Trump, MAGA, Violence And Fascism, Perfect Together
As Vice President Adlai Stevenson once told the Republican Party, “If they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.”
Former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli had this pithy remark about former British Prime Minister William Gladstone, “If Gladstone fell into the Thames, that would be a misfortune. If anybody pulled him out, that, I suppose, would be a calamity.”
And Abraham Lincoln had this observation on his rival, Stephen Douglas, “His argument is as thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had been starved to death.”
Just change the names and each could be talking about today’s Republicans whose leader reacted with the utmost, unmitigated, jawdropping, hypocritical gall over President Biden’s description of MAGA leaders as semi-fascists.
What we suffered through four years of trump’s folly was nothing less than a kakistocracy, otherwise known as a government by the worst people. And people like trump and his bootlicking apologists in Congress simply suffer from empleomania, defined as a mania for holding public office.
I would have called them throttlebottoms, politicasters, highbinders, also scurrilous and all, without exception, Republican MAGA types of the worst kind.
It was not the Democrats who put us in the position we are in where FBI agents are threatened routinely and lawmakers like Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., who voted for the most sweeping effort to combat global climate change and then, after hearing the writing on the wall, decided he would no longer use vanity license plates so crazies could identify him as a North Carolina congressman.
Elected officials like Butterfield are afraid of the current atmosphere of trump-inspired violence and anger. They have a right to be fearful as the U.S. Capitol police reported that the number of threat investigations exploded from 3,939 in 2017 to 9,625 in 2021.
So don’t tell me that you MAGA types and your leaders feel affronted and offended by Biden’s comments. If anything, he held back.
“We hear — you’ve heard it — more and more talk about violence as an acceptable political tool in this country. It’s not. It can never be an acceptable tool,” Biden said in a speech in Philadelphia, where he castigated Trump and those who do not condemn violence as “a threat to democracy.”
The president made clear that “not every Republican, not even a majority of Republicans, are MAGA Republicans. Not every Republican embraces their extreme ideology. But there’s no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans. And that is a threat to this country.”
“MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people,” he said. “They promote authoritarian leaders, and they fan the flames of political violence that are a threat to our personal rights, to the pursuit of justice, to the rule of law, to the very soul of this country. They look at the mob that stormed the United States Capitol on January 6 — brutally attacking law enforcement — not as insurrectionists who placed a dagger to the throat of our democracy, but they look at them as patriots.”
Come on MAGA and your leaders, if the shoe fits, wear it or I prefer the origin of the idiomatic expression, “if the cap fits, put it on” which originally meant a fool’s cap and dates from the early 18th century.
Let’s start with the lead weaver of the basket that holds the deplorables, that Gandhi-like eminence who never intentionally told the truth. That would be none other than trump, who erupted in trumpian fashion at Biden’s MAGA criticisms.
Trump noted on his untruthfully named, “Truth Social,” media page, that Biden’s message was a threat to use military force against those who disagree with him. Remember trump, the former president who egged on rioters to violence at the capitol after his promoting his exasperating and utterly false claims that he lost reelection because of voter fraud. Remember trump when he threatened to use the military against racial justice protesters in 2020. Remember trump who plotted to use the Defense Department to “seize” voting machines while contesting his 2020 election loss, though he ultimately did not follow through with the plot.
“If you look at the words and meaning of the awkward and angry Biden speech tonight, he threatened America, including with the possible use of military force,” Trump wrote. “He must be insane, or suffering from late stage dementia!”
Of course, Biden did not threaten to use military force. But in the MAGA world of trump, who cares what Biden really said.
It’s hard to single out one but one of trump’s most despicable moments of racism and promoting violence came in August 2017 when he said that both sides shouldered responsibilities for the deadly violence at a Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi, white supremacist rally in Charlottsville, Va.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in an recent interview that there would be “riots in the streets” if trump is prosecuted for mishandling classified information. Sounds like a threat to me. It also sounds like Graham has little respect for how the government’s biggest secrets are protected and how the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago and found that trump had stashed away 18 documents marked as top secret, 54 marked as secret, 31 marked as confidential and 11,179 government documents or photographs without classification markings. According to the court filings, the sensitive, government-owned documents were in containers mixed among news clippings, articles of clothing and gifts.
Meanwhile, a federal judge denied Graham’s latest effort to challenge a subpoena for his testimony before a special grand jury in Georgia, which is investigating possible criminal election interference by Trump and his allies in 2020. Graham, you ought to just shut up.
Biden’s threats against half the country are “dangerous,” said
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., who was famously photographed given the extended fist of support to Capitol rioters. Hawley said Biden’s “hate-filled and menacing rhetoric tonight was disgraceful. His behavior is increasingly erratic.” Hawley, you are disgraceful.
