Proud Boys and Antifa Emerge As The Winners From The Presidential Debate

Last night’s presidential debate left many of us in a deep depression over the state of our politics.  Once again, the duopoly of power in this country has reduced a population of over 300 million to two subpar choices. President Donald Trump’s conduct and comments have been rightfully denounced while Biden offered little beyond not being President Trump. There were however two clear and surprising winners last night: Proud Boys and Antifa. 


When pressed by moderator Chris Wallace on why he has not been more clear in calling for Democratic mayors and governors to crackdown on rioting (including the use of the National Guard), Biden simply said that he was not the president. However, not only is that irrelevant, Biden has been forceful in calling for other actions on these protests and other issues like the pandemic despite his private citizen status. Yet, the most notable aspect of his exchange with Wallace was his reluctance to denounce Antifa.  Instead, Biden referenced FBI Director Christopher Wray’s statement that Antifa was more of a movement than an organization. Biden simply dismissed the question with “Antifa is an idea, not an organization.” It was a telling and inaccurate statement.

We previously discussed Wray statement.  Wray was adamant: “Antifa is a real thing. It’s not a fiction” and, while it is not a conventional organization as opposed to a movement, they have arrested people who admit that they are Antifa.”

testified in the Senate on Antifa and its history of violence on our campuses and streets. As I have written, Antifa is indeed more of a movement than a specific organization, but it has members and associated groups. Indeed, it has long been the “Keyser Söze” of the anti-free speech movement, a loosely aligned group that employs measures to avoid easy detection or association.  Wray stated “And we have quite a number — and I’ve said this quite consistently since my first time appearing before this committee — we have any number of properly predicated investigations into what we would describe as violent anarchist extremists and some of those individuals self-identify with Antifa.”

I have repeatedly emphasized that extreme right groups are also responsible for recent violence and Wray made clear that far right violence still dominates in terms of a threat profile.  Moreover, I have opposed declaring Antifa a terrorist organization.  We have ample laws to deal with such extremist violence from the far left or far right. We do not need to rely on terrorism laws or most recently suggested sedition laws. Yet, Antifa is more than some “idea.” The Antifa Handbook discusses how it uses an association of groups, including self-identified Antifa groups, to carry out attacks on critics and those with opposing views.

My greatest concern is that we need to take Antifa seriously as a virulent anti-free speech organization.  There is a fair criticism of some politicians who have refused to denounce the group or even support it.  Former Democratic National Committee deputy chair Keith Ellison, now the Minnesota attorney general, once said Antifa would “strike fear in the heart” of Trump. This was after Antifa had been involved in numerous acts of violence and its website was banned in Germany. His own son, Minneapolis City Council member Jeremiah Ellison, declared his allegiance to Antifa in the heat of the protests this summer.

During the recent hearing, Democratic senators also refused to clearly denounce Antifa and falsely suggested that the far right was the primary cause of recent violence.

Biden continued this bizarre reluctance of Democratic leaders to denounce Antifa, which includes specific groups like Rose City Antifa. It is not just “an idea.” It is a collection of groups, including self-identified Antifa groups, that carry out violence against those who oppose their anti-free speech agenda.

Antifa received a huge boost from Biden’s equivocal response. It wants to be dismissed as “an idea” while organizing violent protests and rioting.  That is precisely what it got last night with Biden’s remarks.


Perhaps the most disturbing statement of the evening was President Trump response to Wallace on denouncing white supremacy and actions of far right groups.  It should have been an easy question and answer, but Trump seemed to struggle to avoid an outright condemnation.

When pushed Trump declared “Sure, I’m willing to (tell them to stand down), but I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing. I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.”   Wallace and Biden pushed back and Trump said “Who would you like me to condemn?” Biden could be heard twice saying, “Proud Boys.” Trump responded “Proud Boys — stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what. I’ll tell you what. Somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right wing problem.”
The statement for The Proud Boys to “stand by” thrilled the extremist group.  The group even shared a new logo online that included the phrase “stand back and stand by.”

