How Can Anyone Trust An Elected Official That Does This?

Yes, that’s the Honorable Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, after breaking the law in a useless protest before the Supreme Court building, pretending to be handcuffed for the crowd, and then, ridiculously, deciding that a gesture of defiance was better, so she drops the shackled act and raises her arm.

Her fellow Squadder Ilhan Omar also faked handcuffs or zip-ties.

This cynical play-acting is signature significance for frauds, hucksters, scammers and liars. No one with integrity does this. No one with instincts better than a 12-year-old tries it either. The charade proves disrespect for the public, and confidence that they can get away with outright deception without consequences.

They might as well have faked limps, or spilled ketchup on their foreheads.

If elected officials will try this kind of childish fakery, what else are they capable of lying about?

The answer is “Everything.”

48 thoughts on “How Can Anyone Trust An Elected Official That Does This?

  1. In general, this reminds me of the TV commercial where a nearly elderly white guy in charge in his corner office says, “I guess this is my way of sticking it to the man!” Whereupon a young guy asks, “But aren’t you the man?” (To which the white guy in charge responds somewhat meekly, “Maybe.”)

    Here we have a citizen exercising her Constitutionally guaranteed right to petition the government (probably not the right branch but stay with me). Isn’t it fair to ask her, “But wait, You’re IN Congress. You’re a Congressperson. Aren’t you the government? Shouldn’t you be, you know, governing instead of petitioning?”

    And isn’t she being arrested by the very same Capitol police she’s accused of not providing her adequate protection and failing to make the Capitol a safe space for shapely Congresspeople?

  2. I had a hunch you’d find this story irresistible, Jack.

    Out in ranch country, there’s a wonderful expression to describe people like AOC and Ilhan Omar: “All hat. No cattle.”

  3. How Can Anyone Trust An Elected Official That Does This?

    If you read the twitter comments there mostly just rationalizations, most notably, she isn’t Trump.

  4. My impression is that she wasn’t trying to deceive, just being a smart-aleck.

    But it’s still conduct unbecoming a member of Congress.

    • What?! Smartaleck?! No way. She is a warrior fighting to protect you from the illegitimate and oppressive police state. After she was led away on virtual shackles, she broke free of her captors and raised her fists high in defiance to Bull Connors of this repressive regime.

      Oh . . . wait . . . that’s her job, right?

      She even released a statement declaring that putting hands behind your back is the best practice to avoid police brutality, even though her pals at the ACLU recommend staying calm and keeping your hands visible at all times. She really did.

      She also stated she was in custody and processed like a common criminal, you know, because that’s what warriors do – they take a beating from the power structures so you don’t have to.

      She and the Squad are not frauds. They’re our saviors. Our heroes.

      jvb

  5. I was reliably told that Congressmen and Congresswomen who took part in the planning of or participation in protests in places they weren’t supposed to be protesting should be removed from Congress per the 14th Amendment as being part of an insurrection.

    • Who told you that? Can you cite them? My understanding of the argument is that that is not enough to qualify as an “insurrection;” the goal has to be overturning an election, which was attempted on January 6th but was not attempted here.

      If you know of any lefties who’ve argued otherwise please show me so I can make fun of them with you.

      • Guess we need to define insurrection- if insurrection is any attempt to undermine the legitimacy of an established constitutional order- then absolutely these jokers were as has the DNC for years now.

        If insurrection is only “a January 6 style attempt to ‘overturn an election’” then not even the CSA in 1861 was in insurrection.

        But- we fully know that what happened on January 6 wasn’t an insurrection. It was a riot. Criminal certainly. Insurrection? What a laugh.

        Nah, as long as “insurrections” are riots/protests we politically disagree with, then I’ll take that a cue to denigrate AOC and the squad as idiot “insurrectionists” just like the Jan 6ers are “insurrectionist

        What a joke.

        • So you were not reliably told that “Congressmen and Congresswomen who took part in the planning of or participation in protests in places they weren’t supposed to be protesting should be removed from Congress per the 14th Amendment as being part of an insurrection.” You just misunderstood. Got it, thanks.

          The CSA overthrew the rightful government in their states, which was the United States, in order to implement their own, and made war on the rightful government. That’s obviously an insurrection. Overturning an election, overthrowing a government–you know what I meant. (And of course they were motivated primarily by the election of Lincoln, whom they thought would outlaw slavery.) But no, I don’t think any random political riot, by the left or the right, should be considered an insurrection. Only when the goal is to overturn an election or overthrow a government–as was the case on January 6th.

