Let Us Thank Rep. Al Green For His Candor And Integrity In Confirming That The Resistance, Democrats and The Anti-Trump News Media Are Lying

It is amazing to me that so many commentators,elected officials and Facebook demagogues insist on denying both the fact and the significance of the fact that the plots to remove President Trump from office began the second he was elected, thus establishing the dishonest and illegitimate nature of everything that was to come. This is gaslighting. Fortunately there is Rep. Al Green of Texas, who isn’t the brightest bulb on the impeachment tree but is at least refreshingly candid, I suspect because he sees nothing wrong with trying to reverse an election that was determined by racists, misogynists and idiots.

Green already handed a brightly wrapped gift to those who accurately maintain that whatever the virtues and deficits of the President, the Democratic effort to remove him “by any means possible” is an abuse of the Constitution and destructive to the stability of the republic. That gift was his guileless statement, “I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach this president, he will get reelected.” Green has also said  that the House may continue to impeach Trump after he is acquitted by the Senate and if he is re-elected. But Al wasn’t through yet, and for this we should be grateful. Continue reading

The Big Lies Of The “Resistance”: A Directory, Complete And Updated

Introduction

The “Big Lie” strategy of public opinion manipulation, most infamously championed by Adolf Hitler and his propaganda master Joseph Goebbels, has, in sinister fashion, become a routine and ubiquitous component of the Left’s efforts to remove President Donald J. Trump from office without having to defeat him at the polls. One of the most publicized Big Lies, that the President had “colluded” with the Russian government to “steal” the Presidential election from Hillary Clinton was recently exposed as such by the results of the Mueller investigation, and Democrats, with blazing speed, replaced it with another Big Lie that there is a “Constitutional crisis.” I could add that one to the list, I suppose, but the list of Big Lies is dauntingly long already, and this one is really just a hybrid of the Big Lies below.

Becoming addicted to relying on Big Lies as a political strategy is not the sign of ethical political parties, movements, or ideologies. Perhaps there is a useful distinction between Big Lies and “false narratives,” but I can’t define one. Both are intentional falsehoods designed to frame events in a confounding and deceptive manner, so public policy debates either begin with them as assumptions, thus warping the discussion, or they result in permanent bias, distrust and suspicion of the lie/narrative’s target. For simplicity’s sake, because I believe it is fair to do so, and also because “Big Lie” more accurately reflects just how unethical the tactic is, that is the term I will use.

Big Lie #1. “Trump is just a reality TV star.”

This is #1 because began at the very start of Trump’s candidacy. It’s pure deceit: technically accurate in part but completely misleading. Ronald Reagan was subjected to a similar Big Lie when Democrats strategically tried to denigrate his legitimacy by  referring to him as just an actor, conveniently ignoring the fact that he had served as Governor of the largest state in the nation for eight years, and had split his time between acting and politics for many years before that, gradually becoming more involved in politics and public policy. (Reagan once expressed faux puzzlement about the denigration of his acting background, saying that he thought acting was an invaluable skill in politics. He was right, of course.)

In Trump’s case, the disinformation was even more misleading, He was a successful international businessman and entrepreneur in real estate, hotels and casinos, and it was that experience, not his successful, late career foray into “The Apprentice” (as a branding exercise, and a brilliant one), that was the basis of his claim to the Presidency.

The “reality star” smear still appears in attack pieces, even though it makes even less sense for a man who has been President for three years. The tactic is ethically indefensibl . It is not only dishonest, intentionally distorting the President’s legitimate executive experience and success,  expertise and credentials, it is also an ad hominem attack. Reality TV is primarily consists of modern freak shows allowing viewers to look down on assorted lower class drunks, vulgarians, has-been, exhibitionists,  idiots and freaks. Class bigotry has always been a core part of the NeverTrump cabal, elitist snobs like Bill Kristol, Mitt Romney the Bushes, and George Will revealing that they would rather capitulate to the Leftist ideology they have spent their professional lives opposing than accept being on the same team as a common vulgarian like Donald Trump.

With all of this, the final irony is that “The Apprentice” wasn’t even a true reality show.  It was an elimination  contest, with Donald Trump as the arbiter.

This earliest of the Big Lies backfired on its creators.  Trump’s adversaries began to believe it themselves,causing them to under-estimate their adversary.  They realized, too late, that they weren’t running against poor Anna Nicole Smith, Kim Kardashian, or Scott Baio, but a tough, ruthless, confident street fighter with some impressive leadership and public speaking skills.

It is a mark of how flat the learning curve of the President’s adversaries is that they still think calling him a “reality TV star” shows anything but their own dishonesty and ignorance. Continue reading

The “Resistance” Is Desperate To Hide The Fact That Their Attempted Coup Is One. Don’t Let Them Get Away With it.

“A coup by any other name would still be a coup, and would still stink” WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE. (Well, he said something like that….)..

Just for the record, I’ve been calling this a “coup” all along. For some reason Facebook yesterday was stuffed with the specious and technical arguments that the Democratic Party/ “resistance”/mainstream media alliance’s efforts to find a way to remove the elected President literally from the moment he was elected (bringing those objective TV anchors and reporters to tears), and now finally culminating in a contrived impeachment hearing, is not accurately called a coup. “But it’s not through military violence!” “But if Trump is removed, it would make Pence President, so there’s no regime change!” I’ve explained before that what is being attempted meets the exact definition a “soft coup,” and thus that saying this isn’t an attempted coup is like saying a scrambled egg isn’t an egg.

This side of the ideological divide, as we know, thrives on word games and deceitful framing: heaven forbid that the public grasps what is going on under their noses.

It is particularly annoying when I am told that by one of the Facebook Borg whose understanding of the traditions  and institution of the Presidency extends to what they have been told by Rachel Maddow lectures me that by using “coup” I am mouthing Fox News “talking points.” First, I don’t watch Fox News; second, Fox News has its share of pro-impeachment fans (making it more balanced than any other network, all of which appear to lack any prominent on-air employees who are not coup-collaborators), notably fake “judge” Napolitano,  and third, most notable of all, Ethics Alarms began using the term “coup” while most critics (and Presient Trump) were throwing around “fishing expedition” and “witch hunt.”

Maybe the pundits who are suddenly using coup secretly read Ethics Alarms. That would be encouraging.  In that spirit, here is a summary of Victor Davis Hanson’s ten reasons (to which number he adds “at least”) the current impeachment effort is in fact a coup, in a column yesterday in the New York Post adapted from a piece in the National Review: Continue reading

The Coup In Progress: Presidential Impeachment/Removal Plans

I am finally devoting a dedicated post  to this list, in part because I am sick of searching for the thing every time I want to reference it. I will eventually deposit the list along with the Apology Scale and the Rationalizations List as another separate page in the “Rule Book” to your right.

One note on the use of the term coup. Some media pundits, their hands already bloodied, have been making the sophist claim that what has been going on since November 2016 isn’t a coup under the dictionary definition, which requires violence and usually a military take-over. Using cover-terms and euphemisms is a form of lying, and it is an especially common practice from  the Left right now, though the Right has its moments.

A “soft coup,” also known as a silent coup, does not use violence, and is typically based on a conspiracy or plot  aimed at seizing power, overthrowing existing legal authority, exchanging political leadership, changing the political system or the current institutional order. We are watching a long-running soft coup. A soft coup is still a coup.

There have been 19 Plans to abuse various processes, laws and theories, all put forward and promoted by members of the Democratic Party/”resistance”/mainstream news media alliance since President Trump’s election.  The  desired effect of this barrage, apart from serving the goal of removing him without the bother (and risk) of an election,  has been to make it impossible for the President to govern, and to destroy his support among the public.

When Plan S, which late novelist Robert Ludlum might have called “The Ukrainian Perversion” if it had been one of his novels, fails like the rest, or if President Trump is re-elected, the list will keep growing.

The List: Continue reading

Ethics Villains Of The Impeachment Coup, Part II

Is it really a coup attempt? Ethics Alarms has been calling the assault on the Trump Presiency that for quite a while. The reflex reaction I get from the Facebook Borg and others  is to deflect the accusation by sneering about “Fox News talking points.” I don’t use talking points. I almost never watch Fox News. A lot of intelligent, knowledgeable people know a coup when they see one; it isn’t hard. I suspect many of the Trump-Hate Brigade that ridicule that diagnosis know it’s a coup too. And they want one.

That means that they have abandoned the idea of American democracy. They may be the most important villains of the attempted impeachment coup.

