The post-Charlottesville open line | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The post-Charlottesville open line

Posted By on Sun, Aug 13, 2017 at 5:20 PM

Events in Charlottesville still weigh heavily as I throw open the evening line.

Charles Pierce in Esquire writes how bleak the moment and begins by noting Republican legislation around the country, including a bill passed by the North Carolina House, that would extend civil immunity for motorists who should happen to strike protesters in a public roadway.

Arkansas, of course, joined the Republican fad of the moment.

Rep. Kim Hammer proposed to make it a crime for three or more people to block a roadway, as those struck by the Charlottesville terrorist were doing. Republican Sen. Trent Garner also wanted to criminalize protest by those who blocks roadways. The Arkansas legislature passed the bill. Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed it. It didn't quite go so far as to specifically iimmunize runaway motorists, but the sentiment was clear: People who block streets deserve arrest, not protection.

Pierce writes powerfully. And what disturbs him goes beyond the auto terrorist.

As horrifying as the video of the murderous automobile was, there was another image from Charlottesville that shook me even more deeply. At some point in the long and bloody afternoon, a phalanx of local militia wannabes took up posts around Emancipation Park. They were dressed like Croatian guerrillas and they carried formidable firearms. As far as I know, they didn't do anything worth noting, but they were standing there as heralds to a very bleak future.

We now know what the reaction will be if the institutions of government, and the people in them, get so sickened by this administration that they act to rid the country of it. Is there any doubt that a president* who, after the events of this weekend, can't even see fit to rid himself of the fascists around him, including the ludicrous Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Ph.D., wouldn't balk at encouraging paranoid violence as a means of self-preservation? Is there any doubt that a president* who could not even muster the gumption or the outrage to criticize Nazis for what they are wouldn't blink at bringing the temple down on his own head either out of pure childish pique, or because he doesn't know any other way?


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