The first person to be convicted in a January 6 insurrection case has just be sentenced to eight months in prison, far less than the 18 months federal prosecutors had requested. The judge told him he inflicted “a damage that will persist in this country for several decades.”
Paul Allard Hodgkins, 38, of Tampa, Florida pleaded guilty in June to one felony count of obstructing an official proceeding. He could have been sentenced to a maximum of 20 years.
Hodgkins “was seen carrying a large red ‘Trump 2020′ flag on the floor of the U.S. Senate during the Capitol riot,” NBC News’ Pete Williams reports.
“Although you were only one member of a larger mob, you actively participated in a larger event that threatened the Capitol and democracy itself,” U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss of Washington, D.C. told Hodgkins.
“The damage that was caused that way was way beyond a several-hour delay of the vote certification,” Judge Moss said. “It is a damage that will persist in this country for several decades.”
Mona Sedky, an assistant U.S. attorney, told the judge Hodgkins’ goal in entering the Capitol “was to disturb the election process and disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.”
While in the U.S. Senate on January 6, in addition to carrying around a Trump 2020 flag Hodgkins took a selfie with the “QAnon shaman.”
The criminal complaint against Hodgkins includes this “selfie.”
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Steve Schmidt Warns on GOP Authoritarian Threat: ‘Democracy Cannot Survive’ When ‘The Lie and the Truth Stand Equally’
Steve Schmidt, Lincoln Project co-founder and Republican strategist-turned-Democrat, expressed concern about the latest authoritarian attack leveled on the United States’ democracy as he urged Americans to push back against their threats.
Speaking to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Schmidt laid out the main issue with former President Donald Trump’s “Big Lie.”
“The front of that fight is a space where the lie is confronted with the truth. That is the battleground. And it plays out in 1 million ways,” Schmidt said. “But a democracy cannot survive in a world where the lie and the truth stand equally. The system that we have is based on a compact that requires faith in belief and trust. It’s how we share power with people that we disagree with. We acknowledge that we live in a complex world where people have different perspectives.”
He continued, “And we have to accommodate those views. In the 21st century, I believe that there was a consensus that has unraveled in start really short period of time, that you can trace all the way back to the beginning of the country, in the name of political power — also, the same people claiming that they’re doing it in the name of freedom are seeing that that preservation of freedom means maintaining our power. Not necessarily abiding the results of the election. And when you get into that territory, you’re in a scary space.”
Steve Schmidt on the GOP authoritarian threat, "The front of that fight is a space where the lie is confronted with the truth. That is the battleground. And it plays out in 1 million ways. But a democracy cannot survive in a world where the lie and the truth stand equally." pic.twitter.com/QDGMf5Adyb
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) September 25, 2021
Abortion-Banning, Voter-Suppressing, Gun-Promoting Texas Gov. Abbott Not Far-Right Enough for Pro-Trump MAGA Extremists
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the nation’s most radical abortion ban, a far-reaching voter suppression law, and legislation that allows Texans to carry handguns without a permit or training. He responded to a surge in COVID-19 delta variant cases by blocking local vaccine and mask mandates, and he mobilized state police and national guard troops to “seal” the border with Mexico. But none of that is enough for some Trump-loving Republicans. Former Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis recently declared on her radio show that Abbott is “not a real Republican” while endorsing Abbott challenger Don Huffines in the state’s Republican primary.
Ellis endorsed Huffines in a video released last Thursday and interviewed the far-right candidate on the Sept. 15 edition of the “Jenna Ellis Show,” where she declared Abbott to be a “Republican in name only” while describing Huffines as a “true, actual Republican.” Ellis also attended a Sept. 15 brunch event hosted by Huffines’ wife.
Ellis reminded listeners that she is “not a fan” of the Republican National Committee or “any of the RINOs,” adding, “And we as conservatives, as faith-based Christians, as people who just care about this country, we need to make sure that we are advocating for, supporting, endorsing the true actual Republicans.” Ellis and Huffines criticized Abbott for not taking more aggressive action on the border sooner, and Ellis claimed, not very credibly, that “it has really also concerned me to see the LGBT movement that has basically been broadly endorsed by Abbott.”