          • Brother I can’t help you if you pretend there haven’t been calls to remove congressmen and women and a Supreme Court justice that the J6 hysterics insist were part of planning an “insurrection”.

            • “Brother I can’t help you if you pretend there haven’t been calls to remove congressmen and women and a Supreme Court justice that the J6 hysterics insist were part of planning an “insurrection”.”

              I am perfectly aware of such calls. As I made clear, these calls were not made simply because they “took part in the planning of or participation in protests in places they weren’t supposed to be protesting.” And I didn’t need to make this clear the first time, because you already knew it.

              • Since there was no insurrection… the J6 rioters were merely protesting in a place and manner in which they were not supposed to be. Since there was no insurrection…. that’s why they would be lawfully arrested.

                There was no insurrection. Again-I can’t help you if you want to pretend along with the J6 hysterics that there was something to that day that wasn’t.

                So again – the call to remove sitting congressmen and women and a supreme court justice on some sort of tangential claim they helped foment and planned *a non-existent insurrection* then yes – we’re just making up reasons to remove politicians we don’t like.

                So again – out with AOC and the squad.

                On the same vein in a related topic – it’s definitively slimy to associate politicians and others who sought out legal and constitutional means to challenge the election results as somehow being “insurrectionists”.

                Again, if that’s the standard for insurrection – then the DNC has been involved in insurrections since 2000.

                • I said they “attempted” an insurrection, which is factually true. The goal was to stop the certification and grant Trump a second term, despite his loss.

                  The means of challenging the election results that certain politicians sought in 2020 were neither legal nor constitutional. For example, Vice President Pence had no constitutional authority to refuse to certify, which is why he did not do so. Those who pressured him to do so, through violence or other means, were seeking an extralegal and extraconstitutional remedy. While calling for illegal and unconstitutional actions is not in itself illegal, it is certainly a betrayal of the oath of office.

                  • An insurrection is an insurrection regardless of success. But in this case there was no insurrection. There was no organized plot, there was no central coordination, no grand scheme of what the riot would accomplish.

                    You guys desperately trying to pretend like our Republic was on a precipice are either trying to amuse yourselves at best or, at worst, trying to build a case to close out political opponents.

                    Either way, none of the made up J6 hysterics are good for this country.

                    • You should watch the hearings. Tonight was a doozy.

                      What isn’t good for our country is allowing a former president to get away with trying to stay in power beyond his term without legal consequences. You can be sure that if there are no consequences, it will happen again. And it might be worse next time.

                      If knowing that this plan of his caused members of his vice president’s own staff to call their loved ones and say what they thought might be their last goodbyes doesn’t affect your opinion on this, maybe you’re just unreachable.

            • Familiar with it. There can be a fine line between satire and actually trying to minimize a crisis. In this case, it’s a bright thick line. The goal was to equivocate between an unruly protest, and an actual attempt–spawned by a sitting president–to overturn an election and stay in power despite the will of the people. The former is sadly common, but the latter has never before happened in our history, and I don’t take kindly to attempts to downplay it or “both sides” such an event.

                  • Then calling constitutional and legal approaches to challenging the 2020 election by politicians as part of the made up “insurrection” is a Lie also. You better get consistent – your usefulness here is suspect.

                    • I already told you that the attempted challenges to the 2020 election were not legal or constitutional.

                      Unless you actually think the Vice President can just decide who the next president will be?

                    • A Vice President, not certifying an election, which wouldn’t happen (and didn’t) and simultaneously isn’t wrong to pose the possibility, would not lead to a Trump victory. It would somehow lead to an investigation into the electoral ballots validity – which would be proven – and would then be certified by the VP. If somehow that investigation showed the electoral ballots weren’t valid – then presumably the States would have to recast their electoral ballots.

                      Again – not a bit of this leads immediately to a Trump victory and not a bit of that was going to happen.

                      Also – posing the possibility that it could happen – isn’t an insurrection.

                      This isn’t hard.

                      I don’t care what you “already told” me. Most of what you’ve told me so far is a feverish dream of people desperate to pretend to live in epic times.

                    • What you’re showing here is that Pence stopped an insurrection, not that one didn’t happen.

                      Next time a president tries to get their vice president to refuse to certify, maybe they’ll listen. After all, it isn’t a big deal and no one should be punished for it, according to you. And any president who would do this would be a president who, like Trump, doesn’t actually care whether they won or what the results of a real investigation would be. They’ll say it’s rigged no matter what (A tape of Bannon predicting that Trump will do this, to laughter and cheers from his posse, was revealed just last week).

