Friday, November 12, 2021

Last Call For Our Mainstream GOP White Supremacist Domestic Terrorist Problem

At a conservative rally in western Idaho last month, a young man stepped up to a microphone to ask when he could start killing Democrats.

“When do we get to use the guns?” he said as the audience applauded. “How many elections are they going to steal before we kill these people?” The local state representative, a Republican, later called it a “fair” question.

In Ohio, the leading candidate in the Republican primary for Senate blasted out a video urging Republicans to resist the “tyranny” of a federal government that pushed them to wear masks and take F.D.A.-authorized vaccines.

“When the Gestapo show up at your front door,” the candidate, Josh Mandel, a grandson of Holocaust survivors, said in the video in September, “you know what to do.”

And in Congress, violent threats against lawmakers are on track to double this year. Republicans who break party ranks and defy former President Donald J. Trump have come to expect insults, invective and death threats — often stoked by their own colleagues and conservative activists, who have denounced them as traitors.

From congressional offices to community meeting rooms, threats of violence are becoming commonplace among a significant segment of the Republican Party. Ten months after rioters attacked the United States Capitol on Jan. 6, and after four years of a president who often spoke in violent terms about his adversaries, right-wing Republicans are talking more openly and frequently about the use of force as justifiable in opposition to those who dislodged him from power.

In Washington, where decorum and civility are still given lip service, violent or threatening language still remains uncommon, if not unheard-of, among lawmakers who spend a great deal of time in the same building. But among the most fervent conservatives, who play an outsize role in primary contests and provide the party with its activist energy, the belief that the country is at a crossroads that could require armed confrontation is no longer limited to the fringe.

Political violence has been part of the American story since the founding of the country, often entwined with racial politics and erupting in periods of great change. And elements of the left have contributed to the confrontational tenor of the country’s current politics, though Democratic leaders routinely condemn violence and violent imagery. But historians and those who study democracy say what has changed has been the embrace of violent speech by a sizable portion of one party, including some of its loudest voices inside government and most influential voices outside.

In effect, they warn, the Republican Party is mainstreaming menace as a political tool.

Omar Wasow, a political scientist at Pomona College who studies protests and race, drew a contrast between the current climate and earlier periods of turbulence and strife, like the 1960s or the run-up to the Civil War.

“What’s different about almost all those other events is that now, there’s a partisan divide around the legitimacy of our political system,” he said. “The elite endorsement of political violence from factions of the Republican Party is distinct for me from what we saw in the 1960s. Then, you didn’t have — from a president on down — politicians calling citizens to engage in violent resistance.”

In the end though, it really comes down to millions, maybe tens of millions of Republican voters asking that simple question.

When do we get to use the guns? 

The answer, I fear, is soon.

Orange Meltdown, Con't

 Reminder: I absolutely did call this one on Trump's fight with the National Archives.
Me, I fully expect the National Archives to be blocked by an appeals court injunction this week and for the case to go before SCOTUS.  There's no way the National Archives gets the documents to the January 6th Committee without a court fight.

A federal appeals court on Thursday temporarily blocked the release of White House records sought by a U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, granting — for now — a request from former President Donald Trump.

The administrative injunction issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit effectively bars until the end of this month the release of records that were to be turned over Friday. The appeals court set oral arguments in the case for Nov. 30.

The stay gives the court time to consider arguments in a momentous clash between the former president, whose supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, and President Joe Biden and Congress, who have pushed for a thorough investigation of the riot. It delays the House committee from reviewing records that lawmakers say could shed light on the events leading up to the insurrection and Trump's efforts to delegitimize an election he lost.

The National Archives, which holds the documents, says they include call logs, handwritten notes, and a draft executive order on “election integrity.”

Biden waived executive privilege on the documents. Trump then went to court arguing that as a former president, he still had the right to exert privilege over the records and releasing them would damage the presidency in the future.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan on Tuesday rejected those arguments, noting in part, “Presidents are not kings, and Plaintiff is not President.” She again denied an emergency motion by Trump on Wednesday.
This wasn't a hard call by any means. Judge Chutkan all but begged for the law to be enjoined "by court order" in her earlier denials.
We won't see a ruling on this into well into 2022, and Trump will appeal to SCOTUS when he loses.

