In debate and discourse the “Straw Man” is the character the debater draws up in his narrative that he will use to represent his opponent which he will then be able to knock down as easily as if he were a scarecrow made of straw.
So, Mickey will make a straw man to represent Republicans. He is looking forward to knocking that straw man down to the ground or below.
And Mickey will make the scarecrow out of Iowa Senator Charles Grassley. Made out of corn husks is almost the same as made out of straw, right? And Grassley is around nine hundred years old, so if there is any of the old iron left in his soul, it has long since dissolved into rust. Mickey’s verbal fists will not get broken bones in them.
I once shook Charles Grassley’s hand back in the 1970’s at the Wright County Fair in Eagle Grove, Iowa. He asked me to vote for him because I lived in his district, and he meant to do the right thing in Washington for the average hard-working farm family. So, I voted for him in 1976. And I did not regret that vote. Of course, that was the real Grassley. Not the corn-husk man Mickey is making for this essay.
I used to respect Republicans. Certain Republicans, anyway. The ones that still stood for something good. The ones who supported the Eisenhower Administration’s platform.
This was the Republican Party in the year that I was born. These were some of the principles that Mickey’s corn-husk man promised to uphold.
But then came Ronny Ray-Gun.
And the Republican Party got remade. They became the party of rich people. Ronny Ray-Gun introduced Voodoo Economics (a theory given its name by George HW Bush.)
“A rising tide lifts all boats,” said Ronny.
Of course, he meant, “If you’re not rich enough to own a boat, you can drown and we won’t care.”
And the corn-husk man, Mickey’s Straw Man in this argument, could’ve objected, and insisted Congress did not go down the yellow-brick road that Ronny laid out for the GOP. Instead, he said Ray-Gun was a truly great President, and he proceeded to make himself rich enough to buy a boat, something his average farmer-constituents did not have.
And when the conservatives on the Supreme Court handed an election victory to Lonesome George the Rodeo Clown that he probably didn’t actually win, Mickey’s corn-husk-filled Straw Man thought, “Isn’t it wonderful that we get to be in power without winning an election first!”
And the Straw Man went on to help the GOP faithful (now less the Grand Old Party, and more the Greedy Old Poopheads) put a justice on the Supreme Court who sexually harassed a black woman and never apologized for it, and a justice who likes beer enough to not remember trying to rape a teenage girl at a party when he was also a teen and caused Mickey’s Straw Man to be outraged… not at the Justice’s attempted crime, but at the fact that Democrats wanted to investigate the crime he committed.
And then came the years of The Donald, allegedly born of an orangutan and allegedly the winner of the 2016 election, and all the monkey poo that the king of all monkeys could fling. And Mickey’s Straw Man failed to remove him after he was impeached…. twice in fact.
Such is the nature of Straw Men. All of the Republican Straw Men are pretty much the same. I have a grudging respect for Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowsky, Jeff Flake, and Liz Cheney. And I haven’t made up my mind about Susan Collins… because she, like any Straw Man, can’t make up her own mind. But even those few believe in Ronny Ray-Gun’s boat theory.
So, now Mickey should deliver a haymaker or two on the corn-husk-filled Straw Man. He should be easy to knock down. But all the Iowa voters… and Texas voters too… have straw where their brains ought to be. This is why the party of the farmers was once-upon-a-time known as the Know-Nothing Party. So, knocking down the Straw Man has no visible effect on the votes of any of them. Oh, well… Mickey tried.