The GOP kakistocracy

I learned a new word last week, kakistocracy: a system of government which is run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens.

Lots of big words have been bandied about since the arrival of Trump in the White House — plutocracy, demagoguery, oligarchy — but kakistocracy sums it up best.

The events of last week would bear this out. Let’s recap:

We’ll start with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Some underling climbs to the top of the DOI building to hoist the secretary’s flag when Zinke’s “at work,” then lowers it when he leaves for the day. No other department, not even the White House, practices this arcane military ritual. Then there are the commemorative coins, with Zinke’s name embossed, being minted for the secretary. All this is going on while Zinke is being investigated for charter jet abuse.

Let’s turn to Trump sycophants Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Greg Gianforte. We’ll start with Daines. The Last Best News’ David Crisp has an opinion piece titled, “For Daines, ideology trumps evidence,” which nicely lays out the senator’s obtuseness on guns and climate change, and history and science as well.

Gianforte held a tele-town hall last week. From MTPR:

At 3:00 this afternoon Congressman Greg Gianforte issued a press release saying he’s holding a “Public Tele-Town Hall Forum” at 6:05 pm.

Thanks for the advance notice, congressman. I will give Gianforte credit, though, for marching in the homecoming parade in the People’s Republic of Missoula last Saturday. I only caught the tail end of it but a rather glum Gianforte was walking with a contingent of Missoula Republicans — all ten of them.

Also marching was U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale. Not many people recognized him as he hasn’t had a mug shot widely distributed but his candidacy sets up a raucous primary: a Steve Bannon-backed Rosendale, a Zinke-backed Troy Downing and Judge/Candidate Russ Fagg, along with some other minor players.

The weirdest entry into the field is James Dean of Havre, whose wife filed to run in the Democratic primary. Here’s a letter from him that ran in today’s Missoulian (along with a photo of the candidate inserted in the letter; a practice I’ve never seen before). It’s a bizarre missive calling on us, Republicans included, to take responsibility for today’s problems. Is he really taking his party to the mat? That will play well.

Back to the really scary stuff: a poll of Republicans reveals that nearly half of them support a pre-emptive strike on North Korea. With an unhinged president pandering exclusively to his base, this could become a reality.

Although nuclear holocaust should be paramount in my concerns, there’s a personal affront in Trump’s latest directive. Shortly after Trump signed the executive order stopping subsidy payments to Marketplace insurers, my health care insurer, Montana Health Co-op, said it would probably close its doors. The Co-op offered me the lowest cost health care plan I could find in Montana — a Bronze Plan that had pretty high deductibles and co-pays, especially out of network. It does cover preventative procedures and is basically a plan to keep me from going bankrupt if I have a catastrophic illness.

I get a small subsidy, enough to make my plan reasonably affordable. I might have to bail on it, now, and hope I don’t contract some serious illness before I can get Medicare (if it’s still around) in February, 2019. I’m sure I’m not alone in this predicament.

Is it a coincidence that the beginning of the word kakistocracy sounds an awful lot like caca, which in Spanish means … ? How much longer can the nation withstand this administration and its lackeys? It would seem like the caca is about to hit the fan.




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About the author

Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.

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