GOP Fully Owns Whatever Trump’s Thugs Do Next
RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel humiliated herself more than usual Sunday. During an interview on CBS's "Face The Nation," host Margaret Brennan asked McDaniel about the MAGA thugs in Texas who tried to run Joe Biden's campaign bus off the road. This is what bad people do, as anyone who's seen an action movie could tell you. It is objectively worse than denying a terrible person service at a fancy farm-to-table restaurant.
Trump is a thuggish gangster posing as the president so he tweeted a video of the incident with the all-caps message: “I LOVE TEXAS!" Brennan told McDaniel that the tweet "appears to be an act of intimidation endorsed by the president," much in the same way I appear to be Black.
McDaniel, who's an empty shell hollowed out by Trumpism, claimed she “hadn't seen that part of the video." I guess she's still recovering from the 'rona and can't keep track of every time the president promotes stochastic terrorism.
.@GOPChairwoman reacts to viral videos of @JoeBiden's campaign bus being encircled by a convoy of trucks with Trump… https://t.co/uyYxjFF7Wz— Face The Nation (@Face The Nation) 1604246281.0
MCDANIEL: Certainly you don't want harm. And we shouldn't be hurting other people. The president would not endorse that.
He already did! But if his original tweet was too subtle for McDaniel, who must've struggled in her comparative literature classes, Trump made his position clearer and grosser later on Sunday. The FBI released a statement confirming it's investigating the Friday incident because of how obviously illegal it was. President Law and Order declared that “these patriots did nothing wrong" and the FBI should focus instead on all the imaginary crimes his apparently diseased mind just makes up. Trump governs according to the philosophy of former Peruvian President Óscar R. Benavides: "For my friends everything, for my enemies the law."
In my opinion, these patriots did nothing wrong. Instead, the FBI & Justice should be investigating the terrorists,… https://t.co/FMdJFrGRQO— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1604279933.0
Fox News host Jeanine Pirro praised the goons Trump calls “patriots" on her show Saturday night after guest Newt Gingrich raved about the “energy" of Trump cultists.
PIRRO: Well, it is -- it is stunning. And what's even more stunning is what was just trending and that is there's a Biden bus and it's surrounded by pickup trucks on a highway all with Trump signs. I mean, it is ordinary Americans just taking this election into their own hands and — and getting out there and being real clear on what they stand for.
Yes, what they “stand for" is attempted vehicular homicide.
Sunday, Trump supporters, emboldened by dear leader, halted traffic on two major highways in New York and New Jersey.
At around 10 a.m. ET Sunday, Maddy Pryor was driving north on the Garden State Parkway when she spotted numerous vehicles with MAGA flags driving near one another. At first, she thought it was just a coincidence, "but when we passed the Toms River service area, it became clear that it was something much more organized," she told CNN over Twitter.
"People were getting out of their cars both in the service area and on both sides of the parkway," Pryor said. "They would just get out and hold up their Trump flags (some were in Trump costumes) and shout and film things on their phone. They were causing traffic for miles and miles."
According to Tom Feeney, a spokesman for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, this demonstration involved “several hundred vehicles." Trump supporters claim they are “peacefully protesting" just like people at a Black Lives Matter rally, but they somehow manage to skirt the law without the cops busting their heads. It's the same white-glove treatment the police gave the (predominately white) anti-lockdown protesters this summer.
Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller claimed he was more concerned with "downtown Washington businesses having to board up their windows in anticipation of lawless, violent Biden supporters rioting and looting on Tuesday night." There's obviously no evidence this will happen, just as there's little evidence that every rioter, looter, and anarchist is a Biden supporter. It's people in MAGA hats waving Trump flags who are blocking traffic and trying to run other vehicles off the road (a serious crime). Biden is perhaps clever enough to have his antifa mobs leave their Sleepy Joe swag at home.
Sunday night, at Trump's superspreader Miami ally, Senator Marco Rubio didn't hold back from celebrating MAGA thuggery.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) at last night's rally on the Texas Trump caravan that menacingly surrounded Biden bus: "W… https://t.co/y77hGDYu3b— The Recount (@The Recount) 1604327947.0
LITTLE MARCO: I saw yesterday a video of these people in Texas. Did you see it? All the cars on the road, we love what they did.
This is the guy who tweets random Bible verses whenever what remains of his conscience bothers him.
Back in 2016, Rubio, during his Young Reagan phase, publicly expressed alarm to CNN's Jake Tapper about the violence then-candidate Trump promoted:
Rubio: Someone could die at Trump rally www.youtube.com
RUBIO: This is now multiple rallies where people are assaulted and beat up, where a guy gets sucker punched by one of the Trump supporters, and then instead of condemning it, Trump is silent. When the guy is released from jail he says maybe next time maybe we should kill the protester, again there's silence.
[ ... ]
This country deserves better. I mean, at some point people have to wake up here. This is really going to do damage to America… I mean, all the rules that once governed our discourse have been blown away and we're headed in a very dangerous direction. And, yes, there are people out there that are unbalanced. There are people out there that do not have control of themselves. We don't know what they will do.
Tapper asked Rubio if he was afraid someone could die as a result of Trump's rhetoric.
RUBIO: I'm very concerned about that. I'm very concerned — we don't know what's going to happen next here. I know that we have reached the point now where people in American politics have decided that if they don't agree with you, that they can get angry at you, that you're a bad and evil person, that they can say anything they want about you.
It turns out Rubio's concerns meant as much as Susan Collins's. There aren't enough verses in the Bible to erase the shame he should feel for the rest of his life.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."