Who Are These Republicans?

Published October 7, 2020

The Bulwark

Kelly Loeffler looked like a standard-issue Republican when she was appointed senator from Georgia in December, 2019 following the resignation of the incumbent for health reasons. She came from a super-rich family (like plenty of Democrats as well), she was pro-gun, anti-immigration, and pro-business. Originally pro-choice, her position on abortion evolved in time for her to be accepted by pro-life gate keepers.

Once in Washington, D.C., though, Loeffler quickly got with the program. She described the impeachment of the president as a “circus” and lambasted Mitt Romney for even voting to call witnesses, whom she was sure would “slander @realDonald Trump.”

This is her most recent campaign ad:

It features a much-reused video clip of Donald Trump play-acting in professional wrestling. You may have seen it put to use in the past by Trump fans with the CNN logo superimposed on the defeated wrestler’s face. This one uses the image of the coronavirus. So Trump is wrestling the coronavirus to the floor, get it? In case that was too subtle, Loeffler tweeted: “COVID stood NO chance against @realDonaldTrump.”

She may tell herself that it’s all in good fun, but encouraging hero worship of Trump, particularly at a moment when he is literally endangering others’ lives, is nearly as reckless as he is. When she appeared, maskless and within inches of others, indoors at the White House announcement for Amy Coney Barrett, she not only endangered her own health and the health of her loved ones, she became a soldier in the disinformation war Trump is fighting to dissuade Americans from taking the threat seriously.

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