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Tag: paul gosar

Just Another Day With Anti-Semites At The Former President's House

As we all certainly know by now, Donald Trump had some guests over for dinner last week at his home, the resort/hotel/club Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. Trump claims he had invited his good friend Ye, formerly known as Kayne West, and was surprised when a well-known white supremacist, anti-Semite and public supporter of his, Nick Fuentes showed up as well. That Trump would be having dinner a couple of weeks after he announced his campaign for the presidency in 2024 with two notorious racists and anti-Semites is perhaps less surprising than the reaction to the fact of it.

You could have heard the collective gasp from the media sphere if you were at the bottom of a coal mine in Siberia. The horror! The outrage! The whole un-thinkable-ness of it! The story was beaten to death. How could it have happened? Could Ye/Kayne West really have sashayed past the Secret Service-protected gates of Mar-a-Lago with Fuentes in tow? Reports of the dinner by “sources” say that Trump’s reaction to Fuentes was as predictable as it was yawn-inducing: “I really like this guy,” Trump told his friend Ye/Kayne West. “He gets me.”

You would have had to have been at the bottom of the aforesaid coal mine for the past six years not to know that a little fawning goes a long way with our former president.

And then came the reports of the mainstreaming of Fuentes that has gone on since he made an appearance at the so-called “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in 2017. Here is our boy Nick in the company of current members of Congress Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar and right-wing babbler Michele Malkin and former Rep. Steve King at something called the “America First Political Action Conference,” (AFPAC) which advertises itself as even further to the right than the “Conservative Political Action Conference,” (CPAC). Fuentes, it was reported, led cheers of “Russia! Russia! Russia!” and “Putin! Putin! Putin!” at the gathering, because…of course he did. The next day, he was roundly denounced – in a Tweet, naturally – by soon-to-be-former Representative Liz Cheney, because…of course she did: “All Americans should renounce this garbage and reject the Putin wing of the GOP now. The silence by Republican Party leaders is deafening and enabling,” because…of course it is.

Are you beginning to pick up on the fact that there is nothing new here, folks? Just another day at Mar-a-Lago, just another moment in the continuing saga of the descent of Republicans into less a political party than a herd of Brownshirts thundering through the media-scape without raising hardly a ripple? I mean, what has to happen in this country to rouse the decent against the dastardly? An election that was nearly stolen from the American people in front of their eyes didn’t manage to do it. A violent coup against the seat of our government, the Capitol, didn’t do it. Somewhere in the vicinity of 40,000 overt lies told by our former president while in office had no discernible effect.

And now we’ve got the same former president and current candidate dining in public at his resort/hotel/club with two out-of-control and out-of-their minds anti-semites, and all we’ve heard have been squeaks and chirps from the liberal media establishment about how terrible it is, and of course dead silence from the Republican Party, with the exception of a few brave souls like Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (!) who found enough backbone remaining in his normally gelatinous spine that he told the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “Racism, anti-semitism, and denial of the Holocaust have no place in the Republican Party and are completely un-American.”

Wow, you’d go that far, Brian? That’s taking a pretty big risk isn’t it, pal, given the political climate in your own so-called party. I guess we should consider it a story when a climate-change-denying, voter suppressing flat-earther like Kemp appears to come to his senses…but noooooo! In the next breath, he made a bunch of ads for his Texas-based Senate candidate Herschel Walker, and all was right with the world once again.

But the problem here isn’t that Trump refused to denounce Fuentes once he was caught consorting with him, because of course he didn’t. The problem isn’t that the “leadership” of the Republican Party has stayed silent, because of course they have. The problem isn’t the matter of fact-ness of Trump dining with these monsters. The problem is that 80 years after the Holocaust, we are still dealing with people like this piece of scum, Nick Fuentes, who deny that it happened and get attention for their criminal lies. Holocaust denial just never goes away. The anti-semitism of “Jews will not replace us” chants at the torch-lit Charlottesville rally of buttoned-down and khaki pants-wearing white boys just never goes away. The age-old lies that Jews somehow control the world’s banks and stage-manage economic inequality to their own benefit just never goes away.

