The panic of Republicans and the NRA must be starting to reach dangerous levels because only someone out of their mind with fear would put out the following tweet and think it was a good idea:
I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA. Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.
— Casey Cagle (@CaseyCagle) February 26, 2018
That would Casey Cagle, the Republican Lt. Governor of Georgia, threatening to use the power of the government to punish a private corporation for making a business decision to stop associating with a political lobbying group. That’s about as gross an abuse of power as it gets and almost certainly grounds for impeachment (were he to actually do it).
But aside from the unconstitutional aspects of the Cagle’s insane tweet is the underlying premise of a “small government” Republican forgetting everything he’s supposed to believe in when he feels under attack. Free market? Freedom of association? First Amendment? Screw all that! Delta better start working with the NRA again because conservatives are, dare I say it?, entitled to their discounted airfare. Why? Because… they just are!
Cagle is clearly suffering from the same panic that is gripping much of the gun loving right as the #NeverAgain movement launched by the Parkland survivors continues to pick up steam in an election year. Delta is one of Georgia’s largest employers and picking a fight with them is not something a rational person looking to continue a career in Georgia politics would do. But fear makes people do funny things and the Republican Party has so closely identified itself with the NRA and vice versa that both are now in a suicide pact. If one falls, the other goes with it. Maybe not the wisest tactical move but they’re stuck with it now and the result is what you see here: A spastic flailing by politicians who don’t know what to do now that their usual playbook of Thoughts and Prayers and stalling has stopped working.
Still, it sure was nice of Cagle to drop the charade that he hates “big government.” The truth is that Republicans love big government as long as they can use it to attack their enemies and reward their cronies and donors. They only hate it when it’s being used to help average Americans improve their lives. Then it’s straight from the pit of hell.
Depending on how much pressure Delta decides to apply to the state legislature, we could see a half-assed apology by tomorrow, maybe even tonight. Or perhaps Delta will just ignore the ravings of a terrified gnat.
At least until he decides to run for governor.