The President has struggled after his statement that there were many fine people on both sides in Charlottesville.  The President has maintained that he was not speaking of the extremists but the debate of the preservation of historical statues. However, he has repeatedly equivocated in such comments about far right groups. Last night was in my view far more serious than the Charlottesville statement.  The President has offered an alternative meaning of his line of Charlottesville and he did contemporaneously denounce the violence on both sides. However, here was an opportunity to clearly denounce the far right violence and instead he told them to “stand by.”

As I stated in my earlier testimony, far right groups have historically been more lethal in past attacks and indeed there is some evidence of far right groups fueling violence after the George Floyd killing.  Antifa has also been involved in the violence.  Both should be denounced, but the Democratic candidate equivocated on Antifa while the Republican candidate equivocated on Proud Boys. The implications could not be more precarious for the country.  As our divisions deepen and anger rises, both politicians are playing a dangerous game in currying favor with extremist groups on the left and right. By not clearly denouncing such groups, these politicians give them legitimacy or help them evade responsibility in their actions.

George Washington University student Jason Charter has been charged as the alleged “ringleader” of efforts to take down statues across the capital. Charter has been an active Antifa member on campus for years. Following his arrest, he claimed the “movement is winning.” It is winning. It is winning mostly since people remain silent. Silence kills free speech. Antifa knows that.

The same is true for The Proud Boys and other far right groups like Boogaloo. They do not want or need support. They need the silence and passivity of the public and those in power.

That is why the great winners last night were The Proud Boys and Antifa.

564 thoughts on “Proud Boys and Antifa Emerge As The Winners From The Presidential Debate”

  1. “Once again, the duopoly of power in this country has reduced a population of over 300 million to a two subpar choices.”

    – Professor Turley

    Two subpar choices.

    Choice 1 – President Donald J. Trump, a patriotic, independent non-politician who will kick, scratch, bite and do what ever it takes to defend, strengthen, enhance and improve America.

    Choice 2 – Joe Biden who has repeatedly rolled over for the highest bidder during his “47 Years Of Failure” and sucking at the public teat as a parasite of the people.

    Johnson, Grassley Release Report on Conflicts-of-Interest Investigation
    Wednesday, September 23, 2020

    WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, released a report that revealed millions of dollars in questionable financial transactions between Hunter Biden and his associates and foreign individuals, including the wife of the former mayor of Moscow and individuals with ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

    These were just some of the findings from their investigation into potential conflicts of interest arising from Hunter Biden accepting a position on the board of, and taking millions of dollars from, Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company with a long-standing reputation for corruption, while his father, Joe Biden, was vice president and the public face of the Obama administration’s handling of Ukraine policy.

    Findings from the chairmen’s investigation include:

    In early 2015 former Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, George Kent raised concerns to officials in Vice President Joe Biden’s office about the perception of a conflict of interest with respect to Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board. Kent’s concerns went unaddressed and in September 2016, he emphasized in an email to his colleagues, “Furthermore, the presence of Hunter Biden on the Burisma board was very awkward for all U.S. officials pushing an anticorruption agenda in Ukraine.”

    In October 2015, senior State Department official Amos Hochstein raised concerns with Vice President Biden, as well as with Hunter Biden, that Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board enabled Russian disinformation efforts and risked undermining U.S. policy in Ukraine.

    Hunter Biden was serving on Burisma’s board (supposedly consulting on corporate governance and transparency) when Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky allegedly paid a $7 million bribe to officials serving under Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Vitaly Yarema, to “shut the case against Zlochevsky.” George Kent testified that this bribe occurred in December 2014 (seven months after Hunter Biden joined Burisma’s board), and, after learning about it, he and the resident legal adviser reported this allegation to the FBI.

    In addition to the over four million dollars paid by Burisma to Hunter Biden and his business partner, Devon Archer, for membership on the board, Hunter, his family, and Archer received millions of dollars from foreign nationals with questionable backgrounds.

