Former Dem Senator Floats Deranged Theory: GOP Will Empower Vigilantes to Round Up Foreigners


Former Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill apparently thinks Texas’ new abortion restrictions will open the door to vigilantism — including a round-up of “people that look like foreigners.”

In an appearance on MSNBC (because of course), McCaskill — who represented Missouri in the upper chamber between 2007 and 2019, when she was defeated in her re-election bid by current Sen. Josh Hawley — insisted the Republican-sponsored bill limiting abortions would encourage “red states … to do vigilantism laws on immigration.”

McCaskill is hardly the only politician who’s conflating the Texas abortion bill with something it definitely isn’t. Here at The Western Journal, we’re dedicated to covering the abortion bill for what it is and not giving into fears over what it isn’t; you can help us bring America the facts about the law by subscribing today.

A refresher for those who have forgotten: The Texas law, which is currently going through the courts, bans abortions after a heartbeat can be detected in the unborn child.

However, it relies on a unique enforcement mechanism that makes it tricky to enjoin in court: Instead of relying on the power of the state to punish offenders, it instead empowers third parties to sue abortionists and clinics if they violate the law.

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McCaskill has leaned hard into the fallacy that this law opens the door to vigilantism — more on that later — but she managed to lean so hard against the fallacy during a Monday appearance that she fell right through it.

The former senator was appearing on MSNBC to discuss California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to pattern a ban on “assault weapons” in his state on the mechanism used by the Texas law.

This use of a novel legal apparatus has unsurprisingly drawn less ire on the left, but McCaskill was still in the business of peddling paranoia about the Lone Star State’s bill.

“I think we know everybody but [Chief Justice John] Roberts is in the tank for the right-wing, extreme views, and I think this vigilantism is going to catch on,” she said about the conservative justices on the Supreme Court.

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“I’ll tell you what’s going to happen next, Nicolle,” McCaskill told host Nicolle Wallace.

“These red states are going to do vigilantism laws on immigration, and they’re going to empower citizens to go out and round up people that they think look like foreigners. And that’s what we are coming to in this country. It is incredibly depressing.”

This kind of rhetoric isn’t new from McCaskill, either, although she hasn’t implied that roving bands of Republican-sanctioned vigilantes would be roving through red states, picking up random people who “look like foreigners.”

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Still, there was this fear-stoking tweet from September in which McCaskill said, “I’m not sure people…in their shock at what TX actually did…realize how radical this law is.”

That tweet came after the Supreme Court didn’t pre-emptively strike the Texas law down; she echoed similar thoughts during a Sept. 5 appearance on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”

“Well, I’m not so sure that there’s a huge role for Biden and, or Congress right now, other than shouting from the rooftops that this law that the Supreme Court blessed — and you can try to dress it up and put a bow on it. But they blessed a law that embraces vigilantism,” she said, according to a transcript.

The Supreme Court didn’t bless it, it’s worth noting.

The court’s opinion said that while those seeking to have it blocked “have raised serious questions regarding the constitutionality of the Texas law at issue,” it “presents complex and novel … procedural questions” and that “it is unclear whether the named defendants in this lawsuit can or will seek to enforce the Texas law against the applicants in a manner that might permit our intervention.”

Blessing my patootie — but to liberals, if the court doesn’t function as a de facto legislative arm of the Democratic Party, it’s considered to be acting unconstitutionally.

As for vigilantism, this is a popular tag for demagogues to attach to the legislation. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the bill creates a “vigilante bounty system,” which she claimed was one of the most “disturbing, unprecedented and far-reaching assaults on health care providers.”

Last I checked, however, seeking redress through the court system isn’t vigilantism — nor does it involve anyone going around making citizens’ arrests with a lasso. There’s no sign this is going to be a strategy outside of abortion, in fact.

Thus, McCaskill’s warning is fatuous hyperbole passed off as a serious omen, something that should tell you everything you need to know about the modern Democratic Party.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture