The Vermont Republican Party is holding a fundraiser tonight at the Barre Elks Club. They’ll have speeches by candidates, a silent auction, and generally fun, food and frolic as only the Republicans can do. (Think disco-era David Bowie with a whole lot of American flags.)
And oh yeah, they’re continuing their tokenistic Salute to Our Vets with a round of applause and a few parting gifts for three Actual Veterans!
(As usual, the proceeds of the event aren’t going to vets’ causes, or even a small portion thereof. It’s all going into @VTGOP’s coffers.)
And one of the three vets rang a faint bell in my mind: Paul E. Gibbs, Jr., of Springfield. After a bit of Googling, I discovered that Mr. Gibbs is a spectacularly unsuccessful two-time candidate for the legislature. He ran as a Republican for the House in 2010, and for the Senate in 2012. Got thoroughly trounced both times.
Sheesh. Not only are the Republicans using our brave veterans as window-dressing for a political fundraiser, they’re recycling old candidates from their Fail Pile and presenting them as randomly selected stand-ins for the defenders of our freedom.
That’d be shameful enough. But then I put on my Wellies and took a stroll through the muck and mire of Mr. Gibbs’ Facebook page, which is full of rabid archconservative propaganda.
As of this morning, the most recent item in his timeline is a repost of an illustration supporting the Confederate flag. The flag serves as a backdrop for the stirring call to action, “How Many Likes, Shares and Hell Yea’s Can the Confederate Flag Get?”
Yes, this is the man chosen by the Vermont Republican Party as a representative of our veterans. This is the man who’ll get a round of applause from assembled party grandees.
I tell you, I’ll pay ten bucks for a photo of Phil Scott shaking hands with this fella.
Gibbs’ Facebook page also contains plenty of innocuous stuff — shares of cute animal pix, that sort of Internet detritus. But there’s plenty of hateful conservative flamethrowing. Take, for example, his comment on an article about liberal billionaire George Soros:
He is behind the dastardly deed of wanting to ruin America, and has his puppets BHO, Valerie Jarrett, and the Bolshevik loving Progressive Liberal Democrats working hard to accomplish our ruin.
Yup, those are the words of a man chosen by the VTGOP as a stand-in for our brave veterans. Kinda makes you wonder about the state party’s commitment to inclusion and new ideas, doesn’t it?
But wait, there’s more!
He reposted someone else’s comment about President Obama criticizing Republicans for anti-Muslim rhetoric. Here is that comment in all its fetid glory.
ISLAM IS ANTI-AMERICAN!
The edicts of the Qur’an and Mohammad are contrary to the US Constitution and are contrary to America in every way shape and form!
DEPORT ISLAM BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE TO SAVE AMERICA!!!
Take a moment to savor the notion of deporting an entire religion.
Okay, what’s next?
Ooh, here’s his opinion of Bernie Sanders:
He wants a Soviet style dystopian society. he and Obama and Hillary are basically on the same wave link. Obama wants a caliphate.
Oh yeah, a Soviet style dystopian caliphate. Them’s the worst.
I could go on, but I think I’ve made the point. The Vermont Republicans filled out their quota of three measly veterans by dipping into the swampwater of their dead-ender faction.
Like I said, I’ll pay ten bucks for a picture of Phil Scott shaking hands with this guy.