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Earlier this month, after Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) voted to confirm Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, a package with white powder was sent to her house.
Conservatives immediately branded it as part of an out-of-control leftist mob terrorizing America.
Breaking:— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) October 15, 2018
Suspicious package sent to the great Senator Susan Collins house
All this because we courageously stood up to the mob and voted for Justice Kavanaugh
The left will attack, smear, threaten, and assault anyone they disagree with it
So the left has sent an envelope with powder in it to Susan Collins house. Are these the people you want running the country?— JBing (@jbingley66) October 15, 2018
Yet another stellar display of "progressive" leftist democrat "tolerance," "open-mindedness," & "diversity."— Michael J. Fell (@MichaelJFell) October 16, 2018
Report: Suspicious Letter Sent to Susan Collins’ Home, Hazmat Team Investigating https://t.co/FWAPJIhuPB
So today, when packages which contained potential explosive devices were intercepted on their way to Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama—coming on the heels of an explosive device planted outside the home of George Soros—it seems like the logical conclusion would be that it was the action of a far-righter spurred to violence.
Right? Nope. Not if you are on the far right, at least.
Instead of agreeing that potentially political violence is capable on both sides of the spectrum, the bombs instantly were branded as political stunts by ultra-conservatives.
Leftists project their illegal activity all the time on to Conservatism. These bombs are just the most recent attempt to smear us. Convenience dictates a hoax when it comes to the left. Where were these bombs the last 10 years? #DemocratsAreLiars #DemocratsHateAmerica as it is— Blue Line Red Wave (@Artie5448) October 24, 2018
News reports since the Soros bomb discovery, the Clintons & Obama’s have received bombs at their homes. It seems coincidental that the three most powerful left wing Democrats have fallen victim to bomb threats as It could be a self imposed hoax to influence the coming election!— AXIOMS VS AMBIGUITY (@BrookeLyman6) October 24, 2018
Over on Reddit’s r/The_Donald, threads cropped up even calling it a Deep State plot.
Now Hillary and Obama have received packages that could be “explosives.” You guys, the deep state is going all out right now cause they know the midterms are going to be devastating. from The_Donald
In the run-up to the 2018 midterms, conservatives have been adamantly painting liberals as a frenzied mob incapable of ruling. That someone may be attacking liberal figures now is counter to that narrative, which is why it was swiftly dismissed as false, instead of even being allowed an air of possibility.
After initial news of the reports broke, it was also revealed that other packages were addressed to the White House and CNN’s office in New York. After the White House was included, notable conservatives suddenly spoke out against the packages.
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, George Soros, Donald Trump, and CNN have all received rudimentary pipe bombs on the heels of would-be ricin attacks on Susan Collins, James Mattis, and others. Look at that list and spare us your partisan hot takes. I know I ask too much.— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) October 24, 2018
The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr. even defended CNN.
As someone whose family has directly been the victim of these mail threats I condemn whoever did this regardless of party or ideology. This crap has to stop and I hope they end up in jail for a long time. https://t.co/pajRgM4hYm— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 24, 2018
Of course, Trump Jr. has been just as instrumental in pushing the argument about a leftist mob overrunning America.
If these leftists aren’t a mob I don’t know what is. Any reasonable person should look at some of the videos from he past 2 weeks and decide for themselves.— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 11, 2018
Don’t give in to the lunatics.
Imagine them having power?
Truly Scary! https://t.co/i6WbyP6a1I
All the left has is hate and violence. Don’t give in to the mob. Results beats resistance every time. https://t.co/Fwln5hc52T— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 18, 2018
However, it turns out reports of a third package to the White House were false.
CLARIFICATION: At this time the Secret Service has intercepted TWO suspicious packages - one in NY and one in D.C. Reports of a third intercepted package addressed to the WH are incorrect. We refer media to our statement: https://t.co/lJdTn04KmI— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) October 24, 2018
There’s no evidence about who was behind any of these attacks, but rushing to judgment in service of their cause is a staunch principle of the far-right.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]