Arizona's Public Integrity Alliance, a conservative nonprofit group largely made up of East Valley Republicans, has helped topple former state Attorney General Tom Horne, targeted the slimy political maneuverings of former state Senate President Russell Pearce and his bumbling brother Lester, and put pressure on ex-Arizona Corporation Commission Chair Susan Bitter Smith to resign, which she since has done.
Now, disgusted by the rise of foul-mouthed demagogue Donald Trump, the PIA, which some wags snark also stands for "Pain in the Ass," is taking aim at The Donald and his dumb-as-dirt, ditto-head supporters, lampooning the latter in an awesome new music video for the spoof song, "Make America Great Again."
The video features Phoenix comedian Brian Nissen's reprising his running, redneck character "Dwain," a mullet-headed simpleton who loves corndogs, Karate, pickup trucks, sittin' out in the yard on a beat-up couch, and, of course, Trump, because he's not afraid to say the things that ordinary idiots like Dwain think and want their leaders to regurgitate.
Whether it's suggesting President Obama's a Muslim and may not be a natural-born citizen, or using the word "schlonged," or proposing a ban on Muslims entering the United States, around 35 percent of Republicans are dumb enough to swallow Trump's wacky batter, enough to put him in the catbird seat in the GOP primary, for now.
PIA founder and president Tyler Montague, who plays one of Dwain's redneck pals in the video, says it was the suggestion of a Muslim ban that ticked off his group and motivated them to act.
"When he said the stuff about Muslims, we were like, we've got to call that out, and make fun of the absurdity of that," Montague tells New Times.
Indeed, Trump's defense of his idea by citing America's internment of Japanese during WWII as a good thing, also incensed the rock-ribbed Mesa Republican.
"This country has spent the last 70 years lashing itself over how wrong it was to put the Japanese in internment camps," he says. "And when Trump says that about Muslims, people say, `Yeah, that's a great idea.' Really? No. That's a bad idea. Come on."
Montague continued, using the f-word.
"I don't want to overstate it, but [Trump's] kind of a fascist," he observes. "It's the closest thing to fascism that America's had, at least in our lifetime."
In part, Montague sees Trump's ascendance as part of a reaction against school-marmish political correctness. But it's also because there are a lot of stupid people out there.
"Have you seen that poll that came out?" he asks, referencing a recent poll from CNN and the Opinion Research Corporation. "It showed that the heart of Trump's support is non-college educated white guys."
Indeed, a recent Washington Post analysis of the poll stated that, "Trump is much more strongly supported by those with no college degree than he is by those with one. [U.S. Senator from Texas Ted] Cruz leads that latter group by three points (over [U.S. Senator from Florida] Marco Rubio). Trump leads among those with no degree by 34."
Trump's supporters, literally, are idiots.
Nissen's Dwain character would fit right in at a Trump rally, cheering Trump on while the billionaire calls women politicians ugly or mocks the handicapped, as he did with a New York Times reporter in November.
"I don't want to live in some New World Order," sings Dwain, "Where you can't make fun of a crippled reporter."
Sadly, Trump's recent, public use of the word "schlonged," derived from the Yiddish word for penis, came after the PIA video was released. Ditto Trump's recent "man-crush," as Montague calls it, on Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin. So those outrages didn't make it in.
"It's like Trump's strategy is to have scandals so fast that by the time you're ripping him on one of them, he's moved on," says Montague.
Montague claims the video is aimed at intelligent, well-informed voters. But he admits that some of Trump's supporters are so dumb they don't know they are being dissed.
"I've noticed that some of the Trump fans loved it," he explains of the video. "They're like, `Yeah, this is everything Trump is about, this is dead on.' We're like, `You're kidding us, right?'"