— Amount QAnon darling Ron Watkins has raised for his run for Congress in Arizona. Watkins filed his first campaign finance report just before the deadline passed at midnight on Monday, revealing that in the three months to the end of December, he raised just $30,588.22 in small donations from supporters.
The Daily Beast: “At the height of the controversy surrounding Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and the revelations that he’s under investigation for sex trafficking, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) bet big on a nationwide joint fundraising tour with her embattled colleague. But new campaign filings show that not only did the gamble not pay off, but that the much-maligned Republicans actually spent four times as much as they raised.
“Greene, the House GOP’s top fundraiser, is now faced with a decision: She can continue to join forces with her beleaguered ally at the expense of her campaign war chest, or she can cut bait and let Gaetz fend for himself.
“Since Gaetz and Greene kicked off their joint fundraising committee with a May 7 event at The Villages in central Florida, their campaigns and joint fundraising committee have posted a combined loss of $342,000. And according to recent filings with the Federal Election Commission, that joint fundraising effort, ‘Put America First,’ reported only $59,345.54 in contributions.”
Things have been spinning out of control since the first week in July for Pastor Jackson Lahmeyer, a 29-year-old Qanon-courting candidate from Tulsa who’s running to oust Oklahoma’s apostate Republican senator, James Lankford.
After aggressively courting leading Trump/Q propagandists – he’s been photographed with disgraced Gen. Mike Flynn and pillow-grifter Mike Lyndell – Lahmeyer suddenly found himself the target of Q conspiracist madness that has put his once-promising campaign in jeopardy.
It all started when Lahmayer posted a photo of his very young daughter posing in front of a huge campaign photo of himself, proudly showing off her red shoes. What Lahmeyer (and 99.999999 percent of the world) did not know then is that, according to Q fabulism, children who wear red shoes are part of sex trafficking rings.
Since then, Lahmeyer has been on the defensive, fruitlessly attempting to reason with the same hardcore Q cultists whose votes he’d hoped to win. On July 7, he issued this meekly defiant plea for sanity, via Twitter:
The fact is that QAnon is far from gone,
And don’t let its believers put you on.
Their sly denials
And wiley smiles,
Are code that Q’s conspirators doth carry on.
QAnon supporter: “I just listened to it again and I have to agree it doesn’t really sound like him. Whoever it was was very good at imitating him though.”
— Newsweek: “With Trump contradicting QAnon theories that the vaccine is dangerous and the coronavirus is a hoax, many of its supporters came up with ways to cope with the latest cognitive dissonance, including suggesting it was not actually Trump speaking to Fox.”
“We believe our hard-earned tax dollars should just go for America. Not for, what? China, Russia, the Middle East, Guam, whatever, wherever.”
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), quoted by the American Independent, apparently not knowing Guam has been a part of the United States since 1899.
Vox has an interesting piece on the future of QAnon as described by journalists and researchers who have covered and studied the group. While the entire article makes fascinating reading, here is a crystallization of the experts’ thinking:
- QAnon should be thought of as a religion, not a political movement.
- Its religiosity enables it to survive, despite its prophesies failing to materialize.
- To the QAnon devout, Q’s true identity does not matter.
- The recent purging of QAnon believers from mainstream social media has reinforced their self-perception as persecuted renegades.
- Democratic lawmakers should be careful about framing the GOP as the “QAnon party” because it could drive the GOP deeper into the fringes.
- Violent extremists are actively working to radicalize QAnon believers for their own purposes.
- Even in the absence of Trump and regular messages from Q, the tagalong theories — 5G, vaccines and alternative medicine — represent significant risks to the public.