Things We’re Watching – Trumpublicanism Ratcheting Up The Militancy
Things We’re Watching – Trumpublicanism Ratcheting Up The Militancy
First item of interest in no particular order, is the newest level of agit-prop now on display, both from the G.O.P. and from its hateful satellite array of militants, which are legion.
On the trail of RINOs, liberals and the ‘fake media’.
We can start with Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri, Eric Greitens, the former Governor who had to resign a few years ago under a cloud of scandal involving, among other things, sexual assault and blackmail. The video he put up on social media, his own election website and Youtube, day before yesterday, instantly became radioactive.
Many news outlets won’t show it, but we think you should witness for yourself how inflammatory this really is in any political climate, much less the one we’re currently in.
The production values are strange. His “tactical team” is launching an incursion into an empty house. There is no explaining this away or attempting to re-frame it in any other way than to see it for what it is – a call to arms, literally and figuratively.
Moreover, it unsubtly advocates that the solution to dealing with those with whom we have cultural and / or policy disputes, is that they should be hunted down, shot, placed in a body bag and the remains, tagged.
Greitens’ website, should there be any doubt remaining what he is promoting, featured this still preview of another similar video:
And there was this.
Needless to say, this is being explained away as a “rhetorical device” that should not be taken literally as Greitens’ campaign manager attempts to do, when he dismisses criticisms by stating that, “If anyone doesn’t get the metaphor, they are either lying or dumb.”
For Greitens’ own part, he offers nothing at all in the form of a blunting of the message of the video, but instead doubles down on it, belittling his opponents, saying, “It is entertaining to watch the faux outrage of all of the liberals and RINO snowflakes around the country and around the state.”
But as others in the media have noted, this sort of incendiary messaging is quite a different kettle of fish when it is coming from an individual who has demonstrated a history of child and spousal abuse and other allegations of felony sexual assault, and who also has used firearms as a visceral motif within a social and political climate in which mass shooters have been inspired by this sort of reckless signaling .
Eric Greitens accused of physical abuse in affidavit filed by his ex-wife
Missouri Republicans of various stripes, have even found Greitens’ aggressive and belligerent campaign messaging, politically unsustainable and have made efforts to divorce themselves from it.
One example is Missouri Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden, who announced Monday that he had contacted law enforcement about Greitens, and tweeting that, “We have been in contact with the Missouri Highway Patrol and hope that former Gov Greitens finds the help he needs.” Rowden went on to say, “Anyone with multiple accusations of abuse toward women and children should probably steer clear of this rhetoric.”
And there was U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Tim Garrison, writing on Twitter that Greitens was aiming for free news coverage, even if it was negative, and to perhaps be banned from Twitter, for “his latest bonkers ad for promoting violence…It’s completely intentional. The grotesqueness is a feature, not a bug.”
No matter how pundits and politicos are interpreting Greitens’s messaging, what truly matters is how his political base and following among White Nationalists, interpret it. If only one violence prone extremist takes his provoking trash talk to heart and acts on it – Greitens is then the father of a bloodbath.
And the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police see it that way as well, issuing this statement:
“The creation and release of this video again demonstrates that Mr. Greitens does not possess the sound judgment necessary to represent the people of Missouri in the United States Senate, and that he has learned nothing from the legal problems he experienced prior to resigning as Missouri’s governor.”
And one has to arrive at the conclusion regarding Greitens’ reckless conduct, that it is not credible to believe that as he pushes these calls to violence, that he is somehow unaware that many of the targets he named as “RINOS”, “liberals” and the “fake media”, have already been threatened with their very lives by the people who see Greitens as a leader in their ideological bowel movement.
They include targets such as Liz Cheney, who has been an object of threats since last Fall, Fred Upton (R-MI), Democrat Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger and his wife Sofia, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and Tricia Raffensperger the wife of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
That is a short list, but scores of others in the legacy Republican party that have defied Trump, such as the House members that voted to impeach him or voted in favor of the infrastructure bill which Trump opposed, have received menacing messaging.
Then there are the election workers across the nation, most notably Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Shaye Freeman Moss, who committed the unpardonable sin of accurately counting the ballots of voters in Fulton County, Georgia.
“You are one stupid cunt. That pimp you married not only broke his oath, he sold his soul. Yours and Christian’s too! Adam’s activities have hurt not only this country, but countless patriotic and God fearing families. Therefore, although it might take time, he will be executed. But don’t worry! You and Christian will be joining Adam in Hell too! We find it blasphemous that you name the son of the devil Christian!”
– letter sent to Sofia Kinzinger, wife of Republican Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger
From Missouri, we head 600 miles Southwest, to the Lone Star State, where the Gee Ohhhhh Pee is in a furious race to the bottom to determine which Red state takes the prize for the most lunacy possible.
The Texas State GOP Convention goes all in on crazy
As you likely have seen, the Texas Republicans have just wrapped up their state convention and have adopted a party platform that is beyond comprehension, except that it sadly, is not. It’s real. The delegates kicked things off voting to endorse Trump’s Big Lie that President Biden is not actually the duly elected president. Not terribly shocking.
From there, the bus ride to Crazy, gets even spookier. The Christo-fascist zealots who steer the party down Hate Avenue, decided that branding Homosexuality as “abnormal” and reiterating their opposition to same sex marriage, is just the ticket for broadening the party’s appeal – that and barring the Log Cabin Republicans from the convention.
And, as Houston Public Media reported, throughout the conference, anti-LGBT flyers were passed around to attendees including one that was titled “Be Alert and Aware of the Homosexual Agenda.” The platform included this positional statement vis a vis their stance on LGBTQ policies:
“Homosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle choice. “We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin, and we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values. No one should be granted special legal status based on their LGBTQ+ identification.”
