Tuesday, July 07, 2020


Wait, what?

I knew that Laura Loomer was running for Congress in Florida -- in the district that includes Mar-a-Lago -- but is she really the frontrunner in the Republican primary? Not that that would surprise me -- at a time when QAnon loonies are possibly on the verge of becoming Republican members of Congress, why not Loomer?

I don't see any actual evidence that's she the frontrunner, just an assertion that she is.
“Facebook has reportedly banned all ads on behalf of Laura Loomer, the frontrunner in the GOP primary race for House candidate in Florida’s 21st district” Breitbart reported on July 3. The article noted how her personal accounts have been banned from Facebook and Instagram, her political campaign has been restricted from creating an account or even buying advertisements.

“I’m the only federal candidate in the nation banned from advertising on Facebook,” Loomer observed. She added adding that “My competitor, Lois Frankel is running ads on Facebook to reach voters, and my campaign is shut out.” She then declared that Facebook’s moderation here is a case of “illegal election interference.”
But she might be. The Never Trumpers at The Bulwark noted a few months ago that Loomer's campaign seems to be doing quite well:
... Loomer has received what can only be described as a warm embrace from Trump’s Republican party apparatus.

President Trump has tweeted supportively of her race, his presidential campaign is renting out her email list, and Trump’s 2016 Florida Director Karen Giorno is managing her campaign. Republican Rep. Jim Jordan appears to have rented out her list, too. And Loomer claims endorsements from high-profile personalities and friends of Trump including Roger Stone, Jeanine Pirro, ... and Michelle Malkin.

Last month, Florida Republican party chairman and Senate Majority Leader Joe Gruters held a press conference with her to promote legislation that he said was inspired by Loomer. The bill, “Stop Social Media Censorship Act'” would allow people such as Loomer to sue Twitter for damages if their speech is censored or deleted. It’s commonly known as “Loomer’s Law.” Charlie Spies, former counsel for the Republican National Committee, the Federal Election Commission, and Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign—as well as a stint as a Jeb Bush PAC treasurer—is representing Loomer in a lawsuit filed against Twitter and the Federal Elections Commission.

... At the end of the last reporting cycle, records show Loomer has raised more than $350,000 and had $115,000 cash on hand. Her closest competitor in the eight-way GOP primary had raised $44,000 and had only $6,400 on hand.
So maybe she is the frontrunner.

She's unlikely to win the general election -- the Democratic incumbent, Lois Frankel, ran unopposed in 2018 and won by nearly 28 points in 2016, a year when Hillary Clinton beat Trump in the district by nearly 20.

Nevertheless, it's another sign of the crazification of the GOP that a House primary could be won by someone who's been banned from Twitter, Medium, Uber, Lyft, Uber Eats, GoFundMe, Venmo, MGM Resorts, and PayPal -- not to mention CPAC. And for obvious reasons.
On November 1, 2017, following a terrorist attack in New York City, Loomer tweeted that she was late to a conference because she could not find a "non Muslim cab or @Uber @lyft driver". She called for the creation of a new ride-sharing company which did not employ Muslims after it became known that the suspect in the attack was a former driver for Uber. Her day-long "tweetstorm" blamed all Muslims for the activities of radical Islamists such as ISIS. Following this, both Uber and Lyft announced that she had violated their guidelines and was banned from using their services. She described herself on Twitter at the time as a “#ProudIslamophobe" and called for a complete and permanent ban on Muslims entering the United States.

... In November [2018], Twitter banned Loomer from its platform for violating its rules against hateful behavior. According to Loomer, she was banned for a tweet about the newly elected Congresswoman in which Loomer called Omar "anti-Jewish", and described her as a member of a religion in which "homosexuals are oppressed" and women are "abused" and "forced to wear the hijab." Loomer denied that the tweet was a violation....

In February 2019, Loomer traveled to Minnesota with Jacob Wohl, a far-right conspiracy theorist who has previously made high-profile false claims about public figures. Loomer and Wohl stated they were investigating a false and debunked conspiracy theory which held that Omar, U.S. Representative for Minnesota's 5th congressional district and a Somali-American, had married her brother so that he could obtain U.S. citizenship....

Right Wing Watch reported that donations solicited by Loomer were going to the address of The United West, an organization which the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as an anti-Muslim hate group.
YouTube hasn't banned this campaign ad, which is all grievance:

After Donald Trump, the Republican Party won't be the party of Bulwark writers or Lincoln Project ad-makers -- it'll be the party of QAnoners and Laura Loomers. They have the energy. They're the ones who are full of passionate intensity.

After Trump, Fox News and talk radio will continue to stir up rage. Frustrated Republican voters won't be looking for a Nikki Haley or an Ivanka Trump. They'll want red meat. Maybe they'll see Laura Loomer as a bit too much, but the GOP will be the party of rage monsters like her.

No comments: