How Trump got his Oklahoma girl
The GOP fulfills a vision
Robert Hefner IV, Donald Trump and Carol Hefner
You start out in 1954 by saying, “N***er, n***er, n***er.” By 1968 you can’t say “n***er”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N***er, n***er.
– the late Lee Atwater, GOP political strategist, circa 1981
That was his gift to us: legitimizing casual racism in America. As long as the poison was couched—and he was explaining precisely how to do that—it would be allowed back in the national debate and would, in time, gain credibility just from being at the table. After years in exile following the Civil Rights Movement, the closet racists got their marching orders, poured from their basements and garages, and took to talk radio and then social media, blaming minorities, immigrants, government, entitlements for their lot in life and the perceived decline of America, an America they demanded back.
The game plan was unveiled—I’ll tell you exactly when—on August 3, 1980, when Ronald Reagan, then the GOP presidential nominee, opened his campaign a few miles from Philadelphia, Mississippi, the site where three Civil Rights workers— Chaney, Schwerner, Goodman—were murdered in 1964. At the Neshoba County Fair—Reagan did this here—he promised to “restore to states and local government the power that properly belongs to them.”
Here’s what Washington Post columnist William Raspberry said in 2004 about that speech.
It was bitter symbolism for black Americans (though surely not just for black Americans). Countless observers have noted that Reagan took the Republican Party from virtual irrelevance to the ascendancy it now enjoys. The essence of that transformation, we shouldn’t forget, is the party’s successful wooing of the race-exploiting Southern Democrats formerly known as Dixiecrats. And Reagan’s Philadelphia appearance was an important bouquet in that courtship.
On August 17, 1992, Pat Buchanan, then a presidential candidate, said at the GOP convention in Houston, “And as they took back the streets of LA, block by block, so we must take back our cities, and take back our culture, and take back our country.”
There were moments when the party stopped its assault on minorities, and inclusiveness came up for air.
On September 17, 2001, President Bush took his shoes off and went inside a mosque and said, “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don’t represent peace. They represent evil and war.” Imagine a current GOP candidate doing that today? (Imagine if Obama did?). In 2008, at a campaign stop in Minnesota, John McCain told a woman who called Obama an Arab, “No ma’am, [Obama’s] a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.”
(McCain would have been more of a mensch had he asked the woman, “What’s wrong with Arabs?”)
After the 2008 election, there was an intelligent, articulate black man in The White House with a funny name, talking about hope and diversity. These were truly desperate times.
On the question of Barack Obama’s legitimacy, compare McCain’s reaction then to Donald Trump’s now.
“We are going to be looking at a lot of different things. A lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening out there.”
(Who can forget our own Representative Jim Bridenstine’s take?)
The GOP began rewarding the fringe with prizes and access. Louisiana Representative Vance McAllister asked Leviticus-loving duckhunter Phil Robertson to be his date at a State of the Union Address; Mike Huckabee called Ted Nugent, who shat in his own pants to avoid military service and who called the president a subhuman mongrel, his “good friend, hunting buddy, and remarkable individual”; Clint Eastwood was invited to a convention to talk to an empty chair; Ted Cruz told us Kim Davis was doing the lord’s work; and every Republican representative loved the Duggars.
“Republicans will never have the elite, smart people on our side.”
— Rick Santorum.
How proud they must be.
All of which brings us to Oklahoma City.
Take Carol Hefner … please.
(Thank you, I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.)
Hefner, an Oklahoma City socialite whose storied family name (by marriage) is plastered throughout OKC, has a lot to say about the OTHERS on Facebook and spews her hatred like Alberta tar sands from a broken XL pipeline.
After her skewering by the good people at The Lost Ogle, her page magically disappeared; thankfully, the Internet’s memory is long and screen shots are a wonderful thing.
Here’s one highlight (but you really need to see them all):
Remember when Playboy magazine reportedly offered Sarah Palin $4,000,000 to pose nude in an upcoming issue?
Then Michelle Obama was offered $50 by National Geographic?
And remember when KFC offered a “Hillary” meal, consisting of two small breasts and two large fat thighs?
Now KFC is offering the “Obama Cabinet Bucket.”
It contains nothing but left wings and chicken shit.
She also posts about Donald Trump. A lot. Here’s my favorite:
Do you see Mr. Trump’s face? This is the genuine demeanor of this man. Having met and talked with him, he is thoroughly wonderful, kind and giving. He loves the people of America and knows this nation could be much better. He will infuse our country with everything good as President.
Donald Trump’s face? Oy. Trump, the present GOP frontrunner, this man whose idea of diplomacy is telling China:
“Listen, you motherf*ckers, we’re going to tax you 25%.”
Okay, so why is it important to know what Carol Hefner, who was once hoodwinked into auditioning for a fraudulent Real Housewives of Oklahoma City series, thinks about anything? Because she is—drum roll, please— Donald Trump’s Oklahoma campaign manager. And that Trump would have someone so unhinged, an entitled wannabe TV star as his statewide chair is, well … just about right.
“I have a great relationship with the blacks,” Trump told Albany’s Talk Radio 1300 Thursday. “I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.”
Let me stop. This is like shooting a sedated carp in a small barrel. Suffice it say, Carol Hefner is a callous, unmoored block of cheap patriotism, anti-(minority group here), and warmed-over pablum—a humanoid with stationery and an event planner. Politics, for her, is a bauble. She is not important, but is instructive, for hers is a special kind of mutation. To put it in a statewide perspective, imagine if one of Tulsa’s well-known liberal matriarchs took to Instagram to mock Connie Carson’s (Ben’s wife) appearance; imagine if she took to Twitter to compare President George W. Bush to Pol Pot. The condemnation from the state’s major newspapers would be quick and severe. Hefner, on the other hand, still makes the Oklahoman’s society pages pretty regularly.
Tell me again about the liberal media, when you get a chance.
But it’s when Hefner turns her invective on her own party that you fully realize what a blight she is.
“He also has no idea about foreign policy and supports Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan. He has an admitted criminal past and has been a radical ‘liberal’ just up until last year???? Seriously? Who in their right mind would vote for this guy? No, no, no. He has absolutely NO abilities and is taking donations to owe favors now. Sayonara Benny.”
Nobody is more suspicious of “Benny” (that’s Dr. Carson to you folks scoring at home) than I, but how much Dilaudid do you have to ingest to compare him with Sharpton and Farrakhan? That’s some major league bigotry right there, but did you catch the tell? Carson isn’t just a liberal like Sanders or Clinton, he’s a liberal like those guys. Get it? Carson may be a Republican, but he’s still one of them and they’re all alike.
Yes, Carol Hefner is a punchline, but not an aberration, for she is both a product and symptom of her party, comfortable in her own toxicity and confident in her derp. She is the fulfillment of the Neshoba County Fair and the Astrodome, but meaner, unconscionable--Atwater's spawn.
For more from Barry, read his article on Ben Carson's book tour stop in Tulsa.