The Slaving Remnant
Arizona election deniers repeat the MAGA message: Their gripe beats your votes
© 2022 Ross Dunn, used under a Creative Commons license
There’s a good chance you know Ron Filipkowksi, a former federal prosecutor and one of the very good Twitter chroniclers of rightwing crazies out there. He put up some clips yesterday of a public meeting held by the Maricopa County, Arizona board of supervisors, attended by many MAGA crackpots, before they certified the 2022 election results that showed deranged Trump-weasel Kari Lake had lost the governor’s race to Katie Hobbs.
As you may have heard, conservatives had been screaming to have that certification withheld in a local revival of the 2020 Trump election tantrum. But as it happened, after the crackpots ceased their time-limited speeches, Maricopa certified, while a few other MAGA counties strung out their votes.
Republican-dominated Mohave County’s board seemed poised to withhold its certification — until late yesterday, when it went ahead, 4-0; board chairman Ron Gould complained that he had been “informed” that he would be “arrested and charged with a felony” if he didn’t vote for certification, and further protested that “I don’t think that was what the Founders had in mind when they used the democratic process to elect our leaders” — but, rather than stand with Patrick Henry and the My Pillow guy, Gould voted “aye under duress.” Guess he doesn’t hanker for that statue in the park after all!
And at this writing equally GOP Cochise County has refrained to certify. Though it’s hard to know what that will mean in the long run besides some lawsuits, it arguably un-elects some local Republicans, so good job, suckers!
Back to the nuts in Maricopa Country who attended their supervisors’ meeting: They came to bitch and moan, and did so at length, but their bitching and moaning had a violent subtext and sometimes text. Here are some of Filipowski’s examples:
There are others like them in that timeframe of Filipkowski’s feed, and we can all have our favorites — I’m partial to the Kevin Williamson impersonator snarling about supervisors smiling at him, which seems like fairly classic displaced abuser behavior (you’re laughing at me, LIKE THAT BITCH!). But it’s the last lady talking about how certifying an election is “interference in an election [which] is a capital offense. It’s considered treason punishable by the death penalty” who sticks in my mind, and reminds me of a few unpleasant facts about modern conservatism.
First and as mentioned, Lake and her acolytes are clearly parroting the Rudy Giuliani-Sidney Powell-Trump playbook from two years ago — parroting it shamelessly and without significant variation, though we have been hearing assurances that Trump-style election denialism has gone out of fashion — that “election deniers overwhelmingly lost in battleground states” (NBC News) and “ended up narrowing the House’s GOP majority” (Bloomberg News), etc.
In a sense those reports were right — election deniers are out of fashion. But they were out of fashion in 2020, too; no sane people followed them then either. Nevertheless the MAGA operatives kept yelling it, and their small but loyal following kept believing it, and here they are in Arizona doing it all over again two years later.
So no, they don’t have much electoral power — they only just squeaked by in the House vote in 2022 while losing what seemed like a good shot at the Senate. If they wanted to be winners in the traditional sense, and appeal to independents to build their vote in 2024, they would be moderating their message now.
But we’ve already heard from their incoming House leaders that their message will not be moderated — that it’ll be Biden investigations and crackpot stunts 24-7. Because they aren’t looking to persuade enough voters to win decisively. They just want a public forum from which they can signal to the nuts in Arizona and elsewhere — in every hamlet and suburb where the Trump, Confederate, and No-Quarter flags fly — that winning elections, as traditionally understood, is no longer of interest to them, though having power certainly is.
And so these followers of the death cult will continue to lose elections, and to scream that their loss means that they actually won but have been cheated of their rightful reign by means of treason which, as the lady in Maricopa County said, is punishable by the death penalty. And they’ll wander the malls and byways of Red America wearing fake camo and Punisher logos and, in absurd and rapidly-increasing numbers, carrying assault weapons for no other reason than to show people — especially the non-death-cultists who probably aren’t anywhere near them, but whom they hope will nonetheless get the message — that they don’t need no stinkin’ ballots.
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O brave new world, that hath such people in it!
Sometimes I wonder -- although this is an impossibility -- if Trump said "elections are valid, there has been no fraud" if these people would stand down, or if they no longer look to him but are so walled off in their grievance and crazy conspiracy theories they would carry on anyway.
But it's moot since he is no more likely to say that than a pig is likely to fly.