“Bring that f***ing b**** [Nancy Pelosi] out here now. Bring her out. Bring her out here. We’re coming in if you don’t bring her out.”
“Bring them out. We want them out here…You bring them out or we’re coming in. They’re criminals. They need to hang…bring her out…Bring Nancy Pelosi out here now. We want to hang that f***ing b****. Bring her out. We’re coming in if you don’t bring her out. What are you trying to protect a f***ing Nazi. Is that what you’re protecting?”
Imagine yelling those words at the top of your lungs, in a crowd that had just pushed its way into Nancy Pelosi’s workplace, to a police officer standing in the way, sworn to protect her. Pure, murderous insanity, right?
Yet that’s exactly what a new federal indictment alleges Kane, PA resident Pauline Bauer was up to on January 6th at the U.S. Capitol.
That scene was the culmination of two months of daily hysteria shouted out in every possible direction by then-President Donald Trump. That scene came during the exact time Nancy Pelosi and the rest of congress was slated to certify Trump’s opponent as president-elect.
It was fact-free hysteria, to be sure, as a flood of more than 60 lawsuits attempting to overturn our presidential election failed to overturn a single vote. But people like Pauline Bauer weren’t reading the scorching dismissals of Trump-appointed federal judges. Oh, no.
Bauer was instead persuaded by the wild-eyed accusations of people like Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, elected GOP officials all too happy to follow along with the nonsense such as U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly of PA’s 16th congressional district, talking heads from propaganda outlets like Newsmax and OAN – and the continued silence of 90% of the Republican Party.
The “Mother of All Conspiracies”
Earlier in the indictment, Bauer was shown to have posted the following on Facebook that day from inside the Capitol:
“[Y]ou can thank me after you start researching that these Democrats not only cheated and stole this election from the people but they have been trafficking children for years.”
That accusation of child trafficking is a bedrock belief among “Q-Anon” adherents which is itself worth a quick digression.
Q-Anon is sort of the mother of all conspiracy theories, as if created in a lab designed to find the batshit craziest thing imaginable that millions of people could nonetheless be made to believe. It holds that “a cabal of Satanic, cannibalistic pedophiles run a global child sex trafficking ring and conspired against former President Donald Trump during his term in office.”
The only “evidence” in support of this theory is a series of anonymous internet comments by a single online persona calling himself “Q.” His followers are predominantly folks who dismiss the entire mainstream media due in large part to their reliance on anonymous sources. Sound incoherent? Too bad. Proof of incoherence rolls off the backs of Q-Anon believers like water off a duck.
Where it’s going
Now back to our friend Pauline and why any of this matters. First, it matters because the Donald Trumps of our country know they have a shiny new tool in their toolbox. They can inspire thousands of random people from small towns like Kane, PA to drive all the way down to Washington, D.C. to try to execute their perceived enemies on little more than Donald Trump’s say-so and random internet comments from a troll named “Q.”
It matters because Republican leaders keep that tool in stock by continuing to lie about the attempted insurrection. Rep. Andrew Clyde [R-GA] recently called it a “bold faced lie” that more closely resembled a “normal tourist visit.”
Rep. Paul Gosar [R-AZ] said the U.S. Dept. of Justice is “harassing peaceful patriots across this country” by merely investigating this mess.
These lies are working. A new Reuters/Ipsos poll out last week showed that 48% of Republicans now believe that “the people who gathered at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 were mostly peaceful, law-abiding Americans” as opposed to 13% of Democrats and 22% of Independents who believed the same. A 53% majority of Republicans also believe that “the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol was led by violent left-wing protesters trying to make Trump look bad.” All while senate Republicans scuttle a bipartisan commission to report on the event, thus encouraging lies about it to go unchallenged.
So here’s the million dollar question: if Republicans wanted a second, more successful January 6th in the near future, would they act any differently than this? If Trump runs again in 2024 and loses, will he view Jan. 6, 2021 as a trial run, and pull every lever at his disposal to “improve” on it?
That’s why it’s important to look at Pauline Bauer’s face in this indictment, and read her words. She was out for blood. She was unsuccessful and will face federal charges, but the consequences of those who inspired her have yet to be determined. They will be determined by us, the voters. If we don’t impose a cost on those who inspired her that exceeds any potential benefit – we’ll see more Pauline Bauers in the years ahead.