“I don’t think we’re going to wake up on Jan. 7 in the same country we went to bed in on the 6th.”
Three days before supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol, right-wing activist and two-time Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Scott Lively envisioned what he called a “second Revolutionary War” as Congress attempted to verify Joe Biden’s election win on Jan. 6.
In a Jan. 3 episode of his live YouTube show Swamp Rangers titled “WEDNESDAY’S WAR IN DC,” Lively predicted that the moment would represent a climax of America’s political divisions in an epic conflict.
“Wednesday, the war begins,” Lively said in the video. “The revolutionary war. It’s begun already with the gathering of the MAGA tribes in D.C..”
He continued: “Jan. 6 I believe is the beginning of the revolutionary war—the second revolutionary war. Hopefully it will be a bloodless war. But it must happen. … This is a winner-take-all conflict between the two sides of a hyper-polarized America. In which the hard left on the one side will destroy this country. They will shred the Constitution, they will bring in global socialist government. And every politically correct nightmare that you’ve ever had will become reality in America in a matter of days if Biden’s theft of the presidency is consummated on Jan. 20. So we must not let the Marxists take the country.”
In a column for the hard-right WorldNetDaily published two days before the assault, Lively wrote that he saw “no peaceful resolution of this crisis.”
Lively most recently sought the GOP nomination for governor, calling incumbent moderate Republican Charlie Baker a “leftist.” He won nearly 100,000 votes (36.1%) in the Republican primary. He also received 19,378 votes running as an independent in 2014.
Before jumping into Massachusetts politics, Lively was involved in anti-LGBTQ movements in Oregon and wrote a book in which he linked the Holocaust to homosexuality. He has been flagged as an extremist by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“I don’t think we’re going to wake up on Jan. 7 in the same country we went to bed in on the 6th,” Lively said.
After staying quiet about the ensuing violence in Washington, Lively went on to warn followers of an impending “purge” after Trump was banned from Twitter. (Lively’s account was also suspended.)
“A post-election purge of the losers was inevitable, and we would be happy about it if the purge was removing Marxists from power,” he wrote. “However, if we were doing the purging, our standards would be truth-based and our tactics honorable and proportionate.”
Other Massachusetts conservatives have sounded off with hot takes on the riots and Trump’s social media exile.
Tatyana Semyrog, a state rep nominee in 2020, compared the suspensions to both the Holocaust and the authoritarian tendencies of the Soviet Union.
“The purge has begun,” Semyrog wrote on Facebook. “There are high level calls for cleansing now. I haven’t heard that word since the Holocaust. Welcome to censorship, propaganda, suppression of information, and loss of free speech and other freedoms. Americans have never lived through something like this.”
Semyrog also referred to the Capitol insurrection as a culmination of “many sad months of lawlessness” from Black Lives Matter protests against police killings. The MassGOP’s official Twitter account likewise compared the attack to the unrest over the summer.
John Paul Moran, who won more than 150,000 votes running for a North Shore Congress seat last year, tweeted that “Leftist Extremists” had infiltrated the pro-Trump mob in DC. He blamed “the radical Left” and “blatant election theft” for the violence.
“So now the CCP/Leftist controlled social media platforms are coming for all pro-America voices,” Moran tweeted after Trump’s social media ban. “Fascism has swiftly come to America.”
Tracy Lovvorn, who picked up close to 35% of the vote in her 2020 US House run, also elevated conspiracy theories surrounding the attacks. On the same day the Capitol was breached, Lovvorn made a post on Facebook casting doubt over election results in Georgia and referred to people legitimizing the results as “traitors.”
“If you support this as the ‘new normal’ in US elections, then you are either corrupt or a fool. Either way, you are a #TRAITOR,” she wrote.
Meanwhile, state Rep. Shawn Dooley, something of a moderate within the Massachusetts Republican Party, compared the move to George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984.”
“Every day George Orwell seems more and more like he was a time traveller or had some sort of divine ability to predict the future,” Dooley wrote of the socialist author.
Conservatives stay the course
Just before the Washington riots, Mass Republicans doubled down (again) on the party’s march to the right.
On Jan. 3, MassGOP committee members narrowly reelected party chair Jim Lyons to a second term. Lyons, a hard-right conservative who is friendly with the party’s Trump-aligned wing, is coming off a tumultuous election cycle that included divisive intra-party battles and investigations. It resulted in the already-weakened MassGOP ceding even more ground on Beacon Hill.
“Thank you to the Republican State Committee for the trust you have placed in me,” Lyons tweeted. “With all of us working together, we will make the MassGOP great again!”
Lyons won his first term as chairman in a stunner following the mixed outcomes of the 2018 midterms. His victory was narrower this time around.
Rep. Dooley mounted a more moderate challenge and came just four votes short of unseating Lyons. He had earned the endorsements of a majority of his Republican colleagues on Beacon Hill, but lost out among the party’s conservative base.
“Unfortunately, a majority (I lost 36-39) of the members of the Republican State Committee wanted to continue down the path of angry rhetoric and focus on why the Democrats are bad rather than why our ideas, our solutions, are better,” Dooley wrote on Facebook.
Over Lyons’ first term, the party lost three state Senate seats and two more state House seats. No statewide candidate picked up more than 33% of the vote and every candidate for Congress lost by at least 22 points in 2020.