In January, trump spoke at rally with Arizona Republicans and lied by saying that white people are being denied access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Sounds inflammatory to me.
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., was at the rally and denounced the “fascistic Biden regime” and promoted the right-wing lie that the Biden administration is investigating parents simply for showing up at school board meetings.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., took great umbrage and was so disrespected by Biden’s comments that the extreme MAGA philosophy is “like semi-fascism.” McCarthy called the speech an “assault on democracy” and that Biden “has chosen to divide, demean, and disparage his fellow Americans — Why? simply because they disagree with his policies.”
That would be the same McCarthy who supported trump’s clearly undemocratic campaign of lies about voter fraud. The same McCarthy who said in clearly undemocratic terms, that trump did nothing wrong when the president tried to strongarm the Ukrainian president into investigating Biden.
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said Biden’s speech was “one of the most disgusting speeches an American president has ever given.”
You want disgusting, then how about trump’s speech on the day of the Capitol insurrection by his supporters in which he riled the rabble with lies about voter fraud. How he whipped the crowd up as he urged supporters to march on the Capitol to give “weak” Republicans the “pride and boldness they need to take back our country.” That’s disgusting.
DeSantis, meanwhile, fuels his plans to run for president on dog whistles like LGBTQ hatred, lies about pedophile teachers, critical race theory and the like. That’s disgusting.
After trump refused to concede defeat in 2020 and blathered lies about widespread voter fraud, DeSantis and other Republicans proposed changes to restrict voting rights in Florida. DeSantis called for eliminating ballot drop boxes and limiting voting by mail by requiring that voters re-register every year to vote by mail. Sounds rather un-democratic to me.
Fox News right wing provocateur Tucker Carlson was in fine, parallel universe form when he said that “Biden crossed into a very dangerous, very dangerous place. Tonight he declared in a speech in Philadelphia that anyone who disagrees with him is a threat to the country.”
Carlson is a racist, sexist, full bore trumper who has supported claims of voter fraud and of the so-called, unsubstantiated, “replacement theory” that Democrats are importing immigrants to tip the scales against white Americans. Carlson could never be called a beacon of democratic thought.
In August 2021, Carlson broadcast his show from Budapest, Hungary, home of his friend, Prime Minister Viktor Orban, known for his racist, authoritarian philosophies, qualities that are directly counter to democracy.
Let me quote some of the more outlandishly hypocritical comments by Republican MAGA leaders.
The great Republican Congressman from Arizona, Biggs, said that “rhetoric that incites violence toward any elected or appointed member of the three branches of our constitutional government is dangerous and condemnable.” Biggs is former chair of the far-right Freedom Caucus, who in 2020, joined his fellow Arizona, right winter, Rep. Paul Gosar, in a video falsely claiming there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Biggs spoke at rallies promoting the “Stop the Steal” election conspiracy movement, and has claimed antifa and not trump supporters was behind the Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the Capitol. Sounds to me like pretty violent, “pro insurrectionist” rhetoric.
Gosar was censured last year after releasing a video in which he was depicted as killing one of his Democratic colleagues. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., has expressed support for violence against Democratic elected officials, including a social media comment about removing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., from office by way of “a bullet to the head.”
Crazy former North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who was defeated in the GOP primary, had this warning for Americans after Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty of killing two protesters in Kenosha, Wis.
“Be armed, be dangerous and be moral,” said Cawthorn.
And how about Coury Griffin, leader of group called “Cowboys for Trump,” who said in comments filmed for a commercial in May, “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.” Trump tweeted back, in true Gandhi-like fashion, “Thank you Cowboys. See you in New Mexico!”
Trump spoke last week at his first rally since his home was searched by F.B.I. agents Aug. 8. He claimed that those who have been charged in the January 6 attack on the Capitol are being “treated so unfairly,” and said that if he runs and is elected in 2024, he may pardon the rioters.
“If I run and if I win,” Trump told the crowd of thousands, “we will treat those people from January 6 fairly … And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons.” He also urged supporters to engage in “the biggest protests we have ever had” if the prosecutors investigating him and his financial dealings “do anything wrong or illegal.”
Suggesting he would pardon violent protesters could encourage more violence while trump’s rhetoric is very similar to his inflammatory comments that preceded the assault on the Capitol.
In January, trump spoke at rally with Arizona Republicans and when he said with no proof, that white people are being denied access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. Sounds inflammatory to me.
At the rally, Biggs denounced the “fascistic Biden regime” and promoted the right-wing lie that the Biden administration is investigating parents simply for showing up at school board meetings.
The most recent in-depth analysis of far-right terrorism by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) shows that violence by far-right groups and individuals has emerged as one of the most dangerous terrorist threats faced by law enforcement and triggered a wave of warnings and arrests of people associated with those extremist movements. Trump et al you are treading on razor thin, extremely dangerous ground.