Law and Order

Greg Gianforte’s Rage Money

Squinty Greg Gianforte made headlines last month after body slamming Guardian Reporter Ben Jacobs on the eve of the special election for Montana’s at-large US House of Representatives district. Gianforte went on to win the race.

Intriguingly enough, new data from the FEC reveals that donations to the body slammer’s campaign rose significantly after Gianforte’s bizarre outburst of violence against the press:

Date Donation Amount
5/20 $13,000
5/21 $10,000
5/22 $31,000
5/23 $15,000
5/24 $52,000
BODY SLAM
5/25 $118,000

The Guardian reports that donors made it rain $100,000 after the ‘slam. The total haul consisted of twenty-five donations of the maximum amount that can be given by an individual, $2,700. On May 25th, Gianforte won the election with 50.2% of the vote. On June 12th, he pleaded guilty to assaulting Jacobs and was sentenced a $385 fine, forty hours of community service, and twenty hours of anger management classes. He also agreed to donate $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalism and apologize to avoid a civil lawsuit from Jacobs. Democrats called on Gianforte to resign, but he nevertheless #persisted, assuming office on June 21st. The Democrats sent him an orange jumpsuit to commemorate the occasion. No word on whether they got the size right.

While Democrats will indeed take any opportunity to remove a Republican from office, this time they do, well, kinda have a point. If Gianforte can’t bear questions about the American Health Care Act from an unassuming journalist, how does he expect to answer to his constituents, some of whom will likely be angry with his future voting on health care? And many of whom, assumedly, do not wish to be body slammed?

Criticizing mainstream news coverage is quite different from physically assaulting the media. Letting literal, physical attacks on a free press go unanswered would make us no better than the lawless Antifa degenerates like Tim Kaine’s son.

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Anyone who has condoned or championed Gianforte’s ‘slams should reconsider what it means to productively challenge the establishment—because violence is unacceptable. Only by being the party of peace, law and order, and civil, civic engagement can the GOP provide an effective counterexample to the left’s increasingly unhinged attacks on basic constitutional rights.

Gianforte’s win and subsequent surge in donations set a troubling precedent. What does it mean going forward? Is this a growing trend people will imitate? And if they do. . .will it work?