The Washington Post has put on hip waders and gone on some far-right websites, reporting back that they are encouraging each other to bring guns to DC, discussing how to dodge DC gun laws, and generally plotting sedition.
Far-right online forums are seething with references to potential violence and urging supporters of President Trump to bring guns to Wednesday’s protests in Washington — in violation of local laws — as Congress meets to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.Many of the posts appear to be direct responses to Trump’s demands that his supporters pack the nation’s capital in support of his bogus claims that November’s national vote for Biden resulted from election fraud. Congress’s largely ceremonial role in confirming Biden’s victory has emerged as a catalyst for expected unrest that has D.C. police and the National Guard deploying on city streets to quell potential trouble.
There are open calls for violence:
More than half of the top 50 posts on thedonald.win’s homepage Monday related to Wednesday’s certification featured calls of violence within the top five comments, according to research by Advance Democracy, a group headed by former FBI analyst and Senate investigator Daniel J. Jones, who lead the review of the CIA’s torture program.
And of course the chief executive is faithfully executing the laws — not.
Researchers expressed concern that the roiling political atmosphere is being fueled by Trump’s unfounded claims about the integrity of the election that have swirled on far-right online forums for two months.
When DC Mayor Bowser activated the National Guard, she said they would not be carrying guns, but would be assisting police with crowd control. There are very good reasons for that, the main one being that the military should not be armed against civilians. But I certainly hope they are wearing body armor!
On one level, this is all a useless exercise. Trump has convinced himself that the Congress can overturn his loss in the electoral college and make him the winner. He may even think Pence can do it unilaterally. And he’s calling on his followers to make sure it happens:
Trump’s tweet last month pushing baseless fraud claims and promoting the “big protest” on Jan. 6 — “Be there, will be wild!” — has become a central rallying cry. It was the top post on thedonald.win Tuesday morning, and anonymous commenters saw it as a call to action: “We’ve got marching orders,” the top reply said.
Congress cannot change the outcome, and enough Republicans know it that they won’t even try. None of this will change the certification of Biden’s win tomorrow. But the damage it is doing to our democracy is already irreparable.