Extreme right Texas governor, Greg Abbott, is running for reelection. He has a low approval rating and is being attacked from the right by straight-up fascists-- Allen West and Don Huffines to name just two-- and could face a tough general election-- from either Beto or from actor Matthew McConaughey-- if he makes it through the primary. Right now he's not thinking about the general election, filled with independents and swing voters, but just to the authoritarian low IQ Republican primary base. Going after schools-- something most Republican primary voters have horrible memories of-- is a perfect issue for him. Abbott: "A growing number of parents of Texas students are becoming increasingly alarmed about some of the books and other content found in public school libraries that are extremely inappropriate in the public education system. The most flagrant examples include clearly pornographic images and substance that have no place in the Texas public education system." So his big campaign issue now is rooting out "pornography" from school libraries. Book burning is always-- not sometimes-- a harbinger of incipient fascism. Among the books Abbott and his right-wing allies are trying to ban include The Cider House Rules, The Handmaid’s Tale: The Graphic Novel and An African American and Latinx History of the United States.
Banning and burning books is just one early precursor of a rise of fascism. Speaking of Texas, for example, extremist blowhard, Ted Cruz, was spurring talk of secession among his lunatic fringe base. Asked at Texas A&M University if he thinks Texas should secede, Cruz said "If the Democrats end the filibuster, if they fundamentally destroy the country, if they pack the Supreme Court, if they make D.C. a state, if they federalize elections and massively expand voter fraud, there may come a point where it's hopeless. We're not there yet. If there comes a point where it's hopeless, then I think we take NASA, we take the military and we take the oil." Later he joked (?) that Joe Rogan might be the president of Texas.
This summer, the Texas Nationalist Movement launched a campaign to get a so-called "Texit" referendum vote on the state primary ballots in 2022. The effort needs at least 76,854 valid signatures of registered Texas voters.
The movement's website says Texit "means that Texans determine our own laws and not 2.5 million unelected bureaucrats in Washington. It means that we get a government that begins and ends at the borders of Texas."
And then... there's the threats of political violence. Yesterday Arizona's notorious Nazi congressman, crackpot dentist/insurrectionist Paul Gosar posted a fantasy video of him killing AOC and threatening to kill Joe Biden. This morning Twitter made the decision to keep the video up, but with this warning note: "This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about hateful conduct. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible." Unlike the Texas book-banners, the folks at Twitter understand that seeing this kind of information will make most people stronger and more resistant, not weaker and more likely to join the Nazi Party.
Cori Bush (D-MO) laughed in Gosar's pasty ugly face, while making the most crucial of points: "Every day these white supremacists push the limits further and further to see how far they can go without consequences. This puts lives in danger. Enough with the violent bigotry. Expel this white supremacist clown."
Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted "This man should not serve in Congress. Fantasizing about violently attacking your colleagues has no place in our political discourse and society."
Some investigative reporting from Reuters makes the same point that Cori Bush made: their is no accountability and that's going to make everything much worse. That's what happens when a pathetic voting public elects a lesser-of-two-evils candidate like Joe Biden despite the fact that he was clearly not up to the job. "Law enforcement," wrote Linda So and Jason Szap, "has taken little action as backers of Donald Trump aim stark threats at election officials. Reuters tracked down nine of the harassers. Most were unrepentant."
The mentally unbalanced Trumpists threatening violence "all described themselves as patriots fighting a conspiracy that robbed Donald Trump of the 2020 election. They are regular consumers of far-right websites that embrace Trump’s stolen-election falsehoods. And none have been charged with a crime by the law enforcement agencies alerted to their threats." 9 of them "are responsible for nearly two dozen harassing communications to six election officials in four states. Seven made threats explicit enough to put a reasonable person in fear of bodily harm or death, the U.S. federal standard for criminal prosecution, according to four legal experts who reviewed their messages at Reuters’ request.
These cases provide a unique perspective into how people with everyday jobs and lives have become radicalized to the point of terrorizing public officials. They are part of a broader campaign of fear waged against frontline workers of American democracy chronicled by Reuters this year. The news organization has documented nearly 800 intimidating messages to election officials in 12 states, including more than 100 that could warrant prosecution, according to legal experts.
The examination of the threats also highlights the paralysis of law enforcement in responding to this extraordinary assault on the nation’s electoral machinery. After Reuters reported the widespread intimidation in June, the U.S. Department of Justice launched a task force to investigate threats against election staff and said it would aggressively pursue such cases. But law enforcement agencies have made almost no arrests and won no convictions.
...The harassers expressed beliefs similar to those voiced by rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, trying to block Democrat Joe Biden’s certification as president. Nearly all of the threateners saw the country deteriorating into a war between good and evil-- “patriots” against “communists.” They echoed extremist ideas popularized by QAnon, a collective of baseless conspiracy theories that often cast Trump as a savior figure and Democrats as villains. Some said they were preparing for civil war. Six were in their 50s or older; all but two were men.
They are part of a national phenomenon. America’s federal elections are administered by state and local officials. But the threateners are targeting workers far from home: Seven of the nine harassed officials in other states. Some targeted election officials in states where Trump lost by substantial margins, such as Colorado-- or even Vermont, where Biden won by 35 percentage points.
“These people firmly believe in the ‘Big Lie’ that the former president legitimately won the election,” said Chris Krebs, who ran the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security. Krebs was fired by Trump last year for declaring that the 2020 election had been conducted fairly. By terrorizing election officials, he said, they’re effectively acting as Trump’s “foot soldiers.”
Biden, as the country's chief law enforcement official, is putting the country in very grave danger by not taking care of business. These slaps on the wrist are just encouraging the fascists. Trump should have been found with a heart attack or after a suicide months ago. Same for Bannon, Miller, Flynn and the worst of his most dangerous and unhinged supporters. As for the violent insurrectionists, 3 weeks sentences will not do. They should be rotting in prisons where they will never be seen again, unless Marjorie Traitor Greene, Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert want to move in with them.