Until yesterday, I thought I would never see social media being used in a more crazy way than the way it is being used by Congressional followers of MAGA like Lauren Boebert and MTG.
I was wrong. I was dead wrong because today I spent some time on a website which promotes anti-Semitic ideas and programs, uniting the efforts of American Nazis with – ready? – Jews!
I’m talking about a group called the Goyim Defense League, whose website contains video content from various neo-Nazi groups planning a ‘national day of hate’ in Florida today, along with a sermon from someone named Rabbi Yaron Reuven, explaining why Hitler’s anti-Semitism was rooted in a logical and necessary response to how Jewish financial interests made the post-World War I economic collapse of Germany even worse.
And what did the Jews do that made them a perfect target for anti-Semitic laws? They created the ruinous inflation by charging exorbitant interest on monies they lent. Which, according to Rabbi Reuven, is exactly what American Jewish financiers and banks are doing in America right now!
Alright, so maybe this guy’s crazy and maybe all the ‘day of hate’ activities being planned by the Nazis in Florida won’t take place. Last month this bunch held what they claimed would be a statewide series of anti-Semitic demonstrations, and the only gathering which seems to have occurred was on a street-corner in Orlando where a dozen or so Nazis appeared.
Maybe it’s just that this neo-Nazi group is nothing more than a few schmucks waving flags and running a website; maybe there’s no reason to attract public attention to an asshole like Rabbi Reuven, if in fact he actually has earned a rabbinical degree.
Maybe that’s the reason why so far there hasn’t been a single peep out of Ron DeSantis about the existence or activities of these assholes – maybe, maybe, and maybe.
But in fact, last month a bill was introduced in the Florida legislature which would prohibit anyone from leaving anti-Semitic materials in front of private home or posting an anti-Semitic message on the side of a building or other public space. So far, the Governor’s office has been silent when asked whether he would sign such a bill into law.
DeSantis has to know that Trump’s popularity nosedived and never recovered after he waited a week to condemn the Nazis who marched through Charlottesville in 2017 and then said there were ‘good people’ on both sides. Trump trotted out all kinds of verbal shenanigans to excuse himself for what he said, but the damage was done.
But that was 2017, and this is 2023. And what DeSantis and all the other GOP flacks who are dreaming about 2024 need to figure out is how to somehow come up with some sort of compromising position which keeps them from being seen as just another version of Trump in drag, bit at the same time keeping control of the MAGA hordes.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe that MAGA means dogshit in how any general election would turn out. But where such votes can be crucial is in a primary election, and Florida happens to be an important primary state. It takes place early in the primary season and it’s a winner-take-all for 125 delegates. If DeSantis can’t win the primary in his own state, his standing as a national candidate will be severely shaken and disturbed.
DeSantis may be able to get away with soft-pedaling the Nazi issue in some of Florida’s more rural and northern counties but anything less than a clear and decisive denunciation of anti-Semitism won’t help him in the more populated and largely Jewish counties like Broward and Dade.
So, we’ll see what we see. Tomorrow I’ll have something to say about George Santos’ crazy defense of the AR-15. But one GOP craziness each day is enough.