Why the MAGA Coup is Really the Republicans’ Fault

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ProgressNow
 New Mexico
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Today there was an attempted coup in Washington D.C. It was an armed insurrection intended to overthrow the legally-elected representatives of this nation. That is the definition of a coup.

We wish we could say we hadn’t seen this coming. Extreme members of the Republican Party loyal to Trump have been calling for this kind of action for months, if not longer. ProgressNow New Mexico has documented much of it here in the state since Trump and the Proud Boys held rallies in Albuquerque in 2019, and called out the New Mexico GOP which has done NOTHING to denounce such rhetoric at any point including, horribly, today.

For a group of people who claim to respect “law and order” they sure think they’re exempt (oh that’s right, they’re White so it doesn’t apply to them)

Today’s coup attempt was supported by the same authoritarians emboldened by the GOP establishment who backed Steven Ray Baca and Kyle Rittenhouse for using violence against peaceful protestors. While some openly ascribe to batshit Qanon theory and Infowars nonsense, they’re all part of the greater mainstream Republican Party that seeks to delegitimize the 2020 election.

For a group of people who claim to respect “law and order” they sure think they’re exempt (oh that’s right, they’re White so it doesn’t apply to them). Considering the police response to Black Lives Matter protests last year, the Capitol Police today at times showed less force against the MAGA mob than a bunch of bros shoving each other at a pop punk concert.

Today is all about the Republican Party, specifically how the members of the GOP in New Mexico, contributed to this coup and why it is THEY that have blood and violence on their hands.

Let’s take a look at the day’s events and the assholes who laid the rhetorical groundwork that got us here.

The runoff elections in Georgia happened last night. The outcome of those elections, the unseating of two GOP incumbents by Senators-elect Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock, gave Democrats a majority in the Senate for the first time since 2011. While we were all on pins and needles, a small portion of our country (remember Biden won the popular vote by over seven million) decided that their privileged asses couldn’t handle the results of the election and the resulting Democratic wins for President and both chambers of Congress. So at about 1:00 p.m. ET, this group invaded our Capitol to stop the congressional confirmation of President-elect Biden in hopes of committing a treasonous coup.

Let’s review more recent events of how we got to this place in time, as the “greatest country in the world,” the “land of milk and honey,” the “defenders of democracy” (remember we have fought a BUNCH of wars for that last title). We all know Trump has used the Hitler-like rhetoric throughout his Presidency so we’ll spare you the Trump part of this history lane walk. Today is all about the Republican Party, specifically how the members of the GOP in New Mexico, contributed to this coup and why it is THEY that have blood and violence on their hands.

The Party of Treason

Over the past year, the New Mexico GOP has been regurgitating lies about the security of our elections. Not only were their statements proven false, they were dangerous ammunition for right wing Trump supporters. Elected members and candidates for the GOP have made clear their support of domestic terrorist groups such as the Proud Boys, New Mexico Civil Guard, and Cowboys for Trump. They have posted pictures, attended rallies, and used the same hateful messaging. There were even times that the Republican Party of New Mexico hosted events with these groups, actively working to undermine the democratic process that we so pride ourselves on in this country. What’s that age old proverb: “you are who you hang out with.”

We’ve said it softly, we’ve said it loudly, we will say it again, the Republican Party is NOT the party of the people, it’s the party of anti-black, anti-family, self-interested liars, and now we’ll call them what they really are: the party of treason.

While we are physically distanced from the events taking place in D.C., this played out in New Mexico as well. A maskless organized group of armed people made their way to Santa Fe and the Governor’s mansion today to apparently show off their semi-automatic weapons and run their mouths. During the “protests” we heard a number of the domestic terrorists say things such as, “we have something planned that’s big” and “on inauguration day, there will be violence, like 1776.” Disgusting attacks on Governor Lujan Grisham and other members of the Democratic Party are not new from the NM GOP and their supporters.

Where is the GOP on all this you might ask? Oh, Rep. Yvette Herrell, who herself said she would object to Biden’s electoral college win and has not, as of yet, changed her position, marked herself as “safe” in D.C.

Whew. We were worried.

Michelle Garica Holmes, who lost the 2020 race for NM Congressional District 1 said on her Twitter account, “Fighting back is not a bad thing…it is how America became the home of the free land of the brave” after the attempted coup started. Uh What?! Armed insurrection is the last refuge of sore losers, it seems.

Steve Pearce, who is Chairman of the Republican Party of New Mexico, has said NOTHING. Not a thing–unlike before the election when he was railing about unsubstantiated election fraud. Tell us the GOP doesn’t contribute to this terrorist behavior.

