“Moms for Liberty” chapter from 200 members to 3, who vote to dissolve

In a story that’s equal parts pathos, hilarity, and uneaten seven-layer mayonnaise salad, The Daily Beast recounts the last days of a Pennsylvania Moms for Liberty chapter that once boasted 200 members but recently saw its ranks dwindle to … three. That’s not a typo. If it had been a typo, it would have said “tree”—which would have actually made a lot more sense, as the the group is currently a stump.

According to The Daily Beast, the Lehigh County chapter of M4L went tits up on Tuesday following its meeting at the Starbrite Diner in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where chapter founder Janine Vicalvi and two others voted to dissolve it.

Well, dang. Now that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is out of the presidential race and the Florida-spawned Moms for Liberty is teetering, what becomes of the woke mind virus? Will we all morph into a shambling phalanx of mindful zombies who respect others’ differences and show them unerring kindness? DeSantis was supposed to be the Jonas Salk of made-up things that don’t hurt anyone. And Moms for Liberty appears to be choking to death on its own contradictions.

So what now?

The Daily Beast:

“Between homeschooling and working two jobs, it’s just a lot,” [Vicalvi] said. “And I guess there wasn’t as much willingness to do the work that’s required to propel the movement forward.”

The other two at the meeting felt the same and they voted unanimously to dissolve the chapter. She posted an announcement on the group’s Facebook page:

“So we had our meeting this evening and are going to dissolve our chapter.”

She added that the chair was vacant if anybody wanted to take over.

“Please let me know. Thanks!”

As of Wednesday evening, there were no takers.

Homeschooling? You mean Vicalvi’s kids aren’t even enrolled in the schools she’s trying to ruin? Are trans children trying to break into her downstairs bathroom? Are men in windowless white vans handing out copies of “The Kite Runner” to 6-year-old girls in her neighborhood?

Also—ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Three people. That’s pathetic. Though, sadly, it’s still likely the most exciting three-way anyone in the organization has ever been a part of.

While this is just one local chapter doing its best Dean Phillips impression, the Lehigh County M4Ls’ demise appears to be part of a growing—or, perhaps, “withering”—pattern.

At a recent Brevard County, Florida, school board meeting, community members debated whether the novels “Slaughterhouse-Five” and “The Kite Runner” should be banned from local schools.

According to CNN, nearly 20 speakers argued against banning the novels as a lone Moms for Liberty supporter sat by herself and watched. The board eventually voted to keep the books on school shelves.

That vote appeared to be yet another indication—among many—that the group’s influence is waning.

CNN:

After effectively channeling conservative anger over cultural issues into action on the ground, from supporting candidates in school board races to spearheading campaigns against teachers, administrators and other political foes, Moms for Liberty’s burgeoning influence in Republican national politics may be faltering, observers say.

sex scandal involving the husband of Moms for Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler, a Sarasota County school board member, has not helped the group’s cause.

“It seems to me a bit premature, or more than a bit premature, to write it off entirely,” Glenn Altschuler, an American studies professor at Cornell University, told CNN, referring to Moms for Liberty. “Will it have national prominence that resembles the prominence that it had early on in its founding? I think that’s unlikely.”

Meanwhile, the results of last November’s elections showed there’s a limit to how far a movement based on LGBTQ+ hatred, fake American history, and indiscriminate book-banning can really go. The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated Moms for Liberty an extremist group, and a critical mass of liberal-minded Americans appears to have noticed.

The Washington Post, Nov. 10, 2023:

In Pennsylvania, Iowa, Virginia, Minnesota, New Jersey and other states, voters favored candidates who expressed interest in improving traditional public education systems over those who adopted the agenda of Moms for Liberty, which has been at the forefront of efforts to reject coronavirus pandemic health measures in schools, restrict certain books and curriculum and curb the rights of LGBTQ students, and other like-minded groups.

“‘Parental rights’ is an appealing term, but voters have caught on to the reality that it is fueling book bans, anti-LGBT efforts, pressure on teachers not to discuss race and gender, whitewashing history, and so on,” said political analyst Larry Sabato, a politics professor at the University of Virginia and founder and director of the Center for Politics. “Parents may want more input in the schools, but as a group they certainly aren’t as extreme as many in the Moms for Liberty.

Ah, that’s beautiful. Maybe there’s hope for America after all. Our next assignment, should we choose to accept it? Stopping a wannabe dictator in his tracks.

