After gays and flag-burning, what’s next for GOP?

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With the President and his panicky Republican allies seeking to rally the base with constitutional amendments against gay marriage and flag-burning, what else can they do to win support? They’re betting that the rural, Midwest and Southern voters who fell for their pandering before will respond again, even if they lose on those red-meat issues in Congress. But to shore up their support, here are some other measures under consideration by the Bush Administration:

1. Mandating that all grade-schoolers learn to read directly from the Bible — with chapbooks just like in colonial days.

2. Administration supporters are working with the Fox News Network to launch MolestTV, a 24/7 cable network highlighting coverage of trials, arrests and in-depth profiles of accused and convicted child molesters, mostly focusing on gays (even though critics of the new network note that a majority of pedophile cases involve heterosexuals.) Bill O’Reilly will anchor an hour show on the network, “Fighting for Our Kids,” focusing on politicians, liberal journalists and judges who are “soft on crime” while featuring regular appearances by representatives of the North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA)

3. Executing a few scary-looking accused terrorists with “funny-sounding” Arabic names who have been held at Guantamano Bay.

4. Cracking down on all that cursing on HBO, once and for all.

5. Having Attorney General Gonzales order the arrest of mostly Jewish reporters for publishing leaked classified information about our secret intelligence-gathering and interrogation (i.e., domestic spying and torture) operations.

The closer we get to November, here are some other desperation moves being considered:

6. Putting out an all-gay list of fugitives and serial murderers on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.

7. Banning all condoms and contraceptives from drug-stores because they promote “teen sex cults.”

8. Pushing a constitutional amendment calling for life imprisonment for all doctors who either perform abortions or tell patients how to join NARAL.

9. Finding one of those flag burners, somewhere, and ordering a federal SWAT team to invade his house for a high-profile arrest. (Failing that, arranging through shell groups and third-parties a payment to an undercover Republican operative willing to be the perp and take the fall. That’s Karl Rove’s idea, but some administration insiders say it goes too far, dubbing it “Operation Reichstag.”)

10. When all else fails, starting a pogrom. But this time, include illlegal immigrants, too. It’s helped rally the base in other countries, so why not try it here?

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In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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