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“Bugger all else but sand in Klatch. Still got some in his sandals”

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Photo by Trang Nguyen on Unsplash

The whitest president ever’s morning Tweetertantrump included a mention of an article from the Washington Times Lite.

Border rancher: “We’ve found prayer rugs out here. It’s unreal.” Washington Examiner People coming across the Southern Border from many countries, some of which would be a big surprise.

A surprise indeed, especially since Ms. Anonymous Border Rancher also claimed Czechoslovakians are creeping around out there.

If prayer rugs lugged from Mexico to the U.S. and then unceremoniously dumped in the desert by the sort of people who use prayer rugs hint, hint, sounds familiar, it should. Republicans have been passing this story around like herpes since at least 2005.

The lieutenant governor of Texas has twice declared the discovery of “prayer rugs” on the Texas side of the border with Mexico, also suggesting members of the Islamic State group have possibly snuck in.

At the September 2014, Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., David Dewhurst described suspicions of an impending invasion of terrorists crossing the Rio Grande. As a sign, he said, “prayer rugs have recently been found on the Texas side of the border in the brush,” according to CSPAN2 video posted online by the liberal news site Talking Points Memo.

The story has gone from right wing politician to right wing website and back again.

Even the original reports of prayer rugs were thinly sourced. In 2005, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) claimed in a speech on the Senate floor that prayer rugs and notebooks filled with Arabic writing were being discovered in border regions. But Hutchison didn’t offer any proof of the rugs, saying that she had heard of them only as “stories of suspicious items picked up by local residents.”

Since then, the idea of prayer rugs being discovered on the border as proof of a terrorist invasion has recurred every few years on the right.

In 2014, Breitbart published a story touting the discovery of a “Muslim prayer rug” in Arizona. But a picture of the “prayer rug” showed that it was just a torn Adidas jersey.

And now it has reached the White House, where it is being used as further justification for wrecking the economy and the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. And because the GOP has succeeded in putting the ultimate angry white ignoramus in the White House until the next one, any right wing lie could become accepted fact shape policy. In fact, it’s hard to think of any that haven’t at this point.

What should alarm anyone who enjoys a semi-civilized existence is there’s no bottom to this particular rabbit hole. Less disreputable right wing outlets like the Daily Caller, Washington Examiner and Fox News are competing with each other, less reputable right wing sources of disinformation like American Thinker, Infowars and Facebook, and for the first time the President of the United States. The DOPUS believes and repeats everything that confirms his particularly disgusting set of biases, and from there it is just a short hop to it being repeated by mainstream outlets because the Clementine-in-Chief said it, but not analyzed and properly classified as a lie. Because the c-i-c said it.

And soon reporters on the politics beat will be occupied with carefully measuring the friendliness levels of any Democratic presidential candidates who happen to be women. Between that, obsessive coverage of tRump rallies, interviewing tRump supporters in parts of America that fit the flyover country stereotype and tut-tutting because a Democrat said a naughty word, there won’t be any time to note that Orangefinger is quoting directly from Daily Stormer or D.C. Stephenson’s speeches. And the entire party will get that much worse. And if the GOP stays in power, it will take the country with it.

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