This has been a rough news week for folks in Oklahoma. In the space of 4 days, residents of the Sooner State have been subjected to a Facebook post from their Republican Party that compared people who receive SNAP benefits to animals and the President of the United States being greeted in their capital city by a group of 10 protestors waving Confederate flags. All I can say is “You stay classy, Oklahoma!”
Let’s tackle these faux pas in chronological order, starting with the GOP’s online “misstep” (which is a nice way of saying “total fuck up”). On Monday, the brilliant soul who manages their social media presence felt the following post was an excellent idea:
“The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing this year the greatest amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever, to 46 million people. Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us ‘Please Do Not Feed the Animals.’ Their stated reason for the policy is because ‘The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.’ Thus ends today’s lesson in irony #OKGOP.”
No matter what you think about people on food stamps, mentioning them in the same breath as animals probably isn’t the smartest thing you could do. Not only does it open the door for your opponents to make you look callous and uncaring towards people in poverty, it’s punching down, which is not cool. Not to mention that it’s also fucking offensive!
After catching a little heat for their attempt at what I can only assume is humor, state Chairman Randy Brogdon issued an apology…, of sorts. He started out by saying he was sorry if anyone was offended and that such was never the intention of the post. And, that’s where he should’ve stopped. But, of course, he didn’t, going on to “explain” what he was trying to say about the Republican approach to helping the less fortunate. I’m not going into all that right now because I just don’t have the time or the will to discuss such inane ideas. I will, however, point out that any apology that contains an “explanation” usually isn’t much of an apology. Especially when you end with “I apologize for any misconceptions (italics mine) that were created.” I don’t think there were any “misconceptions”, Randy. I believe everyone got your point just fine.
Next, let’s talk about this “greeting” for President Obama. It seems that a group of Oklahoma citizens decided to exercise their 1st Amendment rights and stage a Confederate flag protest in front of the hotel where the president would be staying while in town.That’s right, beloved, people in a state with a long and storied history of racism met our nation’s African-American president with a flag that has come to symbolize racial discrimination and oppression. But wait, there’s more! Why was the president in Oklahoma City in the first place? To visit a federal prison as part of his push to reform a criminal justice system that is incredibly biased against people of color. Why don’t we pause for a second or two and let the irony of all that sink in.
I don’t know about you, but I’m really enjoying all the “compassionate conservatism” on display in Oklahoma and elsewhere around the country. Between stories like these and Donald Trump’s comments about immigrants from Mexico, the Republicans are looking really good, aren’t they? Why, it’s just a matter of time before they have the “minority vote” locked up and (insert whack job GOP candidate name here) is residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Of course, by “it’s just a matter of time”, I mean “hell will freeze over”. And, with the current state of the Republican Party, that’s just fine with me.