On Friday morning the GOP establishment once again exposed its cowardice by supporting a House resolution to condemn “QAnon and the conspiracy theories it promotes.”
The House overwhelmingly approved a resolution condemning QAnon, the fringe movement that promotes wide-ranging conspiracies about the U.S. government and yet has enjoyed a rising tide inside conservative politics in part because of tacit encouragement from President Trump.
The measure passed 371-18, with one GOP member voting present. [NPR]
We know that 140 GOP representatives voted in favor of this politically charged resolution, which amounts to 70 percent of the entire GOP caucus. With this vote, more GOP representatives have condemned an overwhelmingly peaceful pro-Trump conservative movement than have condemned Black Lives Matter and Antifa.
Before getting into the substance of the house resolution, let’s familiarize ourselves with its Republican sponsors in the House.
One of the sponsors is GOP Virginia representative Denver Riggleman, whom prominent Never-Trumper Bill Kristol has said “privately disdains Trump.” Riggleman lost his primary race to incoming congressman Bob Goode, largely due to Riggleman’s support for the neoconservatives’ endless wars as well as his promotion of job killing immigration policies.
The other GOP sponsor is Adam Kitzinger. In 2016 Kitzinger sanctimoniously pledged that he would not vote for Trump. Although he is now a bit more quiet about his views on the President and his supporters, he was on television regularly defending the Russia investigation. He has also frequently and loudly promoted the establishment neoconservative foreign policy Trump successfully ran against.
Though Revolver does not endorse the non-falsifiable theories of QAnon, it is difficult to interpret the purpose and language of the resolution as anything other than a cynical political ploy to undermine the broader energies associated with Trump and his supporters.
The House resolution itself begins with an attempt to associate the “QAnon” movement with anti-Semitism:
Condemning QAnon and rejecting the conspiracy theories it promotes.
Whereas, throughout history, conspiracy theories that falsely blame secret cabals or marginalized groups for society’s ills have fueled prejudice, genocide, and acts of terrorism;
Whereas QAnon is a movement promoting a collection of unfounded conspiracy theories that have spread widely on the internet since 2017;
Whereas QAnon initially alleged that prominent Americans are engaged in a secret plot to control the world, while using their power to exploit children, and has expanded to embrace virtually every popular conspiracy theory of the last several decades, from questioning the truth about the September 11th terrorist attacks, to believing in alien landings, to denying the safety of vaccines;
Whereas many QAnon followers express anti-Semitic views, and the Anti-Defamation League has said that the movement’s central conspiracy theory includes anti-Semitic elements;
Whereas conspiracy theories have been a central driver of anti-Semitism for centuries, and QAnon conspiracy theories are fanning the flames as anti-Semitism is on the rise in the United States and around the world;
To Revolver’s knowledge, there is nothing “anti-Semitic” about the QAnon movement. Because the resolution cites the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to support this view, it might be useful to recall that the notoriously anti-American ADL has also characterized the “OK” hand gesture as a hate symbol.
The resolution then continues to selectively quote the FBI to try to associate QAnon with violence:
Whereas the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has assessed with high confidence that “fringe political conspiracy theories”, including QAnon, “very likely motivate some domestic extremists, wholly or in part, to engage in criminal or violent activity”, and that these conspiracy theories “very likely encourage the targeting of specific people, places and organizations, thereby increasing the likelihood of violence against these targets”;
Whereas the FBI bases this assessment on “events in which individuals committed crimes, plotted attacks, or successfully carried out deadly violence, and who—either before or after their arrests—attributed their actions to their conspiratorial beliefs”;
Whereas QAnon adherents have been implicated in crimes that they claim their QAnon beliefs inspired, including—
(1) a man arrested in 2018 for plotting to plant a bomb in the Illinois Capitol rotunda to make Americans aware of the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory;
(2) a man arrested in 2018 for using an armored car to block traffic on the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge;
(3) a man in Arizona arrested in 2019 for vandalizing a Catholic church;
(4) a woman in Colorado arrested in 2019 for plotting an armed raid to kidnap her child, who had been taken from her custody;
(5) a man charged with the murder of an organized crime boss in New York in 2019; and
(6) a woman arrested in New York with a car full of knives after posting a video accusing Joe Biden of participating in child sex trafficking and threatening to kill him;
Whereas the FBI further assesses that “these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread and evolve in the modern information marketplace . . . fostering anti-government sentiment, racial and religious prejudice, [and] increasing political tensions”;
Whereas, according to the Combating Terrorism Center at the United States Military Academy at West Point, “QAnon is arguably no longer simply a fringe conspiracy theory but an ideology that has demonstrated its capacity to radicalize to violence individuals at an alarming speed”;
It is remarkable just how much gymnastics the FBI has to do with language in order to associate QAnon with violence and extremism. Given the FBI’s largely adversarial role toward President Trump and their curious unwillingness to lift a finger against Antifa and BLM, one might be forgiven for thinking there could be a political motivation to FBI’s attacks on QAnon and other movements favorable to the President.
Next, the resolution cites the notoriously anti-Trump Big Tech conglomerates, whose latest effort to rig the election against Trump consists of censoring millions of Trump supporters under the pretext of going after QAnon.
Whereas Facebook, Twitter, and Google have removed or blocked QAnon groups and content from their platforms for violating their policies against misinformation, bullying, hate speech, and harassment;
Lastly, the resolution subtly blames QAnon, albeit among others, for the violent acts committed at Antifa and BLM riots.
Whereas our Nation’s polarization is further accentuated by others, from the far left to the far right, promoting extreme ideologies and antigovernment conspiracy theories, hijacking legitimate peaceful protests, and encouraging followers to damage, deface, or vandalize local, State, and Federal Government properties and to attack law enforcement:
Note there is no corresponding resolution condemning the violence of BLM or Antifa.
What exactly did the GOP members who have lent their support to this politically motivated resolution get out of it? A pat on the back? It would be one thing if they demanded a tit-for-tat — condemn QAnon and get the Democrats to condemn Black Lives Matter or Antifa in exchange. But far from getting a tit-for-tat, the Republicans themselves have largely refused to condemn BLM or Antifa.
This resolution removes any doubt that the GOP is utterly corrupt, stupid, weak, and incompetent. In order to defeat the left and the corrupt ruling class that enables them, the GOP must be forced to learn how to win — how to play for keeps, rather than for sinecures, lobbying contracts, and Fox News hits.
In 2016 President Trump practically had to drag a feckless and hostile GOP to victory, kicking and screaming. The next crop of young, talented patriots must continue the work the President started, purge the GOP of its weak elements, and transform it into a fearless juggernaut capable of the strong, competent, and effective leadership the American people need and deserve.
Story cited here.