Phil Garber
10 min readNov 28, 2023

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Photo by Thom Milkovic on Unsplash

Hemingway Has Nothing To Fear From Rittenhouse And Greene

Literary titans Kyle Rittenhouse and Marjorie Taylor Greene have published memoirs and they promise to be every bit as enthralling as that tantalizing tome, “A Shore Thing” by Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi.

Rittenhouse, now 20, is broke, according to his lawyer. But if the teenager who shot and killed two Black Lives Matter protesters and wounded a third in Wisconsin in 2020 is counting on supporting himself through his literary talents, he ought to try a different field. The same goes for Greene, the Georgia Republican congresswoman and darling of the crazy left wing, whose book reads like a lie-laden, self-aggrandizing tearful plea for trump to name her as vice president.

Or they might try the route of the grifter in chief, trump, who found a way to avoid those pesky fact checkers at legitimate publishing houses. To that end, Trump’s son, Donald Jr., formed a publishing company which is publishing daddy’s photo book, “Our Journey Together.” For a limited time, trump lovers can buy the book, signed by trump, plus a signed copy of “Liberal Privilege” by Donald Jr. along with a MAGA hat and a 2024 trump calendar. And it’s all available in a bundle for $999.

Rittenhouse was 17 when he traveled from his home in Antioch, Ill., to Kenosha, Wis., ostensibly to join other armed citizens to help protect local businesses during a night of unrest as hundreds gathered to protest the police shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake. On Aug. 25, 2020, Rittenhouse was armed with an AR-15 assault style rifle when a protester, Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, chased him into a parking lot and grabbed the barrel of Rittenhouse’s rifle. Rittenhouse fatally shot the man and fled, pursued by a crowd. Rittenhouse then shot and killed Anthony Huber, 26, who had struck him with a skateboard and tried to grab his rifle. A third person Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, approached and pointed a gun at Rittenhouse but Rittenhouse shot first and wounded the man.

Rittenhouse was charged with first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, and two charges of first-degree recklessly endangering safety. He argued that he fired in self-defense after the men allegedly attacked him. In 2021, a jury believed Rittenhouse and acquitted him of all charges and he has since become a hero to the far right.

Rittenhouse has disappeared into the sunset since he was exonerated. The cherub-faced teen has been lionized by the radical right wing and has recently-published his memoir, titled, “Acquitted.” He calls it “the real and honest version of my story” and “a story of survival, resilience, and justice.”

“I was attacked. I defended myself. I was prosecuted. I was acquitted,” Rittenhouse writes in the promo for the book. The book costs $22.99 while an autographed copy is offered for $59.99.

Proceeds haven’t exactly been rolling in and Rittenhouse’s lawyer, Mark Richards, said his client spent all of his money since the court case. Not to worry, in February, Rittenhouse raised more than $109,00 in donations to pay his legal bills through the Christian crowdfunding platform GiveSendGo.

Life for the young ultra-right wing role model will get even more costly as he has been hit with a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Huber’s father, accusing Rittenhouse, Kenosha officials and police of violating his son’s constitutional right. The estate of Joseph Rosenbaum also filed a wrongful death suit against Rittenhouse for “compensatory and punitive damages.”

Rittenhouse has moved to Texas, where he said he would attend Texas A&M University. But he was not accepted at the university and instead has enrolled at Binn College, a small, community college located about an hour from the state capitol in Austin.

Richards said Rittenhouse is working full time at an unidentified job while “living a law-abiding life and is doing something that he enjoys.” That enjoyment apparently comes from Rittenhouse’s increasing involvement in politics, highlighted by his crusade against gun regulations, all apparently aimed at ginning up support for a run for elected office when he turns 21 next year.

The self-styled vigilante has garnered praise from major political figures. He visited Mar-a-Lago to meet with trump; Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., of Florida said he would be open to hiring Rittenhouse as a congressional intern; and Greene introduced a bill to award Rittenhouse the Congressional Gold Medal although no co-sponsors signed on.

He has become increasingly involved in the gun rights movement, boasting some influential far right support.

