Wednesday, January 13, 2021


According to a Quinnipiac poll released Monday, approval of the job Donald Trump is doing has dropped to 71% among Republicans, down from 89% in Quinnipiac's previous national poll, taken in December. But in the House of Representatives, Trump's support among Republicans appears much more solid: Of the 207 GOP members who voted on impeachment today, 197 voted no. Trump retained the backing of 95% of House Republicans.

Of course, there might be explanations for the high loyalty rate apart from admiration.

That echoes what Michigan Republican Peter Meijer -- who voted to impeach -- told Reason's Matt Welch about an earlier vote:
... I had colleagues who, when it came time to recognize reality and vote to certify Arizona and Pennsylvania in the Electoral College, they knew in their heart of hearts that they should've voted to certify, but some had legitimate concerns about the safety of their families. They felt that that vote would put their families in danger.
Now, here's the header for a thread about the impeachment vote at the message board

In case you don't know the meaning of "FREE CHOPPER RIDES," here's an explainer:
The offer of “free helicopter rides” is a reference to the practice of killing people by dropping them from helicopters, made most famous by Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in the 1970s. Sometimes Pinochet’s “death flights” were conducted over the ocean, but they were also done over rivers and sometimes the land. Hundreds of political dissidents are still unaccounted for from the Pinochet era, but a conservative government estimate from 2001 puts the number of people killed in Chile by being thrown from helicopters at 120.

Despite its disgusting connotations, “free helicopter rides” has become quite a meme online for people who support President Trump and his neo-fascist policies. There are entire Facebook pages devoted to Pinochet’s Free Helicopter Rides, and even websites that sell t-shirts and other gear with the phrase.
I haven't found any explicit threats in the body of the thread -- mostly it's full of despair because the commenters believe the Deep State will never allow them another electoral victory. But maybe that's because explicit threats are discouraged on this board. NBC reports that hardcore insurrection plotters seem to be prefer their conversations encrypted:
Right-wing extremists are using channels on the encrypted communication app Telegram to call for violence against government officials on Jan. 20, the day President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated, with some extremists sharing knowledge of how to make, conceal and use homemade guns and bombs.

The messages are being posted in Telegram chatrooms where white supremacist content has been freely shared for months, but chatter on the channels has increased since extremists have been forced off other platforms in the wake of the siege of the U.S. Capitol last week by pro-Trump rioters.
If you believe your side will never win another election -- as many (most?) Trump supporters do -- what options are you likely to think you have? You might start to believe that terrorism is your only recourse.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's response to news of death threats against Republican members of Congress is: Welcome to my world.

Daniel Drezner writes:
What is the GOP to do? In some ways we are seeing an emergent strategy. A significant fraction of Trump supporters are comfortable transforming the GOP into an American Hezbollah — a political party that also has an armed wing to coerce other political actors through violence....

The majority within the GOP has a choice to make: They can discipline their own insurrectionists, or they can go the way of Hezbollah and become a violent nonstate actor.
Or a violent state actor, one that controls some local and state governments on a permanent basis, and sometimes controls parts or all of the federal government, while intimidating enemies -- and occasionally members. Is that like Hezbollah? It also sounds a bit like organized crime.

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