Some Big Lies die hard…particularly if the mainstream media is committed to keeping them alive. The “Trump is a fascist” smear was one of the first out of the box when the Axis of Unethical Conduct (“the resistance”/Democrats/news media) reacted to being foiled in the glorious post-Obama re-making of America they had assumed was assured by setting out to cancel the verdict of the electoral system and sabotage a legally elected President of the United States. (Nah, nothing undemocratic about that!) The claim that Trump and his supporters are crypto-fascists has been nonsensical from the start (as President, Donald Trump eliminated many kinds of government control over individual liberties, and opposed others), and the absurdity has exploded as the Biden Administration and the Democratic Congress have embraced so many markers of totalitarianism, like legally favored groups, censorship by a captured media, political show trials, politically manipulated science and a “truth agency” (which, fortunately, never got off the ground. Then we have the attempted government intimidation of political opposition, lock-step partisan indoctrination in the universities and public schools, official disinformation (“Recession? What recession?”), the effort to punish judges for opinions that go against the party, demonizing the opposing party and, most notably, the targeting of political opponents for prosecution and imprisonment. Tonight, the President of the United States will give a national address accusing the opposing party of being a threat to democracy.
I can’t let this pass. I’ve been bashing my embarrassing alma mater here for years, and it finally is responsible for something that almost makes me want to hang the ol framed diploma up again, with the back of it to the wall again.
The Harvard Crimson reports:
In the most comprehensive study to date of what motivated the Trump supporters to attack the Capitol, Shorenstein Center researchers found that 20.6 percent of the rioters, a plurality, were motivated to take part in the riot because they supported Trump. Another 20.6 percent of the rioters cited Trump’s fraudulent claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged as their primary reason for participating in the Jan. 6 riot.
The authors of the study — Joan Donovan, Kaylee Fagan, and Frances E. Lee — wrote that their analysis found that the largest proportion of defendants “were motivated, in part, to invade the US Capitol Building by Donald Trump.”
The third most common reason for attacking the Capitol: a desire to start a civil war or an armed revolution, according to the study. Almost 8 percent of defendants indicated it was their main motivation.
In an interview, Fagan said she was surprised by how frequently support for Trump and concerns about the election were cited as primary motivations for joining the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
“I don’t think I expected the result to be this stark,” Fagan said. “I also certainly didn’t expect those two motivations to come up nearly exactly as often as they both did.”
Though more than 800 have been federally prosecuted for their participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the study focused on 417 defendants charged with federal crimes in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
In case you missed it (or have a life and aren’t following the nauseating race for Governor in Virginia) five people holding tiki torches and pretending to be fans of the Charlottesville white supremacy group, Unite the Right, that sparked a riot in 2017 showed up to show their support for GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin last week. The stunt was met with furious criticism of Youngkin’s opponent, Terry McAuliffe, who was presumed to be behind the incident, and why wouldn’t he be? As the slimy former Clinton fundraiser has slipped in the polls, his “ends justify the means” approach to politics (and life) has become especial pungent. However, the Never-Trump group The Lincoln Project came to McAuliffe’s rescue, claiming responsibility for the deception.
Yesterday one of the group’s co-founders, Stuart Stevens, refused to apologize for attempting to influence an election by deceiving voters. “Listen, every day I hear people pleading with the Lincoln Project to help show Democrats how to win, how to play hardball. You know, this is an example,” he said on CNN. “The question here is not about some guys who showed up at a rally,’ said Stevens. ‘It’s why hasn’t Glenn Youngkin denounced Donald Trump for saying that there are good people on both sides? I mean, that is absolutely outrageous. And it’s because Glenn Youngkin wants it both ways. And I think that’s the message that needs to be driven here. You know, the Lincoln Project was the first in this race to put Charlottesville in an ad. And some people thought maybe it went too far. But we did it. And it worked. And then McAuliffe’s campaign followed us and put Charlottesville in a very good ad they did. So I think the question here is, we can’t ignore what happened in Charlottesville, the question is why hasn’t Glenn Youngkin denounced Donald Trump?”
