Conflagration Seems To Be Goal Of Republican Right Wing
The right wing continues to stoke the fires of violence and would be well reminded that once a conflagration is ignited, it may be impossible to extinguish.
Eric Greitens, a leading contender for the Republican Senate nomination in Missouri, released a new video in which he is depicted as hunting RINOs (Republicans in Name Only).
“People went to Washington primarily because they were angry with the election they think was rigged. They were angry from the standpoint of what happened in the election and they are smart and they see and they saw what happened. That was a big part of what happened on Jan. 6,” according to incendiary comments recorded by trump in March 2021 in a new documentary.
“I went and bought a bunch of rope. That way I can pull people behind my car when their body parts fall off, so it’s far enough behind, doesn’t get any blood on it,” said Colorado far right podcaster, Joe Oltmann, who counts among his rabid fans, Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.
“The Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect an individual’s right to carry a hand-gun for self-defense outside the home,” said Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority ruling that repealed a New York law restricting people from carrying concealed weapons.
“The (Supreme) Court well explains why, under our substantive due process precedents, the purported right to abortion is not a form of ‘liberty’ protected by the Due Process Clause,” were again, comments by Thomas regarding the court’s destruction of a woman’s right to privacy regarding medical choices.
Thomas said the ruling means that protections for LGBTQ+ protections, gay marriage and contraception also should be reconsidered because the rulings “were demonstrably erroneous decisions.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., laid into Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, R-N.Y., for having “launched an insurrection” when Ocasio-Cortez called for mass, civil demonstrations against the Roe v. Wade decision, and Greene said that “any violence and rioting is a direct result of Democrat marching orders.”
“Women will be in control of their bodies, and if they think Black women are intimidated or afraid, they got another thought coming. Black women will be out in droves. We will be out by the thousands. We will be out by the millions. We’re going to make sure we fight for the right to control our own bodies.” Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said in response to the abortion ruling.
Republicans said Waters was fomenting violence with her comments just like they claimed last year when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Waters had “raised the potential for violence, directed lawlessness,” when she called for people to protest en masse if Police Officer Derek Chauvin was not convicted in the death of George Floyd. Speaking as a true hypocrite, McCarthy has consistently downplayed the violence of the Jan. 6 failed insurrection by trump supporters.
The Republicans are warning patriotic Americans to brace for violence from the radical left in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling against women, just like the Republicans downplayed the Jan. 6, 2021, riot by trump sympathizers while they continued to spread the lie that the left and antifa tried to burn down America, in reaction to nationwide demonstrations against police violence against unarmed African Americans.
The reality is that the GOP has been the party of violence and is using increasingly violent rhetoric to call on Americans to arm themselves to halt what they claim is the further disintegration of America, by the Democrats and the left.
“I wonder if @chuckschumer is still proud of personally threatening Supreme Court Justices now that people with guns are showing up at their houses to kill them,” were the comments by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., after a man (not men with guns) was arrested when he called an emergency line and confessed that he wanted to kill Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in distress over the justice’s positions on gun control and abortion. Hawley was referring to comments made two years ago by then-Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who spoke at a pro-choice rally and warned the Supreme Court of repercussions if they overturned Roe v. Wade, saying, “I want to tell you, (Justice Neil) Gorsuch, I want to tell you, (Justice Brett) Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.” That sounds like political comments, hardly physically threatening.
Hawley, who is prone to violence tinged rhetoric, tweeted on Jan. 4, 2021, that his Washington, D.C. home had been vandalized and his family had been threatened by “Antifa scumbags” in an act of “left wing violence” due to his claims that trump was a victim of voter fraud in the 2020 election. The incident was hardly violent and instead, involved a peaceful candlelight vigil with no vandalism and nobody approaching Hawley’s family. It is the same Hawley who was photographed outside of the Jan. 6 riot, saluting the protestors with a raised fist outside the Capitol.
Oltmann, the Colorado podcaster, has built a hefty following for his violence-laden, voter fraud conspiracy broadcasts, including the need to hang people to send a message to those who disagree. A strong proponent of trump’s big lie, Oltmann also has threatened to commit violence personally against those who might threaten him.
“I’m not afraid to punch a communist in the face,” he told podcast listeners in April. “I’m not afraid, if someone comes to my house, to let them come back out in a large bag. … I may go to jail. I may go to jail — but you will drink through a straw for the rest of your life.”
Oltmann’s political organization, FEC United, standing for “Faith, Education and Commerce,” formed less than two years old, and has been active backing candidates for federal, state and local offices in Colorado. An affiliate of FEC United is the civilian, United American Defense Force, which claims it is “committed to restrengthening communities and defending and protecting what is ours.” Its members sometimes attend Oltmann events armed and wearing military-style fatigues
One of Oltmann’s recent guests was Michigan gubernatorial candidate Ryan Kelley, who was arrested this month and charged with four misdemeanor counts related to his alleged conduct during the Jan. 6 riot. Oltmann told Kelley that his arrest was a political attempt “to stand in your way. And it’s having the opposite reaction. Obviously, the support is growing.”
Of course, Oltmann is making a lot of money off of his violence. He has a GoFundMe page, soliciting frequent donations to his legal defense, his “Conservative Daily” podcast is supported by advertisers and Oltmann claimed last November that 279,000 people were paying $60 a year to be part of the FEC United group, with more than 500 joining every day.
