Latest Bonkers MAGA Conspiracy Involves a Biden ‘Wall’ Around the White House

·3 min read
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty

The latest conspiracy theory to convulse MAGA-land does not involve COVID-19 boosters or “deep state” Jan. 6 plots (more on those in a bit), but a bit of routine construction at dear old 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue—which has convinced some on the right that Joe Biden is about to impose martial law.

The White House tells The Daily Beast that the concrete barriers—or “wall,” if you’re being dramatic—on the lawn are for fountain maintenance. (“They kind of treated me like a kook,” discloses Fever Dreams host Will Sommer, who contacted the executive branch for comment.) This has not stopped some right-wing personalities characters from implying that “Biden is about to impose martial law or some unconscionable new law or executive order that will so outrage the American people that they will want to storm the barricades.”

While the White House’s denial is unlikely to satisfy the true believers, Sommer points out that the incident is a meta-commentary on “Washington as canvas for conspiracy theories… there are people who walk around Washington, these conspiracy theorists who are very well paid by their fans, who just walk around Washington filming things that they think are odd but often aren’t odd… like, ‘Hmm, lights out at the Department of Labor. This sounds like the coup is on.’”

Elsewhere on the podcast, Sommer and co-host Asawin Suebsaeng reveal that One America News (OAN), the upstart Fox News rival that Trump loved to plug, may be in trouble now that its big monetary backer DirectTV has pulled its backing from the network (perhaps as a result of things like OAN reporters filming themselves calling for the execution of ‘traitors’ who didn’t back Trump’s election putsch.) As a result, Trump and his followers have been threatening a boycott. But as Suebsaeng notes, “so many of [Trump’s] prominent followers would call for boycotts almost as often as they would draw an ordinary breath. I lost count of how many things Trump and his prominent minions kept telling the MAGA fans and their voters to just keep boycotting.”

Speaking of boycotts, Trump may soon be wishing he could impose one on his onetime ideological ally, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. “Now obviously, if some of our listeners haven’t been getting into this bubbling, or brewing, feud, they might be thinking: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Former President Donald Trump. These guys are peas in a pod. They are allied warriors in the MAGA fight. They both enthusiastically endorsed each other in the past and they should be thick as thieves,” says Suebsaeng. However, DeSantis is one of the few prominent Republicans who has refused to say he’d step aside for a Trump 2024 run—“and that obviously has not gone unnoticed in the upper ranks of Trumpland”—and now they are coming down on opposite sides of the COVID-19 booster debate, with DeSantis ragging Trump for supporting the third shot. As a result, Trump has been “telling several people over the past couple months that whether it’s DeSantis or anybody else who tries to cross him in a potential 2024 Republican conflict, he would absolutely crush or “destroy” them.

“He’s very fond of using the word ‘destroy’ when he’s talking about DeSantis.”

She Went Undercover in MAGA for a Year—What She Found Was ‘Alarming’

And finally, the co-hosts discuss the Ray Epps saga, a rightwing deep state conspiracy about the Jan. 6 insurrection that has made it all the way to the January 6 committee—and that has caused a spate of young rightwingers to accuse likeminded boomers of “being feds.” Journalist Jonathan M. Katz joins the podcast to talk about his book Gangsters of Capitalism, about a man named Smedley Butler who was involved in most of the U.S. invasions and occupations and wars around the turn of the 20th century and who eventually became an antiwar activist and “blew the whistle on a fascist plot to overthrow Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”

Listen, and subscribe, to Fever Dreams on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.

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