But it’s the denial of the Holocaust that is the worst of it. The systematic murder of millions of Jews and Gypsies and gay people and political opponents of Nazism and intellectuals is something that not only happened decades ago but keeps getting repeated again and again and again. Nearly an entire people, Native Americans, were massacred during this nation’s founding. Certainly that was a genocide. It is unknown how many Black Americans were lynched and murdered during slavery, Reconstruction and Jim Crow, but certainly that was a genocide as well. Nearly a million were murdered during the Rwandan massacre in 1994, another genocide. The violence and destruction and starvation in Darfur killed 400,000 in 2003, another genocide. In Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992, some 200,000 Muslim civilians were systematically murdered, and nearly two million became refugees at the hands of the Serbs, yet another genocide.

And now it’s happening again in Ukraine, where thousands of civilians are thought to have been murdered by the Russian army since February of this year. They are still digging up mass graves and single graves in Kherson after the Russians were driven out recently. There won’t be an authoritative total of the murders for months, even years, but it is clear already that the killings have been planned, sanctioned, and carried out by the Russian army.

History repeats itself because it is denied and swept under the rug and is unstudied and forgotten. Donald Trump and Nick Fuentes and before them David Duke and his ilk are not just propagandists for a lie. They are facilitators of modern genocides. Lies beget murders which beget more lies which beget more murders.

As a species, we seem unable to stop the ongoing Holocaust that is humanity. But we can fight against it by teaching and learning and remembering.

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

Please consider subscribing to Lucian Truscott Newsletter, from which this column is reprinted with permission.

Why Don't Republicans Act Against Their Party's Neo-Nazi Infestation?

As the Republican Party gives off an increasingly strong stench of fascism — with the anti-Semitic, racist and xenophobic attitudes inherent in that ideology — the party establishment looks more and more like the "Junker" conservatives of Germany in the 1930s. While those monarchists and militarists felt distaste for Hitler and his Nazi thugs, many of them nevertheless abetted his rise to power.

A disturbingly similar scenario is now visible in what was once the party of Lincoln, where the spineless Rep. Kevin McCarthy, conniving Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and sundry other "leaders" say little or nothing as fascists openly conspire to take over. Rather than confront the repeated provocations by their Nazi-adjacent colleagues over the past year, those timid figures are instead allowing the authoritarian cancer to grow out of control. Both McCarthy and McConnell know what's happening in the GOP, but their weak character will likely prevent them from acting with any resolve until it is far too late, if ever.

Instead, the scandalous connections continue to metastasize between far-right Republican officials and a motley assortment of neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and fascist thugs.

In Pennsylvania, state Sen. Doug Mastriano, an election-denying insurrectionist and Christian nationalist, won the party's gubernatorial primary last spring. Mastriano, a state senator, then proceeded to bring a vocal and aggressive anti-Semite named Andrew Torba into his campaign, along with Torba's followers. Torba operates Gab, the tiny social media site that serves as a headquarters for unsavory rightists — notably including the maniac who murdered 11 people at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue just after posting a diatribe on the website.

To save face, Torba denounced that massacre and insisted he opposes violence. But he isn't shy about expressing his desire for a nation free of Jews, which he frames in furious terms. He promotes violently anti-Semitic material, and recently opined that Jews can no longer be accepted as conservatives.

In this appalling saga's latest development, Mastriano declared that he opposes anti-Semitism and that Torba "doesn't speak for me or my campaign." But a few weeks ago, Mastriano, who rarely speaks to mainstream outlets, sat down for an interview with Torba and gushed: "Thank God for what you've done."

