Gov. McKee wants you to know that you’re deplorable.

 

The 199,922 Rhode Islanders who voted for President Trump (and probably tens of thousands more who supported him but did not vote) have good cause to wonder whether the governor of the State of Rhode Island cares about their lives and interests.

When Dan McKee found out that somebody hosting a fundraiser for him, Jerry Zarrella, had been a Rhode Island chair of the Trump campaign — or at least when somebody made an issue of it — he didn’t just gracefully bow out so as to disassociate himself from Trump while remaining respectful of one-fifth or more of his constituents.  (Forget about a unifying statement about representing all Rhode Islanders and welcoming a broad coalition of support.)  He put out the following extremely aggressive statement, as John DePetro reports:

Once I became aware on Friday afternoon of the details of a fundraising event set for next Wednesday, I asked that the event be cancelled.

I do not want to be associated with Donald Trump in any way, shape, or form.  I do not like Trump…he is dishonest, divisive, and his “Big Lie” is a threat to our democracy.

There is no place for a Trump spokesperson to co-host any event I am involved in.

Hey, McKee:  you’re the governor; everything isn’t about you.  You know who’s “divisive?”  Daniel McKee.  Zarrella isn’t Trump, and McKee is participating in one of the most destructive tendencies of “cancel culture” — criminalizing ordinary political engagement.

What other events that the governor of Rhode Island is “involved in” count, by the way?  If a Rhode Islander accomplishes something that attracts recognition — a business expands, say, or a student achieves something spectacular — and progressive journalists ferret out incriminating evidence that he or she supported President Trump, will they no longer count as worthy of his Eminence’s presence at an event?

Just to be safe, Rhode Islanders should begin refusing to participate in any events involving McKee.

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Mario
Mario
6 months ago

“criminalizing ordinary political engagement.”

None of these words fairly describe the situation.

Mario
Mario
Reply to  Justin Katz
6 months ago

What we’ll never see is the alternate scenario where that campaign ends gracefully, with Trump accepting his defeat and supporting a peaceful transfer of power. Maybe McKee would have said the same thing anyway, but we don’t live in that world and it’s important to recognize it.

Last edited 6 months ago by Mario
Mario
Mario
Reply to  Justin Katz
6 months ago

Zarella’s involvement was (and remains?) considerably more than a simple supporter, and as far as I know the extent of his opposition was saying that he should concede back in November. I think under the circumstances we should expect a little more than that.

This isn’t about the Governor’s job or access to basic services, this is about a political campaign and the image the Governor wants to project about himself. I don’t think there is anything outrageous in telling people that you can’t simply pivot cleanly from Trump to McKee without losing a step. You always have the option to not flip back and forth between parties based on the prevailing winds. A good faith effort at a mea culpa should be respected, and if someone tried and was shutdown anyway you’d have a point, but you can’t expect forgiveness without contrition.

Mario
Mario
Reply to  Justin Katz
6 months ago

You can’t dismiss the idea that people would be forgiven until you find a Trump supporter who is willing to own up to their mistakes. It is very interesting that you use the word “divisive,” because it’s the same charge they lob at Liz Cheney. It seems to mean, “we’re going to pretend nothing happened, and you’re being a bully if you don’t play along.” The consistent theme is absolving Trump supporters of any accountability for their choices.

The Trump movement attempted to violently overthrow the constitutional order because an election didn’t go their way, and there’s a very good chance they’ll try again. You can’t expect everyone else to just pretend it didn’t happen, or accept that one of the major American parties simply has a paramilitary wing now. Denouncing that movement and those tactics is not a lot to ask before someone is accepted back into mainstream politics.

Mario
Mario
Reply to  Justin Katz
6 months ago

We know the points of mine that you are declining to acknowledge, so I won’t rehash them. I’m saying that the calls for unity only go one way, the onus is only ever on them, never on Trump supporters. You expect to be cooperated to, never with. You have to lump all of the left and center-left together to build up an equally objectionable record of behavior, and I’d suggest you not only fail to reach equity (indeed many of the things you think are hoaxes and lies remain as true as ever), you kind of look foolish acting like Dan McKee and Joe Biden are one and the same with the most radical members of their own party, let alone every green party loony and ANTIFA anarchist. You can’t just put everyone slightly to the left of yourself in one big lump and pretend it’s a coherent movement.

I think what you are seeing is more a product of a persecution complex than full-on fascism, and, believe it or not, what you describe is exactly the message the other side thinks they’re hearing too (Sohrab Ahmari stands out as being particularly explicit about it).

Mario
Mario
Reply to  Justin Katz
6 months ago

“Natural causes.” In any other circumstances, if a police officer healthy enough to show up to work is harassed, sprayed with bear spray, and suffers multiple strokes as a result you wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the cause of death.

And calling it as my side is an indictment of the state of the right, no? How did the right go so far afield that I, without a single change in my opinions, found myself as a member of the amorphous left? Free markets and limited government have been replaced by bitterness, ethnic anxiety, and a sad cult of personality and, frankly, it doesn’t seem to be working out.

For the “implicitly condemn,” I go back to the persecution complex hypothesis. Zarrella was trying to participate in the processes of the Democratic Party while his Twitter page remained 100% MAGA and brain worms. He could have at least taken off the hat, no?

Mario
Mario
Reply to  Justin Katz
6 months ago

Again, the only consistent theme is making sure that Trump and Trump supporters bear no responsibility for the consequences of their choices.

Mario
Mario
Reply to  Justin Katz
6 months ago

I’m trying to let this go (only for now, I’ll never stop confronting you with the terrible things you choose to believe), but only because I’m afraid if I keep pushing my luck we’ll eventually hear a theory that he isn’t dead at all. I mean, “he wasn’t killed by bear spray, it was mace” doesn’t exactly undermine the “killed” part as much as you think it does, nor does “he wasn’t hit with a fire extinguisher or pummeled with the American flag, those were different officers” make me reevaluate the terror of the day.

Maybe we can at least agree that the “divisive” part in all of this comes down to the cavalcade of lies, even if we can’t agree on which side is the one with a greater grasp on the truth. I think it is the enormous one with all of the mainstream media, business leaders, the centrist politicians, the left, anyone who watched the video footage, the mainstream respectable right, and quite a few further right personalities like McConnell back when the events were still fresh. You think it is the shrinking side, with the Trump loyalists and a handful of Q nuts. When it comes down to it, those of us who are more removed from the situation are only really guessing which side is right.

Mario
Mario
Reply to  Justin Katz
6 months ago

I fully admit to assigning collective guilt to the mob. When you join this kind of group and do things like storm government buildings you become responsible for all of the damage and deaths that result. The mob killed Ashli Babbitt. The mob killed Brian Sicknick. The mob killed the officers who succumbed to suicide right after. The mob broke windows, stole things, etc. The two who are being held may very well be innocent on a technical level, or they may be guilty. But on a higher level we already know who is responsible for those deaths.

Don’t forget that there were two aspects to the rally that day, the people who showed up for the speeches and milled around for a bit afterward minding their own business, and the ones who rampaged at the Capitol with treason on their minds. If you offered Democrats a quarter of the skepticism and forbearance you reserve for the latter group you’d be horrified. I wouldn’t be bothering with this if I didn’t think you were capable of it. Hillary said half of Trump supporters were deplorable, you don’t have to self-identify with that half.

Mario
Mario
Reply to  Justin Katz
6 months ago

If a group of teenagers break into a house and have a party, which of the party-goers are to blame? Are the ones who arrived late less responsible? I think it’s pretty clear that going through the door is the line.

In this case there is another nice sharp line, the barricades (the idea that the police opened the door is another convenient lie (as if the riot officer screaming as he was being crushed trying to block a doorway never happened), though even if there were some collaborators that wouldn’t change anything). I wouldn’t say speech attendance was okay, it was a cult-like rally in service of a lie. But (except for maybe the organizers) it was still speech, not treason. This is like any other protest, protesting is fine, rioting is not. Mob violence works like a flood, the people who start the violence are emboldened by the feelings of anonymity they get in a large group. The people in the back increase the pressure in the front; there are rarely specific instigators, they all instigate each other cooperatively. The teenagers only throw the party in the first place because they expect other people to show up. Each person has a responsibility to defuse the situation, or at least not to add to it. You can’t look at a gallon of water and say that’s the one that broke the dam.

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