I really shouldn’t have been surprised by this article in The Washington Post. After all, we’ve all encountered the sorts of people who have continued to support Donald Trump, and –to put it as kindly as possible–maturity, mental health and measured analysis are not among their most obvious characteristics.
The far-right firebrands and conspiracy theorists of the pro-Trump Internet have a new enemy: each other.
QAnon devotees are livid at their former hero Michael Flynn for accurately calling their jumbled credo “total nonsense.” Donald Trump superfans have voiced a sense of betrayal because the former president, booed for getting a coronavirus immunization booster, has become a “vaccine salesman.” And attorney Lin Wood seems mad at pretty much everyone, including former allies on the scattered “elite strike-force team” investigating nonexistent mass voter fraud.
After months of failing to disprove the reality of Trump’s 2020 presidential election loss, some of the Internet’s most popular right-wing provocateurs are grappling with the pressures of restless audiences, saturated markets, ongoing investigations and millions of dollars in legal bills.
The article characterizes the current state of affairs as a “chaotic melodrama,” and notes that it is being conducted–childishly, as you might suspect–through “secretly recorded phone calls, personal attacks in podcasts, and a seemingly endless stream of posts on Twitter, Gab and Telegram calling their rivals Satanists, communists, pedophiles or “pay-triots” — money-grubbing grifters exploiting the cause.”
I’m sure “snowflake” is in there somewhere too……
Our old catch-phrase–“follow the money”–is apt. The article notes that the infighting reflects the “diminishing financial rewards” for the individuals and groups peddling right-wing disinformation. They are fighting over a limited pool of viewer donations and subscriptions, over fees for appearances at rallies and conferences, and over sales of books and merchandise.
In addition, tensions have evidently been exacerbated by the sudden, mysterious silence of QAnon’s faceless wacko, Q. Without Q, who should they follow? It’s a puzzlement!
The cage match kicked off late in November when Kyle Rittenhouse, acquitted of all charges after fatally shooting two men at a protest last year in Kenosha, Wis., told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that his former attorneys, including Wood, had exploited his jail time to boost their fundraising “for their own benefit, not trying to set me free.”
Wood has since snapped back at his 18-year-old former client, wondering aloud in recent messages on the chat service Telegram: “Could his life be “literally under the supervision and control of a ‘director?’ Whoever ‘Kyle’ is, pray for him.”
The article reports on the insults each faction is lobbing at the others: betraying the pro-Trump cause, or–much more serious–misusing the millions of dollars in funds that have gone to Pro-Trump groups.
Wood has posted recordings of his phone calls with Byrne, who can be heard saying that Wood is “a little kooky,” and Flynn, a QAnon icon who can be heard telling Wood that QAnon’s mix of extremist conspiracy theories was actually bogus “nonsense” or a “CIA operation.”
Best of all–at least from my perspective– the various groups are looking at massive financial liability.
Beyond the infighting, both sides are also staring down the potential for major financial damage in court. A federal judge last month ordered Wood and Powell to pay roughly $175,000 in legal fees for their “historic and profound abuse of the judicial process” in suing to overturn the 2020 presidential election. And Powell and others face potentially billions of dollars in damages as a result of defamation lawsuits filed by Dominion Voting Systems, which they falsely accused of helping to rig the 2020 race.
If you want to help them cover their legal bills and likely losses, you can buy a four-pack set of “Release the Kraken: Defending the Republic” from Powell’s website, which also offers drink tumblers at $80. Or you can visit Flynn’s newly launched website and buy #FightLikeAFlynn” women’s racerback tank tops–a “steal” (but not the “Big” one) at only $30. Wood’s online store is selling $64.99 “#FightBack” unisex hoodies.
Evidently, the merchandising theory is that the “base” likes to wear items that advertise its politics. (Well, there are those red MAGA hats…)
A researcher of conspiracy theories is quoted as saying the arguments “increasingly resemble the performative clashes of pro wrestling.” (He also points out that there is a limited number of people susceptible to being fleeced.)
There’s a lot more in the linked story, and it is all pretty much what you’d expect when people who are different kinds of crazy go after each other. As a friend told me back in 2016, she was counting on the Trumpers’ sheer incompetence to save us…
What’s that definition of schadenfreude– Pleasure derived from another person’s misfortune.
I plead so guilty.
13 thoughts on “Disorder In The Court(iers)”
The lunatic fringe continues to be rewarded for their insanity by a media still thirsting for the B.S. they spew. Good news doesn’t sell, you see. If only these jackasses in QAnon and all the other shit-for-brains sects of crazy would be ignored by the press, TV talking heads and social media, they’d be gone in a month.
