The mini-Trump blowing up local GOP politics

“There’s this group that put together this fake report about our police, and this fake report is trying to use some statistics that say that our police are racist,” he said, referring to Indivisible Strongsville and its request that the city council look into racial disparities of the people the police pull over. Burns paused. The crowd knew the cue. Boo! “And then they also want the ‘Thin Blue Line’ flag in headquarters to be taken down because they think that’s a racist symbol.” Boo! “Know what we said? We said, ‘Hell no,’” Burns said. “Hell no!” hollered the crowd. Before he was done, he called for the ousters of the two female members of the seven-person city council, painting them as sympathetic to Indivisible, which Burns, buzzing with buzzwords, called “gutless” and “Marxist” and “tied to George Soros.” It was a Tuesday in Middle America, and this was a miniature Trump rally…

“The fringe groups, and I wouldn’t even call them fringe groups, these are people that are just fed up, but Shannon has taken it one step further,” said a praising Jim Renacci, the 16th district congressman before Gonzalez who is now running for governor in an intraparty fight against Mike DeWine. “Shannon’s capitalizing on a couple of things,” he added, noting the anti-Joe Biden, anti-Covid-cautious-DeWine, anti-mask, anti-vaccine and anti-Gonzalez grassroots rage.

“He is an opportunist,” Doug Deeken, the GOP chair of nearby Wayne County, said when I called to talk about Burns. “And when do farmers make hay? They make hay when the sun shines. The sun is shining right now in Strongsville, and Shannon’s making hay.”