It’s unclear what MSNBC‘s point was when it put together a panel of white MAGA minions from the Pittsburgh area so political analyst Elise Jordan could fire off questions about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to them.
We already knew what their answers would be. We knew they’d be reciting verses from the Bible of Newsmax and Other Assorted Right-Wing Media. We knew their takes on everything would just be generic, easily dismantleable MAGA-approved talking points.
But the focus group session happened all the same and it was every bit the nails-on-chalkboard event you might imagine it to be.
The discussion began with Jordan asking the panelists if they thought it was “OK” for Republican Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano to be “breaching one of the restricted areas” of the Capitol grounds. One of the panelists—let’s just call him MAGA-fied Jesse Pinkman—replied by asking “Which area? Because I saw video where Capitol officers were taking away barriers and unlocking doors for people” while another man added, “They opened the gates and let them in.”
And this is why this whole thing seems pointless. We all know there was a riot. We’ve seen footage of barriers being reached, rioters breaking windows to get into the building and rioters attacking police officers. Their claim that they saw footage showing barriers being removed and people being let in is irrelevant, and pulls they didn’t answer the question they were asked. So Jordan had to repeat it with different words the panel of political rubes might understand better.
“So it shouldn’t be disqualifying for an elected official if they participate in January 6th?” she asked.
“No, as long as he didn’t strike anybody, he didn’t hurt anybody,” the guy in the Great Value Beastie Boys beanie responded.
“And the only one that died was a protestor there, not a Capitol police officer,” another panelist —let’s call her QKaron—said referring to U.S. Airforce veteran-turned-domestic terrorist Ashli Babbitt. “An unarmed female was shot by police. That’s the only one who died.”
Jordan responded by pointing out that “a police officer did die,” to which a panelist replied, “No,” and another explained, “He died of a heart attack.” Another Trump voter said, “It was a stroke.”
Even if we’ve decided that stroke and heart attack deaths don’t count as deaths, it’s with pointing out that Kyle Rittenhouse, conservatives’ favorite gun-toting teen hero, was the only one to kill anybody during the night of violent unrest in Kenosha, but that never stopped a MAGA cultist form praising him like he’s the second coming of NRA Jesus.
Anyway, the focus group discussion inevitably devolved into the panelists deflecting to the minority of social justice protests that turned violent and parroting the baseless claim that Antifa members were responsible for the Mayo-milaje White-Kanda terrorist violence at the Capitol building.
Then Jordan asked, “Do you think that President Trump could have quelled the violence that day?”
The panelists all seemed to agree that Trump couldn’t have stopped it and didn’t have anything to do with starting it. Again, did we think they’d say anything different? Republicans have been ignoring the obvious reality that rioters rioted based on Trump’s months-long “stop the steal” propaganda campaign and they went to the Capitol building and fought like hell after Trump told them to—*checks notes*—”fight like hell.”
At the end of the day, this was just basically a gag-reflex test to see how much of the video one could watch before they found their shoelaces soaking in their own vomit.
So, how much of this MAGA-friendly circle-jerk video were you able to get through before you just had to turn it off?