Gretchen Whitmer Goes Boogaloo Catfishing

The news broke like something straight out of a cheesy 90s blockbuster. Whisked away to an undisclosed location, we were greeted in primetime by the Democratic governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer, like a heavily Botoxed Bill Pullman commanding the troops. With the shades drawn and the lights low, she carefully but forcefully wove us a harrowing narrative. She and her family, now in hiding, were the unwitting victims of an elaborate plot by crazed neo-Nazi militiamen to kidnap the brave governor and try her for crimes against liberty before an armed civilian court. At least a dozen men were in on the plot and it was all Donald Trump’s fault for inspiring them to “Liberate Michigan” with his saucy social media banter and his blasé “Stand by and stand down” public demeanor. The bad men had been wrestled into submission for now by the selfless deeds of the brave men and women of the Federal Bureau of Investigations. But for how long? How long would it be before more came to attack the figureheads of our precious democratic institutions? How long before the dreaded Boogaloo?

As at it turns out, as compelling as this carefully constructed network TV narrative was, there were more than a few things wrong with it that haven’t been brought to the cable news watching public’s attention. The primary one being that it was largely bullshit. Madame Whitmer’s command performance as a humble public servant addressing a nation under fire was as badly scripted as the daytime soaps she interrupted. The governor was never in any real danger and she had been kept abreast of the details of the investigation for weeks if not months, being secretly shuttled about by the feds from secure location to secure location accordingly.

The men allegedly hunting her had been the subjects of a carefully arranged sting operation. No fewer than four FBI agents and/or informants had taken part in the dastardly plot from its earliest stage as chatroom heavy breathing on social media. It had all the markings of a classic FBI entrapment scheme. A dozen good old boys were picked out, infiltrated, and egged on by agent provocateurs to take their macho locker room talk to the next level. The Feds had been coaxing these bitter gun nuts for months, since the beginning of the year. God only knows how much of the plot was constructed by the feds themselves but I’m fairly confident that it probably never would have made it past the bullshitting stage if it wasn’t for the hard work of our heroes in the FBI, the one gang in blue that the liberals agree matters.

I’m smugly confident in this theory because it conforms so perfectly to that crooked organization’s well established modus operandi. The FBI has maintained it’s questionable relevance for decades by establishing itself as a veritable cottage industry for entrapping wannabe radicals of every plausible stripe of the rainbow. We’ve seen it over and over again. They find themselves a weak link in the radical chain, usually some emotionally unstable blowhard, then they introduce him to one of their readymade radical informants who pushes, prods, and encourages this hapless sap into taking their heavy breathing to lengths they never would have even been capable of achieving on their own, often providing all the weapons and technological expertise themselves. Then a massive bust is launched and the compliant town criers of the mass media are fed the juicy details of an elaborate plot that the heroic feds wrote themselves before saving us all from its satanic powers.

The feds have been at this for years with the primary purpose of justifying their own bloated tax funded budgets by creating stories that they can write themselves in as the heroes of. They’ve done this with isolated disenfranchised Muslims whom they’ve sold down the river to Gitmo. They’ve done this with tree-hugging environmentalists whom they’ve coaxed from minor monkeywrenching to full blown arson. They did this with a couple of starry eyed leftists named Bradley Crowder and David McKay back during the 2008 Republican National Convention when a motormouthed FBI crowd exciter named Bradley Michael Darby talked the two hapless Occupiers into turning their protest into a Molotov cocktail party.

The far left is fully aware of this history but they routinely choose to look the other way when these same twisted techniques are used to railroad right-wing hillbillies like the backwoods fruit loops in the Hutaree Militia, who were ultimately acquitted on all major charges and even had their guns and property returned to them well after the media had lost interest in their own sensationalized narrative. Or Randy Weaver and his two young daughters who won a lawsuit of $3.1 million after one of these stupid fucking schemes got Randy’s wife, dog, and 14 year old son murdered in cold blood. The FBI has been stoking the militia movement for decades, and why not? Personal differences aside, they are essentially anarchists, aren’t they? Anything to keep a stateless motherfucker down.

And just who were these 13 men arrested for plotting against Governor Whitmer? According to that Helter Skelter eyed gubernatorial batfucker, they were a bunch of white trash Nazi lunatics answering to the commands of their fearless orange leader. But the available facts paint a far more complicated picture. Sure you had your sundry connections to Infowars conspiracy theories and Vaxxer hoopla, but these were not MAGA supporters and there remains zero evidence of any kind of neo-Nazi or Alt-Right affiliation. They were members of a pretty basic libertarian constitutionalist militia, one of many in rural Michigan, called the Wolverine Watchmen, and amongst the ranks of this assorted lot were self-proclaimed anarchists who openly denounced Further Trump as a tyrant for his savage law and order police state, and at least one intersectionalist who attended both anti-lockdown protests and handed out bottled water during Black Lives Matter marches.

Perhaps more importantly, these were working class schmucks, many of them left unemployed and deeply in debt by Governor Whitmer’s often arbitrary and downright unconstitutional lockdown that made peaceful assembly, in public or private, an arrestable offense. At least one of them was literally homeless. Another thing many of them shared was a history of military service and the PTSD that came with it. Much like Timothy McVeigh, they were given a hands on education in how the American Government approaches conflict resolution. Is it really that shocking that these vets would fall back on this training when they found their livelihoods at risk by a runaway police state that thinks nothing of murdering its own citizens in cold blood?

These weren’t just garden variety gun nuts, they were Boogaloo Bois. A new subculture in the American Militia Movement that takes a decidedly millennial approach to liberty. The ones I know support Black Lives Matter and defunding the police. I can tell you for a fact that the feds wouldn’t have a hard time catching us joking about revolutionary action. It’s how we shoot the shit, some pun intended, and it would be very easy for one of those feds to jump in on one of these irreverent conversations and push us to take things from blowing off steam to blowing up bridges. I imagine me and my friends would likely laugh them offline for such reactionary hyperbole. But I’m not a homeless vet with battle worn PTSD. Gore Vidal once described his pen-pal Timothy McVeigh as a man with an “Overdeveloped sense of justice.” He was deeply saddened that this pathological burden went to waste on more bloodshed. I feel the same way about these federally catfished Boogaloo trout. A heartless crook like Gretchen Whitmer isn’t worth it.

Nicky Reid is an agoraphobic anarcho-genderqueer gonzo blogger from Central Pennsylvania and assistant editor for Attack the System. You can find her online at Exile in Happy Valley.