Roberts and the conservatives will find a way to pay Trump back next summer with a narrow ruling that states executive privilege of a former president applies to everything by that person without an express act by Congress, which of course will never happen.

Like the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act, Roberts will scold the legislative branch for refusing to update the law, and that will be the end of that.

That remains the most likely outcome here. It's Chief Justice Roberts's specialty.

Insurrection Investigation, Con't

As Attorney General Merrick Garland's Justice Department continues to either thoughtfully craft a bulletproof contempt of Congress charge for Steve Bannon (if you believe his supporters) or dragging their collective feet until the January 6th committee can be dismantled (if you believe his detractors), former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is betting on the latter, and that if Bannon can get away with refusing to cooperate, so can he.
The House select committee investigating January 6 is demanding former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows appear for a deposition and turn over documents Friday or risk a criminal contempt referral, according to a letter Thursday from panel Chairman Bennie Thompson. 
Meadows has been facing new pressure to cooperate with the committee after he was notified earlier Thursday that President Joe Biden will not assert executive privilege or immunity over documents and testimony requested by the panel, according to a copy obtained by CNN. The move to set a final compliance date for Meadows comes after his attorney issued a statement Thursday saying he would not cooperate with the committee until courts ruled on former President Donald Trump's claim of executive privilege
The committee on Thursday took its first step toward possibly referring Meadows to the Department of Justice for contempt of Congress if he fails to comply with Friday's deadline. 
"The Select Committee will view Mr. Meadows's failure to appear at the deposition, and to produce responsive documents or a privilege log indicating the specific basis for withholding any documents you believe are protected by privilege, as willful non-compliance," Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, wrote. "Such willful noncompliance with the subpoena would force the Select Committee to consider invoking the contempt of Congress procedures in 2 U.S.C. §§ 192, 194—which could result in a referral from the House of Representatives to the Department of Justice for criminal charges—as well as the possibility of having a civil action to enforce the subpoena brought against Mr. Meadows in his personal capacity."
We'll see what happens here, but the one think I do know is that Bannon and Meadows wouldn't be fighting these subpoenas this hard if they didn't believe they would be in legal peril if what they knew about Trump's soft coup was revealed to January 6th investigators and the country as a whole.

My fear remains a protracted court fight is exactly what Bannon and now Meadows are counting on.

Meanwhile, the latest Trump tell-all from a Beltway reporter, this time Jonathan Karl of ABC News, is on its way next week, and the major Trump info kept from the public for the book (to the detriment of the country, selling copy is more important than saving the republic, they all do it, it seems) includes the fact that Trump openly told Karl in a March 18th interview that January 6th insurrectionist terrorists chanting to hang VP Mike Pence was simply "common sense".

Jonathan Karl: "Were you worried about him during that siege? Were you worried about his safety?"

Trump: "No, I thought he was well-protected, and I had heard that he was in good shape. No. Because I had heard he was in very good shape. But, but, no, I think — "

Karl: "Because you heard those chants — that was terrible. I mean — "

Trump: "He could have — well, the people were very angry."

Karl: "They were saying 'hang Mike Pence.'"

Trump: "Because it's common sense, Jon. It's common sense that you're supposed to protect. How can you — if you know a vote is fraudulent, right? — how can you pass on a fraudulent vote to Congress? How can you do that? And I'm telling you: 50/50, it's right down the middle for the top constitutional scholars when I speak to them. Anybody I spoke to — almost all of them at least pretty much agree, and some very much agree with me — because he's passing on a vote that he knows is fraudulent. How can you pass a vote that you know is fraudulent? Now, when I spoke to him, I really talked about all of the fraudulent things that happened during the election. I didn't talk about the main point, which is the legislatures did not approve — five states. The legislatures did not approve all of those changes that made the difference between a very easy win for me in the states, or a loss that was very close, because the losses were all very close."

Karl is a prime example of another Beltway access journalist who failed their duty to the country in order to sell a book and make millions, but the real danger is how Trump casually threw Pence, someone Trump considered a traitor to him, to his cultists. He wouldn't have batted an eye if Pence had been hurt or worse.
And we're rocketing towards a 2024 election theft that will be the last free election in our lifetimes.


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