Dirty secrets

There are 20 million pigs in Iowa, but you can drive through the state for hours without ever seeing one. Most live in big sheds called confinement units, bland, windowless metal warehouses that sometimes hold 2,000 or 3,000 hogs

Each shed is built over a pit with a slatted floor so that the waste falls down into what is called a manure lagoon. These are extremely dangerous places. Every year a few farmers fall into the pits. It may be considered fortunate that almost all of these die from suffocation from methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and ammonia before they have a chance to drown in the sewage.

(See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3440894/)

What Sherlock Holmes called the smiling face of the countryside

You could live in Iowa for a long time without being aware of these houses of horror, although every now and then an infectious disease that farmers call the scours rages through a barn; and then you might notice truckloads of putrefying hogs being transported to the National Byproducts Company’s rendering factory just outside the capital of Des Moines.

Just so, you could live surrounded by Republicans for a long time without noticing what goes on behind their bland exteriors. But then along comes an event that is the social equivalent of the scours, and then we see that what appeared to be humans were really just human-shaped sacks of putrid filth.

Such an excoriating event happened last week, and CNN provided a coast to coast roundup of disgusting Republicans. Even the Washington Times, which seldom finds anything that happens among the rightwing to be objectionable, noticed.

(See https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/21/politics/crisis-actors-analysis/index.html and https://thinkprogress.org/claudia-tenney-parkland-shooting-democrats-6f721d645299/ and https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2018/02/21/david-hogg-reaction-don-jr-like-tweet-school-shooting-ac-sot.cnn and https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2018/02/21/jack-kingston-florida-shooting-panel-ac.cnn)

Just as the Tea Party convicted itself of racism when its leaders sent out email blasts of racist cartoons, the reaction to the Parkland massacre convicted the Republicans.

You don’t send out an email blast unless you expect all the recipients to get the joke. It doesn’t just happen that Republicans from coast-to-coast accused high school students of being paid actors, fake victims, and stooges unless that was an idea that was already festering under the MAGA caps.

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