Despite being turned out of office by voters in 2018, Huffines, a wealthy Dallas-area developer and former state senator, announced his candidacy for governor in May. Huffines’ campaign website is a parade of far-right rhetoric on “election integrity,” “critical race theory,” “social media censorship,” and more. In a section labeled “Texas Values,” Huffines declares:
We will stop bowing down to the federal courts. This is Texas. We don’t care what John Roberts thinks. He and other sellouts on the Supreme Court have proven that they cannot be trusted to protect our liberty or state sovereignty.
“The Marxists and the socialists have taken over our education system, our seminaries, our politics, and our media, of course,” Huffines said, adding that “the real fundamental role of government is to protect the citizens from government.” He told Ellis, “We’ve got to awaken the sheep.”
Huffines told Ellis that the flow of migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border is “a premeditated attack on Texas by the Biden administration.”
“The power of the governor is almost unlimited if you’re willing to use it for our Constitution,” Huffines told Ellis, pledging to stop all inbound commercial traffic from Mexico until that country secures its side of the border.
Ellis asked Huffines to talk about the importance of pastors and churches being involved in politics. “If we can get everyone out of the pews and vote their faith, we will never lose an election,” Huffines said, adding that “this is a battle of good versus evil.” He claimed that Democrats want to bring tyranny to the U.S. “today” and that “RINO Republicans” are headed in the same direction.
Huffines’ website pledges that he will “reject any attempts to mandate, force, or coerce any medical test, procedure, or product, including vaccines or masks, on Texans,” calling it an “insult” to even suggest that vaccines be made mandatory. He said Abbott’s initial COVID-19 shutdowns were an assault on liberty and a “catalyst” for Huffines getting into the race.
Huffines spoke at the American Conservative Union’s July 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, where he made similar claims and said that “almost all” Republicans who call themselves conservatives are “liars.”
Ellis is far from the only Trump-loving wing of the GOP to support Huffines. Another former Trump staffer, Katrina Pierson, is backing Huffines, who has also been endorsed by Sen. Rand Paul, with whom he traveled on a “private” trip to meet with Russian officials in 2018. Huffines may have to compete for support from the Trumpist wing of the party with the former Texas GOP chair, Allen West, who also announced his candidacy for Texas governor this July.
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
Image: Gov. Abbott celebrating after signing a near-total ban on abortion.
Fox News Goes Full White Supremacist With Republican Who Says ‘Hope and Change’ Means ‘Replace the American Electorate’
Fox News has gone full white supremacist. The right wing cable network’s top primetime host, Tucker Carlson, has been promoting the racist “great replacement” conspiracy theory since April, doubling down on it this week. But now Fox News’ daytime programming is totally on board, embracing that racist rhetoric.
On Friday “Fox & Friends” hosted U.S. Rep Brian Babin, who spewed the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, adding a new racist twist.
According to the Texas Republican, former President Barack Obama’s “Hope and Change” slogan means “change America” by replacing “the electorate with third-world immigrants that are coming in illegally, many of them COVID-positive.”
Babin repeatedly said “change America,” honing in on the white supremacist conspiracy theory of “replacement,” a concept seared into the minds of many Americans who saw the tiki-torch wielding neo-Nazis marching through Charlotte chanting, “You will not replace us.”
“We know what the grand strategy of the Democratic Party is,” Congressman Babin declared. “They want to change America, ‘hope and change,’ and it started under Obama and now it’s really going to just racehorse speed.”
“They want to change America, they want to they want to replace the American electorate with third-world immigrants that are coming in illegally, many of them COVID-positive, drug resistant tuberculosis, I’m a health care provider, I can tell you it’s a disaster down there from a public health standpoint, and they are just want to change the electorate and put these people on a path to citizenship and franchise them with a vote and have a permanent majority. On every phase we can see every aspect the Democrats are trying to change America, from what we know what we love and what we have enjoyed for 244 years, right, it’s despicable.”
Fox News, largely through Tucker Carlson, has turned the white nationalist “great replacement” conspiracy theory into Republican orthodoxy.
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) September 24, 2021
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