The idea that Gov. Mary Fallin is truly getting real consideration to become Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s running mate as the GOP vice presidential nominee might be beyond my current political comprehension level, but then the success of the Trump campaign has defied reality and sanity for a lot of people in this country.
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) May 5, 2016
How an openly bigoted, sexist, billionaire narcissistic reality show actor became the presidential nominee of one of only two major political parties in the great United States has been and will be parsed and parsed by pundits and scholars until there’s nothing left to parse or until the end of the American empire, whichever comes first. The prevailing view for now on the left is that leading establishment Republicans have been finally exposed for their hypocrisy and lies, especially when it comes to their supposed support for working class people, who angrily vote for Trump because they feel betrayed. But let’s be clear: Polls, for now, show Trump gets rejected by a majority of general election voters, especially women. That’s a hopeful sign.
Fallin was mentioned as a possible running mate for Trump by former South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer on a television talk show a couple weeks ago, and then the Trump camp tweeted: “.@AndreBauer Great job and advice on @CNN @jaketapper Thank you!” This is the gist of the only things that have happened on the grand Fallin/Trump political alliance: One remark by a former lieutenant governor from a small, inconsequential red state and a Trump-camp tweet. But, no, no, this hasn’t stopped Fallin from enjoying her carpe diem moment.
When Trump became the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Fallin decided to double down on her support for him while also mentioning she’s still open to talking about becoming his potential vice president nominee. An Associated Press story on the tragicomedy used the word “honored” to described how Fallin really feels about getting mentioned for vice president and also noted that our right-sizing governor supports Trump “100 percent.” Certainly, these are
important and in-depth shallow and calculated remarks.
— CNN (@CNN) May 5, 2016
I know it seems simply crazy that Trump will be the GOP nominee, but it’s even crazier to think he would really consider Fallin as his vice president, right? (Note my ambiguity here.) Selecting Fallin, for example, wouldn’t put a swing state in play. Oklahoma is a flyover state pretty much known nationally for its awful weather, country music stars, embarrassing politicians and now earthquakes. Fallin isn’t exactly known for giving a good speech or possessing gravitas, but I guess she has a modicum more of the latter than Trump. Does she? Fallin, along with fellow conservatives, have broken Oklahoma with terrible financial management, and she would bring that ongoing baggage to the table this election year. Why wouldn’t Trump just select Sarah Palin or the actual current governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, if he’s looking for a right-wing female sycophant to counter the Democratic presidential campaign of who looks like at this point will be Hillary Clinton?
But, as I said earlier, this is not a sane period in the history of the GOP. At this point, anyone that makes bold, monolithic predictions about Trump’s chances, unfavorable or favorable, risks all credibility in doing so. Yes, he COULD be our next president. I don’t want that to happen, but it’s possible, especially if the corporate media allows it by not speaking the truth.
What strikes me the most in this situation is not the vice president drivel, but the fact Fallin supports Trump in the first place. Ted Cruz carried Oklahoma in the GOP presidential primary here so her Trump support places her out of step with the social conservatives in the state, which could have deeper ramifications for the state Republican Party. She’s also a woman, of course, and Trump has used sexist language to criticize one of his former opponents, Carly Fiorina, and television FOX News personality, Megyn Kelly. Does she agree with Trump’s publicly expressed attitudes towards women? Is she a racist as well? Begging to be on the ticket with a man that angrily makes sexist remarks and wants to build The Great Wall of The United States to keep Hispanic people out of the country sure makes it seem like it. Don’t count on any local corporate media reporter to ask her about those issues. They don’t make enough money, frankly, and most of the honest reporters usually get out of here, too.
The cornball joke going around, of course, is that if Fallin does get her national moment at least Oklahoma would be better off for it when she leaves the state, ha ha, at least from the leftist point of view, but the state could also then elect an even more extreme ideologue, such as Oklahoman Attorney General Scott Pruitt, ha ha. Maybe Fallin urgently wants to leave the state she messed up so badly. That would make sense. She’s looking for her next gig. Fallin out. My advice is try to get out of here like Fallin is trying to do. She and the rest of the conservative leaders and their supporters here have broken Oklahoma, and now watch them flee the place they ruined in droves or at least flee the state government they so despise.
Oklahoma faces major problems, from a $1.3 billion budget shortfall to a tanking economy, from a teacher shortage and huge reductions in education funding to cuts in health and social services that will create a major human-rights crisis across the state that may require massive federal intervention. Fallin’s support for Trump and the vice-president tweet might make for good throwaway humor and theater, but it seems rather dark and morbid once the state’s fiscal crisis is taken into consideration.
But, hey, don’t think about it too much. That’s what the conservatives here want Oklahomans to do.