Nightmare on Gated Elm Street

Right-wing conservatives are panicking ahead of the November election.

A couple in St. Louis went viral for pointing guns at and threatening peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters in June.

I’m sure you saw the panicked couple out on the lawn in their gated-community mansion last month, threatening and intimidating peaceful protestors. Viewers everywhere looked at this ridiculous scene, held their foreheads in their hands, and muttered, “Oh, white people, stop!” And those were just the white viewers. 

The woman had a handgun that she held with one hand, finger firmly on the trigger, waving it around and even pointing it at her husband a time or two. He could have ended up with a few rounds in his hide, seeing as how he was holding a semi-automatic rifle at his hip with the strap on his shoulder and his finger on the trigger. I suppose he lost the little instruction sheet that explains how to hold a weapon of war so you don’t blow everyone away.

They looked so much like a comedy crime-fighting team that we’ve decided to offer them a few show-business name ideas (feel free to add your own) . . .

The Ungrateful Dead-enders
Guns N’ Poses
Nightmare on Gated Elm Street
Benny and The Glocks

And speaking of right-wing panic, I’ve come up with one more reason to vote Democratic. Planning. We’ve just discovered that Texas Democrats are pretty damn good at planning.

Republicans are not. They ignore the inevitable and then waste time whining about it when their chickens come home to roost. If they’re backed into a corner and forced to make a decision, they won’t take even a smidgeon of responsibility for an awful outcome.

And I’m not even talking about their response to COVID-19. 

I’m talking about comparing this summer’s political party conventions in Texas. Lemme explain.

Texas Democrats wisely canceled their in-person convention in San Antonio, announced that they would have a virtual convention in June, and then spent a month planning it—with all of the Democratic staff members working from home. 

They hired a television producer to come in and set up the workings on Zoom. (Not much television is being produced right now, so it was easy to find a good one.)

The entire online convention was a twinkling affair with spectacular camera and sound work, and everybody had the best seat in the house. We had individual senatorial district meetings, each with a few hundred people tuned in to elect committees and national Democratic convention delegates. 

One way you know it was successful is that every other online state convention around the country has lost money. Texas Democrats netted $1.5 million. Instead of just 4,000 die-hard Democrats traveling to San Antonio, hundreds of thousands watched. They trained and certified 3,400 voter-registration workers in Texas, and then trained thousands more in every aspect of campaigning. And it all worked because it was coordinated like a damn royal wedding.

Now let’s look at the Texas State Republican Convention. They wanted to show up in downtown Houston and crowd into the convention center, just as new COVID-19 cases were breaking records every damn day. This was not regular dumb, it was the kind of real-special dumb that Republicans are so good at.

Mayor Turner said Nope to the Republican gathering, so they lawyered up and went to court to fight him. Even the Texas Supreme Court (the most right-wing court in the whole giant nation) said Hell, nope. Then a federal court said Hell, why not? before being overruled by another federal court. (Republicans had gone back to begging for permission to meet in person to finish business that they couldn’t figure out how to do on the Zoom machine. Two days before the convention, they hadn’t even come up with a way for delegates to register online.)

And then there’s the August national party conventions. Democrats have been planning theirs since mid-May. Republicans are still trying to figure out how to save face after their Florida convention plans went up in smoke. Honey, Trump’s Florida idea had Goat Rodeo written all over it. He was even considering putting delegates on cruise ships docked near the convention center—kind of like throwing them in a FryDaddy pot of COVID-19.

So there ya go—one more great reason to vote for Democrats. After the growing pains they suffered with the Iowa caucuses, they’ve figured out how to see trouble through a ten-inch rock at midnight and start writing down their plans in the dirt with a stick.

By the way, you need to get up right now and give a standing ovation to Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo for being the adults in the room. They stepped up, took responsibility, and have been proven right every time.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think that’s how government is supposed to work.

Okay, friends, baseball season has started and now there’s a “No Spitting” rule. They’re just gonna have to swallow that crud like the rest of us.

Until next month . . .damn, it’s hot!

This article appears in the August 2020 edition of OutSmart magazine.

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Susan Bankston

Susan Bankston lives in Richmond, Texas, where she writes about her hairdresser at The World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc., at
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