                      Answer me this: if Vice President Pence had refused to certify, then did so again–ignoring the results of a valid investigation and relying instead of the investigative abilities of, let’s say, a prominent pillow salesman–would THAT have been an insurrection? If not, why not?

                    • You really should drop the insurrection nonsense. It was a riot, and by many standards, not a particularly destructive one. There was no organized plan, no capability, no serious weapons, no particular organization, no leader, no chance whatsoever. No charges of insurrection could have a chance at conviction on these facts, which is why no charges have been brought or will be brought The definition is “an organized attempt by a group of people to defeat their government and take control of their country, usually by violence.”

                      You really disappoint me, Nate. I was hoping you would be an intellectually honest good faith participant, but mouthing the absurd “insurrection” partisan talking point doesn’t help your credibility. I’m hoping it’s just an aberration.

                      Move on. It does not become you. Really.

                    • You’re just spinning out of control, aren’t you? In “Criminal Minds,” this was the point where they said the serial killer unsub was “devolving.” Pence didn’t have the power to stop the transfer of power; at worst he would have triggered a brief Constitutional crisis, but the government would have been secure. No, it wouldn’t have been a trigger for an “insurrection.”

                    • “Pence didn’t have the power to stop the transfer of power;”

                      Yes, I know that. The President of the United States did not know that–or he did know, and lied about it–nor did the mob that assembled because of the false things that the POTUS told them.

                      That seems a lot more concerning than whether someone calls it an attempted insurrection or not. Especially since this guy is likely to run again.

                    • Entirely a separate issue, Nate. Absolutely, Trump’s whole handling of the election was inexcusable, and should disqualify him from running again, not officially, but practically. That’s miles from the claim that he engaged in criminal activity.

                    • Jack: “Trump’s whole handling of the election was inexcusable, and should disqualify him from running again, not officially, but practically.”

                      jvb: “Orange Man Bad”

                      I mean, yeah, Jack would seem to agree based on the above comment that the orange man is, in fact, bad.

                    • Of course he’s “bad.” But characterizing a politician as “bad” doesn’t justify presuming bad acts without evidence, which is how the whole Russian collusion fiasco got started and continued. The fact that he’s bad–in many ways—doesn’t justify a double standard. It doesn’t justify a prosecutor targeting him to find something that will stick: that’s an abuse of the office whether the target is a saint or Satan.

                    • “Trump’s whole handling of the election was inexcusable, and should disqualify him from running again, not officially, but practically.”

                      Why not officially? We could have done that if enough GOP senators had voted to convict. (It was still the most bipartisan impeachment ever, so I have to give the seven GOP senators who did vote to convict credit for that.) This would have disqualified him from running again.

                      There is no such thing as a “practical” disqualification, as Trump’s win in the 2016 primaries showed us. Otherwise he would have been “disqualified” months before that win.

                      There was only one thing that could have guaranteed Trump’s disqualification, and Republicans lacked the will to do it. Thankfully the January 6th hearings do seem to be having some effect on eroding support from Republicans–they’re not saying they think Trump is guilty, of course, just that they would like to move on and maybe prefer another candidate–but only time will tell if he will come to power again, and abuse it again.

                    • Because democracies don’t block candidates from running as long as the public wants to vote for them. And shouldn’t. That’s why the political show trial method of trying to stop Trump is so wrong. Bill Clinton is, was, a sociopath, but he shouldn’t have been blocked from running by law or official action. If we allow the bad to be blocked, we open the door for the just unpopular, or the “dangerous to the entrenched power elite” to be blocked because they can be cast as “bad.” Don’t make me list all of the many “bad” officials and personalities in both parties that I would love to see blocked from running based on bad character and bad acts, except that it would be dangerous and wrong. I have things to do this weekend…

                    • Because impeachment is based on high crimes and misdemeanors, Nate. Read the Constitution. Trump is a blowhard, bombastic, obnoxious, and often times his own worst enemy but there is no evidence that he actively encouraged the riot and he certainly didn’t plan it. Being Orange Man Bad doesn’t qualify, as much as you and your kind want it to. Get with the program.

                      jvb

                    • Jack: “Because democracies don’t block candidates from running as long as the public wants to vote for them. And shouldn’t.”

                      This power is granted to Congress by the constitution in the case of impeachment and conviction. If trying to stay in office despite losing an election doesn’t qualify as worthy of conviction, we might as well amend the constitution to rid Congress of the impeachment power entirely.

                      jvb, “high crimes and misdemeanors” has no clear legal meaning, but most experts do not think a president has to commit an actual crime for the impeachment power to be lawfully used. That said, I had given up on the possibility of an incitement charge until these latest hearings. Hutchinson’s firsthand testimony that Trump said to get rid of the metal detectors is evidence. His refusal to call off the riot for multiple hours is evidence. The case isn’t rock-strong, but it’s worth bringing in front of a jury at this point.

