Flores Para Los Muertos
Will a rising redstate star get sucked under?
This isn’t a Hardcore episode (that is, Edrosologists know, posts about ragebait emails that link to wingnut trashsites), but it is Hardcore adjacent; back on July 1 I mentioned Mayra Flores, a Republican QAnon nut who won a special election in June to represent south Texas District 34, flipping the seat from Democrat to Republican and launching a thousand Dems-in-Disarray stories about how Latinos are Republicans now. “A key ingredient to flip the House: A wave of Latino GOP candidates,” enthused fanzine Politico, for example. “House Republicans could be on track to increase their number of Latino members in 2023 by 50 percent — or more…” (There are currently 13 Republican Latino members of the House.)
As I mentioned in July, Flores still has to run the general in November, and has mainly been campaigning on the platform that Democrats — or rather, “the radical Left” — are racist against Latinos in general and her in particular (“Now, I’m having horrible, SEXIST, XENOPHOBIC insults thrown at me by the Radical Left”). She also claimed Nancy Pelosi was rude to her little girl.
Flores has kept that racket up. When Jill Biden maladroitly called Latinos “as unique as the breakfast tacos” in San Antonio, for example, Flores sent emails with subject lines like “I’m not a taco?” and “OPEN if you’re NOT A TACO” with copy protesting Biden’s “WILDLY OFFENSIVE and RACIST insult to millions of Hispanic Americans because we’re PROUD Americans who shouldn’t be compared to food.” In these instances she has offered NOT A TACO stickers in exchange for contributions.
Flores has also waved the bloody New York Times over a story the paper of record published highlighting her QAnon hashtags, her Trump support, her refusal to acknowledge that Joe Biden won the 2020 election, and her claim that Jan. 6 was “a ‘setup’ by antifa.”
“They think I’m “far-right” and an “extremist” JUST BECAUSE I stand for God, Freedom, and Family!” Flores told mailing list people like me on July 6. “Unfortunately, Friend, I’m not surprised about this vile attack. I BEAT the Fake News Media’s preferred candidate and proved ALL of their beliefs about Hispanic Americans WRONG.” As ever, she beseeched her readers “HELP ME FIGHT BACK AGAINST THE LIBERAL MEDIA” by sending her money.
Recently Flores has pulled the old “Ending this campaign” email trick of claiming she can’t go on without immediate cash infusions. Of course most candidates from both parties are doing that now, since our polarized politics has made such apocalyptic appeals compelling, with Democrats concerned for the survival of Democracy and Republicans concerned that their next coup attempt won’t work. Flores has even done those “PENDING Donor Record: Friend” emails that Trump pioneered.
Lately Flores has been pulling the illegal-immigrant gimp string. She’s been doing it on the campaign trail, re-interpreting the border issue to KGET-TV as child trafficking (“the only way to end child sex trafficking is by securing the borders”), as one would expect of a QAnon/Pizzagate adherent. “Flores has called for the impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for creating ‘open borders’ and said it is ‘a top priority,’” KGET further reported. Flores’ emails carry the theme: “If we continue to let Biden and his far-left allies KNEECAP our border patrol, they’d DISBAND it entirely… my husband is a border patrol agent, and his only job is to protect our country, but he’s unable to do that with the Democrats in power because of their RECKLESS lack of policy,” etc.
I bring Flores up for two reasons. First, because, having started with her in July, I might as well follow her wretched campaign all the way to November. Second, her attempts to hold her seat should be extra interesting as Republicans appear to be losing some of the traditional out-party midterm advantage due to hubris.
As I’ve observed elsewhere, Republicans are counting on gerrymandering and voter suppression (and, increasingly, the promotion of election deniers to election oversight positions) to carry them. Convinced they have no need to appeal to normal voters, they’ve really been letting their freak flags fly on abortion and other matters.
There appears to have been some blowback, however, as seen in Kansas and, last night, in the defeat of Sarah Palin and Mark Begich’s nephew by a Democrat in deep-red Alaska. Now Republican/human grease slick Blake Masters has been trying to scrub his anti-choice absolutism from his campaign materials, and others are following suit. But while American voters have famously short memories, it’s not clear that they’re that short.
Will it work — in south Texas or elsewhere? We’ll see.