Trump aims his guns at Indiana Republicans

Former President Donald Trump has turned his anger on the state of Indiana, accusing officials there of conspiring to rig the election to help former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley defeat him — and state officials there are unnerved by it, reported Politico.

Moreover, said the report, they fear this could morph from a “bizarre subplot” of the primary season into a test run for Trump to once again try to obstruct election results — something he did in 2020, which led to multiple criminal indictments.

Essentially, Trump — relying on claims by his close ally in the state, Rep. Jim Banks — has been claiming that Haley does not qualify for the Indiana ballot because she missed the deadline to collect enough signatures. However, he appears to be confused; while the signatures deadline has already passed, the deadline to file the collected signatures comes later, and Haley is reportedly still on track to make that deadline with the required amount of signatures.

But Trump continues to claim that the only way Haley makes the ballot is if there is funny business with state officials intervening or breaking the law on her behalf. He’s even challenging the validity of the signatures, said the report: “Over the weekend, an attorney for Trump sent a letter, obtained by POLITICO, to Marion County’s Democratic clerk, Kate Sweeney Bell, accusing her of improperly accepting petition signatures for Haley and demanding she preserve all evidence during the certification process.”

This is a dry run for what Trump plans to do with the entire nation in November.

There will not be another Jan 6 style coup attempt

Like most good Americans, I was shocked and appalled by the events of January 6, 2021. For the next two years I lived with a deep anxiety, wondering if my country was truly headed towards another civil war or at least another attempted coup.   To believe this, I’d want to be shown the Trump supporters still not in prison who have any inclinations toward violence. So far we haven’t seen any.

Yeah, exactly. If Trump is removed from the ballot they’ll be rioting in the streets! Just like there was when he was indicted! And when he was indicted the second time! And the third time! And the fourth time! And when he lost the civil suit filed by E. Jean Carroll! And when she wins her second lawsuit, oh boy, you all better lock your doors! Because this time we’re going to see what an angry mob can really do!

Maybe his followers are spending so much time traveling back and forth between different court venues that they keep forgetting when and where they’re supposed to riot.

Basically, you need leadership to start a revolution. Not just inspiration, but planning and coordination –what military types call “command and control”. That requires leaders to give explicit orders and see that they’re carried out, which in turn requires courage, because anyone who issues explicit orders to commit violence is sticking their neck in the noose. And Trump’s modus operandi is, as we’ve all learned, to avoid explicit orders for illegal behavior. Every call for action is designed to preserve plausible deniability. That’s a big, big weakness.

The most important thing to remember about January 6 was that it failed, and it failed despite two huge Trump advantages. First, of course, was the element of surprise. No one actually believed that something like that could occur – even many of Trump’s own staff were shocked. Second, as sitting president, he got to draw up the game plan for both sides. He saw to it that the valiant Capitol police force were left without backup while facing tens of thousands of rabid MAGAts. So how did that vast mob fail?

They failed because most of them didn’t understand their mission.

Tucker Carlson and most of the right-wing media have been trying for the past three years to convince America that we didn’t see what we saw that day. Those weren’t rioters, they were just peaceful protesters denouncing what they thought was a stolen election. The crazy thing is, that picture is kind of true! A lot of those idiots just stood around outside waving signs and flags, and many of the ones who went inside just took selfies in the Capitol rotunda (and were later allowed to plead guilty to misdemeanors). They actually thought they were there to simply protest. They didn’t comprehend that their assignment was to shoot Nancy Pelosi and defenestrate Chuck Schumer. Their job was, yes, to hang Mike Pence.

Because Trump communicates everything elliptically, a lot of his instructions go over the head of stupid people. Which is to say, his followers.

Sure, some of those folks got it – the militia types such as the Proud Boys and the Three Percenters understood that they were there to commit extreme violence. But even then, their actions were relatively uncoordinated. The White House (or Trump’s co-conspirators in Congress) surely had access to detailed plans of the building, which could have been provided to the insurrectionists, but I haven’t heard any such allegations. If the bad guys really knew their way around the building things could have been much, much worse. But that would have risked sacrificing plausible deniability.

Today, all Trump’s advantages are gone. No more element of surprise, certainly. Any pro-Trump protest is met with an overwhelming police/national guard presence (and he doesn’t get to design the other team’s game plan any more). His most violent followers, and those with the leadership skills to organize something effective, are either in prison, awaiting trial, or fugitives. (And it’s his own fault, because he could have issued a blanket pardon on his way out of town! The desire to preserve plausible deniability bites him in the ass again!)