                    • Obviously wrong. The President’s oath requires him to protect the Constitution. A fixed election would be an attack on the Constitution, and if a President really believes that’s going on, and Trump did, the belief justifies taking steps (within the law ) to ensure that the process was not corrupt. The problem lay in the way Trump went about challenging the result. (My position is that even if he were certain that the election was being stolen, acting in the best interests of the office and the nation required him to support the result. However, that doesn’t mean that what he chose to do was impeachable.)

                    • These excuses are ridiculous. If the president believed he needed to nuke Idaho in order to protect the Constitution, I would think impeachment would be warranted. You’re saying it wouldn’t be because of his genuine beliefs, with no concern for how those beliefs are formed.

                      Can you imagine any situation in which Trump would admit the election was *not* rigged? He believed it was rigged because he lost, just like he believed a state primary won by Ted Cruz was rigged, just like he believed the popular vote in 2016 was rigged. Steve Bannon was caught on a video released last week telling a group of supporters that Trump would announce that he won no matter what. The group laughed. No one objected, because everyone–including Trump’s most loyal supporters–knows that this is what he does. It is unethical to hold and promote dangerous beliefs just because they make you feel better about yourself. The “way Trump went about challenging the result” was to pressure his vice president into taking an extralegal and unconstitutional step, and to whip up a crowd that ended up putting said vice president, other members of Congress in physical danger. That alone should qualify as “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

                    • Here’s a tip, Nate, for future comments: I stopped reading after :”If the president believed he needed to nuke Idaho in order to protect the Constitution, I would think impeachment would be warranted. You’re saying it wouldn’t be because of his genuine beliefs, with no concern for how those beliefs are formed.”

                      This signals a comment and a commenter who isn’t even trying to argue rationally and coherently, and who isn’t thinking at all before dashing off nonsense. I also have a “stupidity rule” on Ethics Alarms for commenters. I know you’re not stupid, but too many absurd statements like this will trigger the rule anyway. Don’t pollute my site: Argue with respect, or don’t comment al all.

                      Maybe the rest of this comment had some value, but beginning with this crap, I didn’t get to absorb it.

                    • UPDATE! Attention: Nate has been banned, as I’m sure many of the commenters knew he would be, sooner or later.
                      Do not respond to any posts that arrived after 6 PM. your comments will be lost with his.

              • Really? It’s never happened before? Huh. C’mon, man. How do you explain what happened in Madison, WI, when protesters took over the state capitol building and occupied it for weeks because they thought Scott Walker was a poopyhead? Unruly protest? What about the riots in response to the canonization of St. George of the Floyd? Burning courthouses and police precincts and destroying businesses and building causing billions of dollars in damage? Unruly protest? The Civil War? The stupidity of the late 1960s? Unruly protest? How is it that a bunch of “unruly protesters” trundling through the Capitol who accomplished absolutely nothing and did not, in fact, delay the election certification are treated differently – some held in jail without parole pending trial – than others, some of whom are charged with pretty heinous crimes? When will the House hold hearings on the riots in Minneapolis? When will the house hold hearings on the riots in Ferguson? When will the House hold hearings on the weekly violence in many major cities in the nation?

                  • It’s pathetic whataboutism, actually.

                    I’ll repeat: At no point in our country’s history has a sitting president attempted to stay in office despite losing an election. At no point in our country’s history did a sitting president inspire violence on his own Capitol, and attempted violence against his own Vice President, because he could not accept that he had lost an election. That is an unprecedented event and attempting to minimize it by comparing it to other events is unethical.

  6. Jack,
    Protesting like this on the part of elected officials also seems to advertise how ineffectual they are/believe themselves to be. To whom are they protesting? I thought the people elected them to make change, but now they’re protesting their own inability to do so? If anything, it makes them appear reactionary as they’re waiting to see which way the crowd faces, before running up to stand in front of it.

  7. Familiar with it. There can be a fine line between satire and actually trying to minimize a crisis. In this case, it’s a bright thick line. The goal was to equivocate between an unruly protest, and an actual attempt–spawned by a sitting president–to overturn an election and stay in power despite the will of the people. The former is sadly common, but the latter has never before happened in our history, and I don’t take kindly to attempts to downplay it or “both sides” such an event.

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