    Devon Archer received $142,300 from Kenges Rakishev of Kazakhstan, purportedly for a car, the same day Vice President Joe Biden appeared with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arsemy Yasenyuk and addressed Ukrainian legislators in Kyiv regarding Russia’s actions in Crimea.

    Hunter Biden received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Elena Baturina. Ms. Baturina is the wife (widow) of the former mayor of Moscow.

    Hunter Biden had business associations with Ye Jianming, Gongwen Dong, and other Chinese nationals linked to the Communist government and People’s Liberation Army. Those associations resulted in millions of dollars in questionable transactions.

    Hunter Biden opened a bank account with Gongwen Dong that financed a $100,000 global spending spree with James Biden and Sara Biden.

    Hunter Biden also moved millions of dollars from his law firm to James Biden’s and Sara Biden’s firm. Upon being questioned about the transaction, Sara Biden refused to provide supporting documentation and information to more clearly explain the activity. The bank subsequently closed the account.

    Hunter Biden paid nonresident women who were nationals of Russia or other Eastern European countries and who appear to be linked to an “Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring.”

    – U.S. Committee On Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs

  2. I haven’t read the comments, but anyone who has bothered to look into the Proud Boys just a little, tiny bit should quickly realize they are not a ‘white supremacist’ group.

    First, they have black members. That’s the first clue.

    Second they positions themselves as defenders of western civilization, and part of that is rejecting the notion that all white people are racist. So, naturally, the intellectually deceptive and lazy types among us pretend that those who defend white people (among other colors of people) are necessarily supporters of white supremacy. What a joke.

    That’s like saying a woman who defends herself against a man is making a statement that women are superior to men.

    It doesn’t get any more stupid than this, but this is what we have.

  3. You ID’dd the winners.
    And the loser? The American citizens

    Best description of the debate. A remake of two movies, “Grumpy Old Men staring in Fight Club”

    Maybe moderates in this country will wake up someday and go to primaries and vote in high numbers so America is not stuck with inferior candidates like we have today. Trump, the lying egomaniac v Biden who has been rejected 3 previous times by his party. How many managers interview any candidate for a job 4 times before hiring them?

      1. Bill, ie SCOTUS justice candidate more than 4 interviews.
        1), by the same person?
        2) by the same person, rejected as a candidate 3 previous times

        Biden has run, been “interviewed” by the voters and rejected 3 previous times. Can you name one SCOTUS nominee that was eventually confirmed that went through 4 interviews ( by the same person or group) and rejected 3 times. And relate the senate to the voters as a group that rejected, not individual senators.

        1. The 2020 electorate is not the same as the 1984 electorate, I bet half the electorate changed during that span.

          Amy Coney Barrett was interviewed several times by Trump and staff in 2018, and then she was rejected as a SCOTUS nominee in favor of Brett Kavanaugh. Trump interviewed her again in 2020, and now she’s being interviewed by lots of Senators. We’ll have to see whether she’s confirmed. Not an exact match, but close enough, and I doubt she’s the only potential nominee over the years who was shortlisted, interviewed, rejected, and nominated later.

          1. She wasn’t rejected. The President chose a Justice with qualifications he felt were more important at the time. She remained at the top of his short list and has now been nominated.

    1. Maybe “No Country for Old Men” based on the work by Cormac McCarthy

      I would cast Biden as the tired old sheriff, Trump as the cowboy, and Wallace as the creepy Anton Chigurh character, just cuz he sort of reminds me of Javier Bardem’s look in it.

