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Trump cranks it up at CPAC: Why raising the spectacle of right-wing madness right now is so scary

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Every revolutionary movement needs a martyr and it appears that the MAGA revolution has finally found one for itself.

Ashli Babbit, the Jan. 6th insurrectionist who was shot by a security guard as she climbed through a broken window just a few feet away from members of Congress, is Donald Trump's Horst Wessel, the German brownshirt who was murdered in 1930 and turned into a martyr by the Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels. Trump himself is making the case for Babbit, having mentioned her in every appearance he's made in the last week.

At his recent Florida rally, Trump wondered: "Who shot Ashli Babbit? We all saw the hand... Now they don't want to give the name." At his press conference on Wednesday in which he announced his laughable "class action" lawsuit against the Big Tech companies, he went a little bit farther saying, "there were no guns in the Capitol except for the gun that shot Ashli Babbitt. And nobody knows who that man were...the person that shot Ashli Babbitt right through the head, just boom. There was no reason for that." Then this past weekend he went all the way, describing the insurrection as a love fest and Babbit as an innocent victim in an interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo:

Bartiromo took the ball and ran with it, saying that Babbitt climbed out of a broken window (as if she was trying to escape the vicious gunman) after which both she and Trump speculated that the officer who shot Babbitt was part of a Democratic official's security detail, casually mentioning Chuck Schumer in the process. The implication was obvious: the Democrats shot Ashli........

© Salon

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