Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

When Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, 35, was shot dead by police while trying to force her way through a barricaded door protecting members of the House of Representatives from a mob of rioters inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, she was energized in part by then-President Donald Trump's big lie that Democrats were hard at work stealing the White House from its rightful Republican owners.

Far from dampening support for the big lie, Babbitt's death is being amplified by Trump loyalists into a powerful rallying symbol for far-right anti-government extremists the FBI calls terrorists, who now find aid and comfort within a Trumpified GOP.

Babbitt's canonization as a right-wing martyr is a dangerous development for a Republican Party with members increasingly comfortable pressing for and defending political violence. Trump himself seems to want to use outrage over Babbitt's death as a blast furnace to heat up his 2024 political comeback — but cheerleading extremism is more likely to send the country up in smoke.

"Who was the person who shot an innocent, wonderful, incredible woman?" Trump asked Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo on Sunday, before interrupting himself to offer an answer: "I will tell you, they know who shot Ashley Babbitt. They're protecting that person. I've heard also that it was the head of security for a certain high official — a Democrat."

Trump's rumors have been firmly rejected by law enforcement, according to reporting by NBC News. A senior law enforcement official briefed on the matter said the officer involved was not a member of a security detail provided to a specific member of Congress.

Trump's speculation is also refuted by the video evidence freely available to the public, which clearly shows that Babbitt was not "innocent." She was shot while trying to force entry into a restricted area and disregarding multiple police orders to stop. We also know Babbitt arrived at the Capitol fired up by Trump's conspiracy theories, which she spelled out on her social media profiles alongside threats to Democratic elected officials, such as the vice president-elect, Kamala Harris, and Rep. Maxine Waters of California.

In any case, it is doubtful that anyone in the GOP is actually interested in uncovering the truth about what happened on Jan. 6. Back in May, Republicans loudly and proudly refused to support a bipartisan investigation into the riot. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona went so far as to accuse the FBI of secretly having organized the attack itself — a conspiracy theory amplified by his GOP colleagues Louie Gohmert of Texas, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Matt Gaetz of Florida.

But the danger is greater than the now-typical muddying of the waters about what really happened during a day that threatened U.S. democracy. It represents a new tactic to further the spread of propaganda and distortion that courts — rather than denounces — the most dangerous elements of American society. The open embrace of the Jan. 6 rioters as "peaceful patriots" by parts of the GOP signals a grim reality: Republicans simply cannot afford to lose the votes of far-right domestic terrorists

Trump creating a martyr is Autocracy 101 a symbol to kill for, and a symbol to die for, and that's where we are headed with these white supremacist terrorists. They will use her as justification for whatever deadly violence comes next. 

I can't stress how awful this is going to be.

Texas Two-Steppin' Out

Texas state Democrats are heading for the hills to prevent a quorum in the state legislature for Texas Republicans to ram through the worst, most draconian voter suppression bills yet, but it's only delaying the inevitable.

With Republican-backed voting bills moving rapidly through a special session of the state Legislature, Texas Democrats bolted — again.

At least 51 Democratic members of the state House of Representatives fled the state Monday afternoon in two charter jets bound for Washington, D.C., in an effort to block the measures from advancing, a source familiar with the plans told NBC News. At least seven others are en route, as well.

The unusual move, akin to what Democrats did in 2003, will paralyze the chamber, stopping business until the lawmakers return to town or the session ends.

The lawmakers plan to spend more than three weeks in Washington, running out the clock on the session, which began Thursday, and advocating for federal voting legislation. The Democrats say the For the People Act, an amended version of which Republicans filibustered in the U.S. Senate last month, is the only way they can permanently fend off election limits Republicans are advancing at the state level.

"Our democracy is on the line," state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer told NBC News. "It became very clear to us that this weekend that any attempts to negotiate some Democratic concessions were cut off, making it very clear that Republicans were hellbent on having it their way."

ON BOARD: Texas Democrats on their way to D.C., where they plan to stay for more than three weeks to deny the state House a quorum pic.twitter.com/hTE0mfxveZ— Jane C. Timm (@janestreet) July 12, 2021

The legislators risk arrest by taking flight. Under the Texas Constitution, the Legislature requires a quorum of two-thirds of lawmakers to be present to conduct state business in either chamber. Absent lawmakers can be legally compelled to return to the Capitol; the source said Democrats expect state Republicans to ask the Department of Public Safety to track them down.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who has made tightening election rules a priority, slammed the move as a dereliction of duty.

"Texas Democrats’ decision to break a quorum of the Texas Legislature and abandon the Texas State Capitol inflicts harm on the very Texans who elected them to serve," Abbott said in statement. "As they fly across the country on cushy private planes, they leave undone issues that can help their districts and our state."

Republican House Speaker Dade Phelan vowed in a statement on Monday afternoon to "use every available resource under the Texas Constitution and the unanimously-passed House Rules to secure a quorum."

"The special session clock is ticking," Phelan said.

The difference of course is that Oregon Republicans aligned themselves with armed terrorists and dared Oregon Democrats to send cops after them. And in the end, Oregon Dems dropped the bill and gave in to the GOP terrorists.
In 2021, Oregon Republicans repeated the same nonsense several times over Gov. Kate Brown's COVID regulations.

Meanwhile, I fully expect Texas Republicans will do what Oregon Democrats didn't do: send armed law enforcement after the legislators and bring them back in cuffs.


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