Reacting to the erupting controversy, Torba denied being a Mastriano consultant and — in a revealing remark — explained that the Republican was merely buying advertising on Gab. "The campaign paid Gab as a business for advertising during the primary," he wrote. "The campaign posts on Gab, as do 50-plus other campaigns from around the country."

So more than 50 Republican candidates are buying ads to entice the troglodytic Nazi subscribers on Gab — and providing many thousands of dollars in revenue to its obnoxious proprietor.

The official Republican response to this filthy tableau has been feeble indeed. The Republican Jewish Coalition, such as it is, tweeted its pathetic "hope" that Mastriano would reject Gab. Of all Mastriano's GOP colleagues in the state legislature, exactly one has spoken up to condemn Torba and demand his "total rejection" by Mastriano, which isn't happening. The Republican Governors Association, the Republican National Committee, the GOP congressional leaders, and the entire party apparatus evidently see no cause for alarm.

Sadly, it would be foolish to expect anything better from the Republican Party, because its Dear Leader Donald Trump has created a permission structure for fascism and even anti-Semitism, despite the fact that his oldest daughter and a couple of his grandchildren are Jews. Trump's own anti-Semitic emissions long ago became notorious, along with his coddling of neo-Nazis.

Why? Principally because those scum constantly praise his bigotry and bullying, so he sees nothing wrong with them. It's always and only about him — and the Nazi sympathizers are his most faithful fans, dating back to Richard Spencer's "Heil Trump" salute during the 2016 Republican convention.

But the white nationalist disease within the GOP now extends far beyond Trump and will surely outlast him. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) talks about Jewish space lasers and repeats anti-Semitic slurs about George Soros, as do so many of her colleagues. She and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) both spoke before the neo-Nazi America First Political Action Committee, an outfit run by Holocaust denier Nicholas Fuentes. So did Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers, another raving Republican anti-Semite who called Fuentes "the most persecuted man in America."

The list of anti-Jewish and racist offenders in the GOP could take up many more pages, ad nauseam. There are less blatant but equally dangerous figures closer to the party's power centers, such as billionaire Peter Thiel, the would-be kingmaker who has courted a white nationalist leader and revealed his disdain for democracy — and is now financing U.S. Senate candidates in Arizona and Ohio.

The question remains whether decent Republicans, of whom there must still be many, intend to save their once-great party from slime and shame. So far, they've only demonstrated blindness and cowardice. And they seem fated to end like the Junkers, who waited until 1944 to act against Hitler — and ended up on the gallows.

They can't say nobody warned them.

Joe Conason is editor-in-chief of The National Memo and editor-at-large of Type Investigations. To find out more about him and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Greene Joins Extremists Pushing 'Transsexual' Lies About Uvalde Killer

Emboldened by her successive victories in court and the GOP primary in Georgia, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has joined the list of House Republicans deploying shockingly baseless conspiracy theory that the Uvalde gunman was transgender in a bid to deflect public attention elsewhere and stunt the growing calls for common-sense gun reforms.

On Sunday, Greene, a known far-right conspiracy theorist, started a Facebook Live — which she titled “Something doesn’t add up” — before 9:30 pm and quickly began pushing an utterly unfounded rumor, without evidence, that Texas school shooter Salvador Ramos “clearly had a lot of mental issues going on, as was shown with him wearing eyeliner, cross-dressing, a lot of his language, being a loner.”

Since the massacre, new details have continued to emerge about Ramos, but there’s been nothing to suggest that the gunman was transgender or had been crossdressing, as Greene had claimed, without evidence. According to the Independent, the rumor appeared to have originated on 4chan, a hotbed of right-wing conspiracies, where extremist netizens falsely blamed a transgender woman for the shooting. However, the woman whom the 4chan users accused did not live in Texas and did not bear any significant resemblance to Ramos.

Greene isn’t the only Republican spreading false rumors about the deceased 18-year-old suspect’s identity. MAGA fanatic and anti-vaxxer Candace Owens and Republican Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Pete Sessions (R-TX) have disseminated variants of the same rumor on social media and in interviews.