In July, Rittenhouse railed against gun control laws at a ticketed-only event at Pottawattomie Park, Mich. About 40 people attended the brunch, hosted by political action committees Sons of Liberty and the Grand New Party. Other speakers included Patricia and Mark McCloskey of St. Louis, Mo., the couple who gained notoriety in June 2020 when they pointed firearms at Black Lives Matter protesters marching through their private neighborhood. Another speaker was Lucas Gerhard, 20, of Oakland Township, Mich. He was arrested and charged with making a terrorist threat in 2019 for posting a photo of his rifle on social media and saying it would make “snowflakes melt.”

From there, Rittenhouse was a featured speaker at an event titled “Defend our 2A: Michigan’s Right for Self Preservation,” held at Freedom Farms in Ionia Township, Mich. In January, Rittenhouse spoke at a “rally against censorship” in Conroe, Texas, led by Daniel Miller, president of the Texas Nationalist Movement, which advocates for Texas to secede from the U.S.

Last year, Rittenhouse launched a YouTube channel dedicated to guns, the right to bear arms and Rittenhouse. In a teaser clip, Rittenhouse said, “Thank you guys for checking out my YouTube channel, I have some great content that I look forward to making for you guys.” The channel is no longer in service.

Rittenhouse has campaigned for gun rights advocate Brandon Herrera to defeat Rep. Tony Gonzalez, R-Texas, whose district includes Uvalde, where 19 children and two adults were killed in a shooting at an elementary school in 2022. Gonzalez was the only Texas Republican to vote for a bipartisan gun reform bill in congress. Herrera is known as “The AK Guy” for his You Tube channel that promotes and glorifies weapons and calls for an end to gun control laws.

This year, Rittenhouse joined in the opposition to a proposed, Texas state House bill that sought to raise the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21.

In July, he filed legal papers to establish The Kyle Rittenhouse Foundation, a non-profit which seeks to protect “human and civil rights secured by law, including an individual’s inalienable right to bear arms” and ensure the Second Amendment is “preserved through education and legal assistance.”

Directors of the new non-profit includes Texas Gun Rights President Chris McNutt and Shelby Griesinger, the treasurer at Defend Texas Liberty PAC, which finances right wing candidates. The foundation’s registered agent is the law firm of Tony McDonald, who is a longstanding representative of Empower Texans, and other deep-red organizations.

The Defend Texas Liberty PAC is a major donor to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton and other Republicans. Paxton escaped impeachment but is awaiting trial on corruption charges. The group is largely funded by West Texas oil magnates Tim Dunn and Farris Wilks. The PAC’s director was Jonathan Stickland, a former Republican state legislator. Strickland’s name was removed from the PAC’s website after it was reported that white supremacist Nick Fuentes had met in the offices of a consulting firm, Pale Horse Strategies, which is owned by Strickland.

The Texas Tribune reported in August that McNutt was a guest on The Stew Peters Show, whose host has promoted the election denial conspiracy and who speaks in support of white nationalists and is strongly anti-LGBTQ. The Tribune reported in August that McNutt frequently posts anti-trans, anti-drag, and anti-gay comments, and has advanced a conspiracy theory that Planned Parenthood “targeted black babies” with the aim of subjugating African American communities.

Griesinger is an avowed Christian nationalist and has supported a conspiracy theory that the CIA was behind the vigilante “Pizzagate” shooting at Comet Ping Pong in Washington, D.C. A North Carolina man was sentenced to four years in prison after he fired an assault rifle inside the pizzeria while investigating an online, QAnon conspiracy theory known as “Pizzagate.” The man, Edgar Maddison Welch, 29, claimed he was trying to find and rescue child sex slaves that he believed were being held at the restaurant , based on a bogus story circulating online that connected Hillary Clinton’s campaign adviser to the pizzeria through coded messages in his leaked emails. Welch found no evidence of child sex-trafficking at the restaurant, and did not harm anyone before he surrendered.

Griesinger has said she believes the conspiracy claims that CIA agents went to the pizzeria to “destroy” a “computer server” with alleged information regarding the involvement of Democrat Party officials in a child sex ring from the restaurants.

Yet another Rittenhouse initiative was formation of the Media Accountability Project, a non-profit a group to fund lawsuits against reporters. Among others, Rittenhouse has threatened to sue Whoopi Goldberg, co-host of TV’s The View, after Goldberg said on the show, “Even all the excuses in the world does not change the fact that three people got shot. Two people were murdered. To me it’s murder. I’m sorry.” To date no suit has yet been filed.

