Thug until the end

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On Monday we learned that someone had falsely reported a crime at Judge Tanya Chutkan’s house, in a failed attempt at tricking a SWAT team into entering her home, presumably in the hope of getting Chutkan killed. On its own it felt like the kind of story best ignored by people like me, and instead left to law enforcement.

But then later on Monday we learned that on Christmas Day, someone had also falsely reported to the police that Special Counsel Jack Smith had shot his wife, also in the apparent hope of tricking the police into raiding Smith’s home and killing him.

These two incidents constitute a pattern, and it’s the kind of pattern we’ve seen before. Members of Donald Trump’s base just tried to take out both the judge and the prosecutor overseeing Trump’s upcoming criminal trial. These were amateurishly stupid plots that were never going to work, and were only ever going to get the perpetrators thrown in prison. But the same was true of January 6th, and it was nonetheless an attack on the United States.

Once again, Donald Trump’s supporters are attempting to use violence to try to save him. But you know what? So be it. It’s not working. January 6th didn’t keep Trump in office. And these “swatting” attempts aren’t working either. Judge Chutkan isn’t withdrawing from the case. Jack Smith isn’t hiding under his desk. They’re going to move forward with the task at hand, just as determined as ever to see this through – and we have to take that same mindset.

Isaac Asimov once wrote that “violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” Donald Trump and his movement are demonstrating precisely what that quote means. January 6th was an act of desperation after they realized Trump really was going to be forced from office after losing. The “swatting” incidents are another desperation act, as Trump’s supporters begin to figure out that his criminal trial really is about to happen. It means they’re losing, and they know they’re losing.

So let’s not go panicking over this sort of thing. Let’s not waste our time becoming professional lamenters. Instead, let’s put this back on Trump’s base. They want to keep trying to carry out acts of violence in his name? We’ll keep using it to make Trump and his base look awful in the eyes of the mainstream political voters who decide elections. Trump wants to keep failing to disavow this kind of violent behavior? Fine, we’ll use it against him in campaign ads. We always knew he’d be a thug until the end – and this is the latest sign that it is getting close to the end.

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