Trump vs Starbuck
On her show yesterday, Joy Reid noted that there were more members of Congress than just Madison Cawthorn who should be barred from running for office under the 14th Amendment. She mentioned, Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Margie Traitor Greene (Q-GA), Andy Biggs (R-AZ)... She left out Lauren Boebert (Q-CO), Scott Perry (R-PA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and several others.
Steve Schmidt, discussing Cawthorn with Reid, noted that he is "a character like The Talented Mr Ripley. Everything about this person, and I mean everything-- the details of his accident, his supposed admission and denial into Annapolis... every assertion of fact he's ever made about himself and who he is, is false. He is like an impostor character from a movie and he is a member of Congress, in his mid-20s, who is constantly inciting violence on one social media platform or another. So, this lawsuit is meritorious, it's appropriate. He is just one of a number of members of Congress that by the time this is all over will be clearly implicated in this conspiracy, not by the things that we don't already know, but, powerfully, by their own words over this last year... He is what he appears to be: a young fascist who detests American democracy, political extremist who yearns and thirsts for political violence to break out. He is appalling-- and dangerous."
In that same MSNBC clip above, Michelle Goldberg goes on to discuss the fake electors part of Trump's shoddy, farcical-- but no less fascist-- coup attempt. This morning Marshall Cohen summarized the scheme for CNN.com readers, noting first of all that "The situation is far from self-explanatory. It involves arcane laws governing the presidential transition process and a behind-the-scenes effort by Trump's allies to exploit weaknesses in the system so he could remain in office. This all played out more than a year ago, but it's still extremely relevant, because both state and federal prosecutors are looking into the matter." There are 6 states, all of which were won by Biden but that Trump claimed he won, where very serious criminal acts were committed, coordinated by Rudy Giuliani: Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia. It's worth reading if you want to go through all the details of what Trump was attempting to do and how his clown car full of supporters tried doing it-- and why they should all spend the rest of their lives in prison-- at least if you oppose firing squads for people who commit treason.
The 59 fake Trump "electors" who claimed, falsely, that they were "duly elected and qualified" should all face federal charges for trying to overthrown the democratic election. State charges too. There were 10 Republicans in Wisconsin, 6 Republicans in Nevada, 16 Republicans in Michigan, 16 Republicans in Georgia, 11 Republicans in Arizona and possibly 20 Pennsylvania Republicans, although the Pennsylvanians built an escape hatch into their statement: "We, the undersigned, on the understanding that if, as result of a final non-appealable Court Order or other proceeding prescribed by law, we are ultimately recognized as being the duly elected and qualified electors," which will probably allow them to walk away without prison time. Many of the fake delegates are local elected officials who could also be forced out of office using the 14th Amendment.
The most important aspect of this story leads to prison for the conspirators. Please. But there's another interesting narrative as well: a further splintering of GOP unity. Even Trump isn't extreme enough for outright Nazis and fascists like Cawthorn now. These people are miserable, insatiable malcontents, who didn't come to government for reform or even governance, but for reactionary, turn-back-the-hands-of-time change. Yesterday, Igor Derysh looked one aspect of the makings of a fascist revolt against, of all people, Señor Trumpanzee, who has the word MAGA copywritten.
No purist is ever going to get along-- at least not for long-- with a lifelong transactional narcissist like Trump. And for some of them, his decision to snub one of their own, lit a fuse this week. After Tennessee's Republican controlled legislature gerrymandered bright blue Davidson County/Nashville (D+9) by cutting it into three and handing the pieces out to 3 red districts, fascists thought one of those seats would be won by crackpot Orange County (CA) millionaire and neo-Nazi Robby Starbuck. But... Trump had his own personal agenda and endorsed someone he saw on Fox a lot Morgan Ortagus, who was also a former State Department spokeswoman. MAGA-world sociopaths from Kentucky fascist Rand Paul to Hungarian Nazi Sebastian Gorka-- not to mention Cawthorn, of course-- had already flocked to Starbuck's banner in the hopes that he would help build the fascist movement in America.
Derysh noted that "that statement brought immediate and highly unusual pushback from some of Trump's most ardent supporters. 'Nope. Trump has this completely wrong,' tweeted conservative pundit Candace Owens, writing that the 'correct pick' is Robby Starbuck, a former music video producer running as a pro-MAGA Republican in the district. Former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka and former Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis echoed that sentiment." And that includes Cawthorn, who had been originally snubbed by Trump himself because of the personal friendship of then-Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows' wife who persuaded him to persuade Trump to endorse some garden variety Republican real estate agent instead of Cawthorn. The real estate agent actually beat Cawthorn in the first round but he wound up winning the run-off despite Trump and becoming a loyal MAGA zombie. Now he's part of the MAGA zombie budding revolt against Trump. Now he wants to see Starbuck in power for more prototypical fascist activities like this.
Starbuck is running on a platform to crack down on ballot access, so-called Critical Race Theory, LGBTQ rights and Big Tech companies. It's unclear why Trump snubbed Starbuck in favor of Ortagus, who called him "disgusting" during his 2016 campaign before joining his administration.
Numerous other Trump allies joined in backing Starbuck over Trump's preferred candidate.
"I endorsed [Starbuck] months ago and I stand by my endorsement," tweeted Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC).
"I endorsed Robby months ago & believe he's exactly what we need in these difficult times," wrote Trump-backed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake. "He's a God-fearing man who loves his wonderful family-- he's a true 'citizen politician.'"