On Tuesday, Right Wing Watch posted a video of the chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, John Bennett. If you don’t know, Bennett is running for the safely red seat in Oklahoma’s 2nd District against conservative CEO Chris Schiller. Bennett is best known around these here parts as the former GOP representative who called for a “firing squad” for Hillary Clinton and said that Islam was “a cancer that needs to be cut out” of America. Real pleasant guy.
The video posted on Tuesday shows Bennett in front of some folks, railing about how there are all kinds of “RINOs” (Republicans in name only), and “a system that stole the election.” It is pretty standard stuff these days coming out of the policy-absent Grand Old Party. Then, after babbling about “bureaucracies” that have forced “vaccine mandates and mask mandates” as well as “woke confusion,” Bennett gives a “and by the way,” followed by, "we should try Anthony Fauci and put him in front of a firing squad."
Dr. Anthony Fauci has been doing the tough job of managing hundreds of millions of Americans’ expectations in the face of a mismanaged pandemic and an ambivalent federal response the past few years. On Wednesday, Fauci made sure to clarify in his PBS NewsHour interview that while the pandemic is moving into a new phase, it definitely is not over. It’s the politically charged black and white thinking about science and public health that has given the GOP their only talking points the past few years.
Some of you will notice that Bennett is standing in front of what looks like a sports jersey with “5:11 Ephesians,” as well as the name “Mikovits:Witt” on the back. Do you really want to know? Trigger warning: A lot of CT anti-science freedumb is about about to come your way.
Listen to Markos and Kerry Eleveld talk Ukraine and speak with Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Ben Wikler on how hitting back at Republicans helps win elections on Daily Kos’ The Brief podcast
The Ephesians line is basically: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Pretty generic freedumb warrior stuff. Whether or not Paul is the actual author of Ephesians is up for debate, but that isn’t important. We get it: You believe in God and are exposing the “darkness” and bringing it into the “light.” We all support bringing things into the metaphorical “light.” Progressives frequently call this “transparency.” You know, like not trying to hide the fact that some people aren’t heterosexual and some people aren’t born caucasian. (Technically, most people aren’t born caucasian.) Potato patatouch!
What is important is that “Mikovits:Witt” are failed scientist Judy Mikovits and National Hockey League player Brenden Witt. Both are anti-vaxxers. Mikovits has the added distinction of being a truly abhorrent person who claimed that “at least 50 million Americans would die, probably from the first dose” of the COVID-19 vaccine if they were mandated to take it.
There have been more than 11.4 billion doses of the vaccine given out in the world as of this story’s publication.
It’s an important reminder of the flag they are flying behind old Bennett here: a lie on top of a lie on top of a lie, with the names of liars at the top of that. Mikovits is a failed anti-vaxxer scientist whose research has been thoroughly debunked by science over and over again for more than a decade, but she has been lauded by the anti-vaxxer shill machine ever since.
This response to Bennett’s speech sums things up nicely.
And another response about squaring that MAGA circle.