Asshole of the Month: Kari Lake
The January 6th committee closed out the year with a big Christmas gift to the country—Donald Trump referred for criminal charges after leading America’s equivalent of Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch. So it’s hopeful that we’ll be spared more of this disastrous carnival barker in the future. He may well be legally barred from running for President again, and if not enjoying his next Christmas behind bars, at least he’ll be forcibly retired to Mar-a-Lago. But, like COVID-19, his loyal legions and opportunistic imitators continue to infect the body politic.
Foremost among his viral clones is the fanatical MAGA trooper Kari Lake, who reenacted Trump’s sore-loser tantrum in her own failed bid for governor of Arizona last year. Like Trump, she became a familiar face on TV. For 22 years she anchored the news desk at Fox 10 in Phoenix, before deciding that her name recognition qualified her to run the state.
Kari’s main political principle is this: Identify the popular trend of the moment and hitch her star to the front runner’s bandwagon, whatever their party or beliefs. She was a registered Republican until 2006, when she became an independent. In January 2008, she flipped to Democrat the day after Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses. She supported John Kerry in 2004 and Obama in 2008 because she was against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, she said, and donated to many Democratic candidates. Then she U-turned again in 2012, bouncing back to the Republican camp, where she remained until announcing her gubernatorial candidacy in 2021. But she had to shape-shift once more to make this plausible: Kari was a “casual Buddhist” until 2015, according to friends. But if you’re trying to court the evangelicals who form the base of the GOP, Buddhist is about as popular as Muslim or Devil worshiper—it ain’t the faith of George Washington and Abe Lincoln, by God!—so Kari ditched Buddha and found Jesus, declaring herself a Christian once again: “I had an old, dusty Bible sitting on my desk that I hadn’t picked up for a while. I hadn’t really read the Bible since I was younger, going through religious studies,” she said at a FlashPoint Live Christian event. “I picked that up and started reading it, and I thought, Oh, my gosh. All of the problems we’re facing right now, there’s help for us, solutions in the Bible.”