Much attention was focused on the Jan. 6 insurrection by right wing trumpers, but lesser reported nationalist protests aimed at overturning election results also unfolded in states across the country. The non-profit, Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights research team, has documented 45 insurrectionist rallies in 32 states on Jan. 6. including in Indianapolis, Ind.; Doral and Miami, Fla; Houston and Burleson, Texas; Nashville and Memphis, Tenn.; and Los Angeles, and Huntington Beach, Calif; Philadelphia, Pa.; Wickenburg, Ariz.; Bradenton, Fla., Pontiac, Mich.; and Jackson, Miss.
A report by the institute titled, “Breaching the Mainstream: A National Survey of Far-Right Membership in State Legislatures,” profiles 10 state legislators who “exemplify various corners of the far-right.”
They include one lawmaker who is a member of “Sovereign Citizen,” a philosophy that the state’s can violate federal law if they see fit; and Posse Comitatus-influenced groups. Posse comitatus, Latin for “power of the county,” is in common law a group of people mobilized to suppress lawlessness or defend the county. Another is active in many different COVID denial groups. One joined many “Stop the Steal” groups. Another is a member of militia groups and Ammon Bundy’s People’s Rights network, which includes a homophobic legislator “who turns bigotry into policy.”
Those profiled include Susan DeLemus, an anti-vaxxer and New Hampshire State House member who belongs to Sovereign Citizen-style groups which call the federal government illegitimate and often use intimidation to push far-right ideology and political goals drawn from the Posse Comitatus. Since 2016, DeLumus has posted material from KrisAnne Hall, the far-right “constitutionalist” who claims that the 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments are unconstitutional and that states have the right to ignore federal mandates. Hall has said the U.S. is a “full-on Marxist” state and compared the Capitol police involved in the Jan. 6 riot to Nazis.
The radical path of Idaho State Rep. Tammy Nichols moved from the Tea Party movement, militias, and the insurrectionist bent of the People’s Rights network’s mobilizations around COVID denial, to attacks on “critical race theory” and the embrace of school-centered far-right activism. Nichols also has hosted appearances by KrisAnne Hall.
Washington State Rep. Jim Walsh was cited for having the most memberships in far-right Facebook groups, including COVID denial and nationalist groups. Walsh joined the Posse-Influenced group, “Our State, Our Rights” in 2015, the year before he was elected. The group describes itself as “working to defend the 10th amendment, our state rights under the U.S. constitution and trying to stop the federal over-reach.” He also is a member of Northwest Parents against Critical Theory, a group whose goal is “to expose and destroy Critical Race Theory, the cancer that has afflicted our schools and institutions.”
Texas State Rep. Phil Stephenson has joined at least 17 different “Stop the Steal” groups. He strongly supported new Texas laws that curb voting rights, from limiting early voting and ballot drop boxes to banning drive-through voting.
Florida State Rep. Anthony Sabatini has been heavily involved in the voter fraud and COVID denial mobilizations. Almost three weeks after the 2020 presidential election, Sabatini tweeted, “I’m extremely thankful Biden lost in 2020.” He has dressed in blackface and as a stereotype of a Mexican and declared that the “solemn” Confederate monuments facing removal “can find a home” in Eustis, where he served as a City Commissioner. Sabatini posted a photo of an AR-15 rifle on Facebook, writing, “Attention potential ‘protesters’ coming near Lake County, Fla. This is an AR-15 — this will be a very common sight upon illegal entry at any Lake County business — FYI!”
Aaron Bernstine, a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, has been involved in COVID denial, having backed a bill to ban vaccine and mask mandates. He was a member of two anti-abortion groups and was a co-sponsor of a bill banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detectable. Bernstine also sponsored voter suppression bills that include voter identification requirements and opposing mail-in ballots; an anti-immigrant bill to make English the official state language; and a right-to-work-style anti-union bill.
Before she was elected to the Arizona state Senate, Kelly Townsend had progressed from anti-abortion and Tea Party politics to far-right paramilitary militia groups, while embracing COVID denial, conspiracy theories about “fake news” and the 2020 election, anti-Muslim bigotry, and anti-immigrant politics. She also has cited Charles Stanley, an anti-gay bigot who heads “In Touch Ministries,” who said, “I believe that AIDS is God indicating his displeasure and his attitude toward that form of lifestyle, which we in this country are about to accept.”
Wisconsin State Assemblyman Daniel Knodl is the most prolific sponsor of far-right anti-human rights legislation included in the report. Knodl’s 31 bills cut across multiple issue areas, including 13 COVID denial/vaccines bills, eight voter suppression bills, three each anti-abortion rights and anti-protest bills, and two each anti-LGBTQ and anti-CRT bills.
The most homophobic lawmaker was found to be Missouri State Sen. Rick Brattin, who said “When you look at the tenets of religion, of the Bible, of the Quran, of other religions, there is a distinction between homosexuality and just being a human being.” Brattin sponsored or co-sponsored legislation barring public and private entities that received public funds from requiring vaccines for entry; barring school districts from teaching “critical race theory or any successor theory of concept”; a fetal heartbeat bill; barring municipalities from enacting sanctuary policies; and a nullification law allowing the General Assembly to refrain from enforcing any federal laws it deems unconstitutional .
Stewart Jones, a member of South Carolina’s House of Representatives, started as a libertarian but soon moved to far right politics, like COVID denial, voter suppression and opposition to removal of historical monuments.