As Fever Dreams listeners will know by now, the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan resulted in a disaster and the GOP is taking it seriously—or at least, they’re serious about fundraising off of it.
“It’s now a fundraising ploy to them. And it doesn’t matter that Trump was one of the loudest voices in the country—even though he was incompetent and lazy and mentally incongruous about it—for even speedier withdrawal than what Biden did,” notes Fever Dreams co-host Asawin Suebsaeng. “It doesn’t matter. This is a time for score settling and dunking for him and guys like him.”
As Trump tries to whitewash his own past involvement in playing nice with the Taliban—and as Tom Cotton clown-tweets that the Afghanistan debacle can somehow be blamed on critical race theory and “woke generals”—Trump acolyte Mike Lindell, of MyPillow fame, held a heated Stop-the-Steal symposium last week that disintegrated into chaos. Participants had to dance around their legally dubious claims, thanks to an ongoing lawsuit by Dominion. As The Daily Beast's Kelly Weill reported, the symposium also revealed that RVCA founder and former pro surfer Conan Hayes has been at the heart of audit mania, trying desperately to recount votes even in counties that Trump indisputably won.
Meanwhile, as the Delta COVID variant ravages the nation, the extremist Proud Boys—those predictable “clout goblins,” as guest co-host David Roth (editor, podcaster extraordinaire, and co-owner at Defector) describes them—have taken to showing up at school board meetings to protest mask mandates, even if they don't have kids enrolled in the district. This was their play on critical race theory, too, so it was just a matter of time before they aligned with the anti-vaxxer crowd. “I do understand the value of public meetings," Weill says, “but at the same time, I feel like there should be some sort of ‘I have a child in this district’ threshold before you show up in a paramilitary group uniform.”
Finally, guest Jared Holt, a resident fellow at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensics Lab and host of the SH!TPOST podcast, delves into the latest disturbing QAnon crime. This one involved a surfer dad who drove to Mexico with his two young children and stabbed them through their hearts because he thought his wife was passing on serpent DNA. It’s a heartbreaking tale. “This isn’t the first murder associated with QAnon," Holt says. “It’s one of several—not to mention kidnappings, violent attacks, and a terrorism charge—but it’s grisly nonetheless.”