February 11, 2021

On Fox & Friends this morning, co-host Brian Kilmeade imagined a possible defense Donald Trump's team might use in the upcoming impeachment trial -- a defense that distinguishes between organized violent groups and those nice rank-and-file Trump supporters.

"It's going to be interesting to see if they'll cleave groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers and say, 'Guys, they've been planning this for weeks, he was doing a rally and wanted their voices heard outside the Capitol building, not inside the Capitol building," Kilmeade said....

"If you just look at the track record of -- you may not like President Trump's language and what he did after Nov. 3," Kilmeade said, "but you could also say Donald Trump's crowds are not rowdy. They don't wreck things unless they're attacked by BLM and Antifa, and that's why maybe the Capitol police were not prepared because the Trump people did not have a track record of security issues."

Kilmeade's monologue met with some skepticism.

Yes, but I'm sure the Trumpers who are menacing at rallies believe that they're being menacing in a virtuous way, on behalf of God and country and patriotism and America's greatest president. They're not doing the bad kind of menacing.

When rank-and-file Trumpers are menacing, I'm sure they expect to be judged by the same double standard that cops routinely apply: If you're white and conservative, you're entitled to broad latitude as an intimidator (or, in many cases, as a violent actor). Black man with a busted taillight? Expect to find yourself facedown on the pavement with guns at your back and a boot on your neck. White guy who shoots two cops and then leads them on a high-speed chase through three counties? Expect a dignified perp walk after a gentle, nonviolent arrest, and expect to be freed on bail afterward.

Sure, Trumpers convey menace -- but they're entitled to, aren't they?

Published with permission of No More Mr. Nice Blog

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