Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites
Ted Cruz's former staffers say they are 'disgusted' by his role in the US Capitol insurrection and his unflinching support of Trump, report says
  • At least six of Sen. Ted Cruz's former aides have expressed their disgust at the recent actions of their former boss, according to New York Magazine's Intelligencer.
  • Ted Cruz is under fire for spreading election misinformation, objecting to the results of the 2020 election being certified, and having fundraised during the US Capitol insurrection.
  • Democratic lawmakers have called for Cruz to resign or to be removed from office.
  • His former staffers believe that the senator has deserted his conservative values, Intelligencer reported.
This behavior, which has included peddling election misinformation, leading the objection to the Electoral college certification, and sending out a fundraising email while a pro-Trump mob breached the Capitol, has left a soured the impression of those who have previously worked for him.

One former aide told Intelligencer: "Most of Cruzworld is pretty disgusted."

Another told the magazine: "Everyone is upset with the direction things have gone, and the longer they've been with the senator, the more distaste they are expressing."

... One former aide explained: "Personally, it's painful. It sucks. We've always backed him because the country deserves principled conservative leadership … I'd say he got unlucky the Capitol was stormed by a mob, but in reality, he placed himself at the political mercy of others."

Another former staffer, Amanda Carpenter, told Intelligencer: "I could never have imagined that he could have gone down this road."

Carpenter added that she was shocked that her former boss would "potentially cancel votes in a way that defied any standards of federalism and constitutionalism."

... Rick Tyler, a former spokesman on Cruz's presidential campaign, told Intelligencer that this a sign of his political opportunism. He said: "Ted Cruz will abandon principle, he will abandon conservative values for expediency, and you're seeing it again, only more dangerous."

Ted Cruz, who peddled election misinformation for weeks before the Capitol riot, plans to attend Biden's inauguration
  • Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas plans to attend President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration, after weeks of elevating misinformation about the election results.
  • Cruz has faced immense backlash and increasing pressure to resign following his objection to the election certification last week.
  • Biden has even criticized the Texas senator and said he should be defeated in 2024.
Since November, Cruz has sown doubts into the electoral process, regularly pushing President Donald Trump's unfounded claims of voter fraud and that the election was stolen and rigged. A staunch supporter of the president, the Texas senator had even offered to represent Trump in a Supreme Court case to overturn the results. The court never took up the lawsuit, adding to the dozens of legal battles that Trump and his lawyers have waged and lost.

Following Trump's YouTube ban, it is feared his supporters are migrating to a 'Wild West' of video-sharing, mingling with far-right and neo-Nazis terror groups
  • The crackdown by social media giants following the siege of the US Capitol building has prompted some of Trump's followers to migrate to new 'free speech' platforms.
  • BitChute, a video-sharing website, is one of the websites that pro-Trump supporters are increasingly viewing as a suitable alternative to YouTube.
  • Despite guidelines existing, it appears that BitChute is doing little to remove hateful content.
  • On the websites, Trump supporters coalesce with video makers and their followers, calling COVID-19 a hoax, denying the Holocaust, and even promoting white supremacist terrorist groups.
  • Terrorist groups are actively recruiting members on these video-sharing platforms, experts told Insider.
"The migration to other websites has existed for a while. We've seen a lot of content splitting off into smaller channels as a result of previous crackdowns that were happening on YouTube from as early as 2019," Dr. Andre Obeler — CEO of the Online Hate Prevention Institute — told Insider.

Last week's suspensions, however, have sped up the process. "The far-right's gravitation towards these platforms for has now certainly been accelerated," Oboler said.

BitChute, a British video hosting website founded in 2017, has drawn in those suspicious of YouTube's moderation policies for over three years. Recently, however, it has seen a massive spike in interest.

BitChute reached its peak popularity in the immediate aftermath of the attempted coup in Washington DC and Trump's subsequent social media exile.

Google Trends, a tool monitoring search queries, shows that BitChute is currently being searched for more than at any other point in its history.

The peak period was the week of January 10, 2021 — immediately following Trump's ban from Twitter and suspension from YouTube.

"Growth is strong and traffic has doubled this week," a BitChute spokesperson told Insider.

