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ASPartOfMe
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27 Mar 2022, 5:10 pm

QAnon’s Takeover of the Republican Party Is Virtually Complete

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QAnon’s infiltration of the Republican Party has proceeded with frightening steadiness over the last couple years, its growing foothold marked by the arrival of conspiratorial politicians like Marjorie Taylor Greene. According to Business Insider, Ron Watkins, widely believed to be one of the authors of the Q posts that started the movement, is one of nearly 60 Q sympathizers running for Congress in the 2022 midterm elections. QAnon’s adherents tend to espouse some selection of bizarre beliefs from the conspiracist’s buffet that includes accusations of pedophile politicians eating children, secret political tribunals in Guantanamo Bay, a great bloodletting, and Donald Trump swooping in to free us from evil. One day. Or maybe the day after. The prophecy is flexible, which is why it has evolved and endured

This week brought us evidence that QAnon thought has spread further than we knew: into the Senate, the Supreme Court, and the very highest levels of the Republican Party.

The latest exemplar of the GOP’s descent into anything-goes nuttery is Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas and a well-connected conservative activist who recently admitted to attending the January 6 Stop the Steal rally in Washington, D.C. Ginni’s right-wing beliefs have long been known, but leaked texts between her and then–White House chief of staff Mark Meadows revealed Thomas’s commitment to overturning the election, based on an apparently sincere belief that Joe Biden had stolen the presidency. She encouraged Meadows to help put a stop to Democratic perfidy.

The texts also revealed that she has traveled far down the QAnon rabbit hole.

Thomas’s willingness to embrace even the most wild-eyed, Big Lie–fueled theories only affirms what we already know about some of her political peers, including those who served in the Trump White House. Some went along out of self-preservation or an instinct for power, but other Trumpists, including perhaps Trump himself, actually accepted the proliferating lies about hacked voting machines, a communist influence project, corrupt state officials, and whatever else could be added to the witch’s brew of baseless speculation. Whether they believed these lies or not, the effect was functionally the same. In the months before and after Joe Biden’s election as president, the government was run by erratic coup plotters, some of whom thought that corrupt Democratic officials were being tried for treason secretly in Gitmo. The sheer absurdity of all this would be hilarious if it didn’t involve people in positions of real influence.

These include lawmakers and aspiring presidential candidates in the Senate. Earlier this month, Missouri senator Josh Hawley presented a long Twitter thread charging that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson “has a pattern of letting child porn offenders off the hook” — a blaring Klaxon for QAnon adherents obsessed with child endangerment. He later repeated his criticisms on the first day of Jackson’s confirmation hearing to the Supreme Court, prompting a White House spokesman to assert that Hawley was engaging in a “QAnon-signaling smear.” Hawley’s remarks were later echoed by South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, who, in addition to chiding Jackson for representing detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, told Jackson, “Every judge who does what you are doing is making it easier for the children to be exploited.” To cap it off, one of the Republican witnesses for the hearing was Alessandra Serano, an executive at Operation Underground Railroad, a well-funded anti-sex-trafficking organization whose vigilantism and weak relationship with reality resemble that of QAnon adherents.

The signs of the Republican slide toward full epistemic crack-up are all around us. One can see it everywhere lately, not only in the “why do you want to hurt children?”–type questions hurled by Republican senators at Jackson, but also in the revanchist anti-LGBTQ laws being introduced in Texas and Florida and in fearful talk of teachers “grooming” children on Fox News. The ginned-up moral panic, centered around the child-exploitation themes that helped give life to QAnon, is now a regular part of Republican political rhetoric.

If you had any lingering pretensions that our political elites know better than the average QAnon-pilled zombie, it’s past time to let them go. The people in charge of the Republican Party are mostly old and poorly informed operators who believe some of the most asinine theories to emerge from social-media bilge. Granting them some measure of savviness — saying that this is red meat for the Republican base, or that it keeps the checks from right-wing billionaires coming in — is to offer too much credit. More than that, it risks absolving them through some nod toward political practicalities when, mostly, this is all pretty evil and disturbing.


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Mona Pereth
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29 Mar 2022, 6:56 pm

Here is what I am afraid will likely happen next:

Some right wing billionaires, or perhaps some hostile foreign governments, will hire hackers to:

1) Break into the social media accounts of Democratic party politicians, and/or anyone else whom they personally dislike for whatever reason, and use them to send sexually-explicit messages to children.

and/or:

2) Create malware that will find its way onto the personal computers of Democratic party politicians, and/or anyone else whom they personally dislike for whatever reason, and then automatically download child porn onto those machines.

The above has been a nightmare vision of mine for several years now. I don't know when it will happen, but I fear that it almost certainly WILL happen eventually, if it isn't already starting to happen.


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Kraichgauer
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29 Mar 2022, 10:59 pm

Before this is over, we might just see the impeachment of a Supreme Court judge. That's unless QAnon sneaks kiddie porn onto the laptops and PC of liberal political leadership.


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Tim_Tex
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29 Mar 2022, 11:01 pm

Time to criminalize conservatism.



Kraichgauer
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29 Mar 2022, 11:06 pm

Tim_Tex wrote:
Time to criminalize conservatism.


Conservatives themselves seem to be pushing that to happen.


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