June 17, 2022

Far-right militias

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First, I want to be absolutely clear about my position. I think the insurrectionists must be vigorously  prosecuted.

 In watching the J6 hearing yesterday, especially where they showed how close the Proud Boys and other insurrectionists bent on killing Mike Pence came to achieving their goal, two very disturbing things occurred to me.  One is that this revelation could be a good recruiting tool for the far-right militias, and the other is that it they can learn strategic and tactical lessons from the mistakes they made in achieving their goal.

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From the point of view of those who were in the mob who came 40 feet from Vice President Pence, his aides, and the Secret Service detail can lead to the “we came so damn close” reaction. The likelihood that some of them probably would have died won’t be sobering for many of them. Few if any of them would have thought it would have been them who took a Secret Service bullet, and second they’d believe that such a martyrdom would have made them heroes of their movement.  

I have little doubt that there are many people who have resisted doing this before would respond to calls to join far-right militias. One of the unavoidable results of the publicity generated by the televised hearing is that there are people across the country for whom this will make being a member of a far right militia seem glamourous.

I can see that the leaders of these groups who have avoided prison called an “Apalachin meeting” of sorts.  This is when, in 1957, leaders of the Mafia met to coordinate their criminal activities. (Fortunately, 60 underworld bosses were detained and indicted following the raid.) 

The incarceration of leaders like Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, who has been charged with seditious conspiracy in connection to the Capitol assault, and others will only be a temporary setback. These people will become martyrs to the insurrectionist cause and the more well known leader’s images can easily end up as great recruiting tools for them. While the hearings show how close Trump’s mob came to undermining democracy their interpretation come from Trump himself that the goals was to preserve the Constitution. As long as he continues to send this message he is really their chief recruiter.  

One of the messages coming out of the J6 Committee can be used as a slogan for far-right militias: “we almost succeeded last time, next time we will succeed”. 

From their perspective one of the lessons from their failed attempt to be the tip of the spear for Trump’s coup is that if they try something similar again their planning and preparation must be far better. I have little doubt that if they tried this again they'd be armed with firearms.  The leaders, some probably with a military background, would have to indoctrinate their troops in a kind of jihadist mentality so they’d be prepared to sacrifice their lives. 

All I can hope for is that the Department of Justice and FBI are considering all these factors and looking back to their successes, and failures, in fighting organized crime as a template or roadmap for how they will dismantle and destroy these organized bad boys and their deadly toys.

As for the Capital Police, I think it won’t be long before we see them wearing body armor and carrying military assault weapons which are even more deadly that the civilian versions like the AR-15. Unfortunately, Americans will have to accept that access to the Capital will feel more like going through a TSA screening at an airport and that the police there look like members of a SWAT team.

On January 15, 2021 Newsweek published “Far-Right Militias Pose Greatest Threat to US National Security, Experts Say.” 

Here’s an excerpt:

Far-right militias pose the greatest threat to the national security of the United States, experts tell Newsweek.

In stark language, they warned of the increasingly grave risk posed by these organized armed extremist movements, as they seek to capitalize on unprecedented political instability to wage war on their own country.

"The threat posed by domestic groups is real," Richard Fontaine, chief executive officer of the Center for a New American Security think tank, told Newsweek.

This is the world Trump ushered in for us. He remains the leader of each and every American far-right militia. If he died tomorrow he’d no longer be able to issue orders through thinly disguised tweets, or even directly through others, however in some ways he’d be stronger in death than in life.


June 16, 2022

Trump 2024 sh*tshow says advisor

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Trump advisor on 2024 run "another fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants sh*t show". Is he the best for Democrats to beat?

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I was struck by this paragraph in “Trump's inner circle is keeping their distance from his 2024 presidential plans: report” by Tom Boggionii in RawStory:

As one advisor admitted, “I don’t think the lack of planning means he’s not actually serious about running. It just means it’s going to be another fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants sh*t show if he does.”

Here’s a related CNN article: “Trump is weighing whether to announce a 2024 bid before the midterms. Advisers are divided on that timing.”

My sense is that for the Democrats Trump would be the best candidate to run against rather than any other in the group of comparatively sane Republicans who have presidential aspirations. This is because I see that Trump’s mental deterioration and connection with reality is in an ever steeper decline. I say this as a retired psychotherapist who spent his 40 year career working with a variety of psychotically impaired patients. Contributing to Trump’s impairment is that he is surrounding himself with a cadre of advisors as unmoored from reality as he is.  It is like the inmates are running the asylum.

Can you imagine the likes of Steve Bannon, if he’s not in prison, flat earth believer Lin Wood, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Peter Navarro, John Eastman (if he’s not in jail too) and Mr. Pillow running his campaign? Hell, maybe he’d hire Ginni Thomas.

Call Trump running a shit show or a heep of garbage of a campaign, you say tomato and I say tomatoe. This is from Salon: 

"Garbage in. Garbage out”: Trump's former chief of staff trashes Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell --Trump's inner circle at the end was … [Rudy] Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, Peter Navarro," said Mick Mulvaney.

Donald Trump's former White House Staff White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney on Monday called members of the former president's inner circle "garbage" during the January 6 hearings.

"Trump's inner circle at the end was … [Rudy] Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, Peter Navarro," Mulvaney tweeted. "Garbage in. Garbage out."

He cannot win an election with a base composed of largely of believers in QAnon conspiracies, White supremacists, neo-fascists who want a dictatorship, and gullible low information dim bulb voters. He needs the disaffected blue collar middle class voters who led to his being elected in 2020.

Would enough of these sane voters vote for a raving lunatic to swing an election his way? I don’t think so.

Consider how you think Trump would fare running for president compared to DeSantis, Pence, and others (in no particular order) Senators Ted Cruz, Tim Scott and Tom Cotton; former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Mike Pompeo, and I’ll throw in Tucker Carlson, who might give DeSantis, Pence, or any of the others a run for their money. Some of them will pull in the culture warriors and history revisionists, the anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-abortion single issue voters, the outright racist bigots, and other similar groups, though there might not be enough of them to swing the election.