The Republican Collapse on Martha’s Vineyard


That’s how it worked in the American South in the early 1960s, when, as you may have read in recent days, some white Southerners staged “Reverse Freedom Rides” to send black people in the North by exactly the same logic used by today’s GOP governors. And that’s how it works in Russian troll farms, which, like The New York Times reported Sunday, worked to sow division among participants in the 2017 Women’s March by having writers who “posted as black women critical of white feminism, conservative women who felt excluded, and men who mocked attendees like whiners with hairy legs.

Republicans have hit new lows after new lows in recent years, really in this entire century. But it is something different. This merciless cascade signals a new phase. The American right has long tried to create an alternative reality to the real reality. They just never used suffering human beings to do it. We still need to know more about who Perla is and who hatched this plot. I suspect that when we do, we will see that their motives are born out of malice, hatred and – remembering that this is about gaining medium-term political advantage – fear that voters will deliver a truly democratic verdict against them.

Meanwhile, residents of Martha’s Vineyard – and beyond; remember, these buses have been coming to the north for a few months now, months in which the response of northerners has been to try to get these people the help they need – met with a manufactured crisis to embarrass them and score political points with decency and good citizenship.


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