I was a young lad learning to buy horses, the best advice anyone ever gave me was, 'Count the brands.' If a horse had more than one brand, it meant that he was a problem for somebody."

Rod Miller

August 23, 20234 min read

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When I was a young lad learning to buy horses, the best advice anyone ever gave me was, “Count the brands." If a horse had more than one brand, it meant that he was a problem for somebody.

A horse might have great conformation, hard feet and good teeth, but a handful of brands on his ass advertised stupidity or a bad attitude. The horse simply couldn’t do the work, was knot-headed or had other faults which rendered him unsuitable for keeping on a cow outfit.

That’s why so many ranches sent him down the road to the next sucker.

A single old brand meant a good usin’ horse, one that a smart cowboy would want to keep around. Those ponies hardly ever came up for sale.

The list of brands that have been scorched into the hide of the Wyoming Republican Party is too damned long. And the weird, fringe outfits that have branded the party are the political equivalent of flesh-eating bacteria.

Rather than wear a single Wyoming brand, the Wyoming GOP is collecting the brands of a bunch of seedy out-of-state outfits, all of them low-rent booger farms. And they seem to be proud so doing.

Alongside the brands of the Freedom Caucus and the Moms For Liberty, the Wyoming GOP has also been branded by the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys and other seditious organizations. The weird orthodoxy espoused by these groups is seeping into the rhetoric of Wyoming’s Republican Party leadership.

But, and this takes the cake, the Wyoming GOP is now in bed with the John Birch Society and that brand is burned in deep.

The John Birch Society, or JBS, was founded in the late “50s as the ideological heir to Sen. Joe McCarthy’s Red Scare frenzy by Robert Welch, the patron saint of conspiracy theorists. 

These are the folks who were saying in 1958 that the U.N was a bastion of embedded communism and was poised to wage war on Christmas by mandating that every Christmas ornament in America would be replaced by One World Government symbols.

I kid you not! Look it up.

The Birchers saw commies under every napkin and conspiracy in every event. They even accused Eisenhower of being a communist plant.

The only difference between the John Birch Society and the Invisible Kingdom of the Ku Klux Klan is that Birchers don’t wear white sheets and have a marginally better vocabulary.

And these are the cretins who were welcome guests at the recent Wyoming Republican Party Central Committee meeting! They were there to praise the WyGOP’s adherence to John Birch Society principles. Hell, the Birchers even got an attaboy from Oral Eathorne.

With so many out-of-state, right wing, culture war voices dripping in Oral’s ear and those of his acolytes, and so many MAGA brands on the party’s hide, does the Wyoming Republican Party have any attention left to pay to the citizens of the Cowboy State?

That’s a rhetorical question, saddle-pals.

The Wyoming Republican Party was once a reliable usin’ horse that only wore one brand – a big ol’ “W” - and could be relied upon to get the state’s work done. Those were the good ol’ days.

Now we have a cantankerous culture-war-horse with an assful of brands from outside the Big Empty who isn’t good for anything but angrily pawing the ground, eating our oats and slingin’ slobber.

Best thing to do with a waste of horseflesh like that is to turn him out into some remote pasture where he can’t do anymore damage. Lord knows we can’t sell a wreck like that. And really, why saddle someone else with our problem horse?

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Rod Miller

Political Columnist