Most Unethical Jan. 6 Show Trial-Related Quote Of The Month: Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)

“What Senator Schumer was saying was that he was upset. He was alarmed, he was concerned at the prospect that justices would reverse decades of a well-established fundamental constitutional right in our country. What he did not say was let’s go attack them.”

—–Sen. Chris Coons on Fox News, explaining why Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s direct threat to Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh that they “have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions” was not a call for violence, while President Trump’s address to supporters on 1/6/2020 was inciting an “insurrection.”

Yes, I’ve decided to establish a separate sub-category of Unethical Quotes of the Month until the despicable January 6 Committee blight on ethics and democracy has run its course. Virtually every utterance by a member of that committee is a lie, a veiled partisan attack, or a pretense of legitimate Congressional process in the midst of a disgraceful show trial. The contemptible Rep. Adam Schiff, just as he did (falsely) regarding the Mueller investigation, has promised that he has seen “conclusive” and damning evidence without ever producing it. Liz Cheney is unethical almost every time she opens her mouth, and even when she doesn’t open her mouth: for example, the committee has subpoenaed Bill Stepien, a former Trump campaign manager, who is currently advising Cheney’s opponent, Harriet Hageman, for the Wyoming primary in August. As George Costanza would say, “Worlds are colliding!” Cheney has a direct interest in undermining a political opponent, and that conflicts with her duty to serve on the committee objectively and…oh, what am I saying? The whole J6 effort is a obvious partisan effort to smear Republicans in general and Terrifying Trump in particular. Never mind.

Still, Coons winning the prize today is quite an accomplishment, especially since he isn’t even on the committee. However, his candidacy was put over the top by the fact that his claimed “distinction” between Schumer’s words, which were unambiguously threatening, and Trump’s words to his supporters, which urged a “peaceful and patriotic” protest, is so utterly ridiculous and insulting to any listeners intelligence.

Here is the transcript:

BRETT BAIER: All right. Last thing before we get to January 6. The law [sic] has been made this week about words, how much they matter, how much stirring the pot, giving the green light to violence in any way, shape, or form is unacceptable.Take a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price.

(CHEERS)

You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: On the steps of the Supreme Court, did those words qualify, Senator?

COONS: So here’s a key distinction. What Senator Schumer was saying was that he was upset. He was alarmed, he was concerned at the prospect that justices would reverse decades of a well-established fundamental constitutional right in our country. What he did not say was let’s go attack them. The point of the January 6th hearing is to prove that that is in fact what President Trump did, that he, in the words of Congresswoman Cheney, summoned the mob, stirred up the mob and then lit the fuse that sent them storming the Capitol of the United States. I do think there’s a distinguishable difference between what we just heard from Senator Schumer and the actions taken by former President Trump and his circle of advisors in the days before January 6th.

Taking the last of Coons’ weasel words first, the question was about the double standard being used regarding Schumer’s words and Trump’s words. Because there is no way to deny the hypocrisy (as Coon’s preceding huminhumina nonsense proved), he shifts the metaphorical goalposts at the end, comparing Schumer’s words to “actions taken by former President Trump and his circle of advisors.”

The first statement Coons makes is the most desperate and unethical, though. Schumer warning the justices that “they won’t know what hit them” if they don’t decide cases the way he wants is excusable, Coons says, because “he was upset.” Baier revealed his lack of competence by not challenging this on the spot. A properly zealous host would have said, “He was upset? That’s your distinction? If the President had said to the crowd on January 6, “Let’s go and teach those election-stealing bastards a lesson!” with his face contorted with rage, would you have accepted, ‘Well, he was upset’ as a defense?” Does emotion justify unethical words or conduct? Is that the position of your party?”

You know, it just might be. No Democratic leader has publicly condemned the pro-abortion firebombing of pro-life pregnancy centers. How hard is that? Granted, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is sadly incompetent, slow-witted hack, but she has shown that she can read her notes. How hard would it have been for the White House to direct her to state unequivocally that the President unequivocally condemns the violence directed at the Centers. Yet when asked by RealClearPolitics’ Philip Wegmann to address the bombings, Biden’s Paid Liar could only say that the Department of Justice was “looking into it” and “taking them seriously.” After all, those pro-abortion activists are upset! You can’t really blame them.

I digress; back to Coons. After the “he was upset” howler, Coons falsely implied that Trump said anything that could be interpreted as “let’s attack them,” when he urged, as I already noted, a peaceful protest. Coons then described abortion as a “well-established right.” As most legal scholars (which he is not), including the late Justice Ginsberg, agree, the problem with the “right” is that it was poorly and incompetently established. Roe v. Wade was badly reasoned. Coons’ assertion that President Trump “summoned the mob, stirred up the mob and then lit the fuse that sent them storming the Capitol of the United States” is also undeniably false.

