Religious Right activist Gary Bauer responded last Thursday to the package bombs that were sent to former president Barack Obama, former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and other prominent Democrats by complaining about critics who linked the mailings to President Trump’s rhetoric. Bauer defended conservatives who suggested the bombs may have been a false-flag operation (Bauer used the term “black flag”), citing a litany of incidents of violence he attributed to “the left.”
Bauer’s comments came in the Thursday edition of his daily “American Values” email newsletter, in which he complained that “progressives politicize everything,” saying of the bomb-mailer, “we have no idea who did it.”
By the time the next day’s newsletter came out, we knew who law enforcement officials believe sent the bombs—Cesar Sayoc, a Trump-rally-attending, right-wing activist who demonized liberals on social media, and via a giant collage of right-wing stickers that decorated his van.
The arrest didn’t even get top billing in Bauer’s Friday newsletter; that was reserved for praise of Trump’s economic policies. Among the hundreds of words he used to discuss Sayoc’s arrest, not one mentioned the suspect’s politics or devotion to Trump. Even Attorney General Jeff Sessions acknowledged on Friday afternoon that Sayoc “appears to be a partisan.”
Instead, Bauer praised law enforcement officials and Trump—going so far to credit him for the arrest. Trump, he said, “has said repeatedly that his most important job is to keep the American people safe and he did that.”
And then Bauer criticized the recipients of the bombs for not working more closely with the president:
If more of the individuals in the headlines as a result of the packages would cooperate with President Trump, the administration could do much more to secure our borders and everyone would be a lot better off.
Speaking of borders, in his newsletter, Bauer has also been fanning fears of what he calls “the Migrant Army” (the group of Central American asylum-seekers heading toward the U.S.), and specifically stoking the kind of resentment that apparently fueled the man charged with the murder of 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday.
On October 18, Bauer blamed George Soros, Barack Obama, editorial writers and “left-wing federal judges” for the migrant caravan.
“It is important to understand that there is much more to this caravan than what the media are telling us,” Bauer wrote last Monday. “Does anyone really think that a few Central Americans just happened to decide to walk to America and arrive just before the election? This is a well-orchestrated political operation.” Bauer warned readers of “the lies you’re being told,” questioning “why are there no journalists asking” about who is funding the caravan.
In the Tuesday edition of his newsletter, Bauer linked to Breitbart, and inaccurately characterized a photo of protesters in Honduras burning a U.S. flag, telling his readers that the flag-burning protesters were members of the caravan. (They are not.) Bauer also complained that some Hondurans who are part of the group migrating north were marching behind the flag of their native country. “If they hate America so much, why are they coming here?”
And the next day, Bauer wrote, “These poor people in Central America seem to have more powerful allies in the United States than do the poor taxpayers in the American heartland.”