(Update 10/12: Thanks again to Batocchio, who linked this to Crooks&Liars' Mike's Blog Round Up! Please stay, I baked a cake somewhere...)
I was hoping to blog today about a fly that garnered more political support than Mike Pence, but instead halfway through the day a HOLY SHIT bomb dropped in Michigan. Some very enthusiastic Angry White Guys With Guns decided to kick 2020 up a notch, via Bill Chappell at NPR:
The FBI says it has thwarted a plot by militia members to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and six people are facing federal charges. In a coordinated move, Michigan is pursuing state felony charges against seven people with ties to a militia called the Wolverine Watchmen.
In a statement early Thursday, Whitmer said two militia groups "were preparing to kidnap and possibly kill me."
But in a later interview on NPR's All Things Considered, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said that "multiple white supremacy groups and militia groups have been acting in accordance with one another."
Whitmer thanked law enforcement officer on Thursday afternoon for foiling the alleged conspiracy. "I'll be honest, I never could have imagined anything like this," she said.
Michigan has been a hot spot for disagreements over shutdowns and other restrictions Whitmer ordered to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus — actions that allegedly sparked the plot against her. The governor noted those disagreements on Thursday and called for unity.
You might recall back in April there were a number of anti-mask protestors who stormed state buildings to scream their outrage and intimidate the politicians who were, you know, working to stop a deadly pandemic from spreading. Michigan was where some of the loudest protests were, and where the Far Right had a target in Whitmer - Democratic figure, librul, woman, all the things they hate - that upped their rage even more.
The FBI said the Michigan militia group had already been on its radar because its members had attempted in March to acquire the home addresses of local law enforcement officers with the goal of attacking or killing them...
Psst: To all the cops who play nice with the Far Right wingnuts as though you're on the same side, you might want to wake up to the reality that these wingnuts will shoot you too.
The agency said it collected information about the kidnapping plot from informants and undercover agents. Over the summer, the conspirators allegedly began training for a potential attack on Whitmer's vacation home or the governor's official summer residence, according to a criminal complaint released Thursday.
A federal charge of conspiracy to commit kidnapping has been filed against six people: Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta. All are Michigan residents except for Croft, who is a resident of Delaware.
Fox discussed the kidnapping in a recording from late July, the complaint says: "Snatch and grab, man. Grab the f*****' Governor. Just grab the b****. Because at that point, we do that, dude — it's over."
After abducting Whitmer, Fox allegedly said, the governor would be taken to a secure location in Wisconsin for "trial," according to the complaint...
Some of the things you need to understand about these wingnuts: They view themselves as outside our laws and compliant only to their own (SEE: Sovereign Citizen Movement). To them, everyone else is guilty - of either being the dreaded Other or else being Race Traitors - and that all it will take is a show trial in front of a kangaroo court to force the actual constitutionally-empowered forces of law and order to bow to their will.
It's not an idle fantasy though. They've got historical precedence like breaking Reconstruction after 1877, and the Wilmington Insurrection in 1898. There's been a build-up of these acts of violence in our streets during the Black Lives Matter protests. These Turner Diaries fanboys believe they can raise up an army, blow up some shit, kidnap elected officials, and fulfill their White Supremacist destinies.
But if these jokers thought kidnapping Whitmer would bring them victory, all it would really do is highlight their viciousness and stupidity... because the next thing that would have happened after their attack would have been the Lt. Governor of Michigan - Garland Gilchrist, by the by - getting promoted to Governor, and then ordering every real cop and National Guard soldier in the state with hunting you down before you numbnuts decide to repeat your stunt on him. Wingnuts don't really think this shit through, do they. All that happens with these attacks is: Innocent people get killed in the crossfire of their schemes.
Not that these wingnuts care about innocent lives.
This is just one more day of escalation of violence in the United States, as the division stirred up by trump - "LIBERATE MICHIGAN" anyone? - and his Republican allies - hi, Fox Not-News - is working to get the Far Right angry enough to cause chaos in the face of a looming Biden popular vote blowout.
Let's go to an expert on international - and domestic - terrorism, Mister Adam L Silverman at Balloon Juice:
This is thwarted domestic stochastic terrorism. You have a group of people who are illegally conspiring under several Michigan state statutes and the Michigan constitution to undertake what would clearly be illegal violent actions against persons and property. They had tested improvised explosive devices (IEDs). They had planned several types of actions that would have resulted in mass casualties.
DHS finally released their October 2020 domestic threat assessment, that they tried to bury until a whistleblower made that impossible. The assessment makes it very, very, very clear that the predominant terrorism threat to Americans in the US are white supremacists and other right wing domestic extremists and that one of Russia’s major influence operations to disrupt the 2020 elections is to incite terroristic violence by these groups against visible racial, ethnic, and religious minorities.
We've been in the middle of a Second Civil War for a good while now, a culture war between the Center-Left and Progressive tendencies of the nation against the more extreme Far Right who would rather rule or ruin. It's been escalating since 9/11 when the anti-Muslim ire fueled the rage still aimed towards Blacks, Jews, Feminists, Latinos, and Immigrants, and it's been getting crazier since the self-ordained militias began standoffs with federal agencies.
It's going to escalate even more, as a sick and addled and desperate trump tries to bully and intimidate his way out of an electoral bloodbath. He's relying on these armed angry guys to show up at the polls on November 3, he's expecting these trumpshirts to be his Brownshirts when the time comes to bloody the streets and drive Democratic voters away from the ballot boxes.
He's already given them the order to "Stand Back and Stand By," a call to get them ready for the violence he expects to keep him in office to save his own ass from a future in a jail cell.
This is not going to end well for the nation. trump has made sure there is enough anger out there to erupt in violence that would harm too many innocent lives.
Not that trump ever cared about innocent lives.