Republicans and conservatives are whining about being 'silenced,' but these complaints are completely detached from reality
  • Conservatives have complained about being "silenced" in the wake of Trump's boot from Twitter and the Parler ban.
  • But Fox News, the highest rated news channel, is conservative and GOP officials and conservative pundits have a variety of outlets to air their grievances.
  • Instead of complaining about being "silenced," conservatives should address the reasons why their rhetoric is seen as toxic: the violence and far-right elements of their party.
They also love to whimper about Silicon Valley being the "thought police" for conservative ideas. But Twitter let President Donald Trump violate the platform's policies day after day, year after year, until the violent riots on January 6.

So it's clear that all of the conservative claims of being "silenced," are not good faith arguments for free speech but rather a way to stoke anger, gain attention, and raise money.

As soon as Twitter announced that it was permanently banning Trump due to his incitement of the Capitol riots and possibly more, the majority of America – which is pro-unity, anti-bully – breathed a sigh of relief.

But among right wingers, the decision triggered a wave of teeth gnashing. Their focus was not on the carnage at the Capitol – but on the fact that Trump's middle finger had been removed by Silicon Valley. Pundits and GOP lawmakers were sobbing as they said that it was California vs the conservatives, that their free speech was being violated, that the crackdown on QAnon and spam accounts cost them followers.

But the issue is not left vs right. It's right vs wrong. After years violating Twitter policy and posting dangerous rhetoric, Trump was finally stopped because the danger became too clear: Americans died because of his words. It's not conservative principles that caused social media to take a stand. It's violence, sedition, incitement.

So unless the Republican party claims to be synonymous with the riot on the Hill, then there is a huge bright line between conservative speech that should be debated and violent action that should be destroyed.

Parler is not shut down because it's right wing. It's shut down because it became the place to plan more violent attacks. This is not about free speech. Twitter and its ilk remain platforms for vigorous – and then some – debate.

If Republicans really don't want to be banned from social media, they need to stop associating with the alt-right, the fringe, the militia extremists. Those groups are the energy of the Republican party, but they're focused on mob violence, not conservative principles.

... Conservatives will continue to cry about these issues because it's a successful ploy to keep their audience engaged and enraged in our profitable culture of division. But let's not let them fool us any more. We've paid that price already.

First-term GOP Rep. Peter Meijer says he 'may very well have' ended his political career by voting to impeach Trump
  • GOP Rep. Peter Meijer of Michigan said on Sunday that he might have ended his political future by voting to impeach President Donald Trump.
  • During an appearance on ABC's "This Week," host George Stephanopoulos asked Meijer if he potentially damaged his career beyond repair in joining nine of his Republican colleagues in voting to remove Trump from office.
  • "I may very well have," Meijer said. "But I think it's also important that we have elected leaders who are not thinking solely about what's in their individual self-interest, not what is going to be politically expedient, but what we actually need for the country."
He added: "Impeaching a president was nothing that we ever hoped to do. Many of us deliberated deeply. This was not as easy as just saying what is in our best political interest, but, frankly, looking at the evidence, looking at the facts of the case, reading the article and asking, is this true by our own experience, by our lived experience? And it was."

"I think it's time that we acknowledge that what happened on January 6 was a betrayal of what had been accomplished over the past four years, that it was a culmination of a politics that at all too often fanned flames, rather than focusing on building and governing," said Meijer.

When asked if the GOP should look past Trump, Meijer contended that the president brought "change" to Washington DC, but that he was unable to control his impulses.

"You know, the president brought some necessary energy," Meijer said. "He brought some necessary ideas. He shook the tree. He was a change agent. The challenge was that he didn't know when to stop, and he didn't draw the line."

He added: "To me, political violence is the line that we must draw."

Rep. Jamie Raskin on Trump impeachment: 'I'm not going to lose my son' in 2020 and 'lose my country' in 2021
  • Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland on Sunday said that he's "not going to lose my son at the end of 2020 and lose my country and my republic in 2021" as he reflected on the recent death of his 25-year-old son, Tommy, and his own role as the lead House manager in President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial.
  • On CNN's "State of the Union" with host Jake Tapper, Raskin said that the memory of his son drove him to accept House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's request to become an impeachment manager.
  • "I did it really with my son in my heart, and helping lead the way," Raskin said. "I feel him in my chest."
  • Raskin called the Jan. 6 Capitol riots "the most dangerous crime by a president ever committed against the United States."
He emphasized: "This was the most serious presidential crime in the history of the United States of America — the most dangerous crime by a president ever committed against the United States. There are Republicans who are recognizing it, as well as Democrats."

