A right-wing Claremont Institute is undermining law and order and encouraging secession one county at a time.
The think tank, where coup memo author John Eastman remains a member in good standing, is weaponizing “patriotic law enforcement officers” with its new “Sheriff’s Fellowship” that ties together conservative anger over Black Lives Matter protests, COVID-19 lockdowns and Donald Trump’s election loss to bring so-called “Constitutional Sheriffs” into the mainstream, reported The Bulwark’s Charlie Sykes.
“Our nation’s conservative movement needs a countervailing network of uncorrupted law enforcement officials,” the think tank announced. [We need sheriffs] “not beholden to bureaucratic masters, and whose geographic boundaries, jurisdictional latitude, and — most important — direct connection and responsibility to citizens, places them on the frontlines of the defense of civilization.”
The plan sounds a lot like the Constitutional Sheriffs movement, which has infiltrated law enforcement agencies around the country with specious claims borrowed from the sovereign citizen movement that places the county sheriff as the “highest legitimate law enforcement” in the U.S. and claims they have authority to determine which laws are constitutional.
“Think of it as militias with badges, guns, and formal law enforcement powers,” Sykes wrote. “Or, if you like, secession-by-sheriff.”
Trump and his administration encouraged the sheriffs’ movement and openly backed leading figures such as Arizona’s Joe Arpaio and Wisconsin’s David Clarke, and former attorney general Jeff Sessions praised the “Anglo-Saxon heritage” of the office — which the Claremont Institute also did in a recent fundraising letter.
“The current revolution against the American regime, involving as it does both crime and political malfeasance, requires a coordinated response from patriotic law enforcement officers,” the letter reads. “Sheriffs are appropriate for this response. Since their beginnings as ‘shire-reeves’ (‘county watchmen’) centuries ago in England, sheriffs have been intimately connected with, and answerable to, the people of their “shires” and therefore the first layer of protection, and last line of defense, for the people’s rights.”
Another Arizona sheriff, Pinal County’s Mark Lamb, has emerged as a leading figure among militia-minded right-wing sheriffs who are loyal to Trump and supportive of the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“If Claremont gets its way, there will be sheriffs like Joe Arpaio, David Clarke, and Mark Lamb all across the country,” Sykes wrote. “You are not worried nearly enough about what that might mean.”
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Newsmax Host Falsely Attacks Biden and Entire Democratic Party for Declaring ‘War on Christianity’
A host on the far right wing cable and streaming TV channel Newsmax has declared the entire Democratic Party, including its devoutly-Catholic President, has “declared war,” not on just Christmas, but on “Christianity” itself. That would be extremely surprising to the majority of Democratic registered voters who self-identify as Christian.
The revelation of a “war on Christianity” comes in a wide-ranging attack on the left from the Newsmax host Friday morning, who decided to attack the White House’s highly-praised Christmas decorations this year, which were designed by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.
“This week is about Christmas at the White House,” the host declared. “I love Christmas decorations. But this looks a little like a Carnival Cruise especially from an administration and political party as a whole that has declared war on Christianity for a while now.”
Newsmax host objects to the White House Christmas decorations because the administration “has declared war on Christianity” pic.twitter.com/7Rcb9JEAcK
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) December 3, 2021
‘What Wannabe Totalitarian, Fascist Dictators Do’: Alarm Over DeSantis Move to Form His Own ‘Personal Militia’
Critics are responding with alarm to news Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis is asking for millions of taxpayer funds to create his own militia force, separate from the existing National Guard.
CNN calls it “a World War II-era civilian military force that he, not the Pentagon, would control.” And while the law allows for the move, it was created “as a temporary force to fill the void left behind” when the state’s National Guard was deployed overseas, and “disbanded after the war ended.”
But the highly-controversial Florida Republican, seen as one of the top 2024 GOP presidential candidates, is also making clear his motives are a further escalation in his war of words against the Biden administration.
“DeSantis also said this unit, called the Florida State Guard, would be ‘not encumbered by the federal government.’ He said this force would give him ‘the flexibility and the ability needed to respond to events in our state in the most effective way possible.'”
For some reason, Ron Desantis now feels the need to create a state militia under his control. pic.twitter.com/q4EJUEGG4i
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) December 3, 2021
It’s also being seen as one more potential attack on science during the coronavirus pandemic era. All National Guard members must be vaccinated. DeSantis opposes all vaccine and mask mandates and has invited unvaccinated, fired police officers from others states to move to Florida – and offering them a $5000 payment.
Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, now a U.S. Congressman but running to unseat DeSantis, called DeSantis’ militia a “handpicked secret police” force.
No Governor should have his own handpicked secret police. https://t.co/BWEPhM5rHa
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) December 2, 2021
Perhaps one of the strongest warnings comes from SiriusXM Progress host Dean Obeidallah, who calls it “the beginning of a ‘Red Army’ as the GOP prepares for war.”
DeSantis also said this unit would be “not encumbered by the federal government.” In other words it would be Ron DeSantis personal militia. You know like political leaders in Iraq and Syria have. #TrumpsRedArmy https://t.co/rmZ93fa7mr
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) December 3, 2021
“The same Republicans who claim Jan 6 was not a terrorist attack but just a ‘tourist visit’ now tell us not to be concerned with Ron DeSantis forming a personal militia that he says will ‘not encumbered by the federal government,'” Obeidallah adds. “This is a Red Army!!!”
MSNBC’s Joy Reid likened the move to fascism, asking: “So… y’all know this is fascisty bananas, right…?”
Attorney and DeSantis critic Daniel Uhlfelder noted the governor’s “classic authoritarian move” on bringing his son to the announcement.
In a classic authoritarian move Ron DeSantis brought his young son to brag about announcement of his reinstatement of long defunct Florida state guard.
The Florida state guard would be under DeSantis’s sole power without any interference.
— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) December 3, 2021
“More setting up for 2024 coup!” tweeted Amy Siskind, The New Agenda founder and author of The Weekly List.
Research and strategic communication CEO Fernand Amandi describes DeSantis’ move as “What wannabe totalitarian, fascist, authoritarian dictators do.”
Watch: Bigoted NC Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson Berates Democratic Lawmaker for Denouncing His Anti-LGBTQ Hate Speech
North Carolina’s Republican Lt. Governor Mark Robinson lashed out at a Democratic state lawmaker after she delivered a speech urging elected leaders to try to understand and equally represent all their constituents, including people of color and LGBTQ people.
“Next time before you get ready to say something on that floor come see me,” Robinson barked at state Sen. Julie Mayfield after her speech, suggesting he had power over her and she needed his permission to speak about him, as video shot by Democratic state Senator Natasha Marcus shows:
My colleague @MayfieldforNC made statements in support of #LGBTQ Equality during session tonight. The Lt Gov was so mad that he berated Sen Mayfield outside the chamber. I caught the tail end of his rant on video. pic.twitter.com/8EuCPYkhwz
— Senator Natasha Marcus (@NatashaMarcusNC) November 29, 2021
Mayfield did not mention Robinson by name during her speech.
Robinson has been criticized for months over his repeated remarks attacking LGBTQ people, including calling them “filthy,” calling transgender people “pure lunacy” and “demonic,” and claiming they want to molest children, describing straight relationships as “superior” to gay ones – and saying even cow manure has more purpose than same-sex marriage. Robinson, who uses the church as a shield for his bigotry, last month appeared to “jokingly” threaten any IRS agents who might come to his home.
“Robinson ‘berated’ state Sen. Julie Mayfield,” The News & Observer reports, “and wagged his finger in front of her face, saying he didn’t appreciate her ‘equating Black people with gay people,’ according to Mayfield and another lawmaker who witnessed the encounter. Robinson’s comments were in response to a speech Mayfield gave,” in which she “highlighted deadly violence against Black people and discrimination against LGBTQ people.”
“It is convenient fiction that we can say something in a particular forum and not expect to be held accountable for those words in another,” Mayfield said, referring to several instances in which Robinson has made anti-LGBTQ comments and made national headlines. “We are elected officials. And if we can’t respect our constituents rather than viciously attack some of them, then maybe we’re in the wrong job.”
Sen. Marcus described Robinson’s attack on Mayfield as “a rant.”
“He berated her, and he yelled as loudly as he could,” Marcus added. “Sen. Mayfield’s remarks speak what’s in the hearts of most North Carolinians, and the fact that it set the lieutenant governor off that much is shocking to me.”
For the record, Sen Mayfield’s floor remarks were full of compassion for all people. She believes, as I do, that elected reps should not speak in hateful terms about our constituents. The struggle for civil rights is ongoing. Here is what she said that enraged the bully Lt Gov: pic.twitter.com/IGeXWBcTbS
— Senator Natasha Marcus (@NatashaMarcusNC) November 30, 2021
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