If this week’s overwrought, unjustified hysteria about the imminent threat posed by white supremacist “terrorism” sounds eerily familiar, it should. Having suffered no consequences for promoting the fabricated Trump-Russia “collusion” conspiracy for nearly three years, the Democrats, news media, and NeverTrump Republicans—desperate to resuscitate their failed coup attempt—have replaced Putin puppets with hood-wearing, Tiki torch-wielding bogeymen.
And it’s being orchestrated by the very same people who brought you the collusion hoax.
Let’s back up to the end of July: Robert Mueller’s long-awaited testimony was a debacle; not only was he far from the fearless, straight-shooting prosecutor the press hyped him as in the weeks before his appearance, it was clear he hadn’t even read his own report. Even collusion truthers in the Trump-hating media acknowledged Mueller’s appearance buried any hope of impeachment.
Democratic presidential hopefuls were tripping all over themselves to see who could offer the best deal to incoming illegal immigrants, including free health care and decriminalization. Party elders such as Rahm Emanuel, who suddenly seems even-tempered and erudite compared to the current cast of Democratic characters, warned that his party’s failure to appeal to Middle America could doom their chances of recapturing the White House.
“When you’re looking into the camera at the coming debate, imagine you’re speaking to a voter in Grand Rapids or Green Bay who holds two core beliefs in her head: that the economy is OK—not bad—and that Trump’s presidency is worse than bad,” advised the former Chicago mayor on July 29. State and local Democratic Party officials worried that Trump was on track to again win battleground states such as Michigan in 2020.
With the collusion conspiracy dead and Democratic presidential hopefuls beclowning themselves on cable news debates, #TheResistance needed a miracle. Sadly—and sickeningly—it came in the form of a mass shooting at a Walmart in a Texas border town on a summer Saturday when a suspected white supremacist opened fire, killing 22 people, mostly Hispanics.
As still-unconfirmed reports suggested the shooter posted a manifesto filled with screeds about immigration, automation, and the environment, collusion propagandists wasted no time exploiting the horrific tragedy for craven political gain.
Less than 24 hours after the massacre, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who promised the American public for three years that evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign was in plain sight, tweeted that “White supremacist terrorism is a real and present danger,” and blamed the president’s “dehumanizing” language about immigrants for giving the shooter a motive.
Former FBI Director James Comey, under a few separate investigations at the Justice Department for his role in orchestrating the collusion hoax, fired off a rambling opinion piece that was published the next day in the New York Times. Comey’s legendary hubris and rhetorical sleight-of-hand were on full display. (Comey said the manifesto was “widely attributed” to the gunman, quite the hedge from the nation’s former top G-man.)
“Every American president, knowing what lies deep within our country, bears a unique responsibility to say loudly and consistently that white supremacy is illegitimate, that encouraging a politics of racial resentment can spawn violence, and that violence aimed at people by virtue of their skin color is terrorism,” warned the man who accused Trump campaign aide Carter Page of being a Russian agent and signed a FISA warrant in October 2016 to spy on him. Oddly though, as the head of Obama’s FBI in 2015, Comey refused to say that the killing of nine blacks in a Charleston church by an avowed white supremacist was an act of terrorism.
Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, Comey’s co-signer on the first Page FISA warrant, chimed in on Twitter with a dramatic tweet asking, “When our children ask us what we did when innocents were massacred, the president fomented racism, and immigrants were caged and cast as sub-human, what will we tell them?” Yates also was instrumental in setting up the outlandish Logan Act investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, which ultimately led to his ouster in February 2017.
Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who signed the final FISA warrant on Page and appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017 to investigate collusion and then obstruction of justice, subtweeted a statement by a Bush family member and condemned “white terrorism.” Rosenstein, plying a common theme of the week, claimed that “Many of the killers are lone-wolf losers indoctrinated to hate through the internet, just like Islamic terrorists.”
Susan Rice, the Obama national security advisor who participated in secret meetings with former CIA Director John Brennan in the summer of 2016 to concoct the Russian collusion plotline, followed up Comey in the Times with her own screed, accusing the president of being a bigot. “With white supremacy bolstered from the Oval Office, hate crimes and domestic terrorism incidents are increasing, including, it appears, Saturday’s mass shooting in El Paso,” wrote the former Obama confidante who attempted to unmask the names of Trump associates caught up in intelligence surveillance.
Brennan himself couldn’t pass up an opportunity to blast the president he attempted to sabotage, calling to “end hate speech that incites violence [and] return moral, honest, & competent leadership to the Oval Office.”
The collusion architects could rely on the usual suspects in the media and on the NeverTrump Right to bolster their latest fictional crusade. National Review’s David French, a collusion truther who tried to deny his role after it was clear the whole thing was a charade, called for “war” against white supremacist terrorism. Bill Kristol, founder of the failed Weekly Standard and hardcore collusion propagandist, tweeted that the House should be called back into session to pursue an impeachment inquiry.
MSNBC, CNN, the Washington Post, and the Times are all white supremacy, all the time. Rachel Maddow, whose nightly show on MSNBC promised the president would be found guilty of colluding with the Russians to sway the 2016 election, worried that the Justice Department wouldn’t go after Trump’s base for crimes of white supremacy. Her fellow collusion mouthpiece Nicolle Wallace had to apologize for claiming on the air that the president had called for the “extermination of Latinos.”
But nothing could top Frank Figliuzzi, the former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence, a peddler of numerous collusion conspiracies including that the FBI had proof of pre-election communications between Trump and Russia. Figliuzzi told MSNBC’s Brian Williams that Trump’s order to “fly flags at half staff until August 8, that’s eight-eight . . . the numbers eight-eight are very significant in neo-Nazi and white supremacy movement.” Unable to detect his own insanity, Figliuzzi continued. “Why? Because the letter H is the eight letter of the alphabet and to them, the numbers eight eight together stand for ‘Heil Hitler.’”
The list goes on.
It is not a coincidence that the same cabal of folks who brainwashed (most) of the American public with fanciful tales of treacherous collusion between Donald Trump, his campaign, his top aides and the Russians now are using the same rhetoric and tactics to depict a pervasive danger posed by white supremacist terrorism. (Can we point out that they ran the world’s most powerful law enforcement agency for eight years and did nothing to curb the threat they now allege is a grave crisis?)
And just like the pernicious Russian collusion hoax, this plan to whip up a frenzy about the alleged threat of “white supremacy” has little chance of taking down Donald Trump. But it certainly will serve to further inflame the public discourse, divide Americans, and consume the attention of the political class while it ignores legitimate problems.
We are pawns in their lust for power, but the ramifications will long outlast next year’s election. As Angelo Codevilla wrote this week, “While we have no way of knowing what lies ahead, we know that the spiral of political violence has already taken its first fateful turns, and that the logic of our partisan ruling class is pushing for more.”
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