While Ethics Alarms holds that it was irresponsible  and unethical for Trump to call protesters to D.C., protesting is nonetheless a legal and constitutionally protected right. What he did cannot be called “summoning a mob,” unless all protests are to be called mob action. Giving a stirring speech to a crowd is not unusual or sinister conduct for a President either. The fact that some in the crowd went on to storm the Capitol isn’t evidence that Trump “lit the fuse,” meaning that he caused it. That’s the classic fallacy “post hoc ergo propter hoc,” or “after this, thus because of this.” Coons is a lawyer, so he knows that’s garbage reasoning, yet he espoused it anyway.

So Coons wins the Unethical Jan. 6 Show Trial-Related Unethical Quote of the Month, no mean feat. To be fair, others in the Democratic Party propaganda machine also tried to defend Schumer’s March threats in the wake of the attempt of a Roe fan to make Kavanaugh reap the whirlwind by killing him. The usually risible Jonathan Chait, in his latest column at New York Magazine, argues that Chuck Schumer said nothing wrong, but ‘Republicans pounced.’ The claim is that Schumer’s context wasn’t violent. Assuming arguendo that Chait is right, so what? People read quotes and hear sound bites. When Schumer threatened the justices by name, I didn’t see the whole context, and neither did millions of other people. The words were per se inflammatory and dangerous; no leader of either party had ever made such a threat against a Supreme Court justice by name. I condemned the statement at the time, and do now.

Nor does it mitigate anything that Schumer said that he eventually admitted that his rhetoric was excessive after a rebuke from Chief Justice Roberts and others. “I should not have used the words I used yesterday. They did not come out the way I intended to,” Schumer said, adding: “I’m from Brooklyn. We use strong language.”

Oh. That’s all right then! And if some maniac hears your threats but misses the far less publicized regrets, and then tries to do your bidding, you’re off the hook.  Got it!

After all, you were upset.

 

12 thoughts on “Most Unethical Jan. 6 Show Trial-Related Quote Of The Month: Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)

  1. This from the chair of the United States Senate Select Committee on Ethics. It must be that “senatorial ethics” is not in any way related to what normal people try to foster.

  2. Is it my imagination, or did these works seem like déja vu all over again from the Army McCarthy hearings?
    “The contemptible Rep. Adam Schiff, just as he did (falsely) regarding the Mueller investigation, has promised that he has seen “conclusive” and damning evidence without ever producing it.”

    Asking for a friend…

    MB

  3. Well, I did compare a lot of what went on in 2020 to McCarthyism, I guess I wasn’t wrong. You know, growing up, it always seemed that everybody else could get away with saying they were angry if they were abusive towards me, but, if I got abusive with someone who claimed I was angry, somehow that excuse was no longer valid. For some reason, everybody thinks that their anger is perfectly justified and they are off the hook for whatever they do when they are angry. On the other hand, if someone else gets angry, particularly someone they don’t agree with or don’t like, then somehow it’s a problem. If I was to step out tomorrow and say that some of these senators best beware, cuz we’re on the right we’re pissed, and they can’t be conducting show trials if they’re lying dead in a ditch somewhere, I wonder what people would think. Hey, I was pissed, so you can’t hold me accountable, right?

    I was really pissed when I pushed another kid off the jungle gym and he fell and cut his mouth really badly, am I off the hook?

    I was really pissed when my jerk of a classmate pulled my hat off for the third time in a week and I threw him down and deliberately banged his head against the asphalt a few times giving him a concussion. Am I off the hook?

    There are some people here I really don’t like, if they piss me off, am I okay seeking them out at home and killing them?

    I was mad at this woman because she wouldn’t agree to a second date, if I beat the crap out of her because I was angry am I off the hook?

    My kid pissed me off because he brought home a lousy report card, if I take him to the woodshed and give him a flogging, am I okay?

    I think we all know the answers to these questions, and not one of them is a resounding yes. Yet this guy wants to give Schumer a pass for renting like a thug enough that at least one person decided to take action, while trying to put Trump in jail because he told his folks to protest peacefully and they decided to do no such thing.

    The fact is that the Democratic party is deathly afraid of Trump, because things were actually good for the American people on his watch until the pandemic hit, and now everything is falling to shit on their watch. But, they are hoping if they can gin up enough anger over abortion, gun control, and January 6th they can stave off bad losses and still make Leonard Pitts’ political purge a reality.

