Republicans love to say that Democrats were out to get Donald Trump from the start because one of their members, Rep. Al Green (D-Tex.), first filed impeachment articles 11 months after Trump took office. Now we have H. Res. 57, “Impeaching Joseph R. Biden, President of the United States, for abuse of power…” — filed on Biden’s first full day in office.
Such zany behavior is to be expected of a person who wore a face mask proclaiming she was being “censored” even as she delivered a nationally televised speech on the House floor during Trump’s impeachment. Four days later, she was temporarily suspended from Twitter for repeatedly claiming that Georgia’s election results (the same ones that made her a member of Congress) were stolen. Fresh from her Twitter suspension, she declared Biden to be the president of “Communist China.”
Recent days also brought news that she had called the school shootings in Parkland, Fla., and Newtown, Conn., “false flag” operations. The honorable gentlelady from Georgia has also suggested that the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan in 1981 and the 9/11 terrorist attacks were staged, and she has disparaged Blacks, Muslims and Jews.
Trump is gone. The cult of Trump lives on.
Greene is more flamboyant than most, but her views aren’t out of line with the 147 Republican lawmakers who voted to overturn the election results because of a false conspiracy theory. Biden talks about unifying, but how can he work with an opposition that behaves more like a cult than a caucus?
Fox News spent a chunk of Biden’s inaugural week perpetrating the fabrication that the left is proposing “reeducation camps” to “reprogram” Trump supporters. "Are they going to set up a concentration camp like that for the Uighur Muslims in communist China to make sure everyone gets reeducated and deprogrammed?” asked Fox News host Dagen McDowell.
This “reeducation camp” falsehood was apparently based on offhand remarks by journalists Katie Couric on Bill Maher’s show and by The Post’s Eugene Robinson on MSNBC about Trump supporters being part of a “cult.” Fox News’s Howard Kurtz demanded to know: “How many people are in this cult?” Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee said he wished “these leftist loons” would “take their boot off my neck.”
Fox News’s umbrage was rich coming from the entity that persuaded millions to take nonsense conspiracy theories as fact. As Ben Smith reported in the New York Times this week, Fox News agreed to pay millions of dollars to the family of slain Democratic staffer Seth Rich to compensate them for false conspiracy claims made by Sean Hannity et alia. Fox News insisted the settlement be kept secret until after the election — protecting the cult leader. Fox News used that time to help convince 80 percent of Trump voters of the fiction that the election was stolen by fraud.
Such mass disinformation is to blame for behaviors more typical of a cult than a Congress:
QAnon-admiring Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) tweeted out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) whereabouts during the Capitol insurrection. Questions have been raised about whether Capitol tours Boebert gave that week included, as some Democrats allege, aspiring insurrectionists.
Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) carried a gun on his way to the House floor Thursday.
Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar, both Arizona Republicans, and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) have been identified by an organizer of the Jan. 6 attack as people who “schemed up” the seditious moment.
It’s not just backbenchers. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), after briefly criticizing Trump, is trying to postpone his impeachment trial and complaining about Trump being denied “due process.”
Are these signs of a cult? Steven Hassan, a former Moonie who now counsels about cult recovery, thinks so. Hassan, author of the book “The Cult of Trump: A Leading Cult Expert Explains How the President Uses Mind Control,” told me that an impeachment trial is essential to help those Republicans who erroneously believe the election was rigged. “The Big Lie needs to be exposed as a lie so that people actually get that they were taken advantage of and they trusted the wrong person,” he said. “We don’t each get to have our own reality.”
Marjorie Taylor Greene believes otherwise. She declares the violence of white supremacists at the Capitol to be “bs,” the election “stolen,” Pennsylvania beset by “MASS voter fraud” and Georgia’s Republican elections officials “idiots.”
Seems too late to “reprogram” this one. The motherboard is already fried.
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