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The GOP Isn't Only A Putin-Wing; There Is Also A QAnon Wing

I don't know how many sympathizers QAnon has in Congress-- but probably a lot more than just the 3 actual members it has in the House-- Lauren Boebert (Q-CO), Marjorie Traitor Greene (Q-GA) and Mary Miller (Q-IL). Even more than that are the Republicans, like Josh Hawley and, of course, Ted Cruz, who pander to QAnon sentiments a part of an appeal for votes from the right-wing fringe and the walking mentally ill. Normal Americans may have fallen in love with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson this week, but Cruz and Hawley have QAnon world referring to her as "an apologist for child molesters."

Polls show that QAnon believers are now a significant part of the Republican base. One poll last October found that about 60 percent of Trump voters had heard of QAnon, and 3 out of 10 of those Republicans viewed it favorably. Even a wormy little closet queen and demagogue like Lindsey Graham was elating QAnon by baselessly accusing her of "making it easier for the children to be exploited."

The American Bar Association raved about Ketanji Brown Jackson. Her qualifications were lauded this morning, with people they interviewed using terms such as "brilliant," "beyond reproach," "impeccable" and "A+."This morning, the NY Times reported the QAnon has lit its hair on fire over KBJ, substituting pedophilia for right-wing racism and misogyny.

Slogans about protecting the children became catchphrases that QAnon adherents used to identify one another, and their bizarre fantasy-- initially encouraged by far-right news outlets, then promoted by a ring of social media influencers-- appeared to spread widely among Trump supporters. At least two Republican lawmakers elected in 2020 had made statements supportive of QAnon, and prosecutors say that many people involved in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol subscribed to the theory.
Among those now echoing the Republican allegations about the judicial nominee, in fact, is Ron Watkins, a former website administrator who is widely believed to have played a major role in writing the anonymous Q posts. Watkins, who has denied any part in the Q messages, is running for the Republican nomination to an Arizona congressional seat, largely on the strength of his QAnon association; this week, he qualified for the ballot.
“Judge Jackson is a pedophile-enabler,” Watkins wrote Wednesday on social media. “Any senator who votes to confirm her nomination is also a pedophile-enabler.”
QAnon Telegram channels on Wednesday grew increasingly agitated. “She has committed unbelievable crimes against humanity with her judgeship,” one user wrote. “If she gets confirmed the victims remain victims & trapped in the misery bestowed on them,” said another. Some talked of violence.

In this morning's Times, David Leonhardt noted what everyone who isn't part of QAnon must have also been thinking over the last couple of days: "Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing has turned into a case study of how disconnected from reality large parts of the Republican ecosystem have become... The debate over Jackson’s nomination has often had little to do with her. It has become an argument over a nominee who does not exist-- one who does not respect America, is not truly religious, coddles child abusers and terrorists and has highly developed views about the importance of 'woke' education. Yesterday, conservative activists used this portrayal to pressure moderate Democratic senators to vote against Jackson... [D]istortions and falsehoods have moved to the center of politics."

Yesterday, Natasha Lennard wrote that "Instead of being about the court, or even Jackson, Republicans are using the current hearings as free campaign ads to push their kultur kampf narratives. The focus on imaginary kids is intended to spark moral panic in conservative, middle-class white parents-- a brazen appeal to the base. This highly cynical strategy is hardly new, but it has found fearsome purchase in the Trumpified Republican Party, co-constituted by well-funded right-wing think tanks, QAnon conspiracy theorists, and organized and disorganized white supremacists, represented by craven bad-faith and rabid true-believer politicians. In other words, the obscene questioning of Jackson-- nodding to extremists, devoid of any attachment to reality, aimed only at stockpiling power exclusively for the same old, sad sack white men-- is the bread and butter of today’s Republican Party... In response to being used as a tool for racist, patriarchal Republican grandstanding, Jackson displayed remarkable patience-- above and beyond what should be asked in the face of bigotry and bad faith."

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