I believe I have found something to be hopeful about, or at least less pessimistic. It appears there is turmoil in the fever swamps, and the alligators are turning on each other. Drew Harwell writes at WaPo, Since Jan. 6, the pro-Trump Internet has descended into infighting over money and followers.
After months of failing to disprove the reality of Trump’s 2020 presidential election loss, some of the Internet’s most popular right-wing provocateurs are grappling with the pressures of restless audiences, saturated markets, ongoing investigations and millions of dollars in legal bills.
Two of the alligators, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Dan Crenshaw, are opening feuding with each other. Last week Rep. Crenshaw (R-nación liberada de Tejas) suggested using FEMA to set up covid testing sites, which was a remarkably normal idea coming from Crenshaw, although I believe FEMA had been doing that already. Rep. Greene (R-Anglo-Saxon) dismissed the omicron variant as “sneezes, coughs and runny noses,” adding that Crenshaw “needs to stop calling himself conservative, he’s hurting our brand.” She tweeted this right before her Twitter account was, blessedly and permanently, suspended.
Crenshaw fired back, “Hey Marjorie, if suggesting we should follow Trump policy instead of Biden mandates makes you mad, then you might be a Democrat – or just an idiot.” These two will never be mistaken for the Algonquin Round Table.
Getting back to Drew Harwell —
The result is a chaotic melodrama, playing out via secretly recorded phone calls, personal attacks in podcasts, and a seemingly endless stream of posts on Twitter, Gab and Telegram calling their rivals Satanists, communists, pedophiles or “pay-triots” — money-grubbing grifters exploiting the cause.
The infighting reflects the diminishing financial rewards for the merchants of right-wing disinformation, whose battles center not on policy or doctrine but on the treasures of online fame: viewer donations and subscriptions; paid appearances at rallies and conferences; and crowds of followers to buy their books and merchandise.
Do not doubt that a whole lot of people, from the likes of Paul Manafort and Rudy Giuliani to the local guys still selling off Trump 2020 campaign merchandise, jumped on the Trump train mostly to fatten their own wallets. Much of the American Right has been a grift for a long time.
But it’s backfiring on them now. Trump is still raking in money from various sources, but he’s not sharing it. The Trump enablers who aren’t in jail yet are facing many lawsuits that could wipe them out. And I can’t imagine anybody is paying Rudy Giuliani to do anything right now, except maybe to keep quiet.
Kyle Rittenhouse is feuding with Lin Wood, who appears to be feuding with just about everybody else. QAnon followers are angry with Michael Flynn for calling their beliefs “total nonsense.” Some are angry with Donald Trump because of his recent statements encouraging people to get vaccinated.
Harwell interviewed Mike Rothschild, a conspiracy theory researcher unrelated to the famous bankers and author of a book on QAnon. The conflicts among the Trumpers and their factions are keeping the rubes engaged, Rothschild said, and giving them a chance to prove their loyalty by buying the books, T-shirts, coffee mugs, and other merch all these grifters are selling.
QAnon is “the easiest money that you could possibly make if you don’t have a conscience, but there’s only a certain number of people you can fleece. It’s not a renewable resource,” Rothschild said.
QAnon has been drifting since Q went silent and Trump got kicked off social media. Right now they don’t know who they are supposed to be following, which may be why hanging around in Dallas for the second coming of JFK and Junior might seem like as good an idea as any. It’s always possible a living being will step into the vacuum and take over, but otherwise QAnon is likely to dissipate. How long that might take, I cannot say.
But if you really want Sidney Powell drink tumblers, maybe they’ll go on sale soon.
Speaking of merch, Melania Trump is auctioning off a hat she wore to welcome President and Madame Emmanuel Macron of France to the White House in 2018. She is also selling art in the form of nonfungible tokens. I don’t know what those are, either. Apparently it’s digital stuff she acquired while in the White House that’s not covered by the Emoluments Clause.
Melania hopes to raise at least $250,000 from the auction, “a portion” of which will be donated to Melania’s “Be Best” initiative, it says here. In other words, Melania is keeping the money.
I suggest we stand back and give these morons all the space they need to backstab one another.
Instead, make that GO GUNS!!!
Et Tu, Bannon! Then fall, Drumpf.
