1. Explain to me, Oh Ye Defenders of the Biased and Incompetent Media, why it’s unfair to call this “fake news.”
A Facebook friend whose entire output of late is posting links to anti-Trump screeds posted this one, which appeared on the feed as “Donald Trump’s behavior is abnormal”—ah, I see the “resistance” is transitioning again to the 25th Amendment approach to overturning the election, because the news on the impeachment front isn’t good–with a cut-line that referenced him “calling immigrants ‘animals'” at yesterday’s rally in Ohio.
No, Trump didn’t refer to immigrants as animals. Unlike most of those in my friend’s left-wing, Trump-hating echo chamber (she’s an artist and arts organization executive), I checked the speech. Indeed, it’s an ugly, undignified, over-heated, un-presidential mess that makes Trump’s Boy Scout speech look like Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address. BUT HE DID NOT SAY THAT IMMIGRANTS WERE ANIMALS! He did say this;
“One by one we are finding the illegal gang members, drug dealers, thieves, robbers, criminals and killers. And we are sending them the hell back home where they came from. And once they are gone, we will never let them back in. Believe me. The predators and criminal aliens who poison our communities with drugs and prey on innocent young people, these beautiful, beautiful,innocent young people will, will find no safe haven anywhere in our country. And you’ve seen the stories about some of these animals. They don’t want to use guns, because it’s too fast and it’s not painful enough. So they’ll take a young, beautiful girl, 16, 15, and others and they slice them and dice them with a knife because they want them to go through excruciating pain before they die. And these are the animals that we’ve been protecting for so long. Well, they’re not being protected any longer,folks.”
Now, I don’t like that rhetoric. It is typical of President Trump, but inexcusable in a public appearance. However, as muddled and incoherent as he often is, this section could not be clearer: he is calling violent and criminal ILLEGAL ALIENS animals, meaning that they lack respect for human life, are uncivilized, and dangerous. I hate that terminology, but violent illegal immigrants are not the same as illegal immigrants generally, and illegal immigrants are not the same as legal immigrants, aka, immigrants.
The column in question does quote the passage from the speech I just did, so the Chicago Tribune’s summary isn’t even accurate about the article it describes, though the pundit still writes,
“The intent of the tale that Trump told his rabid fans in Ohio was simple: foment hatred for immigrants. You present the innocent characters who are part of the “us,” and you have them ravaged and destroyed by the murderous “them.” You call them animals, something peddlers of hate have done for ages.”
False, and unquestionably false. An editor on a fair and ethical paper wouldn’t permit this to get into print. Trump’s intent is to demonstrate how dangerous and irresponsible it is to allow illegal immigrants to cross our borders confident that they can stay here. He’s not fomenting hate for violent criminals: who needs assistance hating violent criminals, whether they are illegal immigrants or not? He was, in a particularly inflammatory way, pointing out how irresponsible it is to allow illegal immigrants easy access to our streets, especially since some of them—the “animals”— are dangerous. That’s clear as a bell, and intentionally misrepresented by the Tribune, the columnist and my friend to foment more hatred for the President of the United States.
THAT’S perfectly all right, though.
2 I point out this blatant misrepresentation to my friend, who responds, “Argue with your friends on your own page; I have no intention of arguing with you on mine.” Oh, no you don’t. You post your virtue-signaling fake news as a substitute for making your own argument—appealing to authority, and the authority, Rex Huppke, is a partisan hack by the evidence of his column—making your little echo-chamber erupt in “likes” and seal flipper applause. Then this lazy excuse for an argument it shows up in my Facebook feed, polluting it, and I’m not permitted to point out that the linked story is dishonest, misleading crap?
This is the epitome my dad’s favorite rejoinder to such people: “My mind’s made up, don’t confuse me with facts.” Then she went off on the President’s “using lies to obscure the truth”—you know, like the column she posted just did. Yet she could write this with no sense of the irony and hypocrisy at all. This is smart woman, and The Anti-Trump Hate Virus has her IQ points and integrity dripping out of her ears.
I don’t aspire to being the Facebook police, but if you just want echo-chamber cheers for dishonest and biased assertions, keep them off of my Facebook feed.
You are warned.
