GOP’s deal with the Devil leads to this week’s fatwa against the FBI

This week Salman Rushdie was stabbed and nearly killed on stage, the victim of a fatwa issued in 1989.  This is also the week that substantially the GOP issued its own fatwa against the FBI, and a believer took up that call to arms and attacked the FBI’s Cincinnati office.

Insurrection and non-judicial violence has been background noise in the GOP that I have heard since being a kid in the Goldwater sixties. But now, with former President Trump as its national leader, domestic violence and opposition to democratic rule have made its was in to the Party of Lincoln’s playbook.

Calls to ‘step-up’, ‘carry out justice’, ‘go to war’ and ‘die on this hill’ went out with increasing specificity and violence in each steps away from the President and toward the business end of the GOP base.

The attacker announced his intent on Trump’s social media platform
@rickywshifferjr posted a “call to arms” and urged people to arm themselves and “be ready for combat” after the search on Trump’s office and club.

The GOP’s call to arms has been made for generations, this week again it was answered.

 

The call started from Trump himself
Trump’s Save America PAC sent out a fundraising email Tuesday morning in which Trump cast the lawful search of his estate as an attack on all his supporters, saying the FBI raid “violated” not only his home but the “home of every patriotic American who I have been fighting for since that iconic moment I came down the Golden Escalators in 2015.”

“I need every single red-blooded American Patriot to step up during this time,” the email read.

We’re at WAR: the President’s representatives militarized the call
“This. Means. War,” The Gateway Pundit, a pro-Trump outlet, wrote in an online post. The post was quickly amplified by a Telegram account connected to Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s onetime political adviser.

Hours later, on the podcast “Bannon’s War Room,” Mr. Bannon himself asked Joe Kent, a Trump-endorsed House candidate in Washington State, for his assessment of the search.

“This just shows everyone what many of us have been saying for a very long time,” Mr. Kent declared. “We’re at war.”

Former Trump administration official (and podcaster) Monica Crowley called opposing the FBI a “hill to die on”.

Former Fox New personality Steven Crowder set the expectation of what was to come.

 

Meanwhile, Marjorie Taylor Green made new adds promoting her merch inviting GOP party supporters to characterize themselves as the “Enemy of the State”, Christian Nationalists and seeking to Defund the FBI…a jab at Black Lives Matter.

Even the Young Republicans called for justice to be ‘carried out’ against totalitarian Democrats and ‘International forces” (George Soros, this means you.)

The New York Young Republican Club issued a lengthy statement in the wake of the search condemning the “continued persecution” of Mr. Trump by “totalitarian Democrats.” The statement called not only for the “total disintegration” of F.B.I. but also suggested that action beyond merely “voting out” the former president’s enemies was required.

“Internationalist forces and their allies intent on undermining the foundation of our Republic have crossed the Rubicon,” the statement said, “and it is the express belief of the New York Young Republican Club that, should justice not be carried out swiftly on these matters by ALL our elected officials and leaders, nothing less than the future of the Union is on the line.”

In the GOP killing opponents has been just below the surface for years
The use of gun culture to sell GOP candidates is a meme. Inside the party, imagery of killing political opponents has long been present. GOP US Senate candidate Jim Lamon brought this to a low in his ad portraying him shooting President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and his opponent, Senator Mark Kelly, whose wife, Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head during an assassination attempt.

When loosing, GOP candidates go for the guns.

It used to be candidates pretended to hunt – now they just need to show they fetishize firearms as the grassroots has come to.

The GOP has waited generations to use the guns
Last year, the right-wing youth organization Turning Point USA had an event during which its founder took questions from members of the audience. At one point, a bearded man asked the question that has been latent in the GOP from NRA promises of prying guns from cold dead hands, to Trump’s boast of support if he killed someone on Fifth Avenue.

“At this point, we’re living under corporate and medical fascism. This is tyranny,” he said. “When do we get to use the guns?”

“No, and I’m not — that’s not a joke,” he continued. “I’m not saying it like that. I mean, literally, where’s the line? How many elections are they going to steal before we kill these people?

Rather than renouncing violence, which is the core compact of democracy, the Turning Point founder suggested that would give The Left what they want – a pretext to create “Patriot Act 2.0”. Some will recall the Patriot Act was enthusiastically advocated by the the right to go get Iraq and Muslims generally, The Left as animated by Bernie Sanders stood in opposition to in, we digress.

This is how the call for violence went out from the former President and through the GOP, to conservative media, pundits, and gadflies to its grass roots. This isn’t new. Candidate Trump calling on crowds to rough up reporters and on police to not go soft on demonstrators, as President he promoted a January 6 rally which ‘will be wild’, while asking the metal detectors be turned off.  By now we have seen how inferred calls for violence get transmitted and turned in to  extra-judicial killing.

This isn’t random; it is not hidden, and its not over. Lethal force is becoming part of American political culture, even as the the US Supreme Court has ruled that a broad right to carry handguns exists. How long until we see armed sign holders or poll watchers in elections. A powder keg of violent dissidence in the GOP is ‘locked and loaded’; Marjorie Taylor Greene has a $30 t-shirt or hat promoting it. 

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