      1. i suppose now somebody will steal that idea and make a youtube video of it and monetize it for some coin. let me know if they do i feel lawsuit happy today

      2. Would Trump and Biden have the energy needed for this remake? Being grumpy is normal and does not expend energy. And “Project Mayhem,” seems appropriate in this day and age

        1. No of course not and anyhow the Cormac McCarthy book that really needs the movie treatment is BLOOD MERIDIAN which rights were supposedly sold to this one character who got metoo’ed .. james franco i think was his name

          of course it would also be too politically charged to bring forward in this day and age considering its “racist” treatment of native americans

          i dont mean to say the author was racist but simply that the context is a story about genocidal activity against apaches hired out by the mexican government who paid for glanton gang to collect their scalps and be paid accordingly. i cant imagine hollywood being able to make a good movie about a story like that today

          I suppose someone on Coppola or Scorcese’s caliber could do it but they are a little long in the tooth themselves

          right now the best up and coming director is denis villeneuve if you ask me. nobody did but im tellin anyhow

  4. Since over ninety percent of interracial violence is black’ on white 540 thousand in 2018,the white supremacy scare is mostly a smoke screen. When over 800 policeman have been injured by Antifa and BLM thugs, to worry about Proud boys is swallowing Camels straining at gnats Burned down the shopping center down town two banks looted,in our little town chanting f** the poli ce. When we formed a self defense gup (no guns) to watch them at further action we were denounced as white supremacism even though half of us are Mex American and some African American. It is self defense same as when i was a boy in Sandy Row. and likely if Biden is elected will turn into Belfast circa 1969.

  5. Antifa is remarkably like the NSDAP’s Brown Shirts, who were heirs to the Frei Korps. In effect, they are the Nazis. (NSDAP of course is the acronym for National Socialist German Workers’ Party). The failure of Biden and other Democratic leaders to condemn them, the loyalty pledged to them by people like Ellison, the coddling of them by the prosecutor and mayor of Portland, and the refusal of Democratic mayors to contain their violence effectively makes Biden and the rest tacit supporters of the group and the violence that it has unleashed, just as Wallace’s question about teaching critical theory as if it were sensitivity training marks him either as an idiot or a racist who we might label a self-hating white man. When the government tried sensitivity training, T-groups, and other forms of mental manipulation in the early 1970s, there was a hue and cry against such obvious attempts to control people’s thinking. It is a pity that there is not today.

    Real white supremacists appear to be a relatively small group, and to tar all hyper-patriotic organizations, formal or informal, as white supremacists shows an appalling lack of imagination. Are the Daughters of the Revolution next?
    Did the protestors who showed up with guns in Michigan to protest the lockdowns burn down the governor’s mansion or threaten anybody with violence? Did they disperse when the police asked them to? Did they beat up anybody? Or did they protest what they considered an injustice — taking away their jobs and their liberty to protect them against a virus that even Fauci could not adequtely describe?
    Compare their behavior to the nightly violenceof Antifa and its supporters in Portland over the past four months, or to the outbreaks of violence in Chicago, New York, and Seattle.

    The question about white supremacy was a gratuitous piece of gothca journalism. Trump does not have to denounce white supremacy; it is enough that he does not embrace it and that the FBI pursue both white supremacists and Antifa with the seriousness that it should do.

    Parsing sentences to get the meaning one wants out of them is a propaganda technique, not reporting.

    Wallace was obviously partisan — but that is another subject.

    Turley needs to read some more history. He might want to start with Stanley Payne’s History of Fascism if he wants to understand Antifa. Political movements can become political parties and if they can form coalitions with or infiltrate a political party, can become governments. That is what happened with Fascism and Nazism; Lenin came to power through war and the collapse of the Tsarist government, with more than a little help from Mensheviks and agrarian radicals like Trotsky.
    If he wants to read about Nazis, the older literature is better than the most recent because it is based on documents, not reliant on argument and heavy on critical theory.

    Antifa, as Turley understands, is a threat.

    White supremacists, at least for the moment, are a small fringe group.

    Where I would place the Proud Boys, I do not know, simply because they are so insignificant that there is little information about them.

    But it is worth remembering that in 2016 the Clinton campaign evidently paid clandestine organizations to hire people to promote violence at Trump’s rallies.
    So the question has to be — who is funding Antifa? Or are we to believe that like the Fascist Party it funds itself?