Why would the wife of a "billionaire" need to auction off a hat from a relatively nondescript event, supposedly to raise $250K? Greed.
The depth of greed and callousness of these people is just incredible.
80 $ for a set of plastic Kraken tumblers! If i ever run into one of them at the thrift store, i will pounce on it. Unbelievably collectable.
"Attorneys including Sidney Powell and Lin Wood will have to pay more than $175,000 in attorneys fees to Michigan officials and the city of Detroit, a federal judge ruled Thursday, as part of sanctions the court had previously imposed against the attorneys for their lawsuit attempting to overturn the presidential election results."
Forbes.com Dec 2
"Mike Lindell accused the media on Sunday of ridiculing his proposed 2020 election challenge lawsuit. The pro-Trump MyPillow CEO had claimed he would have the support of multiple states' attorneys general. Their support did not materialize, however, and the much-touted Supreme Court lawsuit was not filed by his self-imposed Thanksgiving deadline."
Newsweek.com Nov 28
Note: Not a single state A/G signed on to the flimsy lawsuit Lindell promised to bring before the US Supreme Court. Not one. That's how bad the argument is after Lindell blew millions in a variety of attempts to prove the unprovable.
"From Mike Lindell to OAN, here's everyone Dominion and Smartmatic are suing over election conspiracy theories so far…"
The list won't surprise you – the amount(s) they are demanding damages for are 1.6 Billion.
"A Connecticut superior court judge found Mr Jones liable by default after he refused to turn over documents ordered by the courts, including financial records.
Mr Jones lost other cases last month in Texas for the same reason. The families of 10 victims have now been granted victories in four defamation lawsuits against him."
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-59298320 Nov 15
This isn't directly Trumpland related but Jones could be wiped out financially when they decide damages. Recently, Jones turned on Trump for promoting the effectiveness of the three Covid vaccines.
"A Capitol rioter who attacked police officers working to hold back the angry pro-Trump mob on January 6 was sentenced Friday to more than five years behind bars, the most so far for anyone sentenced in the insurrection."
https://www.timesofisrael.com/rioter-gets-5-years-in-harshest-sentence-yet-over-jan-6-insurrection/ Dec 17
"Roger Stone, a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, met briefly Friday with the House select committee investigating the January 6 riot and asserted his Fifth Amendment rights to every question asked, he said."
CNN Dec 17
"Steve Bannon's contempt of Congress trial set for July 18"
CNN Dec 7
"The Walls Are Closing in Around Trump’s Family in Fraud Investigation"
"Trump, Don Jr., and Ivanka have all been subpoenaed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, a court filing on Monday revealed."
Rolling Stone Jan 3
"Trump appeals to Supreme Court seeking to block release of Jan. 6 documents"
USA Today Dec 23
IMO, Trump will lose – he knows it. This is a delaying tactic. The J6 docs will go to the US House before Spring.
This year, NY is going to take action about Trump tax fraud. Depending on the evidence, there may be federal bank fraud (my guess) if property values were inflated to fraudulently obtain a loan. This is where NY state is investigating, but it can become federal.
This year, the most serious J6 cases will come to trial. A steady stream of sentences in the five to ten-year range. I doubt that many will be acquitted – the photographic evidence will be compelling. IMO, we are talking DOZENS of people doing long terms at the moment the most violent factions of the far-right will want to whip up voter suppression by violent intimidation. I hope the result will be a lot of 'patriots' sitting out the invitation to ignore the law.
I underlined the dates – except for the list of people Smartech and Dominion are suing, all the articles are from Dec and Jan. These people are getting hammered. They are pleading the 5th and delaying – and losing in court.
The point of Maha's post is not lost on me. They are turning on each other and the chaos and vitriol is a beauty to behold.
Slightly off topic…..
Of course Melania is keeping the money.
That's why she married the enormous pile of raw yeasty bread dough in the first place. (allegedly!!).
If she had the courage, and the skill, she could write a book with the subtitle "I swear to god, I thought the SOB would have passed on by now."
Melania is just as corrupted as the shitbag she hitched herself to. Scripture says that Satan himself can appear as an angel of light. Don't let the pretty face fool you. She is composed of naked avarice, not born of necessity but, avarice for its own sake.