Plus, the MAGA crowd have so thoroughly embraced conspiracy theories (promoted, of course, by right-wing media) that anyone who attempts to organize another insurrection will be immediately labeled an FBI plant. That’s why all recent pro-Trump protests have been so sparsely attended: everyone assumes they’re a trap. Trump’s not going to issue an explicit call for violence, and the rank-and-file are too paranoid to coordinate with each other.

So who else is going to start something? Republican politicians? Some red-state governor like Ron DeSantis might have the power base to create trouble, but why do it on Trump’s behalf? They might have to kiss his ass in public today, but they’re all waiting for the moment he’s gone and they can take his place. Today’s GOP isn’t about ideology; they’re all motivated by personal ambition. There’s no incentive for any Republican pol to take a big risk for him – who wants to be the next Rudy Guliani?

I’d like to say that Trump won’t cause any more violence, but we all know that’s wishful thinking. There are plenty of nut jobs with guns in America,and Trump will continuing doing his best to motivate them. But a few crackpots with AR-15s isn’t a revolution. For the past year, Trump has been practically screaming, in his elliptical, gangsteresque way, for a mob to show up and kill Fani Willis or Judge Chaykin or Jack Smith. So far all we’ve seen are a bunch of threatening phone calls. Disturbing if you receive one, but overall pretty chickenshit.

It’s time we all relaxed and realized that the angry MAGA-mob is a chimera. They’re not coming, no matter what happens to their dear leader.

Who are the REAL dangers to children? (HINT: Not Democrats, teachers, LGBT, transgendered, or drag queens.)

In an era where political divisions are starkly etched into the social fabric, a critical narrative has emerged, challenging the long-held stereotypes and accusations predominantly propagated by conservative factions. A TikTok video featuring lawyer Kristen Browde illuminates a disturbing reality: those who vociferously label progressives as ‘perverts’ are often the ones guilty of heinous acts against children.

Browde, through meticulous research, has compiled a comprehensive database spanning all fifty states in the United States. Her objective was clear: to identify which demographic poses the most significant threat to children in terms of sexual offenses. The results are startling and upend the conventional narrative peddled by right-wing voices. These conservative groups have relentlessly cast aspersions on liberals and progressives, accusing them of moral corruption and endangering children through education and inclusive policies.

However, Browde’s findings paint a vastly different picture. The database reveals a disproportionate number of sexual crimes against children committed by individuals often associated with conservative and religious groups. A striking example of their moral decay is the former chairman of the Republican Party in Florida, now embroiled in sexual assault allegations. Such cases starkly contrast the moral superiority often claimed by conservative figures.

The data further challenges the vilification of marginalized groups like transgender individuals and drag queens, who have been baselessly accused of ‘grooming’ children. Browde’s research shows that out of 6,368 cases of sex crimes against children, a minuscule fraction (0.061%) involved transgender individuals, and not a single case implicated a drag queen. This statistic is a damning indictment of the fearmongering tactics used by certain political factions to demonize these communities.

Moreover, the states with the highest per capita incidents of child sex crimes, as per Browde’s database, are predominantly Republican-controlled. This fact raises critical questions about the effectiveness and focus of their policies concerning child safety. West Virginia, a state under complete Republican control, reported over 2,700 victims of child sex abuse in just one year, a startling figure that further challenges the narratives pushed by conservative groups.

Browde’s work is a clarion call for a reevaluation of who the real threats to children are. It exposes the hypocrisy of those who use their positions of power and influence to deflect attention from their misdeeds by casting aspersions on others. Her database, available at whoismakingnews.com, is a testament to the importance of data-driven analysis in debunking myths and false narratives.

This revelation is crucial for progressives and all who champion the truth. It underscores the need to persistently challenge the misinformation and fearmongering tactics employed by some conservative groups. It also serves as a reminder to the public to scrutinize the motives behind certain political agendas, particularly those targeting marginalized communities under the guise of ‘protecting children.’

In conclusion, Kristen Browde’s work is a powerful tool in the ongoing struggle for truth and justice. It not only exposes the real perpetrators of crimes against children but also vindicates those unjustly accused due to their political or social affiliations. As progressives continue to deconstruct the news and disseminate their message, Browdy’s findings offer a compelling narrative that aligns with the progressive ethos of truth, inclusivity, and justice for all.

In interviewed a few months ago when she started this project I am sure you will find enlightening here.