Elmer’s Glued: The Charges Stick

I like my first name. It’s a damn good thing because I was named in the traditional Greek way after my grandfather, Peter Elias Athas. When discussions of “what I might have been named” happen, I’m on the sidelines. I don’t know what the female alternatives would have been, but I would have been named *after* someone. My parents were not the sort of people to pluck a trendy name out of thin air.

Oath Keepers caudillo Elmer Stewart Rhodes hates his first name. Who can blame him? Except in New Orleans, the Elmers that come to mind are the glue and the looney toon. We have the company that makes Gold Brick chocolate eggs and these:

Like Cheetos, they’re messy but yummy. They also come in bags.

Sedition is Elmer Stewart Rhodes’ bag. He was convicted of seditious conspiracy and other charges Monday by a federal jury in the District of Columbia.

Do I think his first name made Elmer Stewart Rhodes a gun toting traitor? No, but it didn’t help. That sort of name has made better men than Elmer insecure about their masculinity and prone to purchase and pack weapons. This is what Elmer Stewart Rhodes did as he traveled to the Dipshit Insurrection:

In the days before a pro-Trump mob — including members of his own organization — broke into the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers militia, went on a cross-country weapon-buying spree.


Setting out for Washington from Texas, his home state, Mr. Rhodes stopped at least six times, bank records show, purchasing items like assault-style rifles, ammunition and scopes. Sometimes he dropped into gun shops and sometimes he conducted the transactions in parking lots with private sellers he met online.


By the time he reached his destination, prosecutors said on Monday at the trial of Mr. Rhodes and four of his subordinates on seditious conspiracy charges, the Oath Keepers leader had spent as much as $20,000 on what amounted to a small arsenal that included at least three rifles and an Israeli-made semiautomatic shotgun.

No wonder he was convicted. There’s no innocent explanation for such a weapons splurge. Only an NRA apologist, a mass murderer, or Mr. Ginni Thomas wouldn’t find such conduct suspicious. They’d say it was down to freedom, man.

The charge of seditious conspiracy dates from the War of the Rebellion; a conflict which Elmer’s ilk is apt to call the War Between The States. They were traitors too.

Seditious conspiracy is rarely charged because it’s difficult to prove. The DOJ took a calculated risk in pressing these charges. It paid off. This gives them some momentum going into the Proud Boys trial. Holy misnomer, Batman.

Why do grown men call themselves boys? They certainly have nothing to be proud of. Playing solider is what 8-year-olds do, not grown men. Freedom, man.

What oath is Elmer Stewart Rhodes’ group supposed to keep? Surely not the Constitution, which they violated repeatedly on January 6, 2021. Freedom, man.

There’s a strong likelihood that Elmer Stewart Rhodes will receive a de facto life sentence. But that’s not the best thing to come out of this trial. The verdict establishes that one didn’t have to storm the Capitol to be convicted of sedition. That bodes well for future Dipshit Insurrection trials.

Like most men who overcompensate for their insecurities with big talk and even bigger guns, Elmer Stewart Rhodes is a coward. He let his followers risk injury while he laid back and waited for then President* Pennywise to invoke the insurrection act. It didn’t happen.

Donald Trump is a coward as well. He prefers to let his followers risk their necks while he lays back and hopes to reap the benefits. When things go wrong, Trump denies any knowledge of what transpired, or the people involved. Elmer who? Never heard of him.

I have two admissions but not against interest. (My inner lawyer keeps popping out.) The name shtick at the beginning of the post was inspired by Lawrence O’Donnell who loves saying the name Elmer on teevee.

I also had some help with the post title. I had “Elmer’s Glued” but First Draft pun consultant James Karst furnished the rest. As an editor at the Picayune, he wrote some classic headlines. He’s also a founding member of the NOLA Twitter pun community. Talk about a granfalloon. I hope we made Kurt Vonnegut proud.

Finally, I hope the charges stick to future Dipshit Insurrection defendants. Elmer Stewart Rhodes was just a coup plot middle manager. It’s time to hold to account those who whipped up the election denial fever. Come on down John Eastman, Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, and Donald Trump.

The last word goes to John Hiatt: