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Politics : A Hard Look At Donald Trump

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From: Brumar8910/27/2021 7:44:04 AM
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GOP Demands Justice Department Back Off Threat To Protect School Board Members From Violent MobsWe wish it were a joke.

onOctober 26, 2021 at 3:15 PM


What are we mad about this week? The wingnut rage machine has spoken, and it seems America’s number one threat is school boards. Obviously the officials who give their time to guide children’s education are a dangerous scourge which must be stopped.

Whipped into a frenzy by social and rightwing media (Thanks, Zuck! Thanks, Rupert!), “concerned” parents have engaged in a sustained campaign of harassment, disrupting school board meetings to scream inanities about “critical race theory” and insist on their children’s sacred right to sneeze droplets on other people’s kids.

We’ve all seen the videos, like this one of medical personnel leaving a school board meeting in Tennessee while an angry crowd menaces them, shouting “We know who you are, you can leave freely, but we will find you,” and “You will never be allowed in public again.”

Last week, Jennifer Jenkins, a school board member in Florida, wrote in the Washington Post about enduring months of harassment that included protestors outside her home threatening “to make you beg for mercy,” a state rep posting her cellphone number on Facebook and urging citizens to call her (they did), having her lawn vandalized, and a false child abuse report against her.

Be careful, your mommy hurts little kids!” one shouted at my daughter. “You’re going to jail!” they chanted. As I read my daughter a bedtime story inside, they walked outside her bedroom window toward their parked cars. I went out to ensure that they were leaving. One coughed in my face while another shouted, “Give her covid!” A third swung a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag near my face. My neighbors told me they had seen protesters brandishing weapons in the church parking lot behind my house.

The next day, a large “FU” was burned into my lawn with weed killer. The bushes in front of my house were hacked down. That was the day the Department of Children and Families investigator showed up.

Clearly things have gotten out of hand, hence the September 29 letter from the National School Board Association to the president requesting “federal law enforcement and other assistance to deal with the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation.”

On October 4, the Justice Department responded with a memo directing the FBI to convene meetings with local law enforcement officials to address “threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff.” At which point, it was off to the races, with bad faith actors in the GOP pretending that Biden’s Justice Department was targeting parents for exercising their First Amendment right to speak in defense of their precious children.

“Joe Biden’s attorney general wants the FBI to go after parents for speaking out at school board meetings to protect kids from radical curriculum like critical race theory,” tweeted Florida Sen. Rick Scott.

“For those of us who missed the McCarthy era, I guess this president is intent on bringing it to us,” Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley vamped at a Judiciary Committee hearing with Deputy AG Lisa Monaco.

The hearing was on the Violence Against Women Act, but no matter.

“I think parents across this country are going to be stunned to learn — stunned! — that if they show up at a local school board meeting, by the way where they have the right to appear and be heard, where they have the right to say something about their children’s education, where they have the right to vote, and you are attempting to intimidate them,” he howled. “You are attempting to silence them. You are attempting to interfere with their rights as parents, and yes, with their rights as voters.”

Literally none of that is happening. But in the face of unrelenting pressure, the NSBA apologized for the tone of its letter to the Biden administration and promised many days of self flagellation and reflection on its sin of daring to protect its members.

Sensing an advantage in the forever culture war, House Judiciary Committee members pounced, demanding that Garland withdraw the October 4 memo and refrain from any use of federal law enforcement to protect educators and school board members.

“Because the NSBA letter was the basis for your memorandum and given that your memorandum has been and will continue to be read as threatening parents and chilling their protected First Amendment rights, the only responsible course of action is for you to fully and unequivocally withdraw your memorandum immediately,” they huffed indignantly, before racing to screech in one million news hits that “Parents who voice their opinion should never be labeled as domestic terrorists.”

They also appear to blame him for a sexual assault that happened in a Virginia High School, because if you’re going to throw a sucker punch, you might as well go for the knee to the groin while you’re at it. And so the astroturf campaign to harass teachers and school officials goes on, with the perpetrators conveniently recast as victims of evil government storm troopers intent on suppressing their free speech.

If it weren’t for bad faith, these people would have no faith at all.
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