  6. When Trump said “proud boys stand back and stand by”…I thought he was saying stop , desist. He thought the question was ridiculous and was making a sarcastic remark. I listen to trump a lot. It takes practice to be able to decipher him. I think one of his main goals last night was to try and be heard by the many Americans who rarely hear him speak beyond snippets taken out of context by the trumphater media. . Yes, he was aggressive, but he had many things to get out and he was battling against Wallace’s left bias and against Biden’s lies and cluelessness. Trump shined bright last night…he came with a task to do and he did it. He knew wallace would try to prevent him from getting his information out, so he had to push hard. I thought it was great. And it forced Biden be drawn in, so that bidens sweet nice guy persona got kicked aside. Btw, when IS the trumphater media going to talk seriously about The many Hunter/money stories? Never. Hence, trumps point is made…”I have to fight to be heard cuz no one puts out the truth to the people”.

  7. Three years ago Radio Free Europe captured Antifa as anarchists in action during the inauguration of President Trump.
    January 2017!!!! It’s on footage!!!

    Biden is disgusting. He will do far worse to America…far far worse

  8. When Biden said this was his Democratic party, Trump should have asked him how that is possible when both he and Harris said this would be a Harris/Biden administration.

    1. Harris:’ She will be an inspiration to young girls by showing that if you sleep with the right powerfully connected men then you too can play second fiddle to a man with dementia. It’s basically a Cinderella story.

    1. Excellent. That is what democrats knew a couple of years ago yet democrat leaders let their cities burn down.

      That is not leadership. It is stupidity that leads to chaos. That is what Biden and democrats support.

  9. Rollin, rollin….rollin on the river!
    Dump truck pulled in Lago..
    dumping all the crap that people left in.
    Dumb voters keep on voting.
    Proud Mary keeps on gotten.

  10. Professor………I’m shocked and disappointed that you think Trump is currying favor with extremists on the Right.

  11. Poor Jonny. Trying so hard to make Biden equal to the school yard bully. Sorry Jonny, all your pro-Trump, soft peddling for him, his actions, and words did not get you a SCOTUS appointment… thank God! What could be worse than four more years of Trump? Turley on the SCOTUS. Keep soft-selling Trump and his sycophants; hopefully for only three more months.

  12. After his commanding performance on “The Chris Wallace Show,” President Donald J. Trump will next appear on “The View.”

  13. So what’s a candidate to do when they have to debate the moderator and the opposing side. Wallace the supposed moderator injected himself early in the course of the debate an continued interjecting with President Trump throughout. Wallace has a high and mighty opinion of self and really ruined the whole concept of candidates debating each other, whether we as viewers like or dislike them slinging arrows at each other was and is the viewers right to determine truth or fiction or proper decorum.

    1. The depth of delusion of Trump Disciples is literally amazing. You literally cannot perceive the truth of what is going on, which is the definition of delusional. Both campaigns agreed, in advance, to 2 minute responses to questions, and that they would not interrupt their opponent. Trump, being the narcissist he is, who has a track record of monumental failures, and who is losing in the polls, just wouldn’t let Biden speak. He interrupted and interjected repeatedly, including unjustified attacks on Biden’s children that were lies, not to mention the other lies he told, including the fact that Kellyanne said that rioting helps Trump, and the whopper about creating the best economy in history, which Wallace also corrected. When Wallace tried to stop him from constantly interrupting, he tried to talk over him, who, like Biden, eventually had enough, so he had to resort to talking while Trump was talking to deny him the portion of Biden’s time that he tried to steal. THESE ARE FACTS. That is what happened last night. Although he thinks that every time a camera is there, he is entitled to hog all of the attention,Trump was not entitled to the floor. He got away with talking over and interjecting into Biden’s time repeatedly, even after Wallace reminded him of the ground rules he agreed to more than once. Rules just don’t apply to Trump. Wallance didn’t “ruin” the debate, and, if anything, he let Trump get away with too much, and didn’t consistently allow Biden to have the remaining time that Trump stole. Trump ruined the debate, and he showed the American people what he really is: a liar, a braggart and a bully. More than 60% of Americans were offended by Trump, and agreed that Biden won the debate, even though he didn’t get to fully answer questions.

