Republicans step up their ‘Defund the FBI’ stunt
For about two weeks now, since the FBI executed a search authorized by the court from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence for documents stolen from the White House by the former president, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has called for federal law enforcement to be disbanded. “Fund the FBI!” Greene tweeted on August 8, a sentiment she would love echo in many follow positions, coupled with requirements that the Department of Justice be dismantled and Merrick Garland—against whom Greene has articles of impeachment filed— be removed from office as Attorney General. Days after his original screed, Greene shared a campaign-style gritty assembly talking heads from Fox News and cable news clips, a series of sound bites meant to terrify white conservatives into thinking the FBI enforces the law with colorblind vigor. “Joe Biden has armed the FBI and DOJ against President Trump and his supporters,” the message’s accompanying text warned. ” It is not the first time. and it won’t be the last. The only surefire way to fight for power, the ad suggests? Along with a “Defund the FBI” hat or t-shirt, which Greene just happens to sell on his fundraising website for $30 a pop.
Greene is just the loudest voice in a chorus of conservative politicians and commentators, including Reps. Paul Gosar and Jeff Duncanas good as MAGA Republicans of Candace Owens to Liz Booth – who also call for defunding national law enforcement, as well as a lot more lawless violence. Trump pardoned criminal Dinesh D’Souza called the FBI a “dangerous criminal gang” that should be “closed”. Colorado is twice-stopped House rookie Lauren Boebert also demanded that the FBI funds be disbanded. Florida state legislator and U.S. congressional candidate Anthony Sabatini did his best impression of Don Corleone, arguing for the FBI to be “intestine[ted] Like a fish”, while Republican Luis Miguel, candidate for the Florida House, announcement via Twitter, “Under my plan, all Floridians will be permitted to shoot the FBI, IRS, ATF and all other Feds on sight!”
Not so long ago, these same Tories wouldn’t silence how much they “support blue,” slogans they invoked against progressive calls for the reallocation of bloated police budgets. Last May, Greene leveraged the phrase “party to finance the policeas a replacement for the tired GOP “soft on crime” criticism of Democrats, and she blamed later “left-wing police defunding policies” for rising crime rates. She personally called for the arrest and prosecution of… bear with me; the list goes on—reproductive justice activists, antifascistsBlack Lives Matter protesters, Nancy Pelosimembers of the film crew The late show with Stephane Colbertand one Hill employee who tore down a anti trans sign she put up. Just like Trump, who used the espionage law against at least five whistleblowers and journalists, asked advisers whether unarmed BLM protesters could be shot ‘in the legs or something,’ if the Justice Department was after journalists and politicians opponents, and in 1989 released a full page ad call for the state to murder five innocent black and brown boys – Greene agrees to arm law enforcement.
In fact, “Blue Lives Matter” has never been a sincere expression of conservative support for the police – it has always been an apt phrase crafted by the reactionary right to serve as a practical rhetorical counterpoint to the idea that black lives counts too. The Conservatives’ devotion to “law and order” was not deep enough to motivate the creation of the Thin Blue Line flag, but the outrage at seeing black people demanding en masse that the police stop killing them did. did. The opportunism, cynicism and readiness of the “Back the Blue” movement was evident even before the Republicans on the white supremacist side insurgents on the police against whom they committed at least 1,000 violent attacks during the Capitol Riotincluding beat an unconscious officer with a Thin Blue Line flag. (Greene voted against granting the Congressional Gold Medal to the officers who were at the Capitol insurrection, but introduced a bill to award the honor to Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager who killed two people during a BLM protest.) The GOP’s respect for legality is belied by the way party spokespeople, including Reps Andy Biggs, Jim Jordan, Scott Perry and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, attempted to quash subpoenas from the Jan. 6 Committee and, in the case of Senator Lindsey Graham, in the investigation into election interference in Georgia. Now the fallacy of their stated dedication to national security is laid bare in their unwavering defense of Trump, who stole classified documents, lied about refer them to the Ministry of Justice, ignored a grand jury subpoenaand covert nuclear intelligence in his notoriously badly guarded club so that he could… sell them to the Saudis? Impress Kid Rock and Scott Baio? Who knows.
This latest Republican stance is a mix of racism and GOP trolling, two defining elements of the GOP platform, which is why labeling the “reimbursement” stunt as hypocrisy gives it too much credit. , giving her an air of seriousness, as if they actually believed what they were saying. If they cared about corruption in law enforcement, we would have heard them speak out against the raids on the homes of black people such as Breonna Taylor and Amir Locke, both shot unnecessarily by the police. Fears of political persecution have long reportedly inspired conservative outrage against FBI surveillance and violence against the black community through programs such as COINTELPRO, which targeted the Black Panthers, Fred Hampton and Martin Luther King Jr., among others, as part of J. Edgar Hoover’s effort to “prevent the rise of a [Black] Messiah.” As recently as 2019, under current Trump-appointed FBI chief Christopher Wray, Operation IRON FIST spied on black activists, smearing them with “black identity extremists”—despite the articles published by the Department of Homeland Security in 2009 and the FBI itself in 2006 revealing the exponential growth of white supremacist extremism. Republicans in the Accommodation and Senate was fortunate enough to support bills that would have helped fix this, authorizing federal law enforcement investigations into white supremacist terrorism. Almost all voted against.
When Greene tweet that “the political targeting of President Trump by the FBI is the same kind of thing they did to MLK. They are always abusing their power to take down their political enemies”, know that this is more trolling. It’s a casual statement from a casual character who uses race to inflame, and whose only current problem with the FBI is that he went after his favorite white billionaire. (Title of the year from right wing christian outlet The flow“Donald Trump is the MLK of the working class and Christians. No wonder the FBI is persecuting him too. “)
Trump is the first former president to be excluded from intelligence briefings because of the unique threats it poses to national security. Even if conservative voters believe Trump’s lies, and polls show that many of them dothat trust is rooted in who Trump is, who relies on its whiteness, his virility, his Protestantism, his wealth. (It’s no wonder Trump told his supporters, after the FBI search, that Obama stole”33 million pages of documents. ” It was a lie confirmed that Fox News nevertheless reinforced, because blaming the black always works for these people.) Trump supporters believe that being a criminal is defined not only by what you do, but also by who you are. Their ideas about crime are inextricably linked to their ideas about who is inherently innocent. If wealthy white people like Trump are presumed incapable of criminalizing, then so are they. And whatever laws Trump is found to have broken, his supporters will deflect from his criminality and assert his victimhood – a claim of persecution they reserve and which they say justifies any armed insurrection they undertake. I can only imagine the FBI’s surprise, after spending so much time obsessing over threats posed by black people, that a white grievance movement turned out to be their biggest threat.
Conservatives support law enforcement only to the extent that it serves their side. By the time you read this, there will be a new revelation in the Donald Trump classified documents scandal, and it will undoubtedly be even worse than what we have already seen. So will, unfortunately, the militarized and highly political response of the right.