Happy February, which promises to be yet another month that tests both our stamina and our sanity. So let’s start with this delicious palate cleanser:
On Sunday, Rep. Thomas Massie (last seen here for his Christmas gun-toting dick pix) tweeted:
Massie’s attempted dunk on Dr. Fauci included what purported to be a quote from the French philosopher Voltaire, and an image of a massive hand crushing a group of presumably free-thinking dissidents, who did their own research by listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast
"To learn who rules over you,” it declared, “simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."
Massie undoubtedly thought he was posting a rallying cry of don’t-tread-on-me anti-wokeness, or something.
There is no record, anywhere, that Voltaire ever said such a thing, so the quotation was bogus. To be fair though, perhaps Massie’s French is rusty, and we have all stumbled over apocryphal or mis-attributed quotes. But Massie’s fuqqed up faux pas gets even worse.
In his bid for that sweet, sweet dopamine rush of Twitter likes, the Kentucky Republican hit a whirligig of awfulness:
The quote is commonly attributed to Kevin Alfred Strom, a neo-Nazi who pleaded guilty in 2008 to possession of child pornography. Strom uttered a similar quote during a virulently antisemitic 1993 radio broadcast.
Strom said in the 1993 broadcast: "To determine the true rulers of any society, all you must do is ask yourself this question: Who is it that I am not permitted to criticize?"
The context in which he posed the question made clear that this was a reference to Jewish people.
Perhaps Congressman Massie has been spending too much quality time with Marjorie Taylor Greene, or maybe the craziness came pre-loaded.
You may recall Massie’s Deep Thoughts from 2017:
All this time, I thought [my supporters] were voting for libertarian Republicans. But after some soul searching I realized when they voted for [Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)] and [former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas)] and me in these primaries, they weren't voting for libertarian ideas — they were voting for the craziest son of a bitch in the race. And Donald Trump won best in class, as we had up until he came along
Since then, Massie has been playing catch-up, with great success. But the question still hangs out there: where did he get this from? In what dark corner of the web, did Massie stumble across this bon mot? How did his timeline get filled with anti-Semitic screeds from a child-porn loving Nazi?
And doesn’t he have anyone who vets this shit for him?
Spoiler alert: there will be no consequences for Massie. No apologies (the tweet is still up.) No censure, no discipline, no purge.
The GOP reserves excommunication for folks like Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney. So, once again, we can ponder the contrasts. While Massie will remain a member in good-standing of Kevin McCarthy’s House of Misfit Bigots, the RNC may soon join in the campaign to purge the two anti-Trump dissidents.