The greatest missing persons mystery in American history is not D.B. Cooper or Joseph Force Crater or even the Roanoke Island colony.
No, the greatest missing persons mystery in American history happened sometime between the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 when somewhere between 15 and 30 million Republicans all quietly vanished without a trace.
One day they were there, braying about how they had won and we had lost so "Shaddap!" and yapping loudly and patriotically about how deficits don't matter anymore and besides, anyone who doesn't pay reverent deference to President Cuckoobananas during war-time was a traitor because Freedom and also 9/11 Changed Everything...
...and then they were gone. Just gone. Leaving nothing behind but the disasters they had championed, the failures they had authored, the institutions they had torched and moldering mountains of "Bush/Cheney 2000", "Bush/Cheney 2004" and "McCain/Palin 2008" buttons and tee-shirts and bumper stickers and yard signs stretching from one end of the country to the other.
And if that weren't a weird enough mystery, at exactly the same moment that these millions and millions of Republicans silently vanished in the political equivalent of the Cretaceous/Paleogene extinction event, there suddenly appeared -- out of nowhere and fully-formed -- millions and millions of a brand new independents.
Or independent conservatives.
Or independent Constitutional conservatives.
Or independent Originalist Constitutional conservatives.
Or Tea Parties.
Or...well (pun intended) they still haven't settled on a name, but whatever they're calling themselves this week, one thing is for damn sure. Despite being physically and ideologically identical to the millions of Republicans who disappeared overnight, these millions of independent Originalist Constitutional conservative Christian liberty tea party patriots are definitely not Republicans. They have definitely not been loyal Limbaugh listeners and Fox News viewers who had voted Republican in every election their entire adult lives. They definitely did not vote for Dubya twice, nor did they cheer on every fcked up thing he did.
No they were political virgins who emerged fully-formed from the head of Glenn Beck, just in time to go screaming into the streets, demanding to see the black President's birth certificate, insisting that his health care plan was a complex ruse to murder their white grannies, and generally screeching that their country had been stolen from them by an illegitimate Kenyan Usurper.
It was the damnedest, most amazing thing ever, this massive, overnight body swap. The greatest missing persons case in history, followed immediately by the greatest case of mass virgin-births in history.
Weird that the press never covered it.
Or maybe -- as I have noted at my blog over and over and over again -- it was all just bullshite. Maybe, reporting the straight and easily observable fact that the GOP had finally weighed itself down with so many bigots, so many lies, so many lunatics and so many disasters that it had finally capsized and gone mad was too much for our incestuous and corrupt media to bear -- a story so disturbing in its implications that it would fck up the Acela corridor gravy train for everyone, And so, instead of telling the simple, terrifying truth, virtually everyone in the corporate media signed off on a massive scam, run by a passel of cowards and con men on the Right.
This was the moment when Trump or something like Trump became inevitable: not in 2015 when he came gliding down the escalator, but in 2009, when the Right found out for the second time in a decade that the American corporate media would obediently refuse to call them out for lying, no matter how ridiculous, destructive and gargantuan those lies were.
These days, the most provocative and politically incorrect thing you can call one of America's millions of newly-minted independent Originalist Constitutional conservative Christian liberty tea party patriots is "Republican".
So have at it.
Excerpted from driftglass under the title "Croatoan Conservatives"