Meanwhile, the McAuliffe campaign pronounced the hoax “disgusting” and called on the Lincoln Project to apologize.
I was going to retire the post collecting the Big Lies used to undermine the Trump Presidency, and now I’m considering updating them. In addition to still flogging old ones (Trump is a racist; Trump is a threat to democracy) at least three newer Big Lies are being weaponized by “the resistance”/Democratic Party/ mainstream media (The Axis of Unethical Conduct), because they think Trump Derangement can save them from accountability for putting Joe Biden in the White House. It had to be done, you see, because Trump is EVIL! EVIL!!!
The three Big Lies are the last one added, #9 “Trump’s Mishandling Of The Pandemic Killed People” and two not on the current list: “Trump incited an insurrection” and “Trump is responsible for the disaster in Afghanistan.” In order to bolster these lies, all useful to try to impugn Republicans and conservatives who still support Trump and to try to poison public opinion sufficiently that even Kamala Harris might defeat Trump if he runs in 2024, the Democrats and their allies routinely drag his name into every negative context imaginable. It is like subliminal brain-washing or hypnotism: Trump is dangerous! Trump is racist! Trump is the cause of all that is going wrong now! Everything is his fault, and the fault of all those fascist conservatives and racist deplorable who supported him!”
This mantra turns up everywhere. Tamsin Shaw, a professor of European and Mediterranean studies and philosophy at N.Y.U recenly reviewed “Dirty Work,” a non-fiction book about the unpleasant and ethically-troubling jobs in America. He includes this at the end of his review:
1. The President gets a cheap shot...Commenting on Joe Biden’s generally hysterical speech about “voter suppression,” “Bonchie” writes on the conservative blog Red State,
“Of note here is that Biden is channeling Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels by using the phrase “big lie” to disparage Republicans who have concerns about the 2020 election. Yet, despite the phrase’s murderous, anti-Semitic past, the president seems to have no problem saying it repeatedly. In doing so, he echoed CNN’s Jake Tapper and others who have also been fond of the phrase.”
There is nothing wrong with using the phrase or the description. The device was championed by both Goebbels and Hitler, and is an accurate description of a propaganda tactic, an unethical but powerful one, used by both the Right and the Left. Whether the description is used fairly in any particular case is a separate issue. “Big Lies” is a very accurate description of the assault by the “resistance”/Democratic Party/mainstream media against Donald Trump—can you think of a better one?—which is why Ethics Alarms used it here and elsewhere.
What would be fair to note is that Biden has often been an eager employer of Goebbels’ favorite trick himself…as noted in this post.
2. Does anyone understand why Democrats are trying to downplay the current Cuban protests against the Communist government? This makes no sense to me. Thousands of anti-regime protesters took to the streets across the island over the weekend, waving American flags and chanting “Freedom!” and anti-government slogans. Cuba has been a repressive Communist regime since Fidel Castro pulled his bait and switch with the U.S. in 1959, but the most extreme elements in the Democratic Party, the proto-Marxists, have always thrown Cuba metaphorical kisses, like Michael Moore. Barack Obama reversed decades of U.S. policy by opening relations with Cuba without requiring any human rights concessions in return. One would think an outbreak of democracy on the island would be viewed as a good thing, but Biden’s paid liar, Jen Psaki, absurdly explained that the reason for the protests was “concern about rising COVID cases, deaths, and medicine shortages” rather than political oppression.
While Republicans have immediately announced their support for the Cuban people, Reps. Bobby Rush (D., Ill.), Steve Cohen (D., Tenn.), Barbara Lee (D., Calif.), Gwen Moore (D., Wis.) and the more 70 members of Congress, including “The Squad,” of course, signed a letter asking Biden to lift Trump sanctions Cuba in March. They have not had any comment on the demonstrations so far.