3. The criticism of John McCain’s plea for a return to comity, compromise and bi-partisanship in Congress was met with embarrassing criticism from the Right, some of it appearing on Ethics Alarms, authored by people who should know better. Criticizing that speech is criticizing ethical government and a functioning democracy, and embracing the “Everybody Does It,” “They are just as bad,” “They started it,” “They have it coming,” “It can’t get any worse,” “It’s for a good cause,” “These are not ordinary times,” “Ethics is a luxury we can’t afford right now” rationalizations for wrongful conduct rather than agreeing that it’s time to start reforming the culture to reward responsible and professional conduct. This is, in short, adopting the state of war mentality promoted by the Ace of Spades in this revolting post, which I have condemned more than once.
4. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) needs to read George Washington’s 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, paying special attention to #89: “Speak not evil of the absent, for it is unjust.” Better yet, she should commit them to memory, like George did. Collins was caught on a live mike at a committee hearing this week mocking President Trump and Republican congressman Blake Farenthold, the sexist idiot from Corpus Christi, Texas who had told a radio interviewer that an “Aaron Burr-style” duel be used to settle disagreement over health care with “female” senators, meaning Collins and her Senate Sister from Alaska.
Collins was led down this unethical path by Democrat Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, who began by opining the the President is nuts:
REED: I think he’s crazy.
COLLINS: I’m worried.
REED: I don’t say that lightly and as kind of, you know, a goofy guy. Uh, oof. And you know, the, uh, this thing, you know, if we don’t get a budget deal —
COLLINS: I know.
REED: We’re going to be paralyzed, D.O.D. [the Department of Defense] is going to be paralyzed —
COLLINS: I don’t even think he knows that there is a B.C.A. [Budget Control Act] or anything. I really don’t.
REED: No. He was down at the Ford commission saying, “I want them to pass my budget.” O.K., so we give him $54 billion and then we take it away across the board, which would cause chaos.
REED: It’s just, he hasn’t — not one word about the budget, not one word about the debt ceiling.
COLLINS: Good point.
REED: You’ve got [Office of Management and Budget Director Mick] Mulvaney saying we’re going to put in all sorts of stuff like a border wall. Then you’ve got [Treasury Secretary Steven T.] Mnuchin saying, “Oh no, it’s got to be clean.” We’ll be back in September and we’ll have crazy people in the House.
COLLINS: Yes. Did you see the one who challenged me to a duel?
REED: I know. Trust me, you know why he challenged you to a duel?
[Senator Reed uses vulgar language in describing how Senator Collins would win.]
COLLINS: Well, he’s huge. And he is so — I don’t mean to be unkind — but he’s so unattractive, it’s unbelievable.
- That’s it: any public figure who gets caught blathering near an open mike is incompetent, and I say this as one who has TWICE walked into a public bathroom wearing a mic that broadcast everything I did and said into an auditorium. I have no sympathy for Collins.
Today, George would have updated Rule 89 to read, “Speak not evil of the absent, for it is unjust, and you never know when you might be recorded, you idiot!”
- Is it ethical for a Republican to dish disrespectfully about the leader of her Party to a member of an opposing party that is dedicated not merely to opposing him, but destroying him?
No. It’s a betrayal.
- Again with “he’s crazy” : the favored totalitarian method of discrediting and isolating opponents. That’s why the psychiatrists want to get rid of the Goldwater Rule: 76% of them are Democrats, so they can use their authority illicitly to help the Democrats claim that the President is “disabled” by his obvious narcissism. This is an ignorant and biased position that I have noted before. Trump is no more “crazy” than at least a third of our previous Presidents. He’s just “crazy” in his own way. Lincoln would go into periodic periods of semi-consciousness, staring off into space.
Would Trump continue to give a speech after being shot in the chest, like Teddy Roosevelt did? I think not.
- Reed says that he’s not apologizing to Trump. Of course not! Being disrespectful to this President is a badge of honor to his constituency. (He should apologize anyway.)
Will Senator Collins apologize? I doubt it.
- Notice that the Times and other news sources omit Reed’s vulgarities, which might embarrass the Democrat in the conversation.
I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.
- Collins says that she doesn’t mean to be unkind, then immediately calls Farenthold fat and ugly. How have Senator Collins and her feminist peers reacted when the President has fat-shamed Rosie O’Donnell? How would she have reacted if a male Senator was caught on a live mic saying what she did about Farenthold, but referring to recently retired Senator Barbara Mikulski?
Memorize George’s list, Senator.
You’ll be glad you did.