  4. “The point of the January 6th hearing is to prove that that is in fact what President Trump did…”

    But I thought the purpose of the hearings is to gather information. Surely, the wise and learned members of the committee haven’t already made up their minds…

  5. “What Senator Schumer was saying was that he was upset. He was alarmed, he was concerned at the prospect that justices would reverse decades of a well-established fundamental constitutional right in our country. What he did not say was let’s go attack them.”

    I think you’ve highlighted the wrong passage. In fact, I think everything you cut out of that quote was worse than the quote itself. The problem isn’t the opinion, it’s the double standard. Trying to manufacture space and find differences between two very similar utterances and wave one off. Sarah Palin was responsible for the shooting of Gabby Giffords, but Bernie Sanders wasn’t responsible for the shooting of Steve Scalise. All of it or none of it. And we have to be consistent: Similarly to how the double standard with Democrats is a problem, if we want to say that we care deeply about how Chuck Schumer was ginning up violence against SCOTUS justices, then we’re going to have to dig deep and look at a couple of things guys from our team said, because that becomes the standard.

    We can point out the absurd hypocrisy of their position without carving out a completely spitefully contrarian opposing position which also happens to be absurd position for ourselves.

    And I can’t stress that last point enough, because I think Republicans have managed time and time again to find themselves holding the most absurd of positions for no reason other than that the Democrats hold the other one, and they’re bad.

    • But HT, they weren’t similar statements at all! Trump didn’t threaten anyone or imply violent consequences. Palin didn’t suggest violence by using a target graphic in a campaign map. The question was how the House inquisitioners could claim Trump inspired an insurrection with non-violent and non-threatening rhetoric, when an attempted assassin appeared to be trying to carry out Schumer’s direct threat. Coons claimed the actual threats were benign. But the point is, they were exactly what Trump’s statements wasn’t. It’s a double standard based on the false characterization of Trump’s words, but in reality, its an upside down standard.

      • “But HT, they weren’t similar statements at all! Trump didn’t threaten anyone or imply violent consequences.” Ish. Maybe not the specific January 6th statements, but that man says a lot of shit and it’s not hard to find violent rhetoric, depending on how you want to define it. A lot of what’s being said isn’t new, it’s the Overton window that’s moving, and the window might be moving because of the massive and unaddressed mental health crisis America is facing. Regardless, if the Overton window is going to move, you can’t try to half-ass it and only move it for the other guys.

        I mean… Really, there is no connection between Schumer and this guy, it’s just relatively recent, relevant if you squint, and juicy. The “assassin” in this case expressed… “concerns” about a lot of things, he said that he was motivated by things he saw on the internet, which is also where he found the address. There’s probably a more direct tie between Bernie’s “The Republican plan for healthcare is that you get sick, and then you die” and the Scalise shooting than between Schumer and this nut.

        • All agreed—except that the nexus was exactly what Schumer threatened. Exactly. “If” you make these rulings, THEN this will happen (and I’ll approve of that!) It’s still both a more inflammatory statement and more justifiably connected to the attempted attack than enything Trump said could be tied to storming the Capitol. No?

          “Maybe not the specific January 6th statements, but that man says a lot of shit and it’s not hard to find violent rhetoric”…you’ll have to explain that one to me. You can’t possibly mean that one can go back forever and attach Trump rhetoric to the riot…though I wouldn’t put that past “the commission” if all else fails.

          • “You can’t possibly mean that one can go back forever and attach Trump rhetoric to the riot…though I wouldn’t put that past “the commission” if all else fails.”

            But isn’t that what you’re doing with the Schumer statement? That was two and a half years ago. If you dredged through all the shit Trump said for two years previous to Jan 6th, you’d probably find some dots to connect. How recent ought a statement be to be connected?

            • It’s the specificity, isn’t it? If President Trump said in 2018, “I’ll say this: if the Democrats try to steal the Presidency by rigging the election, they will find out that patriots like you won’t stand for it, and we’ll take back our democracy with force!”, I’d say he lit the fuse. Schumer’s statement was specifically aimed at condition precedent, and when it occurred, so did someone trying to make good on his threat.

              But Trump didn’t do that, not even on January 6.

              Look, I don’t hold Schumer responsible for the assassination attempt. But he was a lot closer to incitement than anything Trump said om Jan. 6.

  6. I love Schumie’s use of the, “See, I’m from Brooklyn” line. Should we call that “The Don’s Excuse?” Or maybe “Vito’s Excuse?” So Chuck, you’re a thug? Everyone from Brooklyn is a mobster? Wonderful. What a pinhead.

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