— Tara (@tgruka) April 7, 2017
If there’s any upside to the President-Asterisk’s “I have the biggest Tomahawks, believe me, all the best people say so” expensive shot-show last night, it would be the sound of prominent neo-Nazis and white nationalists yowling as they imagine themselves victims of a social-media-friendly Night of the Long Knives. Reports Politico:
The fractured elements of what was once called the alt-right were unified once more on Thursday night in condemning Donald Trump’s airstrike in Syria as a mistake. Or as Milo Yiannopoulos put it, “FAKE and GAY.”
This loose confederation of Web-savvy, anti-establishment right-wingers formed an important vanguard of Trump’s online support in last year’s election, and its unified opposition to the airstrike forewarns a political downside to intervention in Syria. While foreign wars tend to boost presidents’ popularity in the short term, Trump risks losing the segments of his base that flocked to his isolationist, “America First” message.
In addition to its nationalist, anti-interventionist and anti-“globalist” views, the alt-right and its fellow travelers have also displayed a marked affinity for Syria’s ally Russia, whose government has returned the love by tweeting images of the alt-right’s mascot, Pepe the Frog, from official accounts. In reacting to the airstrikes, leaders of the movement placed those ideological reflexes over their personal loyalty to Trump.
Most noteworthy were the herculean efforts of blogger Mike Cernovich, who took to the livestreaming application Periscope to rally opposition to the strike in a marathon session that went on for several hours…
Other callers offered even more disturbing theories. One man expressed his concern that the “deep state” had approached Trump and threatened to kill him and his family if he did not get in line and voiced his suspicion that “the whole thing” could be traced back to Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice. “Yeah, could be,” responded Cernovich…
Meanwhile, internet troll Charles Johnson was not prepared to accept that the U.S. really had struck at Assad, saying that a source at CENTCOM told him the strike had actually targeted the Islamic State. “I’m very skeptical of any claims made in the media on military matters,” he said. “Especially since the Iraq War.”
It's happening! pic.twitter.com/xm3eVeh2y4
— Evan Siegfried (@evansiegfried) April 7, 2017
NYMag‘s Jesse Singal, “It Makes Perfect Sense for the Alt-Right to Start Abandoning Trump”:
… [A]ll of this should be seen not as a shocking parting of ways, but as a sensible move for the media personalities of the alt-right. Renouncing Trump, and eventually abandoning him, might actually be the most advantageous play for alt-right celebrities trying to maintain their peculiar online kingdoms, while handling the weird ramifications of having won…
…[W]hile it’s popular to conflate the alt-right and the mainstream right — say, the core GOP base — they really are two different beasts. The mainstream right will continue to support Trump because it is vested in the future of the GOP, and Trump is a GOP president. The alt-right, on the other hand, has different goals and allegiances in mind. Here are three main reasons it’s tactically smart for the alt-right’s big names to renounce Trump, if not ditch him entirely.
1. It gets them attention. One thing all the biggest alt-right accounts have in common is that they view virality as the most important goal…
2. It allows them to stay in the opposition. Those on the alt-right are, like Trump, not particularly sophisticated policy thinkers. They’re more into resentful grunts about how immigrants are bad, migration is a cancer on Western (read: white) society, and how cucks control everything. From this stance, it is much easier to criticize powerful politicians than to support them…
3. More specifically, denouncing Trump allows the alt-right to continue fueling conspiracy theories about how globalists (read: Jews) control everything.…
The outsiderism really is key here. Remember that despite the noxious anti-Semitism and racism of the alt-right, the movement has always tried to maintain a pranky, anti-establishment feel. It’s much more difficult to retain that feel when your man is in charge, running everything and bombing other countries. Much as the GOP itself learned that in certain ways it’s less fun to hold power than to criticize power, the alt-right, in its own way, seems to be internalizing the same lesson.
7/ …you're either a rube, or you're fleecing rubes.
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) April 7, 2017
8/ This was the first big moment a lot of mainline Trumpers really went, "Whhhhhat?" but it ain't gonna be the last.
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) April 7, 2017
Of course, that means the Proud Pranksters of FREEDUMB!!! need a new flag-carrier. Per the Daily Beast:
… White-nationalist agitator Richard Spencer, founder of the term “alt-right,” appeared to switch his support to Hawaii Democratic congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who had met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in January. On Thursday night, he tweeted, “I absolutely condemn Washington’s military strike against Syria. #Syria #NoMoreWar,” then “Tulsi Gabbard 2020.”…
While Pepe-promoter Stephen “#RedSteeze Not the WH One” Miller proposed an even less likely scenario:
Straightforward from here
1. Impeach Trump
2. Impeach Pence
3. Nikki Haley resigns
4. Paul Ryan Resigns
5. Speaker Haley
6. POTUS Haley
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) April 7, 2017
Who’d have thought The Big Swinging Boyz KKKlub would turn to a couple of not-even-white penis-lackers in their hour of torment?…
The frog breakup. pic.twitter.com/Nc8mfMsEyE
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) April 7, 2017
(h/t Jesse Singal)