3 minute read

When a sitting U.S. Senator gets primaried from the right flank of his or her moribund, pathetic shell of a party, this might be seen as a signal to get serious about the electorate’s concerns. 

Instead, U.S. Sen. James Lankford is trolling Vice President Kamala Harris with idiotic memes and malevolently attacking all issues that might positively affect minority voting and representation.

George Lang

OPINION by George Lang

This week, Lankford posted a meme showing Harris photoshopped into the parking lot of an On the Border chain restaurant in reaction to the Veep’s decision to visit the actual border. Following days of attacks against the former attorney general of a border state for not posturing on the Rio Grande in camouflage like he and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz did, he childishly went after her for agreeing to visit the border. 

This petulance, in which he can neither abide Harris focusing on the Central American countries from which most refugees are leaving nor Harris’ largely symbolic decision to visit the southern border, indicates that he has a problem with whatever Harris does or says that borders on pathology. 

Lankford’s problems with Harris seem to transcend party politics. 

He slimes Harris and President Joe Biden even when they commit to things he supposedly supports, like visiting the border or presenting anti-crime platforms, like Biden did this week when he targeted so-called “rogue gun dealers.” I could tolerate Lankford if he appeared to act with a degree of ingenuousness on — oh, I don’t know — anything.

Instead, he is blowing dog whistles. Lankford spent the past week attacking the S.1 voter reform legislation that cannot pass without an end to the Jim Crow-era filibuster, attacking statehood for the District of Columbia, and attacking Harris. He is seemingly obsessed with wedge issues that abundantly and transparently affect minorities, something a thinking person with his considerable pallor might avoid. 

This behavior betrays a certain lack of seriousness on Lankford’s part — surprising, given his penchant for scowling from the pages of social media any time he is not shaking hands with sex offender Josh Duggar or having a bedwetting party during his frequent appearances on Newsmax. 

He is dipping his toe into the racist end of the voting pool and getting super-soaked.

This does not mean Lankford’s likely primary opponent, Tulsa-based Christian Identity minister Jackson Lahmeyer, is any more palatable. 

This weekend, Lahmeyer will be joined by a clown car of seditionists led by disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn at the Embassy Suites in Norman. It is disappointing that the location where I received both Pfizer shots will now be packed with QAnon-worshipping anti-government bozos. 

While I do not relish a primary battle between two incompetent, reactionary, right-wing clergymen, part of me wants Lahmeyer to drag his fellow choirboy into the ash heap. If Lahmeyer were to lay bare Lankford’s core hypocrisies, this could scorch the earth for Republicans and provide the best path to victory Democrats have seen in three decades. 

But Oklahomans need more than mere GOP buffoonery to flip the Senate seat. Oklahoma Democrats cannot afford to run placeholder candidates with cornpone nicknames anymore. 

They need intelligent fighters, principled leaders with name recognition and the potential to fill war chests. We need candidates at the congressional and senate levels who can inspire confidence and largesse from the national party. 

Democrats cannot depend on the GOP’s circular firing squad primary race to do the heavy lifting. They must recruit badasses. 

Last Updated June 24, 2021, 8:40 AM by Brett Dickerson – Editor