Merchandise that screams out that the wearer is crazy as a loon? Perfect for them. Since these pathetic wretches have no lives, that’s their only recourse to attention getting. Imagine what their parenting was like.
This is good news since they’ll be easier to identify.
While it is very satisfying to know that those BS peddlers are facing expensive legal battles, the polls released yesterday show far too high a percentage of republicans believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
I am angry with the members of congress that chose their own self-preservation over their duty to the country by going along with 45’s lie. Does our legal system provide a way to sue those lying members of congress and hold them accountable for their attack on our Constitution and democracy? I believe they are despicable traitors and should face jail time, massive fines and be barred from holding any type of government office in the future.
“Dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.”
A basic truth of Trump’s caravan of believers of his “big lie”; no matter who, how loud or how often we give them the numbers and the fact that every one of their recounts and audits failed to change the outcome, they continue to follow their naked emperor and keep those donations coming.
“Evidently, the merchandising theory is that the “base” likes to wear items that advertise its politics. (Well, there are those red MAGA hats…)”
I am an avid bumper sticker and tee shirt reader but until 2008, did not participate till I supported Barack Obama. During the current violent times; I am afraid to display either, maybe that is why those MAGA hats still proliferate, they are the source of the violence and need to identify one another for protection.
OK, I just have to put this out here. President Joe Biden gave a great speech yesterday! A speech full of truth and real patriotism. A speech for the history books. Today I am proud to be an American.
I have worked over my career with some excellent managers at all levels of organizations and the best are a wonder to watch work their magic. They befriend everyone and lead in such a transparent way that following becomes an honor. They reveal the potential in everyone.
Those with less of that talent need authority to get things done.
ive always womdered about how people can control others by just yelling over a fence line. the subject is alive, lets pull his chain now and see what happens.mmmm interesting,how about we tell him how to think, study subject,can we make money on ignorance,and laugh at them too?
study disrupted by lack of donated money..subjects ran off with the others.. call flynn,tell him we need a new site to further ignorance into money..
i drive a truck, making a bumper sticker is fun, i poke at tailgaters behind my semi,guarenteed for a busted windshield.. but i went all out here in trumpdakota,, i have Bernie and Biden for pres, on my jacked up 4X4 tonner ford, and best,my lic plate,,,, ALTLEFT …. being everyones armed here, im a felon without a weapon. hense my blue target on my back.. somehow with todays blog subject, somehow i feel that many here think, altleft means i like stockcar racing.. ignorance prevails!
alomg with Jimmy Carter,and Merick Garland,, i see backbone now,carry on…
Jack, I think you’re misreading Merrick Garland. You’d need an x-ray machine to find Garland’s backbone. They could find a book titled “The Criminal Conspiracy to Steal the 2020 Election,” outlining the whole scheme with players and details, and I believe Garland would still let them off the hook. I predict that by the end of 2022, Merrick Garland will be, among Democrats, the most loathed member of the Biden administration., and Trump will be praising him.
Incompetence, insanity, idiocy, greed. When I see people wearing idiotic shirts, or hats, or flying dumbness’s flag, I think to myself “And these fools spent money, gave money to Trump, for this?”
Is Flynn trying to clean up his act before his next subpoena? Before his recall to duty and Courts Martial?
I disagree, Paul. The prosecutor who prosecuted the Oklahoma City bombing and was Chief Judge of the most important appellate court in the country (D.C., where government and anti-government appeals frequently end since the SCOTUS won’t hear anything further in deferring to the expertise of this court in such area) and a one-time candidate for the Supreme Court before Mitch’s intervention – is no wuss. He has a soft tone to his speech but underneath that is a man of resolve and a staunch defender of democracy.
I think he will be a hero by year’s end and that his carefully led prosecutions of many of these 1/6 criminals and others will result not only in convictions at the trial level but will withstand their inevitable appeals as well. Why do I think he will do so well? He was clear in his speech that he respects facts, without which I think he will exercise his prosecutorial discretion in not indicting those where facts are lacking, thus leaving those where facts are not lacking to be not only losers at trial but (given his experience as an appellate judge) losers on appeal as well, meaning that they may well do time pursuant to court or jury finding.
Sometimes steely resolve can be confused with soft demeanor leading to erroneous conclusions, and I think this is one such occasion.
Gerald: let’s meet again at year’s end to assess the accuracy of your prediction.
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