There are a number of reasons why the rally scheduled to begin tomorrow morning in Washington, D.C., will not be a repeat of Jan. 6. For one thing, the Electoral College votes are not getting their official announcement, so there’s nothing critical to disrupt. For another thing, it’s Saturday, so there’s really nothing critical to disrupt. For a third thing, there’s a seven-foot metal fence around the Capitol, so even if there was something to disrupt … it would be challenging.
It’s unclear just how many protesters will actually appear on Saturday for the “Justice for J6” rally. The organizers say they are expecting around 700. Based on recent turnout among Trump supporters, that might mean the whole thing could be held in a phone booth. On the other hand, the organizers of the actual Jan. 6 rally told the Park Service they were expecting only a fraction of those who actually appeared.
However, as David Neiwert reported on Wednesday, expectations are that there will be a small turnout for the event on Sept. 18, and prospects for violence are considered low. In part that’s because, like other post-Jan. 6 events, right-wing social media has been overrun by posts claiming that the whole event is a “honey trap” intended to draw in Trump supporters and create a second round of arrests. Capitol Police and Metro DC Police will be on high alert, taking a better-safe-than-sorry approach that would have been welcome eight months earlier. But they will be, hopefully, all dressed up with few Trump supporters to worry about.
There’s no guarantee that every attempt to organize a Jan. 6-style rally, whether in D.C. or in some selected state capital, will fail. But since the insurgency, Republican groups and white supremacist organizations (a thin distinction) have not managed to launch anything much more substantial than the roving violence that the Proud Boys visited on Portland in August.
As WFIE reported, the rally that brought disgraced general Michael Flynn and raving pillow mogul Mike Lindell within one mile of my small west Kentucky hometown produced “fewer than 300” attendees when over 10,000 had been expected to stand on the dirt-and-horse-manure floor of the place where the county holds rodeos and 4H fairs.
That followed another rally in which disgraced former Gov. Eric Greitens was joined by disgraced former attorney Rudy Giuliani at a rally that was relocated from an outdoor space to a small hall when, as the River Front Times reports, only around 150 people showed. This was the rally that U.S. News reported as “top Republicans” and “high profile conservatives” joining Greitens in his quest to get back the office he resigned after being caught abusing and blackmailing a woman (and lying about it) while engaged in an affair.
However, Greitens can count himself lucky. One of his competitors for the GOP slot in the 2022 Missouri gubernatorial race, attorney Mark McCloskey—famous for wearing a pink shirt and waving an AR-15 at people who had the audacity to walk on a sidewalk—saw all the “big Republican name” speakers drop out of his BBQ/rally at the last minute. When not even Madison Cawthorn shows up, its’ a bad day. Still, McCloskey did keep things classy with a shock jock emcee who suggested shoving a hot poker up the ass of a child.
Since Jan. 6, it seems that Republicans have had a hard time coming together around their old issues of waving guns and calling for revolution or civil war. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene managed to get a few hundred people into an Iowa ballroom before settling for a few stragglers on the street at their collapsing “tour.”
Just about the only thing that seems to be getting people onto the streets is the fight to stop people from conducting decent public health. However, despite all the press that’s been given to anti-vaccine events, they’ve almost uniformly been tiny. For example, Rolling Stone reported that Ron Watkins—the guy suspected of being the original “Q”—called for “The Great American Walkout” in response to vaccine mandates issued by President Biden. Though Watkins blasted out his call for a walkout to over 430,000 followers, the walkout happened … this week. Did anyone notice?
An employee at Green House Sign Design, the company Watkins promoted on Telegram, said he had received only two actual orders to print #GreatAmericanWalkout signs.
Eh, two Q? That’s not exactly “great.” Still, anti-vaxx/anti-mask seems to be where all of the right’s energy is at the moment. On Monday, the anti-vaxx forces will get another chance, as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is holding an “anti-vaccine mandate rally” for those residents of his state who still feel like there is more he could do to risk their lives.
The one exception to the “nobody goes to their party anymore” rule might be Trump himself. In August, Trump held a rally in a county that voted 88% his way in 2020, drawing somewhere between 30,000 and 45,000 followers. That was the rally where the people standing in the mud in front of Trump’s stage, booed when he told them that the vaccine worked. That followed a rally in Phoenix where about 5,000 showed and a rally in Florida that had … thousands. Some number of thousands.
That Trump can still draw something of a crowd to a free event shows that at least the one and only leader of the Republican Party can still get Republicans to step outside their own door, something that can’t apparently be said for Lindell, Flynn, or Greitens. On the other hand, back in June Trump announced a series of events in which he would tour with disgraced (there, that could be a record) former pundit Bill O’Reilly. That event took some heat in the following week because, while other events announced in that same week sold out almost immediately, sales for tickets to see Trump were … slow. A month later, they were still slow. Now, more than three months after that announcement, a fan can still show up and get a ticket next to the stage—or far away from the stage—without a problem. The question doesn’t seem to be if the Trump/O’Reilly show will sell out. The question is whether it will be more successful than Mark McCloskey’s BBQ.
Anyway, Sept. 18 isn’t likely to be a big deal. Maybe Republicans should be worried that nothing they do seems like a big deal anymore.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.