I periodically am asked why I insist on referring to the pandemic virus, which unquestionably originated in China, almost certainly in the Wuhan province, and was allowed to spread world-wide in part by cover-up activities by the Chinese government, “The Wuhan virus.” After all, the edict came down from our politically-correct betters that this term was “racist,” despite the fact that it conveyed useful and accurate information that the technical term “COVID” does not.
I typically reply that I call it the Wuhan virus because that’s where it came from, and virtually every other virus has been named for its place of origin (sometimes inaccurately). I also do so in defiance of the open scheme among the news media to try to advance the Big Lie that President Trump was being racist by using the term when the news media itself had employed it before deciding this was one more opportunity to undermine Trump’s Presidency.
In addition, I furiously reject the proposition that because idiots and assholes react to truthful statements by behaving unjustly, violently and stupidly, as with the still relatively few who have attacked or abused Asian-Americans using the same cretinous rationale as those who killed dachshunds during World War I, anyone should shade the truth or avoid stating a fact. I reject the Asshole’s Veto, in other words.
There is also this motivating me: China is an international villain, and nobody should pretend otherwise or make any effort to excuse or disguise that nation’s true nature. Moreover, I am not running for office, and have succeeded in making anyone trying to justify the ban on calling a Chinese virus a Chinese virus look like the race-baiting tool that he or she is.
The entire effort to label as racist any statement, theory or belief that China bears responsibility for the virus that has killed millions and savaged the world economy would not have occurred with such fervor if it were not fueled by anti-Trump hatred and bias. Now the inconvenient truth that the virus may have originated in a Wuhan lab is exposing the despicable censorship effort for what it is, so its purveyors are desperately trying avoid the opprobrium they richly deserve.
The “wave of anti-Asian hate” narrative is quickly transitioning into a Big Lie, and like so many of the Big Lies that have their origins in the desire to crush Donald Trump and his followers, this one is being eagerly aided and abetted by the news media.
What’s going one here? The news media sees it as advantageous to the fortunes of its beloved Democratic Party to make certain that Asian-Americans line up with the collections of aggrieved groups that give the progressives their mojo, particularly in the demonizing of whites. The fact that a disproportionate number of the attacks on Asian-Americans have been perpetrated by African-Americans is inconvenient, so the news stories just don’t mention that. Since Donald Trump is the imaginary vendetta’s official source—he’s a racist, see (See Big Lies of the Resistance #4) and insisted on calling the pandemic virus that originated in China a Chinese virus—the alleged “hate crimes” are based on white supremacy.
Jeez, try to keep up, will ya?
Apparently, vaccinations are needed for Trump Derangement Syndrome. It is not going away despite the exit of Donald Trump. There’s also a significant likelihood that this is just one more manifestation of The Great Stupid, and as we all know, you can’t fix stupid. Or at least there’s no vaccination…
That’s the nifty stage at CPAC above, where conservatives are flocking right now to tell tales of the good old days of child labor, women baking pies while barefoot and pregnant, and the coloreds happily singing in the cotton fields. Or something: all Democrats are sure of is that it’s some kind of evil cult. So now a bunch of conspiracy theorists led by unemployed actress Alyssa Milano, with assistance by TMZ and Snopes, are telling social media that the design is an open admission of the fascist sympathies of the Right.
ARRGGH! NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! IT’S TRUE IT’S TRUE!!!
Yes, these are the same people Republicans sat back, snoozed, and allowed to out-maneuver them on voting regulations. The GOP is literally dumber than the people who believe things like this.
I don’t do factchecks, I do ethics checks. Both GOP Senators Ted Cruz and and Josh Hawley have leaped on a Joe Biden attack and said that the President Elect called them “Nazis.” Many conservative pundits and websites have similarly accused Biden of the ultimate “otherizing.”
Biden did not call Cruz and Hawley Nazis.
He told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, where Joe is God,
“They should be just flat beaten the next time they run. The American public has a real good, clear look at who they are. They’re part of the big lie.Goebbels and the great lie. You keep repeating the lie, repeating the lie.”
