“I don’t think it’s fundamentally about incivility. It’s about insurrection.”
—-Ron Brownstein, Senior Editor of “The Atlantic” magazine and political analyst for CNN, commenting on the “Let’s go, Brandon!” episode during President Biden’s Christmas Eve session with NORAD tracking Santa’s sleigh
Brownstein went on to say,
[T]he whole Let’s Go Brandon kind of motif is a reflection of the view of two-thirds of the Republican base, driven by Trump’s claims, false claims, and the Big Lie, that Biden is an illegitimate president.
And it reflects the findings in multiple polls by the American Enterprise Institute, Vanderbilt University, and others, that a majority of Republican voters now say the American way of life is disappearing, so fast that traditional American way of life that we may have to use force to save it.
I think you’re seeing — this is a manifestation, not just of incivility but of the fundamental view of the illegitimacy, and the ominous shores we’re sailing toward very quickly in 2022 and especially 2024.
A digression is in order...Commenters critical of Ethics Alarms, both here and on my off-site email, often say that I am irrationally “angry” about situations and incidents that I rate as unethical. That’s an unfair tactic employed to misrepresent what are serious, analytical assessments as emotional ones. I write hard–always have; it’s my style— but I’m not an angry person. I’m essentially an optimistic and happy person. I don’t fume over politics or the culture: I’m aware of developments, but getting angry does no good at all, and I’m not wired that way.
But Brownstein’s statement does make me angry (that’s me above). Who charted that course to that shore, Ron, you flaming, dishonest asshole? Your magazine, along with the rest of the “resistance” that it helped fuel for the length of the entire Trump administration, from the moment he was elected in 2016.
In this article, for example, published on Nov. 21, 2016, The Atlantic called for the Electoral College to elect Hillary Clinton despite the popular vote giving Trump the necessary electoral votes to take office. That was appropriate, Peter Beinert explained,
Donald Trump was not elected on November 8. Under the Constitution, the real election will occur on December 19. That’s when the electors in each state cast their votes….As Michael Signer explains, the framers were particularly afraid of the people choosing a demagogue. The electors, Hamilton believed, would prevent someone with “talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity” from becoming president. And they would combat “the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.” They would prevent America’s adversaries from meddling in its elections. The founders created the Electoral College, in other words, in part to prevent the election of someone like Donald Trump….The prospect of a Trump presidency… is terrifying…in unprecedented ways. Which is why, for the first time in modern American history, there’s a plausible case for urging the electors to vote their consciences…It all depends on how dangerous you think President Trump would be…I think America needs electors who, in times of national emergency, can prevent demagogues from taking power.
That, of course, was just the beginning of “the resistance”/Democratic Party/ mainstream media alliance’s efforts to concoct some way to overthrow an elected President they regarded, and treated, as “illegitimate.” I’ve documented the other schemes, which included two outrageous impeachments, and frankly I’m sick of writing about them (and tolerating the dishonesty of partisans who deny they were what they were).
The insultingly hypocritical position of Brownstein is that when his “team” savaged a President and claimed he was illegitimate, it was fair and patriotic, because “Orange Man Bad.” When Republicans and conservatives insult Biden, it’s an “insurrection.” The double standard is flagrant and infuriating. Brownstein isn’t stupid, he’s just ruthless and despicable, and like so many in the leftist pundit class, he thinks we’re stupid. Well, “Let’s go Brandon” to you, Ron, and also to CNN’s anchor for not having the guts to confront you with your hypocrisy. But of course it’s CNN’s hypocrisy too.
Other observations in no coherent order because it’s early in the morning and I usually don’t write angry:
- The reason Brownstein’s quote is revealing is that it shows how cynical and dishonest the whole “insurrection” narrative is, as well as how desperate the effort to wield it has become. The House’s partisan “investigation,” the show trials of the January 6 rioters, and the constant use of the word to describe what was unquestionably not an insurrection, since no one has been charged with that crime (nor could they) all point to a terrified party trying to gull the public into believing that it should be frightened of their rival party’s “undemocratic” tendencies, when all the evidence indicates that it is Democrats who want to kneecap our laws and institutions to gain and keep power. The Atlantic’s 2016 article showed this vividly.
- “Let’s impeach the motherfucker” was just incivility. The Speaker of the House tearing up the President’s State of the Union address literally behind his back on national TV was just incivility. But an anonymous caller resorting to the juvenile code for “Fuck Joe Biden” is “about insurrection.” Right.
- Trump was wrong and irresponsible and remains wrong and irresponsible to claim he received the necessary votes to be elected. Claiming that the election itself was unacceptably and dangerously robbed of integrity by the pandemic-rationalized mail-in voting is not wrong, and the fact that Democrats refuse to acknowledge that fact justifiably raises more suspicions about their motives and conduct.
- The election was “rigged,” though Trump might have been defeated by the pandemic crash and his own big mouth and bad decisions anyway. It was rigged by biased and unethical news coverage stretching over his entire administration and climaxing in the embargo of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal.
- I reject the whole “illegitimate President” smear against any POTUS, be it George W. Bush, Trump or Biden….even Rutherford B. Hayes and John Quincy Adams, who come closest to deserving it.