It’s 3 AM. Do You Know Where Your Violent Protest Is?
Tucker Carlson is telling his viewers that Antifa is organizing riots across the country:
"Antifa is being organized. By whom? We don't know. Why don't we know? To do what? We can't say right now. … Antifa is mobilizing to commit violence. This is a political militia." pic.twitter.com/mgBuonqbuz
— Kat Abu (@abughazalehkat) January 28, 2023
Earlier tonight on his FoxNews show, Tucker Carlson said we need to be afraid of Antifa again because they’re organizing “violence” across the country tonight. He even cited comments by the head of the “Fredericksburg, Maryland chapter” to buttress his claims. But at 3AM, all appears to be quiet in our major cities – or they’re at least not being disturbed by violent hordes of anti-Fascists. The FoxNews webpage has no stories on violent protests happening this evening, nor do CNN’s or MSNBC’s. So, what happened? Where did the protests go?
As may be obvious, there never were any protests planned. The threat was a lie. Antifa isn’t organizing anything. It can’t. Why not? Because Antifa isn’t an organization in any normally understood meaning of the word. There’s no organizational structure, no leader/president/CEO, no headquarters or local/regional chapters (not even in Fredericksburg, Maryland). There’s no way to apply to be a member, no membership fee or donations, no member roster, no membership list, no meetings and – sorry Tucker – no organizational plans. It can’t be a militia, and it can’t be mobilizing to commit violence because it doesn’t exist in that form.
Antifa is a portmanteau used to indicate that someone or something opposes Fascism. It literally means “anti-Fascist” and came into vogue to describe the tactics employed by people protesting Fascism. Some right-wing leaders and broadcasters, however, have made it one of their biggest boogiemen, casting it as an mysterious, violent group dedicated to ruining our way of life (and by their reckoning, “our” means “white people’s”.)
There are sufficient genuine threats in the world that we don’t need either side creating imaginary ones. While it’s possible that some people opposed to Fascism are plotting to engage in violence, “Antifa” as an organization is not. Rather than telling scary stories about large groups planning to riot “on both coasts and in the middle,” wouldn’t it be better to focus on any actual, known threats? The problem with that, of course, is that focusing only on real threats doesn’t scare nearly enough people, and history has shown that one of the most effective ways to get communities to accept an authoritarian, totalitarian, or Fascist government is to keep them afraid, and offer authoritarianism as the best way to protect everyone.
By morning, most who saw Tucker’s breathless fear-mongering will have forgotten there were supposed to be violent riots overnight, but the bit of fear he inflicted upon them as they watched his show will still be there. They’ve been given another reason to fear “Antifa” – whatever that may be – and have subconsciously absorbed it. And that’s how an imaginary “political militia” engages in imaginary “violence” and becomes another reason for people to think they need a strongman government to protect them.
The Five Scariest Words I’ve Heard This Week…
Here’s a phrase that should send shivers down just about anyone’s spine: Vice-President Marjorie Taylor Green.
Don’t laugh. Well, not too much, anyway. She’s serious about this.
NBC News says, MTG wants to be Trump’s running mate in 2024.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., is angling to be Donald Trump’s running mate in 2024, according to two people who have spoken to the firebrand second-term congresswoman about her ambitions.
“This is no shrinking violet, she’s ambitious — she’s not shy about that, nor should she be,” said Steve Bannon, the former top Trump aide who hosts the War Room podcast, where Greene has been a guest.
“She sees herself on the short list for Trump’s VP. Paraphrasing Cokie Roberts, when MTG looks in the mirror she sees a potential president smiling back,” he added, referencing Roberts, the late political reporter who worked for NPR, ABC News and other outlets.
A second source who has advised Greene said her “whole vision is to be vice president.” The source, who has ties to Trump but spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations, said he also believes Greene would be on Trump’s short list.
This ambition explains a few things she’s said and done lately, such as distancing herself from the “Q-Anon” conspiracy. Speaking to Howard Kurtz on FOX News, she claimed that “like a lot of people” she “had easily gotten sucked into some things I had seen on the internet.”
Greene: Like a lot of people today, I had easily gotten sucked into some things I had seen on the internet.. pic.twitter.com/IwK3gf191J
— Acyn (@Acyn) January 8, 2023
Snopes notes that this is similar to an earlier remark she’d made about her following Q-Anon.
Back in 2021 when she was stripped of her House committee assignments, she said her past comments about QAnon “do not represent me” and she was “was allowed to believe things that weren’t true […].” She added that she regretted that she “would ask questions about them and talk about them.”
[She was “allowed” to? Who do you go to to get permission to believe in crazy conspiracy theories?]
She has also bound herself tightly to Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who is rewarding her help in recruiting representatives to vote for his Speakership by giving her a place on two choice committee seats. “I will never leave that woman,” McCarthy told a friend, according to the New York Times. “I will always take care of her.” And taking care of her means assignments to high-profile, powerful committees – the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability and the House Committee on Homeland Security.
Two years is a long time, and loyalty among Republicans is highly volatile, but if McCarthy, trump and Green can maintain their bonds until the election, don’t be surprised if you hear Greene’s name floated for the Vice Presidency.
Isn’t There Something About a Right to Bare Arms?
Ok, yes, bad joke and hardly original, but this story deserves any ridicule it can get.
The Missouri House of Representatives decided today that they needed a tighter dress code for women, and women only. It seems that women having bare arms was a problem for some legislators.
The changes were spearheaded by state Rep. Ann Kelley (R), a co-sponsor who was among the Republicans seeking to require women to wear a blazer when in the chamber. She was met by swift opposition from Democrats who called it “ridiculous.”
The state House eventually approved a modified version of Kelley’s proposal, which allows for cardigans as well as jackets, but still requires women’s arms to be concealed
Just to add to the silliness, at one point, the Representative who made the proposal agreed the discussion was ridiculous:
“You know what it feels like in this room to have a bunch of men in this room looking at your top to decide whether it’s appropriate or not?” said state Rep. Ashley Aune, a Democrat, adding that the entire debate was “ridiculous.”
At this point, Kelley appeared to have grown frustrated. She then retorted that it was indeed “ridiculous” that her colleagues were engaging in such a head debate over her proposed changes.
“Lady, you’re right, it is ridiculous,” Kelley said. “It is absolutely ridiculous that we have to talk about it on the House floor in the House chamber. Why should we even talk about something like this?”
Aune responded by pointing out that it was Kelley’s proposal that started the debate.
About Those Documents…
Given the controversy surrounding the discovery of retained classified documents at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago residence, you’d think that when Joe Biden people discovered documents at his former office in November last year that they’d have done everything to ensure their response would be impeccable.
Apparently, that’s not the case, and Biden has now handed the Republicans even more toys to play with. It turns out that there wasn’t just one set of documents, or even two, as a third document has now been discovered. The first batch came from his University of Pennsylvania office, the second and third from his Wilmington, Deleware home. The problem is, it took them 48 days after the first discovery to either look for or report finding the 2nd one, and another 23 days for the third. While nothing about the delays appears to be potentially criminal, it doesn’t look good.