Some of those involved in the Media Accountability Project have formed another non-profit, the Themis Alliance, which aims to help provide public relations support and legal defenses for people who are a target of what they call “cancel culture.” The organization was named after the Greek goddess of justice.

One case that has drawn Themis’ support involves Marine Corps veteran Daniel Penny, who was charged with manslaughter after he killed Jordan Neely, a 30-year-old homeless black man on May 1. Neely was on a New York City subway train when he started yelling incoherently about being hungry and without a job and a home. At one point, he threw his jacket in anger on the floor. Other passengers moved away but Penny approached and subdued Neely in a fatal chokehold. Penny has pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

MYG

The success of Greene’s book MTG has been infinitesimal compared with the size of Greene’s ego and mouth. Amazon reported that the far right Republican’s memoir, released last week, ranked 9,735 among its best-selling books as of Monday, Nov. 27. The book had only eight reviews and a ranking of two out of five stars. The book also has gotten negative reviews on the Barnes & Noble website.

Among other sensational, though totally false claims, Greene writes that no Democrats had remained to defend the House chamber on January 6, 2021, while trump supporters stormed the Capitol in a bid to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.

“Several of the Republican congressmen said, ‘We’re going to stay right here and defend the House chamber.’ As they began barricading the door with furniture, I noticed not one Democrat was willing to stay to defend the chamber,” Greene writes.

Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., said Greene’s claim was “patently false” and that a number of Democrats did take measures to defend the chamber from the insurrectionists.

“Marjorie Taylor Greene doesn’t exist in the same reality as the rest of us,” Crow said. “For those of us who were there on January 6 and actually defended the chamber from violent insurrectionists, her view is patently false. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”

Greene also dedicates a chapter to refuting allegations of anti-Semitism stemming from her 2018 claim on social media that “Jewish space lasers” had caused wildfires in California. Greene wrote that she made the claim in a “sarcastic social media post years before I was elected.”

“My Savior is a Jewish carpenter who died on the cross for my sins, and I have no anti-Semitic sentiments whatsoever,” she wrote.

A review in The Guardian said the 275 page book “reads like an audition for the No 2 slot on the 2024 Republican presidential ticket.”

“Venom, score-settling, fiction, self-absolution, self-aggrandizement. Greene’s book, MTG, has it all,” the review said.

The book costs $27 and is published by Winning Team Publishing, launched in 2021 by Donald trump Jr. and Sergio Gor, chief of staff for the Trump Victory Finance Committee, a joint fundraising committee for Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee.

Winning Team Publishing “aims to promote authors who represent the Silent Majority, America First patriots, and liberty minded readers.”

To date, Winning Team Publishing has published “Letters to Trump” by trump; “Our Journey Together” by trump; and “Liberal Privilege” by Donald trump Jr. Non-trump related books are “Unafraid: Just Getting Started” by Kari Lake; “The College Scam” by Charlie Kirk; and “Crimes Against America” by Judge Jeanine Pirro.

Lake lost a 2020 bid for Arizona governor but refused to concede and claimed she was a victim of widespread voter fraud, similar claims made by trump in his 2020 presidential campaign. Lake, a far right wing Republican, sued and lost multiple times to have the results overturned and herself declared the winner. Lake, who is now running for U.S. Senate, has been an absolute trump supporter and called for the imprisonment of those who accepted trump’s defeat, including her 2020 Democratic opponent, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.

Kirk is a far right wing activist, talk show host and founder of Turning Point USA, a pro-trump organization. Kirk has spread numerous false conspiracy claims, including that human trafficking in the U.S. has increased six-fold; that voter fraud caused trump to lose in 2020; that climate change is a fraud; and that COVID-19 vaccines are ineffective or worse.

Pirro, a lawyer and Fox News host, has referred to trump as “almost superman.” In 2017, Pirro called for the arrest of individuals who cooperated with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election in favor of Trump. Pirro called for government agencies to be “cleansed” of critics of the president; she called for Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok to be arrested, and appeared to suggest that Mueller, former FBI director James B. Comey, and Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr all be arrested as well.

Pirro repeatedly told the Trump administration about her interest in becoming the Attorney General, according to published reports.

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Phil Garber

Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer