Nebraska Republican Congressman Jeff Fortenberry is a convicted liar who has now resigned. Good. But he has never been held accountable for abusing the power of his office to hunt down and threaten the jobs of people who criticized him with a joke.
You might remember his Chief of Staff made national news for threatening a state university professor for LIKING a Facebook post of a sign calling him Fartenberry.
Here's an excellence analysis of the call that explains how William "Reyn" Archer the III tried to turn liking a FB post into supporting vandalism.
Why The Whole Freaking World Knows That Rep. Jeff Fortenberry Hates Being Called Fartenberry
"Kohen correctly notes what this is: a violation of the First Amendment, in which a government official is clearly threatening and putting pressure on a constituent over his protected expression:"
Here's the Chris Hayes segment on it.
But what most people don't know is how Fortenberry abused the power of his office to hunt down the people who put googly eyes on that sign.
Fortenberry's office got two Lincoln detectives assigned to lift fingerprints, get DNA samples and comb through cell phone calls like it was a murder case. Keep in mind this happened in a community with 1,000s of untested rape kits.
Later, when people put googly eyes and Post It notes on the door of his office and the office of Sen. Deb Fischer, he again overreacted.
Fortenberry got the TV show CRIMEBUSTERS to ask the public to identify his critics!
Instead of laughing it off, Fortenberry and Sen Deb Fischer pursued a criminal case for property damages of one dollar!
Sen. Deb Fischer Wants to Put Constituent in Jail For Posting A Note On Her Door
Fortenberry eventually dropped out of that case, but his intimidating point was made. Sen. Fischer continued, and lost the case.
— Spocko (@spockosbrain) March 25, 2022
I'm telling this story because people need to understand how Fortenberry (and other RW authoritarians) usually respond when criticized. Their answer to criticism is to "hit back 10 times harder." The very act of being challenged enrages them. Remember, they went after the jobs of the people who LIKED a Facebook post and who did something as silly as put googly eyes on a sign!
When Fortenberry resigned he went right into "I'm the real victim" mode posting a poem he saw on a wall of Mother Teresa's children's home in Calcutta. (Ex-congressman. please. Such desperate virtue signaling! ) His next step will probably be the "cancel culture" rehabilitation tour.
But I want to remind people there were no consequences for when he and his office intimidated and threatened his critics. An ethics complaint "was filed against his chief of staff, big whoop.
The right has taken the mob model of using intimidations and threats to get what they want ALL THE TIME. They use their mob lawyers in court and their MAGA mob on social media.
My point is that we can no longer expect the right wing to ever accept any legitimate defeat. We must alway prepare for them to flip the narrative to them being the victim. They will whine about how unfair it is which justifies their "extra legal" options.
This signals to their followers that those who hold them accountable need to be threatened more, so they don't ever try again.
The story isn't over after we win. It's not over until we destroy their post-defeat narrative.