Thursday, January 21, 2021

The Proud Boys Turn on Trump

Oh, the schadenfreude:

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.


David said...

Yes, there are a lot of reports like this, and there is some satisfaction in it.

But there's also a disturbing underlay of hard-right determination to continue with their movement.

E. g., “Let this be a wake-up call for QAnon followers and normies,” one post read just ahead of the inauguration. “No one is coming to save you. No one man can defeat this evil marxist machine.”

And, “It's all been a con from the start. Promises made and not kept,” one user posted on, a website that has been flooded with conspiracy theories and calls for violence in recent weeks, in reference to the QAnon movement. “You sat on your butt waiting for someone else to do what everyone should have taken care of themselves.”

Both of these quotes from

I can imagine a future in which Josh Hawley or someone like him becomes the altogether more determined and dangerous (and, perhaps worst of all, younger) leader of this movement.

Shadow said...

Yes, of course. The media was always wrong when it said Trump was the far-right's leader. He was their useful idiot. They followed only as long as he was doing what they wanted him to do. And Trump never cared about them either. I can imagine him scrubbing his hands raw after shaking one of their hands. They were his useful idiots. They are here to stay. Trying to reach them is a waste of time. It's the other 74 million Biden should focus on.

Shadow said...

So what happened to the 2nd shot doses of the vaccine those who have received their first shot will need. Did Trump sell them on the black market to pay off his 400+ million dollar debt? (Only half kidding.)

David said...


I can imagine him *saying* he would do that (sell vaccines to pay his debt) but I can't imagine him having the guts to actually do it. He was bold in speech, rarely in action. And even when he started aggressive actions (e. g., declaring an emergency to build the wall, antagonizing Iran, etc.) there wasn't that much follow-through. Thank God.

Shadow said...

True. Kim (No. Korea) too. I think Trump had two main reasons for running: his ego and to erase Obama's record. He would have erased Obama from history if he could have. But once he got in office, he started liking it. A buffoon with power. He was too stupid to even realize taking charge of the response to the pandemic, even if it did not go well, would have ensured his reelection. Americans don't like removing presidents from office during crises, as long as they look like they are trying.