Irrational hate and animosity towards people whose lives and loves are different are evidently considered “convictions” and “traditional values.” It wasn’t all that long ago that segregation was considered a “traditional value” as well – and it may still be with more than a few in the GOP.
But they were far from finished. Not only does marriage equality have to go, but the Trumpublican party recommends Texas secede from the Union and the 1965 Voting Rights Act needs to be nullified. They don’t want Jim Crow Lite, they want the real thing back.
One delegate, David Gebhart, in pushing back on the dumpster fire set by his party at this event, lamented, “I just want to say, we are the Republican Party of Texas. We’re not the Westboro Baptist Church.”
Pardon me, but if the Republican Party of Texas is not the Westboro Baptist Church, they are certainly doing a remarkable impression of them. From this vantage point, it is difficult to tell the difference, frankly. Hold that thought, because we will conclude with a look at the Texas iteration of Westboro later in this piece. Wait for it.
All of this and more, is certain to delight the party’s hard core voters to no end. It remains to be seen however, to what extent, independent, moderate and centrist voters, will be able to hold their noses and vote for the sorts of extremist candidates who espouse such policy prescriptions.
“Eyepatch McCain” and Alt-Right Carney Barker Alex Stein
There is no question that if Republicans running in districts that have more of a metropolitan and urban composition, either directly or by implication, disavow these platform planks, they will be confronted with more of the egregious vitriol we saw directed toward U.S. Senator John Cornyn and the taunts of “Eyepatch McCain”, hurled at House Rep. Dan Crenshaw.
There are a couple of things to see here and they can be seen concurrently. First and foremost is that neither Rep. Crenshaw or the late Senator McCain should be the object of such ugly disrespect. Both sustained injuries in the service of our country while in uniform.
Second, is – and we need to be careful with this, Dan Crenshaw and John Cornyn can be said to have played a supporting role in fostering this horrific extremism and even if they never imagined it would become so poisonous or volatile – it’s a fire that is almost impossible to extinguish once it gathers momentum.
Alex Stein (rhymes with “Swine”)
The whiny, idiotic perp behind the “Eyepatch McCain” rant that broke out at the Gee Ohh Pee Pee Klan meeting sans robes and hoods, is Alex Stein, a right wing social media personality who also fancies himself as a “comedian” and a protégé of (of course) Alex Jones (whom he regards as his “personal hero”), Glenn Beck and most notably, Fox News’ fascist / populist propagandist Tucker Carlson.
Stein’s stock in trade is demented far Right performance art, which unless you think Tim Allen is humorous, much less brilliant – comes across as ill conceived, incoherent and puerile. He takes advantage of the recently passed state laws requiring that anyone be permitted to speak during public government meetings, to troll the hearings.
As he tells Beck:
“What they say is that you’re not supposed to be boisterous, but you can be boisterous. As long as I don’t go in there and cuss and be really profane, people have their constitutional right to speak, so there are people who have been sued [for denying that], so they have to let you speak. … In a big city like Dallas and all these other cities, even though it doesn’t matter, it plays on their local live feed, so it does go somewhere.”
The picture that various journalists paint of Stein, is someone that caught the bug of seeing himself as a social media influencer and goes to any lengths necessary to crap out content that Trumpanistas devour with great relish no matter how objectively unfunny all of it is.
Stein should make the most of his nanoseconds in the MAGAverse, because when that concludes, instead of Stein, he’ll merely be a stain.
Texas’ chapter of Westboro Baptist Church – The Steadfast Church
This is not a story that just hit the news cycle, it surfaced earlier this month, but I include it to give context to the ferment of animosity that informed the Texas GOPs collective decision to denounce LGBTQ people at their confab earlier this week.
On Sunday, Christian hate-preacher Dillon Awes said that the government should execute every gay person. All of them.
"They should be lined up against the wall and shot in the back of the head! That's what God teaches. That's what the Bible says." pic.twitter.com/rMzF3BHSNF
— Hemant Mehta (@hemantmehta) June 7, 2022
The church in Watauga, on the fringes, both figuratively and literally of Fort Worth, that has situated two apostles of venom, in replacement of the original demagogue, Donnie Romero – listened with rapturous attention to co-pastor Dillon Awes, expound to them that:
“What does God say is the answer, is the solution for the homosexual in 2022, here in the New Testament, here in the book of Romans? That they are worthy of death. Every single homosexual in our country should be charged with a crime, the abomination of homosexuality that they have, they should be convicted in a lawful trial, they should be sentenced to death, they should be lined up against a wall and shot in the back of the head.”
The Star-Telegram, explains that this was by no means an isolated event. Jonathan Shelley, another leader of Stedfast Baptist Church, attended an Arlington City Council meeting and publicly stated his position about the Bible requiring gays be put to death and commenting that “What these people do is filthy.” In so doing, he referenced arcane anti-Sodomy laws that had long been ruled un-Constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The original purveyor of this anti-Gay vitriol, ex-pastor Donnie Romero, had to leave Steadfast in 2016. Why? Well, it was not because he indulged in an ugly rant against the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, calling them “scum of the earth.” No, it was instead, that he had been discovered to have had a gambling addiction, drug use and had serial adulterous episodes including some with sex workers, including a roadie he took to Jacksonville, Florida.
And even despite that, he had this to say about those 49 fellow human beings who lost their lives in the Pulse mass shooting:
“They’re the scum of the earth, and the earth is a better place now, and I’ll take it a step further. I’ll pray to God like I did this morning, and I will again tonight, that God will finish the job that that man started.”
That’s essentially the sentiment that sums up the Texas Republican Party platform of 2022.