However, Greene went further down the conspiratorial rabbit hole than the others did, as is her style. She claimed — without evidence, of course — that Ramos had been in the same Discord server as Payton Gendron, the teen charged in connection with the recent massacre at a supermarket in Buffalo, a majo black neighborhood.

Eventually Greene issued a disclaimer on her live stream, stating that she had been unable to verify the information she was peddling on air.

The Georgian congresswoman didn’t stop there, though. She pushed the misinformation still further, claiming that an unidentified party was “grooming” young men into mass shooters, inching towards a conspiracy that QAnon is founded on — that former President Trump, a hero, is facing down a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles in government. The conspiracy theory is a staple used by conservatives to slander the LGBTQ community, as well.

Just hours after the shooting, in response to a tweet that claimed Ramos supported right-wing House members, Gosar wrote, and later deleted, a tweet claiming the shooter was a “transsexual” illegal immigrant.

"We know already fool. It's a transsexual leftist illegal alien named Salvatore Ramos. It's apparently your kind of trash," Gosar tweeted.

The Arizonian would later delete his tweet, but it’s not his first social media attack on Democrats or left-leaning Americans. "The Democratic party is the party of hatred. They hate America, they hate people who love America, and they hate the religion and the descendants of the people who built America," Gosar tweeted on Monday.

Another Arizona Republican, Josh Barnette, who is challenging incumbent Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) for his House seat, publicly questioned whether or not Ramos was in the United States legally, but Texas Governor Greg Abbott stated that the gunman was a citizen of the United States.

'Sedition Caucus' Decries Treatment Of Jailed Capitol Riot Suspects

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and three other “Sedition Caucus” Republicans held a press conference Tuesday allegedly to decry the conditions at the D.C. jail, which is housing accused suspects awaiting trial for actions during the January 6 Capitol riot. But Greene and her three co-members used the event primarily to further false far-right claims about the insurrection, while wrongly claiming they are being “persecuted” by the government – a talking point Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly used.

“We have a January 6 committee that Nancy Pelosi is leading,” Greene said, falsely. U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) is the chairman. “That is nothing but a political witch hunt on Republicans and Trump supporters all across America, and anyone that was at the Capitol on January 6.”

More than 600 people from more than 40 states have been charged. Only about 75 are currently in jail, and the charges are often far from casual misdemeanor ones. USA Today maintains a massive, daily-updated listing that currently contains information on 672 people.

Here are the charges for a recently-arrested suspect chosen at random:

“What’s happening to these people being held in custody is wrong,” Greene continued. “It’s unconstitutional. It’s a violation of their rights. And it is an abuse that I call on every single member of Congress to start paying attention to. We need investigations. It’s outrageous. The American people are purely upset, disgusted and cannot believe this is happening in our country.”

Greene claimed the defendants are “beaten” by guards and called “white supremacists,” although she did not say by whom. Some of the defendants infamously carried the flag of the treasonous Confederacy into the U.S. Capitol.

She also claimed those in the D.C. jail “are told they have to denounce President Trump” and “are told that their views are the views of cult members.” Many QAnon cult members were at the Capitol during the attack.

Greene said they are being treated “worse than we treat terrorists.”

But Greene also used the event to attack the Black Lives Matter movement and to suggest that those who engaged in the BLM protests over the summer of 2020 should have been jailed, ignoring that state and local police forces have prosecuted the few violent protestors – some of whom have been documented as far right wing instigators. Multiple reports found of the several hundred arrested, most were not “far left extremists,” despite what the right claimed at the time.

Greene concluded by blaming “Congress,” not the defendants, for their actions and current circumstances.

