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Trouble In Paradise

MAGA World in Alabama and North Carolina are having problems beyond spiking COVID cases in vulnerable communities filled with unvaccinated imbeciles. In Alabama, two ultra-conservatives, Trump-endorsed fascist/insurrectionist Mo Brooks and establishment hack Katie Britt, are in a primary duel-to-the-death. Tal Axelrod wrote this morning that "The primary represents a clash of résumés that appeal to various flanks of a fractured GOP, from an incumbent hard-liner with an endorsement from former President Trump to a politico with deep ties to the business community and establishment lawmakers to an outsider Army veteran [Mike Durant] making his first foray into politics. And with none of the three establishing themselves as an early front-runner, Alabamians are gearing up for a slog."

The primary is May 24 and there is likely to be a runoff the following month. Axelrod wrote that "That dynamic will likely produce a knife fight into the summer-- with all three candidates doubling down on their conservative bona fides in one of the nation’s most Republican states. 'They're going to do a really great job of pointing out how each of the other is either a turncoat, a traitor or worthless,' Alabama GOP strategist Jonathan Gray said.

Meanwhile North Carolina is offering even more fun for observers. Berchtesgaden super-fan Madison Cawthorn jumped to another, redder, district to get away from Asheville progressives, who have been keeping track of every move he makes and keeping his awful record in front of the public. They're glad to see him gone from the district of course, but would rather see him gone from Congress-- and 11 citizens of the new district have taken a complaint-- basically his violation of the 14th Amendment-- to the State Board of Elections in an attempt to get him disqualified from the ballot as an insurrectionist.

The 1868 amendment says no one can serve in Congress “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress . . . to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same.”
The written challenge says the events on Jan. 6, 2021 “amounted to an insurrection” and that Cawthorn’s speech at the rally supporting Trump, his other comments and information in published reports provide a “reasonable suspicion or belief” that he helped facilitate the insurrection and is thus disqualified.
“The importance of defending the bedrock constitutional principle that oath breakers who engage in insurrection cannot be trusted in future office is essential to maintain,” Ron Fein, legal director of Free Speech for People, a national election and campaign finance reform group backing the challenge election, told the Associated Press... State law says Cawthorn has the burden to “show by a preponderance of the evidence” that he’s qualified to run.

So... speaking of insurrectionists, Bannon's daily podcast has become one of the top go-to treason hubs in America. The Bulwark's Tim Miller spent a week listening to it and reported back this morning. "For three hours every day," wrote Miller, "the Republican coup plotters who inspired the domestic terror attack at the U.S. Capitol last year gather to discuss their next move. On their January 6th anniversary program, the Dead Cops Society beseeched their great patriotic listeners to 'Seize The Day. We’re ashamed of nothing. We’re proud of the work we did on January 6th.' Their scheming does not take place in caves in the Hindu Kush mountains. Nor in a vacated Florida flophouse with an acid-filled bathtub. In fact, it doesn’t happen in secret at all. You can find these enemies of democracy livestreaming across multiple platforms for your convenience. Dish channel 219. Samsung TV Plus Channel 1029. Roku. Apple TV. Pluto TV. Amazon Fire! You can livestream the proceedings on the web at or catch clips on Rumble. Or listen through IHeartRadio. If you are a regular working American who wants to overthrow the regime but can’t sneak away from your day job, not to worry, Apple Podcasts is platforming daily mutiny discourse for your convenience 24/7. And as it turns out, Insurrection Radio does big numbers. Last I checked it was the #9 News Podcast in America on Apple. According to the hosts-- and these guys would never lie, obvi-- the show has gotten an eye-popping 125 million downloads. Insurrection never paid so good."

The host of Forever One Six radio is the former Trump administration chief strategist and twice-indicted “Sloppy” Steve Bannon. His show is called WAR ROOM PANDEMIC. In the week leading up to the first anniversary of Jan. 6th, I dove into the War Room to see how the OG “Stop the Stealers” were processing the fallout from their botched putsch.
What I found was that their effort to overthrow the government has been undeterred by the initial setback of Joe Biden being inaugurated. While Republican elites try to minimize the events of Jan. 6th, the War Room and their minions have continued to take the coup both literally and seriously. In their view the Biden “regime” is illegitimate and the regime’s medical establishment has covered up nearly a half a million deaths from the COVID “vaccines.”
In 2022 they aim to put so many of their people in positions of power throughout state and local governments that next time there will be nothing anyone can do to stop their quest for power. And this crusade is infused with an unmistakable religious fervor and appeal to a quasi-Christian nationalism that calls it devotees into action.
As crazy as their show may sound on its face-- and let me tell you it seems very crazy-- anyone who cares about American democracy should take that prospect very seriously indeed.
...If it weren’t for the domestic terrorism and the threat to democracy, the whole thing would be an over-the-top laugh riot. They literally featured a correspondent in an America First t-shirt on an oxygen tank reporting live from his hospital bed about Antifa and BLM!
If Adam McKay put scenes from this podcast in Don’t Look Up, mainstream conservatives would use it to dismiss the film as smug, out-of-touch twaddle. But beneath the absurdist theater is a beating refrain about how the audience is made up of brave warriors who are doing battle against incipient authoritarianism, with terrifying implications.
Bannon understands the maxim that constant repetition carries conviction. Like a NXIVM life coach he reminds viewers over and over about his watchwords for the year: Commitment. Engagement. Empowerment. He tells them that they are victims, but also are feared by the most formidable forces in the world if only they will exercise their power. And he has several catch-phrases that he reiterates throughout the show.
  • “Elections have consequences. Stolen elections have catastrophic consequences.”

  • “100 seats for 100 years” meaning how a 2022 election landslide could strip Democrats from power for good.

  • “There are no conspiracies but there are also no coincidences”—a motto which is helpfully framed and placed over Bannon’s shoulder, next to icons of the Holy Trinity: a picture of Jesus, a picture of Our Lady of the Assumption, and a red Gettr hat.

Put it all together and what you have is a show that offers Trump supporters a fascistic MAGA cosplay where they are the main characters, and the aggrieved victims, and also the all-powerful heroes. In this story reality is inverted to suit their purpose. Anyone who punctures the narrative must have an ulterior motive and be in league with the powerful (((shadowy))) forces who are conspiring to take them down.
From this vantage, the uprising that led to the Jan. 6th riot is not a thing of the past but an exercise to be learned from in their ongoing effort to ensure that they gain enough power so that next time the Democrats, and the establishment Republicans, and the Never Trumpers won’t be able to deny them total victory. And it’s part and parcel with their broader effort to tear down not just the government but any American institution that might threaten their ability to control the levers of power.

Miller then offers a fantastic summary of 4 days in right-wing paradise. I suggest you go to The Bulwark and read it. It's hilarious and scary at the same time. This is the link.

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