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Monday, February 7, 2022

Flip is upset again

Wants to strip McKee of powers that McKee doesn’t want to use

By Will Collette

Charlestown’s embarrassing state Representative Blake “Flip” Filippi is perpetually upset. The list of things that upset him constantly grows and changes.

Flip's current outrage du jour is the continued renewal by our accidental Governor Dan McKee of the emergency powers declaration that gives McKee powers to act on his own to protect public health during our on-going pandemic.

I have to admit that I have been upset at Dan McKee’s continued access to these emergency powers – but only because he lacks the guts to actually use them. He was too slow to reinstate the mask mandate. He is still dawdling on making all health workers and state employees get vaxxed. He won’t touch small businesses to make them tighten up public health protection.

He could, if he chose to, use those powers to mandate a universal vaccination mandate, but he won’t so more Rhode Islanders are going to get sick and die. The US Supreme Court has already ruled in favor of mandatory vaccination in pandemics, the key case being Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905) which you can read HERE.

But Flip, who heads the tiny Trumplican minority in the state House of Representatives, is pushing hard for quixotic state legislation to limit the Governor’s emergency powers. 

He describes the effort as a sacred trust:

“History teaches that when there is a fervor to abandon the rule of law, such as now, it is precisely when we must defend it most,” said Flip.

These remarks came within a day of the Republican National Committee voting to censure Republican Reps. Liz Chaney and Adam Kinzinger for serving on the select committee investigating Donald Trump’s attempted coup on January 6, calling that insurrection “legitimate political discourse.” The RNC then tweeted that the GOP “is the Party of Law and Order.”

Rep. Eric Swalwell countered (D-CA) that the GOP is actually “The Party of Cop Killers,” and described the January 6 insurrection by analogy:

"If your neighbor came over and stepped on your porch holding a knife, a gun, a machete, and said that he wanted to talk I don't think you would call the police and say, 'You know what, we're going to settle this and have a 'legitimate political discourse.' You would say that this is a violent interaction. That's what happened that day,"

But Flip Filippi thinks McKee having powers he doesn’t use is an existential threat to the Republic, far more serious than January 6.

Flip has had a bizarre view of threats to the Republic for a very long time, even before he became a state representative.

During the 2013 manhunt for the Boston bombing suspects, Flip represented the infamous armed militia group, the Oathkeepers, when they wanted to hold an armed rally on the Lexington Green of Revolutionary War fame.

The town selectmen (equivalent of our Town Council) revoked their permit because all of the Lexington cops had joined the search for the bombers who were still at large.

Oath Keeper Stewart Rhodes, recently indicted on seditious conspiracy charges for his leadership of the January 6 coup attempt said:

“We have retained Massachusetts attorney, Blake Filippi, who also works with The 10th Amendment Center to seek an injunction against the revocation of the permit,” 

Yes, that “Massachusetts attorney” is our own dear Flip who has been a man of mystery about exactly where he lives for as long as he's been on the political stage.

Filippi argued the Oath Keepers should be allowed to go ahead with their rally anyway, despite these exigent circumstances, because I don’t know, freedom.

The court said no:

Due to the emergency nature of the moratorium, in light of recent events, significantly the Boston bombings on April 15, 2013, the plaintiff has failed to convince the court of its likelihood of success on the merits and any potential irreparable harm it may suffer therefore the motion is denied.”

But guess what? The Oath Keepers went ahead and held the rally anyway in violation of the court's ruling. There were no consequences to them. Read more ab out the Oath Keepers HERE and about Filippi's links to them HERE.

Flip was happy even though this case was another of the many cases he has lost. There were no remarks from Flip about abandoning the rule of law. Nor has Filippi spoken out against years of anti-American activities by his militia clients or Trump’s abuse of the law during his term of office or since.

In Flip’s world, the rule of law only applies to those who don’t share his hard-right radical beliefs. And he fits right into the modern Trumplican Party, the Party that revers such American heroes as mass shooter Kyle Rittenhouse.