Because Joseph Goebbels and Adolf Hitler defined the Big Lie tactic–that’s what Biden is referring to when he says “Goebbels and the great lie”— and though they authored one of the biggest Big Lies of all time, saying that a politician or a political party is using the Big Lie tactic cannot be the equivalent of calling that politician Hitler, Goebbels, or a Nazi. The reason is that long before the two Nazi propaganda experts mastered the Big Lie, it had been used extensively for centuries, and it has been used ever since often with great effectiveness, always unethically, by parties and politicians who could not possibly be called Nazis in their beliefs, policies, values or methods. The Big Lie is now a standard political weapon. The idea is to make a public assertion that is so horrifying and outlandish that the public demands that it be denied by its target, and argued about. The genius of the Big Lie tactic is that forcing the argument itself gives the Big Lie credibility. The approach of simply ignoring Big Lies and saying by word or action, “That doesn’t even justify a rebuttal, and I won’t dignify it with one” usually doesn’t work.
I swear, the first example of this that jumped into my head was Harry Reid’s intentional slur during the 2012 Presidential campaign that Mitt Romney had paid no taxes for the previous decade. When asked about his Big Lie after the election, Reid answered, “Romney didn’t win, did he?”
The Big Lie tactic is all about the ends justifying the means.
Frankly, this is an easy conclusion. It is overwhelming likely that the first is correct: President Trump has lost the election, and the #1 reason was the four year strategy by the Axis of Unethical Conduct—the Democratic Party, the “resistance,” the mainstream news media, and more recently, the tech giants and social media platforms—to employ unconscionable, unethical means to accomplish that end.
If, by some miracle, the attempted theft fails, it will only be as a result of moral luck. The destructive and democracy-wrecking actions of the AUC are already completed. Their culpability is the same whatever the final election result is. This is why in criminal law an attempted crime often carries the same penalty as a completed crime. What the criminal did was just as wrong whether he or she was ultimately successful or not.
Before President Trump even took office, a full-on campaign to remove him by any means possible was underway, along with a similarly relentless effort to make it impossible for him to function as the nation’s leader. This continued with no respite from the 2016 election right through to the 2020 election. No President of the United States has ever been sabotaged and savaged in such a manner; indeed I am going to add the denial of this fact to the Ethics Alarms list of the Big Lies of the Resistance. It will be #10, right behind the lie that President Trump caused pandemic deaths in the U.S. (Andrew Cuomo definitely killed people, but not President Trump.) The lie: “Progressives treated President Trump no worse than conservatives treated President Obama.”
Big Lie #10 is different from the rest because it usually is used by ordinary citizens rather than Democratic Party officials, flacks and pundits; the reason is that the statement is so false that even Trump’s worst critics won’t go that far. Their alternative position is that he is so evil that he deserved to be abused. But I hear Big Lie #10 regularly from the social media Borg and my Trump Deranged friends and relatives when they are cornered and feel they have to deny what is literally undeniable. Big Lie #10 is a Jumbo: “Bias? What bias?”
The record of the effort to steal/rig/fix—choose your favorite word, but the objective was to make sure this President never had a chance to succeed, and if he somehow did succeed, that he would never get credit for it—the 2020 election is right here, tracked by the Ethics Alarms tag, 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck, which I hereby retire after a wild four-year run. It took me twenty minutes to just scroll down through all of the posts that carry that tag; if I attempted to read them all, it would take weeks.
The first entry was here, when I announced and christened the Train Wreck, almost exactly four years ago, on November 13, 2016. In that post and three succeeding ones I highlighted four ugly examples of how the President-elect was being denigrated and undermined immediately, following the first post with this one, this one, and this one. I could not suspect that the efforts to demonize the newly-elected President of the United States would metastasize to the extent they did, with every late night TV show devoting large chunks of time every installment to insulting and denigrating him, with the vast majority of major newspaper columnists attacking him personally to the point of obsession, and all previous rules of decorum and official respect being not only suspended by the Democratic Party, but trashed, even to the point of elected officials calling the President a “motherfucker” in public without any penalty or reprimand, and the Speaker of the House making live theater out of tearing up his State of the Union message on TV.