Saturday, December 3, 2022

Comment | Bo Hines’ Banana Republic gaffe should launch a new GOP fashion line.

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Retail politics is not what it used to be.

Bo Hines, a Trump-backed congressional candidate from North Carolina’s 13th district, recently weighed in on the rhetoric about the United States being a banana republic, one of the so-called democracies where the rule of law is shaky. But Hines, a former college football player, said everyone points to his clothing retailer, Banana Republic.

“A lot of people have compared it to, you know, we’re in a Banana Republic,” he told radio host John Fredericks. “I think this is an insult to banana republics across the country. I mean, at least the manager of Banana Republic knows where he is and why he’s there and what he’s doing, unlike our president.

The Hines campaign called this a “joke.” Ha! I almost split my charmed chines.

Sorry, but that excuse is total Lululemon. A global idiom of misunderstanding, especially undermining President Biden’s mental capacity, suggests that Hines isn’t quite PetSmart. On an intelligence scale of 1 to 10, he’s a bottom five.

But this is the season of retail gaffes. Mehmet Oz’s campaign for Republican Senate candidate from Pennsylvania produced a video of the candidate shopping at Redner’s Supermarket, which Oz misidentified as “Wegner’s,” apparently confusing it with Wegmans. Get your hands full with broccoli, asparagus, carrots, guacamole, and salsa—supermarkets have carts, Dr.

Dana Milbank: The GOP is sick. It didn’t start with Trump — and it won’t end with him.

10 Only a man at home (claiming two) would refer to a vegetable dish as “crudités.” And salsa for a veggie dip? Call the Gazpacho Police!

In fairness, it’s been a bipartisan smorgasbord of grocery gaffes over the years: George HW Bush’s magical relationship with a supermarket scanner, Dan Quayle’s potato debacle, John Kerry’s Swiss question on a Philly cheesesteak, Barack Obama kvetching about the price of arugula at Whole Foods, Mitt Romney’s sub in hodgepodge country. When he commands a class, Gerald Ford eats a tamale in his apron, and Sargent Shriver orders a Courvoisier at the Steelworker’s Bar.

But, as usual, MAGA Republicans turned the gaffe volume up to 11, from smart people saying dumb things (Fox News’ Sean Hannity introduced Kelly Conway as “Kelly Trump” in a segment mocking Biden’s cognitive system. ), well, other idiots. People who say things (like now Sen. Tommy Tuberville, Republican of Alabama, who says that the “three branches of government” are the “House, Senate and Executive”).

Heading this dance confederation is Herschel Walker, the GOP Senate candidate from Georgia. By holding that there are 52 states, the theory of evolution is wrong because, “If it is true, why are there apes? think about.”

Then consider Walker’s point about the futility of fighting air pollution: “Because we don’t control the air, good air will decide to float bad air to China.” So, when China gets our good air, their bad air… moves to our good air.

Clean up in the hallway!

George T. Conway III: Trump didn’t take the cookies. not at all. not at all. Why ask?

Still, young Bo Hines might be on to something when he compares our current politics to a Banana Republic store.

The retailer is all about encouraging Americans to sit back and pretend they’re in 19th-century safari tents or explorers on a ship, with “pieces inspired by our history, bold visions and imagined journeys. The clothes “Respect Our Heritage”

Maybe Banana Republic can offer some new metaphors that look at the imagined journeys the MAGA Republicans intend to take on America:

  • The white-nationalist linen line. Do you miss the days when white people ruled America alone? Then stock up your wardrobe with a great replacement and go back to skirts, bodysuits and tailcoats.
  • Stasi style. Show off your fashion sense by wearing the jack boots, baggy pants and belted military jackets made famous by the East German secret police as you report to the government on the activities of teachers, journalists and abortion activists.
  • Dezinformatsiya line. “We are worried about our agent Trump,” Russian state television reported. Share the stress visually, with a clothing line inspired by vintage Cossack hats and babushka headscarves.
  • The Giuliani collection. As Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani becomes the target of a criminal investigation, his chief financial officer is set for impeachment, and top-secret government documents are found in Trump’s home, wear crisp pinstripes and bright orange boots that define prison chic.

For Republicans, this new fashion branding will be on target. In fact, the anthropology of the MAGA crowd is a banana.

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