Then God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
There’s this terrifying moment in the Book of Genesis when God discovers Eve was duped by the serpent into eating the forbidden fruit and condemns the serpent to an eternity of crawling on its belly and eating dust. The takeaway? Better think twice about lying.
On Jan. 6, 2021, supporters of then President Trump attacked the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., seeking to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election. Wyoming’s GOP Chairman Frank Eathorne was there. Shortly after the insurrection, he issued a press release describing his participation as purely tangential, noting he observed nothing violent about the “peaceful” rally before he “retired” to his hotel.
We now know that’s not the case. NBC News recently reported Eathorne was “deep onto the restricted grounds” of the Capitol, past several police barricades. Time stamps of the footage reviewed by NBC suggests Eathorne was there much longer than he had claimed. This is the same period when one D.C. police officer was beaten unconscious by rioters, another was stabbed and another’s eye was gouged.
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Eathorne is also a member of the Oath Keepers, an organization which claims to defend the Constitution and fight tyranny, though in reality it is built on a sandy house of baseless conspiracy theories. Eathorne says he’s a “passive” member of the group. A passive marathoner still runs the race, my friend.
This is the serpent a roguish few, through bush league rule-play, have placed into power as the face of Wyoming’s GOP. It is a party which cloaks itself in a bastardized form of Christianity that models nothing of my understanding of a Christ follower and places a hypocrite at the helm. It is not a party I recognize nor one of which I want to be a part. It is also a party I am unwilling to abandon and allow a small band of misguided supporters to hijack.
Why stay in Eathorne’s rendering of the GOP? Because there are more of us in Wyoming than they think. Because the ugliness, the bully tactics, the offensive language is not an accurate reflection of our conservative community and our Wyoming values. Because the RINO nonsense is destructive, mindlessly punitive and unproductive.
Through parliamentary gamesmanship, the GOP leadership has successfully winnowed our voices to a disproportionate few, effectively silencing the two largest counties (Natrona and Laramie) in the state. For now.
I am curious when I hear “Patriots” (whatever that means) shout “Save America” from the top of the scaffolds. What exactly are they saving us from? From a country with one of the safest, most secure electoral system on the planet? From a country that believes in equality for all? From a Democracy that — though battered by extremists and pummeled by synchophantia of Trump — remarkably endures?
On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, President George W. Bush reminded us that we live in a nation which rejects prejudice, nativism and hatred, one in which welcomes immigrants and refugees. One in which embraces service and selfless action. In order to succeed in our two-party ecosystem, we need capable leadership representative of all the people. In Wyoming, that means all shades of red. True Patriots, the Reagans, McCains and Romneys are those whom we aspire to be, those who set the tone for something bigger than ourselves. Eathorne’s not that.
I submit what we really need to be saved from are the Franks of this state — and there are many — who rush to the limelight for personal gain, the one-trick ponies lapping up conspiracy theories du jour from the trough, high on fumy tweets from the Dear Leader.
Let’s be frank. It’s time to right this ship. Press re-set. Vote. Push back against those who have kidnapped our party. Frank must go and take his crazy train with him. Don’t let the tent flap hit ‘em on the way out.
Susan Stubson is a Big Tent Republican. She is a member of the Natrona County Executive Committee and a precinct committeewoman.