... "We don't have a minute to spare," he said. "He's a clear and present danger to the people."

He added: "We're putting together a trial plan, which is designed to get the truth of all of these events out. We are going to be able to tell the story of this attack on America and all of the events that led up to it."

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was suspended by Twitter for 12 hours not long after she told Trump supporters to 'mobilize' in a deleted tweet
  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia known for her promotion of the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, was suspended by Twitter for 12 hours, her office said in a statement.
  • Twitter confirmed to Insider that Greene had been temporarily "locked out" from the account, citing violations of its civic integrity policy.
  • On Saturday, Greene tweeted a message that said, in part, Trump supporters should "mobilize and make your voices heard in opposition to these attacks on our liberties."
  • Social-media platforms, including Twitter, have cracked down on accounts that spread misinformation and encourage violence following a deadly insurrection by pro-Trump rioters at the US Capitol on January 6, angering conservatives.
Greene is known for espousing views in line with QAnon, the baseless, far-right conspiracy theory that has gained prominence among some Republicans, though Greene was the first person elected to Congress to publicly support the theory. In an interview with Fox News in August, Greene said she decided to "choose another path" after she found "misinformation" within the QAnon community, as Insider's Rachel E. Greenspan previously noted.

In a scathing op-ed published in The Atlantic Sunday, Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican, blasted Greene and members of his party for pandering to those who believe the nonsense theory, centered around the belief that Trump is fighting a "deep state" cabal of satanic pedophiles.

"The newly elected Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene is cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs," Sasse wrote in The Atlantic.

GOP Rep. Nancy Mace said that Trump 'put all of our lives at risk' during the Capitol riots, but rejected impeachment, calling the process 'rushed'
  • Freshman GOP Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina said on Sunday that President Donald Trump's actions related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riots "put all of our lives at risk."
  • "We feared for our lives, many of us that day, and our staff," she said. "My children were supposed to be up there. If they had been there like they were supposed to be, I would have been devastated, so we do need to find a way to hold the president accountable."
  • Despite calling out Trump's conduct, Mace voted against impeachment, calling the process "rushed."

Trump planning to raise $2 billion for a presidential library, likely in Florida: report
  • President Donald Trump is telling supporters and GOP donors that he wants to raise $2 billion for a presidential library and museum, according to The Washington Post.
  • No official announcements have been made, but the presidential library is "likely" to be in Florida, home of his Mar-a-Lago resort.
  • After the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, where five people were killed, several former Trump advisors are skeptical of the president's expensive proposal.
  • "I thought to myself, what is this alternative fantasy life you're living?," a Trump fundraiser told The Post. "I have no clue where they think they'll get this money raised. Anyone who gives to him will be radioactive."
When asked about fundraising for the library, another Trump donor called the effort "insane," saying that, "except for the wackos, everybody's running for the hills," according to The Post.

Lindsey Graham asked Chuck Schumer, the next Senate majority leader, to dismiss a Trump impeachment trial in the name of 'national healing'
  • Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham asked Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer in a letter on Sunday to hold a vote in the Senate to dismiss the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
  • Graham, a close ally of the president, briefly broke with the president after the January 6 insurrection, but has since returned to defending him.
  • In the letter to Schumer, Graham argued that if the trial is not dismissed "we will be delaying indefinitely, if not forever, the healing of this great nation."
Graham, a frequent ally of the president, briefly broke from Trump after the Capitol siege and acknowledged President-elect Joe Biden had won the election.

However, in the letter to Schumer, he argued in that the impeachment was "unconstitutional" because Trump will already be out of office when the trial begins.

or Trump-ism

Trumpism refers to the nontraditional political philosophy and approach espoused by US President Donald Trump and his supporters. The term Trumpism can also be used to directly refer to an outrageous or idiosyncratic statement made by Donald Trump.

Trumpisms are Bushisms on steroids.