“Congress only cares about itself,” the GOP extremist told reporters. “It clearly demonstrates to the American people, it does not care about your business that got burned down. It doesn’t care about the job you lost. Congress doesn’t care about your city or community that was devastated by violence. They don’t care about you taxpayers that have to pay to fix and mend and and they don’t care about the person that assaulted you looted your store or hurt you in this violence. They don’t care about any of that,” she claimed.

Greene has voted against every measure that would assist the American people.

“They only care about themselves, and they’re willing to use the Department of Justice, the FBI, the prisons, the jails, the guards and any means possible to make sure that you never mess with them again,” she claimed, again falsely.

Watch this short excerpt:


'Bizarre' Competition Among Politicians Offering Internships To Rittenhouse

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Teenage vigilante Kyle Rittenhouse, recently acquitted on homicide and attempted homicide charges, is being exalted as a hero by far-right MAGA Republicans —some of whom are offering him internships. Steve Benen, a producer for The Rachel Maddow Show who frequently writes for Maddow's MaddowBlog on MSNBC's website, weighs in on these internship offers in an op-ed published on November 24 and describes some ways in which they are becoming "increasingly bizarre."

Rittenhouse, now 18, was only 17 when he went to a racial justice demonstration in August 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin carrying an AR-15-style weapon -- and shot three Black Lives Matters supporters, two of them fatally. Rittenhouse, during his trial, insisted that he acted in self-defense, and the jury voted "not guilty" on the charges he was facing.

Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina and Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida are among the far-right MAGA Republicans who have offered Rittenhouse internships.

"As Kyle Rittenhouse's trial unfolded," Benen observes, "a variety of Republican officials and candidates saw a political opportunity to exploit. The defendant, charged in the fatal shooting of two men during protests in Wisconsin last year, took on totemic value for the far-right. With this in mind, in the wake of Rittenhouse's acquittal late last week, many Republicans quickly embraced and celebrated the verdict as a victory in some kind of culture war. This, in and of itself, said a great deal about the state of the GOP and its unhealthy approach to our civic life."

Benen continues, "But then it got a little weird. Some congressional Republicans not only saw Rittenhouse's acquittal as validation of a conservative worldview — they wanted to be personally and directly associated with the defendant."

After Gaetz offered Rittenhouse an internship, far-right Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona — who recently drew widespread condemnation for posting an animated video that depicted him murdering Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — tweeted, "I will arm wrestle @mattgaetz to get dibs for Kyle as an intern."

Benen says of Gosar, "It's possible the Arizonan was kidding. It's also possible he wasn't. The fact that it's become difficult to tell the difference is itself disconcerting."

Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado is also offering Rittenhouse an intership. Appearing on Newsmax TV, Boebert told Sebastian Gorka (a former Donald Trump aide turned cable news host), "Now, I do have some colleagues on the Hill who have, just like me, offered Kyle Rittenhouse an internship in their office. And Madison Cawthorn, he said that he would arm wrestle me for this Kyle Rittenhouse internship. But Madison Cawthorn has some pretty big guns, and so, I would like to challenge him to a sprint instead…. Let's make this fair."

Benen notes that because Cawthorn is in a wheelchair, "competing in a sprint isn't much of an option."

"Given his attorney's recent comments, it seems unlikely that Rittenhouse will intern for any of these GOP officials," Benen writes. "But that doesn't change the fact that it's unsettling to see them compete for his affection in increasingly bizarre ways."


Phony Populism Is Leading America Toward Real Violence (Again)

Every time I hear somebody say that America's contemporary political climate is uniquely violent, I wonder: "Where were you during the Nixon years?" Too young to remember the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy? The Chicago police riot at the 1968 Democratic Convention? The killings at Kent State? A "Weatherman" bomb factory detonating in Greenwich Village? Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army? The 1992 Los Angeles riots…

The list could go on indefinitely. Politics in America has been a blood sport basically all my life. I've gotten regular death threats for as long as I've written this column, starting during the Clinton administration. One guy used to phone late Friday nights from a pay phone outside a liquor store, threatening to murder me and rape my wife.

