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Bullshit, rage, and lawyers

November 10, 2020

The message from the Trump cult is that the election was fraudulent. And they fast are finding the “evidence” for that. Eric Trump tweeted a bogus and debunked QAnon video. Steve Bannon and another right-wing con artist push deep state nonsense. Trump’s lawyers have pushed bogus claims and have had to eat their words in court. While that kind of bullshit fares poorly in legal arenas and court, it works well on his base. The Trumpistas cannot vet such stories, because they are dishonest, and will eagerly propagate them, because they are zealous. This Twitter thread collects some of them.

The circulation of these conspiracy theories furthers their group beliefs: that they have been wronged, that their leader is heroic, that they hold superior knowledge to the rest of us, that the mainstream media is out to cover it up, that they are right to rage against those outside their cult. Indeed, those lawsuits, plainly futile when filed, might more be intended to keep his base stirred and their loyalty cemented. Which makes them also a nice fundraising tool.

In their rage, the Trumpistas don’t much care if innocent people are hurt in the process. An election worker in Georgia is having to lay low because the Georgia Republican Party Chair tweeted a video interpreted as showing him discarding a ballot. We live at a strange time, that election workers and epidemiologists have been made political targets just for doing their jobs. Steve Bannon publicly fantasized about beheading Dr. Fauci, for his lack of personal loyalty to Trump. Twitter suspended him for that.

Well, if Fauci was a Republican prior to this epidemic, he likely is a Democrat now. Quite a few Republicans seem to fantasize about shooting Democrats. An Alabama police captain has resigned after posting on Facebook that Biden voters deserve a bullet in the skull. An an Arkansas police chief has resigned after posting similar comments on Parler. Those who have been radicalized can find plenty of outlets that will let them publish their vicious views. Some will be surprised that still can come back to haunt, serving as evidence, affecting their employment, and souring their personal relationships.

And even what lawyers are willing to represent them. Trump’s law firms have to worry about the fallout from pushing nonsense in the courts. And Bannon’s lawyer unceremoniously dropped him. When you’re paying someone a few hundred dollars an hour to do so, it says something that they won’t stand by your side any more. Of course, for the money they pay lawyers, Trump and Bannon will have little problem finding someone.

Update: At least this would-be assassin of Biden voters isn’t in law enforcement.

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