Fascist Goons In 'RINO Hunter' Tees Bring Post-January 6 Civility To Orange County GOP Meeting
Image: Nick Taurus on Twitter.

A bunch of rightwing fartsmellers, not having any national Capitol buildings handy, stormed a meeting of the Republican Party of Orange County (California) Monday night instead. The resulting fracas led to police being called to remove the uninvited tourists, who wore orange shirts reading "RINO HUNTER," with a gunsight cleverly replacing the "O."

The Orange County Register reports the band of merry orangeshirts were led by Nick Taurus, a "self-proclaimed American Nationalist," who last year led a group of like-minded assholes in disrupting an outdoor town hall held by Democratic Rep. Katie Porter in July. Taurus, who at the time was running against Porter, led about 30 followers in heckling Porter; the protesters clashed with Porter supporters, one of whom was arrested for punching one of Taurus's crowd.

There were no arrests or fisticuffs at Monday's event, fortunately.

Taurus has switched his target for this fall's election from Porter to the incumbent Republican congressman for California's 40th district, Rep Young Kim, who already has the OC Republicans' endorsement. The OC Register helpfully explains that Taurus calls Kim a "RINO, a derogatory name used by the far-right for more moderate politicians who they deem 'Republican in name only.'"

Because of the coronavirus, the OCGOP limited attendance for Monday's meeting to members of its Central Committee, marking maybe the first time this year any organized group of Republicans has actually acknowledged that the Omicron variant of the virus is highly infectious? We are not sure.

In a January 12 announcement, the OCGOP said,

There are important endorsement requests that must be voted on, but we recognize the spike in covid cases across Orange County. [...] It is important that we as a party take care of business, but we must also take care of ourselves and each other.

You can kind of see how that wouldn't sit well with a bunch of far-right crazies, who no doubt felt compelled to go and Do Some Liberty at the meeting venue. It appears to have gone every bit as well as Taurus and his droogs intended:

Photos and videos shared to social media show a couple dozen people wearing orange RINO shirts in the lobby of the building where the meeting was being held. A witness told the Register one member tried to push past people at the door, grabbing at the handle to get inside. Police then are seen directing the protestors outside, while other people are waved by and allowed into the meeting room.

Once outside, Taurus is seen in videos, wearing a “make America great again” hat, arguing with GOP Latino activist Jesse Suave over amnesty for undocumented immigrants. Taurus supporters and Suave engaged in verbal clashes, with shouts to “back the f— up” and saying “what are you going to do?”

The Costa Mesa Police were called to respond to the disturbance. Department spokesperson Roxi Fyad said officers told the roughly 20 demonstrators to move their protest from inside the building to the sidewalk outside, and that the protesters complied. There were no arrests or physical altercations, she said.

This Taurus fellow seems like quite the peach; in addition to July's invasion of the Porter event, the OC Register says he

has been involved in multiple protests that have turned physical in the past, including free speech rallies at Cal State Fullerton and Orange Coast College in 2017. Videos circulating on social media also show him disrupting a 2020 racial justice protest in Yorba Linda. In that video he is seen stealing and ripping up someone’s Black Lives Matter sign. His social media posts tout conspiracy theories about the Clinton family, the “gay mafia” and “anti-White racism.”

You sort of have to wonder why he wants to be in Congress when his résumé seems more suited to a career in rightwing "journalism." Or perhaps soccer hooliganism.

Taurus was pretty proud of his exploits, and posted a tweet that seemed to make clear that the gunsight imagery was not intended to evoke "surveyors' marks."

Mind you, if any of his followers ever makes the shift from metaphorical to real violence, he'll no doubt claim the "RINO Hunter" tees and logos refer only to photo safaris, because after all, real rhinos are an endangered species and he'd never shoot an endangered animal. Of maybe he'll just offer to curbstomp any critics, metaphorically of course, the end.

[OC Register]

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