Detailed, graphic threats at that.

After the phone company traced the calls, the police assured me that anonymous callers are cowards who get a thrill out of talking dirty. He would never show up. As, indeed, he never did. I always wondered what he was doing with his other hand.

Cell phones have pretty much put an end to such calls. They can't find your number. It might surprise you, however, to learn how many guys are dumb enough to commit the crime of terroristic threatening in an email. These days, as soon as they start, I simply block them. But I also keep a file. The only interesting thing is the psychological projection: who they think they're talking to, and who they pretend to be.

Hairy-chested he-men, mostly. Guys who, in the immortal words of Fifties wrestling icon Dr. Jerry Graham, "men fear and women adore." (Donald Trump stole his whole act from the grappler billed as "The Arizona Assassin, but that's another story.) In my experience, real tough guys don't go around boasting about it. Only professional wrestlers and Republican politicians.

OK, that was a cheap shot. But consider Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) the congressman who tweeted a cartoon video of himself killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and attacking President Biden with a sword. Rather like my guy outside the liquor store, I'd say.

See, the thing that drives these boys crazy about AOC isn't simply her Bernie-crat politics, but her quick-witted New York bartender's demeanor: She's the kind of beautiful woman skilled at fending off jerks who make clumsy passes.

Politically speaking, I've got my own issues with AOC and "The Squad." Democrats who label themselves "Socialist" are doing the right-wingers' work for them. In much of the country, the label's simply toxic, and no amount of clever apologetics can make it less so.

But I digress. Sentenced to double-secret probation by House Democrats, Rep. Gosar was championed by virtually the entire GOP delegation in a scene right out of Animal House. Evidently it's perfectly alright to fantasize publicly about murdering a colleague and assaulting the president if you were just kidding.

And also, like, a total dork.

Then there's Sen Josh Hawley of Missouri, another virile Republican specimen last seen raising his fist in solidarity with Trump's January 6 insurrectionists. Hawley gave a recent speech at the National Conservatism Conference calling for "revival of strong and healthy manhood in America." Judging by media accounts, it sounded like a declaration of war against Ivy League gender studies departments, who Hawley thinks are responsible for young men wasting their precious bodily fluids playing video games and watching porn.

Literally, that's what he said.

"Hmmmm," observed the Washington Post's conservative columnist Kathleen Parker. "Why is it that the guys who look as though they've never so much as pushed a lawn mower are always the ones who want to saddle up and save the womenfolk?"

Cruel, unfair, and precisely on target.

My response to Hawley is as follows: Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to watch this week's Michigan-Ohio State football game. Do you still think effeminate girly-men are taking over the USA? Closer to home, the Missouri-Arkansas game would do.

Everywhere you look, privileged characters with fancy private school degrees are venting populist rage. Stirring up the mob. Not only Sen. Hawley (Stanford and Yale), but establishment figures like Sen. Ted Cruz (Princeton, Harvard), J. D. Vance (Yale Law) fill the air with violent invective.

To longtime conservative author David Brooks, they're "wrong to think there is a unified thing called 'the left' that hates America. This is just the apocalyptic menace many of them had to invent in order to justify their decision to vote for Donald Trump."

But the mob is definitely listening. At a right-wing rally in Idaho recently, a young man asked publicly when it would be OK to shoot Democrats. "How many elections are they going to steal before we kill these people?"

The crowd applauded. Lies and crackpot rhetoric have consequences.

So when will the shooting start?

This is America. Stick around.

Not 'Both Sides': GOP Violence Is America's Biggest Political Story

Reprinted with permission from PressRun

First, some good news.

The New York Times recently ran an important piece about the rising specter of violence within mainstream Republican Party circles. The article was noteworthy not only because it spotlighted the frightening instances of violent rhetoric and actions the conservative movement is eagerly unleashing in America, but because the Times used clear and concise language to tell the story.