Their actions, lack of actions, and rhetoric is exactly what emboldened the people today who attempted a coup. The Republican Party cannot hide behind their false statements of “law and order” any longer.

Today’s events are completely and entirely the responsibility of the Republican Party both locally and nationally. Their unwavering support for a wannabe dictator such as Trump has been building to this moment of fascist violence. Don’t get us wrong, we understand that these catastrophic events did not start in 2016. Years of oppression, exclusion, and outright hate against BIPOC communities and other historically excluded communities is ultimately what brought us here. However, the Repbulican Party fanned the flames, made way for the hateful underbelly of our nation to rise up, and did nothing and does nothing to support our communities. Again, we’ll call them what they are: the party of treason.

Check out our Twitter for the many, many examples of the GOP attempting to undermine our democracy.

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Alissa Barnes :: Executive Director
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Alissa Barnes is Executive Director at ProgessNow New Mexico where she leads a team that works on message development, issue and voter education, and amplification of progressive messages and values. She leads the organization in strategy development, fundraising, and organizational growth and sustainability.

Alissa’s background includes nearly 12 years at Roadrunner Food Bank where Alissa led the development and creation of multiple programs that are now national models, invested in community building and collaborations, and worked closely with elected officials, educating about hunger and why policies would either benefit or hurt clients in food lines. She has a BA from the University of New Mexico and various non-profit certifications.
  • If she followed her childhood dream, she would be a Broadway tap dancing star
  • Has seen Frozen 1 and 2 over 100 times
  • Loves heavy metal concerts
Marianna Anaya :: Deputy Director
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Marianna oversees strategic messaging and creative implementation tactics for issue-based and political campaigns. She leads the team’s digital and earned media programs, bringing a New Mexico values-based approach to her work. 

Marianna’s background includes race and ethnic studies in education as a focus at UT Austin and UCLA, political campaign work, staffing former Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham as well as leading organizing and communications work for the Albuquerque Teachers Federation.

  • She currently serves as the Board President of Emerge NM. 
  • Her hobbies include getting more women, queer folks and BIPOC elected to office.
  • She has three cuddle-worthy dogs at home
Lucas Herndon :: Energy and Policy Director
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Lucas’ focus is on all things energy and environment, election integrity projects and general messaging strategy. He is often the front facing voice for PNNM when it comes to issues surrounding methane, renewable energy, oil industry accountability, and public lands issues. 

Lucas has an extensive background in public lands and solar energy. He was instrumental in the creation of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in 2014 and has participated in every local election since 2012 through phone banking, online organizing, and poll watching. Lucas is a lifelong resident of Las Cruces where he has served in various capacities of leadership including as President of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce, District Director for the Dona Ana County Democratic Party, and attending and completing the inaugural classes of the Las Cruces Neighborhood Leadership Academy and the Las Cruces Tree Stewards. 

  • Owned a tattoo shop called Omega Tattoo & Supply 
  • Once got a chin bump “what’s up” from James Harden on an airplane when Harden saw Lucas’ beard 
  • Has a minor in Medieval and Early Modern History
Josette Arvizu :: Communications Director
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Josette Arvizu is the Communications Director at ProgressNow New Mexico where she oversees the development and implementation of systems that further the external and internal communications of the organization.

Josette’s background in marketing includes copywriting, paid media, SEO and content strategy for businesses and nonprofits, including convention and visitor bureaus from Bermuda to Anaheim. She began her career teaching writing to college students while in New Mexico State University’s MFA in creative writing program. Her previous work promoting diversity and inclusion includes coordination of writing and traditional arts workshops for Native American youth at the Tucson Indian Center.
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Jackie Aguirre :: Communications Specialist
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Jackie’s focus is on graphics and social media marketing that promote progressive issues across our state. 

Jackie’s background includes work in the Reproductive Justice space focusing on Latinx, Chicanx and Mexican-American communities.

  • She is a co-owner of a community art gallery celebrating BIPOC artists
  • She is a long-time volunteer for Planned Parenthood and works with college students to provide condoms/dental dams, menstrual products & other resources
  • She is a part of a group of women who love craft beer and hosts monthly beer shares with beer from all over the country
Edgar Cruz :: Communications Specialist
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Edgar Cruz is a Communications Specialist at ProgressNow New Mexico where he focuses on video creation and research that promotes progressive issues across our state.

Edgar has a background producing multimedia initiatives. With over five years of radio production experience, he is a movement agent who believes in exploring all avenues of media to inform and engage community.

  • Is a host of Espejos de Aztlan on KUNM
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  • First discovered his passion for organizing as a high school student after joining the Youth Alliance in 2009