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The Slow Boil of Civil War II

There are more burning straws in the American wind. The perpetrators of the power grid attacks in Washington state and North Carolina have not been caught. An unsuccessful Republican candidate for the New Mexico state legislature has just been arrested for shooting at Democratic elected officials’ homes and paying four other men to do the same, after taking up the Trump Big Lie that he had been cheated of his rightful victory. And in Washington, D.C., the new, super-slim House Republican majority is entirely at the mercy of its craziest members, who have constituted a new “investigative” committee that appears to be a Q-Anon front and are actively pushing the United States into defaulting on the national debt by June.

America has been living on borrowed time since the January 6, 2021 putsch was just barely thwarted. With the exception of Steve Bannon, none of the senior putschists have even been arrested, much less tried, and almost all the small fry have been brought up on laughable misdemeanor charges and sentenced to probation or at most a month or two in the pokey. All the investigations of Trump himself have failed to touch him; the suspicion is confirmed that he is untouchable. President Biden and his administration have only fitfully engaged with the mortal threat this country faces from a Republican Party that has been transformed into a fascist front. Thanks to Biden and the January 6 Committee, the MAGA-tized Republicans only barely took control of the House in last November’s elections and lost ground in the Senate and many state-level races. But the failure to fully engage with the threat they pose leaves the fascists confident that they can and will gain complete control, if they can just provoke the right sort of disaster. Defaulting on the national debt and thereby crashing the economy will intensify the smell of gasoline in the air, but someone must light a match. No vote in Congress will suffice for that; there must and will be blood.

Will it be another vigilante prowling around the edges of a racial justice protest with a loaded rifle, or running over the protesters, an act of murder and mayhem that several Republican state legislatures have legalized? Or will it be an assassination or three? It is virtually certain that the aforementioned “Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government,” which is championed by Rep. Jim Jones, I mean “Gym” Jordan, will spend enough time and energy demonizing the far right’s favorite targets to bring out the weaponized MAGAs. One suspects that we won’t have to wait until anywhere near the next presidential election to see the spark lit.

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