Why Won't Gretchen Whitmer Thank Trump For Siccing His Lunatic Militias On Her?
Now that 13 members of a militia group have been charged in a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and put her on trial for "treason" — and maybe execute her, who can say — wingnuts are scrambling to explain that the plot miraculously had nothing to do with Donald Trump's call to "LIBERATE MICHIGAN" or his frequent rhetorical attacks on Whitmer and other Democratic governors during the coronavirus pandemic. The Dear Leader himself took to Twitter to say he's never encouraged extremist violence, and to accuse Whitmer of being insufficiently grateful that Trump's very own Justice Department and FBI saved her from the plot. And then he went right back to accusing her and all Democrats of being in cahoots with dangerous radicals. We'll just transcribe his three-tweet rant here:
Governor Whitmer of Michigan has done a terrible job. She locked down her state for everyone, except her husband's boating activities. The Federal Government provided tremendous help to the Great People of Michigan. My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement announced...
...today that they foiled a dangerous plot against the Governor of Michigan. Rather than say thank you, she calls me a White Supremacist—while Biden and Democrats refuse to condemn Antifa, Anarchists, Looters and Mobs that burn down Democrat run cities...
...I do not tolerate ANY extreme violence. Defending ALL Americans, even those who oppose and attack me, is what I will always do as your President! Governor Whitmer—open up your state, open up your schools, and open up your churches!
Thoughts and prayers! Remember, when armed militia guys — including some of those arrested yesterday — were protesting Whitmer's coronavirus lockdown and calling her a Nazi, Trump was supporting them, calling them excellent folks, and urging Whitmer to compromise with them.
Trump campaign official Jason Miller was less equivocal in blaming the victim:
Trump campaign official Jason Miller is on Fox News attacking Gretchen Whitmer, the victim of a kidnapping plot: "I… https://t.co/AA25jOdtN3— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1602184403.0
Laura Ingraham also had special thoughts, per Media Matters:
LAURA INGRAHAM (HOST): Now they're trying to blame Trump for a handful of Michigan militiamen who were allegedly planning to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer? Listen to this. This is a nut nut nuts situation. Never mind the fact that these lunatics look like they're anarchists and not right-wingers. These folks somehow managed to skirt any culpability for stoking the violence and the riots that destroyed our cities. But now Trump is to blame for a couple of fools, criminals in Michigan? That's like if Biden is responsible for this assault that we've seen on cops. The left has encouraged the disrespect of any and all authority, especially the President.
No, the Right's responsible for the assaults on cops too. You're welcome! We're just going to ignore "the disrespect" of "the President," because we only have one brain, and it'd be a shame if a stroke happened to it.
In Michigan, elected Republicans were quick to condemn the plot, so good for them, a little bit. State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R) said, "A threat against our Governor is a threat against us all," and said the guys who plotted to kidnap Whitmer "are not patriots. [...] There is no honor in their actions. They are criminals and traitors, and they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
But Democratic State Rep. Mari Manoogian noted that things were a little different earlier this year when those very fine people were storming the Michigan Capitol and yelling in cops' faces:
When armed militia members were out of control screaming at the threshold of the chambers of the Michigan House, GOP members embraced them. This is utterly terrifying.
And during the anti-lockdown protests, as the New Yorker reported, Shirkey was all in agreement with the brave souls standing up to Tyranny. At a protest he attended, carrying a Bible and the Constitution,
Shirkey took the microphone: "One book gives us our rights, assigns them to us, is inalienable. The other book is supposed to defend our rights." Sometimes politicians got it backward, he said. Gesturing at the armed men around the square, Shirkey concluded, "That's when these groups need to stand up and test that assertion of authority by the government. We need you now more than ever."
In profiling those arrested, the Detroit Free Press notes that the home of one of the gents facing state charges, Shawn Fix, features two "Truckers for Trump" lawn signs, an American flag, and a yellow "Don't Tread on Me" Gadsden flag. Two of the founders of the "Wolverine Watchmen" militia, Pete Musico and Joseph Morrison, shared a house; out front, they flew a Confederate flag as well as a sort-of US flag with a circle of stars circling the words "Liberty or Death." And a leader of the plot, Adam Fox, talked all the time about "boogaloo," the loose rightwing movement seeking to start a new civil war — one of whom murdered a cop and a security guard in Oakland.
Maybe they just didn't get the memo that they're a leftwing anarchist cell.
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