The cowboy boots almost shimmer with deception. Accented with gold, the boots are striped in red and white at their shafts, and then blue, spangled with white stars, at their heels. They are hard-tipped and high-heeled, too fancy-looking to be useful for anything much besides wearing them to political rallies to signify one’s real Americanness. These boots are what Sarah Palin, the former Vice-Presidential candidate and current Tea Party leader, wore last month, when she showed up in Alabama and inserted herself into the Republican primary race to fill the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. Palin was joining Steve Bannon, the cast-out former adviser to President Trump, who had also travelled to Alabama to try to sway the election—in anticipation of the role that his and Palin’s chosen candidate, a judge named Roy Moore, could play in their efforts to drag the President back toward his ultra-right-wing base. “We can win this war!” Palin said gleefully after Moore’s victory.
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