After the presidential election last year, the Proud Boys, a far-right group, declared its undying loyalty to President Trump. . . .
But by this week, the group’s attitude toward Mr. Trump had changed. “Trump will go down as a total failure,” the Proud Boys said in the same Telegram channel on Monday. In dozens of conversations on social media sites like Gab and Telegram, members of the group have begun calling Mr. Trump a “shill” and “extraordinarily weak.”
The Proud Boys staged several demonstrations in support of Trump's post-election lawsuits:
But when Mr. Trump’s legal efforts failed, the Proud Boys called for him on social media to use his presidential powers to stay in office. Some urged him to declare martial law or take control by force. In the last two weeks of December, they pushed Mr. Trump in their protests and on social media to “Cross the Rubicon.”
“They wanted to arm themselves and start a second civil war and take down the government on Trump’s behalf,” said Marc-André Argentino, a researcher who studies the far right. “But ultimately, he couldn’t be the authoritarian they wanted him to be.”
As most of us always thought about Trump, in the end he didn't have the stomach for a violent coup. What happened after the Capitol Riot has even more aggrieved the Proud Boys:
After the violence, the Proud Boys expected Mr. Trump — who had earlier told his supporters to “fight much harder” against “bad people” — to champion the mob, according to their social media messages. Instead, Mr. Trump began distancing himself from his remarks and released a video on Jan. 8 denouncing the violence.
The disappointment was immediately palpable. One Proud Boys Telegram channel posted: “It really is important for us all to see how much Trump betrayed his supporters this week. We are nationalists 1st and always. Trump was just a man and as it turns out an extraordinarily weak one at the end.”
Some Proud Boys became furious that Mr. Trump, who was impeached for inciting the insurrection, did not appear interested in issuing presidential pardons for their members who were arrested. In a Telegram post on Friday, they accused Mr. Trump of “instigating” the events at the Capitol, adding that he then “washed his hands of it.”
That Trump has arranged his whole career to leave someone else holding the bag seems to have escaped the notice of these fools. Maybe they have finally learned that lesson, if nothing else.