Tuesday, June 1, 2021

As Republicans Embrace the Crazy, Political Violence Can't Be Far Behind

Recent poll results show my Republican Party is a long way from returning to sanity.  

According to a PRRI-IFYC poll released last week:

28% of Republicans agree with the statement that "because things have gotten so far off track" in the United States "true American patriots may have to resort to violence" to save the country.

General Michael Flynn

28% of Republicans believe there is a "storm coming soon" which will "sweep the elites from power and restore the rightful leaders."

23% of Republicans believe that "the government, media and financial worlds in the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation." As a side note, in a Yahoo News/You Gov poll released last October, 50% of President Trump's supporters believe top Democrats are involved in child sex trafficking rings. Even a larger percent think Trump was working to dismantle those rings.

The result I find most shocking though is that according to a just released Yahoo/You Gov poll, 73% of Republicans blame at least some of the responsibility for the January 6th insurrection attempt on "left-wing protestors trying to make Trump look bad." The conservative media have, mostly, shied away from that claim.  So too have most Republican elected officials. While they might downplay the significance of the insurrection, most refuse to promote the false flag narrative.  Instead, GOP opinion embracing the conspiracy theory seems almost entirely driven by the grass roots on social media.

On a related topic, former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on Sunday attended a convention of Qanon and Big Lie supporters. When asked by an audience member who identified himself as a Marine why a Myanmar-type insurrection couldn't happen here (to reinstall Trump as President), General Flynn said "it should happen here."   Since Flynn's comments might be viewed as urging a violent overthrow of the government - which would be a crime - he later backed away from his statement.  Conspiracy theorist and attorney Sydney Powell, who also attended the convention, was more circumspect with her comments contending Trump should be "simply reinstated" and a "new inauguration day...set."

The ground work is being laid for more political violence. The January 6th insurrection might prove to be the tip of the iceberg.


OOP's short takes:

  • It is difficult to ascertain the GOP strategy in opposing a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6th insurrection.  A second vote will be held in the Senate to approve the Commission, which as things now stand, is likely to fall 2 or 3 votes short of the 60 needed.  
  • If the Commission fails again it is not like an investigation is not going to happen.  It will instead be done by a select committee with appointments made by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.  Instead of 50-50 Republicans and Democrats, a select committee will have a majority of Democrats with Democratic leadership.  Democrats on the select committee will have complete subpoena power as opposed to having those subpoenas approved by Republicans which would have been the case with a select committee.
  • Texas Democratic legislators walked out rather than allow a vote on a bill they argued would make it more difficult to cast a ballot.  While the Texas bill goes further than the Georgia bill, it still would only affect voting at the margins while handing the Democrats a potent issue (Republicans don't want you to vote!) to use in 2022.  
  • As I have long said, Democrats, instead of focusing almost exclusively on the casting of votes, need to be a lot more concerned about the counting of those votes.  Biden won in 2020 due, in no small part, to elected and appointed Republicans at the local, state and federal level, who insisted on a fair counting of the votes.  Those GOP officials are being replaced by Republicans not committed to American democracy and fair elections. Further, the rules are being rewritten to give those GOP officials more authority to override the will of the voters. That is what Democrats should be worried about.  

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