January 6th insurrectionist and rioter Daniel Rodriguez, who twice tased and tortured, and permanently disabled, then Capitol Police Officer Michael Fanone, has been sentenced to 12.5 years by US District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson. Upon leaving the sentencing hearing Rodriguez shouted defiantly to the court “Trump Won”. Trump did not win and even lost the popular vote twice.
Anyone, with an inkling of curiosity, can do enough research to confirm the Big Lie is, in fact, a big lie. Absent that, sworn depositions were taken from Fox News anchors and management to make the case that Dominion Voting Systems was repeatedly defamed by the network. The resultant $787.5 million settlement in Dominion’s favor and the transcripts provide a motherlode of enlightenment for anyone still suffering under the delusion that Trump should be president.
It’s possible and even probable that Rodriguez, who used the moniker “Patriot 45 MAGA Gang” to recruit on Telegram, can’t be bothered to do research and simply puts all his faith into the MAGA propaganda machine and therefore wrongly believes Trump didn’t lose. Just as likely, Rodriguez doesn’t want to know the truth because he would be forced to admit his conduct was abhorrent and criminal and maybe even need to apologize for ending someone’s career.
This week, NPR (National Public Radio) published a story highlighting the dangers facing America’s election workers who are being threatened and harassed by election deniers like Rodriguez and fueled and fomented by rhetoric from MAGA propagandists. NPR focused on Coos County, Oregon, and by simply repeating his own words, revealed how feckless a leader and potentially delusional local county commissioner, Rod Taylor really is.
Taylor, heeding a call from convicted felon, Michael Flynn co-founded a local group called CRL (Citizens Restoring Liberty) that continues to meet weekly. He participated in the January 6th insurrection and tells NPR that he has attended talks by people touring the country promoting voter fraud conspiracies. CRL has promoted voter fraud conspiracy movies like the thoroughly debunked 2000 Mules and he has perpetuated these myths juicing his followers with fantastical and unfounded tales of corruption at the local election office.
Taylor admits to NPR he is aware local election staffers fear for their safety but refuses to take any responsibility. He inadvertently admits to being a failed leader when he likens his acolytes to a herd of cats who may have behaved in “unproductive ways.” It should be noted that Taylor never publicly admonished his followers for their behavior during the election and even recently, repeated his unsubstantiated criticism of Dede Murphy, the interim county clerk who presided over his own victory.
In fact, Taylor’s conduct is a perfect example of stochastic terrorism, the public demonization of a person or group and delivered to an audience in such a way as to make some violent response from someone statistically inevitable. A key feature of stochastic terrorism is plausible deniability. Taylor uses language to provoke violence from his cat herd but not so directly as to implicate himself.
The NPR story did a splendid job of enabling Taylor to reveal himself as the weakminded, spineless and inadequate public servant he is.