Temporarily shedding the lazy Both Sides blanket that so many newsrooms use when forced to acknowledge how reckless today's GOP has become, the Times piece didn't waste time trying to camouflage the trend. "From congressional offices to community meeting rooms, threats of violence are becoming commonplace among a significant segment of the Republican Party," the daily reported unequivocally. "The most animated Republican voters increasingly see themselves as participants in a struggle, if not a kind of holy war, to preserve their idea of American culture and their place in society."

That's the good news — some mainstream media outlets are using succinct language while addressing the most important political story in America today. Honestly, it's one of the most crucial unfolding stories in the country's history as the Trump-led GOP fuels an unprecedented, multi-pronged assault on U.S. democracy and gleefully flashes the threat of overt violence in the process.

That's the bad news, and it's spreading. "I have a hard time seeing how we have a peaceful 2024 election after everything that's happened now," Lee Drutman, a senior fellow at New America told the Times.

Political hostility is not new to America. The country was rocked by violence clashes, for instance, during the late 1960s and early 1970s, as the anti-war movement fractured off into more militant factions. But never did leaders of the Democratic Party or members of Congress overtly endorse political violence the way today's Republican Party does, as it continues to actively whitewash the deadly January insurrection, which is now glorified by Fox News.Democrats never used their considerable political muscle to try to demolish free and fair elections in America. That's not true for today's Republican Party, as it actively mainstreams the looming menace of hostility by fanning the flames of civil unrest, including last week celebrating an underage vigilante killer, Kyle Rittenhouse.

After he was acquitted on murder charges, at least three House Republicans said they wanted the gunman to be their intern, including Rep. Madison Cawthorn who urged his followers to "be armed and dangerous," while posting a message celebrating Rittenhouse's acquittal.

"Hard to describe how chilling it is to see members of the GOP and open white supremacists come together to celebrate a vigilante killing two people and getting away with it," Cassie Miller, an extremism researcher at the Southern Poverty Law Center, tweeted.

The flashpoints of Republicans and conservatives promoting political violence have become ceaseless, to the point of frightening normalization. After Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) tweeted an anime video altered to show him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and swinging two swords at President Joe Biden, virtually the entire Republican Party rallied to Gosar's side when he faced a formal House rebuke for his violent, dehumanizing outburst.

Despite the GOP's nearly universal support, Politico insisted the episode highlighted the "fringe" side of the party, while the Beltway media outlet Punch Bowl reduced the threatening, unnerving Gosar chapter to Democrats and Republicans just not trusting each other.

The violent virus is spreading to the grassroots level. Polls suggest that as many as 21 million Americans think that the use of force is justified to restore Donald Trump to the presidency. In Kansas, anti-vaxxers showed up to municipal meetings wearing yellow stars, suggesting they had equal footing with Jewish victims of the Holocaust. White nationalist members of The Proud Boys are showing up at local school board meetings, to lend a menacing air to the proceedings.

At a conservative rally in western Idaho last month, a young man asked local leaders when he could start killing Democrats. "When do we get to use the guns?" he said as the audience applauded. When Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) voted in favor of the recent infrastructure bill to help rebuild roads across the country she was inundated with death threats. One man told her, "I pray to God that if you've got any children, they die in your face."

The welcome Times piece last week on GOP violence stood in contrast to a wave of vague, worthless reporting we've seen this year about how "Americans" are angry, without pinpointing the obvious source of the unbridled, incoherent wrath.

"Americans are angry about ... everything. Is that bad?" read a recent Christian Science Monitor headline. The piece equated right-wing, anti-mask parents storming local school board meetings and issuing death threats with social justice activists taking to the streets to protest police brutality. Those two things aren't remotely similar.

CNN's Chris Cillizza recently bemoaned how "we're all just so damn angry," but could only find examples of far-right bullies lashing out in public.

Sanctioned, Republican political violence will be the most unnerving story the D.C. press faces in coming years.