      Biden was in a tough spot: if you let Trump get away with steamrollering over you, you appear weak, plus you lose the chance to make your points. In any event, if Trump won’t shut up and let him speak, there will have to be a kill switch to his microphone, or, as Michael Steele suggested, a fire hose to force his compliance. If Biden were to sink to his level, then he would be degrading himself just to be able to participate, and the debate degenerates into nothing but a street brawl, which the dumbass Trumpsters would probably love, but that’s not what a presidential debate should be about. How do you fight back against a liar and bully who won’t yield the floor without becoming one yourself is the question. Biden chose to appear presidential, and a leader who is empathetic and will try to unite the divisions Trump tried to stoke last night. Setting aside the lies and attacks against Biden’s children, just on his conduct last night, Trump not only disgraced himself, but the office of the POTUS. Bottom line is that Trump’s bluster and bullying didn’t help his campaign.

      1. natcha again calls people she disagrees with “delusional.” In her mind, we are just crazy.

        Natch, why can’t you accept diversity in political opinions? Isnt diversity our greatest strength?

        1. Do you have reading comprehension problems? I was responding to George W., who claimed that Wallace ruined the debate because he wouldn’t let the candidates debate. There was no “debating” going on. There was only Trump trying to dominate Wallace and Biden, showing abject disrespect for the people and process. George W. also claimed Wallace has a “high and mighty opinion of himself” because he kept chiding Trump for interrupting Biden and interjecting comments while he was speaking. Wallace was the moderator, which is like a referee, and, if anything, he let Trump get away with trying to dominate everyone in the room way too many times. The Commission on Presidential Debates arranges these debates as a means to educate the voting public on the issues. Wallace was there to maintain control and to enforce the rules agreed to by the parties in advance. That was his role, and Trump agreed to it. Trump tried to bully Wallace, just like he tried to bully Biden, by talking over him and refusing to yield the floor. Wallace kept repeating the ground rules Trump’s campaign agreed to in advance: 2 minutes to respond to questions chosen by Wallace, and no interrupting of your opponent. Trump repeatedly fused to comply. Those are facts. Any person watching last night’s knock-down-drag-out could see that, except people like George W.. The only way to view Trump’s flaunting of the rules of engagement, arrogance and disrespect for the process would be if you are delusional. Regardless of how you feel about the candidates and the issues, Trump’s conduct was way out of line and a blow to the dignity of the Office of POTUS. At the end of the day, he lost the debate and proved why the voters were right in 2016, when more of them voted for Hillary Clinton.

          My comments were about Trump’s utter contempt for the process and his outrageous performance.

          1. Nat’s! you got exactly my point the viewers can determine what they like or dislike. But when the moderator steps in then the issue is lost in a vacuum, let the candidates battle it out. I didn’t say who won or lost or disparage Biden, you interjected your bias towards one candidate. Wallace had one right to ask the leading question no more no less. His arrogance placing himself into the debate was one of my issues.

  14. Trump is a sloppy speaker, but hit the important points regarding the culture war that this election posits. He was not evasive.
    On the other hand, Biden was quite evasive about his intentions regarding SCOTUS and and Senate Filibuster. I think the message was clear – Biden hasn’t formed any clear opinion yet about packing the Supreme Court, nor the Filibuster, or he has and is evading a public disclosure.

    I think Trump gives a stronger sense of “I’ll tell you what I intend to do in advance”. Authenticity is to his advantage.

    1. Evasive is putting it mildly. He flatly refused to answer the question. The necessary conclusion we must make is that he fully intends to support and end to filibuster and packing the SCOTUS

      so now let the high and mighty article III tyrants take notice. their devil’s bargain with the Democrats will have backfired if Biden wins because he will gut the high falutin “independence of the judiciary” if they get a blue wave

      I know you law geeks and judges are out there reading this and understand precisely what i mean. For my part, I will enjoy it, watching the black-robed tyrants get their wings clipped, even if it will come to the detriment of us all, to a degree.

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