With a recent essay, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi identified himself as one of the very few progressives with the integrity to call out his side of the ideological spectrum for what it is doing to the nation. He wrote in part:

I’ve lived through a few coups. They’re insane, random, and terrifying, like watching sports, except your political future depends on the score. The kickoff begins when a key official decides to buck the executive. From that moment, government becomes a high-speed head-counting exercise. Who’s got the power plant, the airport, the police in the capital? How many department chiefs are answering their phones? Who’s writing tonight’s newscast?

…We have long been spared this madness in America. Our head-counting ceremony was Election Day. We did it once every four years.

That’s all over, in the Trump era.

On Thursday, news broke that two businessmen said to have “peddled supposedly explosive information about corruption involving Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden” were arrested at Dulles airport on “campaign finance violations.” The two figures are alleged to be bagmen bearing “dirt” on Democrats, solicited by Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman will be asked to give depositions to impeachment investigators. They’re reportedly going to refuse. Their lawyer John Dowd also says they will “refuse to appear before House Committees investigating President Donald Trump.” Fruman and Parnas meanwhile claim they had real derogatory information about Biden and other politicians, but “the U.S. government had shown little interest in receiving it through official channels.”

For Americans not familiar with the language of the Third World, that’s two contrasting denials of political legitimacy.

The men who are the proxies for Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani in this story are asserting that “official channels” have been corrupted. The forces backing impeachment, meanwhile, are telling us those same defendants are obstructing a lawful impeachment inquiry.

This latest incident, set against the impeachment mania and the reportedly “expanding” Russiagate investigation of U.S. Attorney John Durham, accelerates our timeline to chaos. We are speeding toward a situation when someone in one of these camps refuses to obey a major decree, arrest order, or court decision, at which point Americans will get to experience the joys of their political futures being decided by phone calls to generals and police chiefs.

…My discomfort in the last few years, first with Russiagate and now with Ukrainegate and impeachment, stems from the belief that the people pushing hardest for Trump’s early removal are more dangerous than Trump. Many Americans don’t see this because they’re not used to waking up in a country where you’re not sure who the president will be by nightfall. They don’t understand that this predicament is worse than having .a bad president.  

“The people pushing hardest for Trump’s early removal are more dangerous than Trump.” Continue reading

Sunday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/6/2019: Snowflakes, Catnip, Coups And Fake Bills

Good Morning!

[Here’s a Warm-Up warm-up that has nothing to do with ethics. In “Ben-Hur,” which I watched again last week, Charlton Heston’s character is know by three completely different names. One, of course, is Judah Ben-Hur. What are the other two?]

1. Virtue signaling and pandering are both inadequate to describe this. If only it were a joke—but it appears to be proof of institutional  brain rot.  The British army is reaching out to “selfie addicts,” “snowflakes,” “me me me millennials”—remember, I’m not making this up!—“class clowns”, “binge gamers”,and  “phone zombies”  celebrating the alleged virtues these juvenile behaviors demonstrate, such as self-belief, spirit, drive, focus, compassion and confidence. Here are two examples of the new posters:

Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 6/15/18: Spin Wars (Part I)

Good Morning…

…from a galaxy not nearly far enough away…

1. Quick takes on a remarkable 51 minutes on the White House lawn. I just, and I mean just, finished watching President Trump’s spontaneous press conference on the White House lawn, standing within easy spitting distance—brave, given how much so many of these people detest him—of a pack of reporters as Fox’s Baby Doocy held a microphone for him, and picking questions, often hostile, out of the cacophony. Has any previous President done something like this? I’ve never seen such a thing.

If you can’t admire this performance, your anti-Trump virus is raging out of control. I miss the reflex, knee-jerk Democrats and progressives who have, I hope temporarily, taken a hiatus from Ethics Alarms because, in my assessment, they no longer can muster credible defenses of the way this President has been treated by the news media and the resistance, so they have retreated to the warm cocoon of the left-wing echo chamber. Trump’s appearance this morning as well as the Inspector General’s report on the Clinton email investigation are integrity tests. I’d like to think the otherwise intelligent and analytical progressives here would pass them. Ducking the challenge is not a good sign.

Of course, Trump was Trump. As I wrote long ago, constantly harping on what we all know is wrong with Trump is boring and pointless. (See: The Julie Principle) He exaggerated. He spoke in infuriatingly inexact and colloquial word clouds. He celebrated himself and pronounced himself brilliant. I know, I know: if his very existence in the universe is offensive to you, then this performance would be painful. (When Donald Trump isn’t the elected President of the United States, his existence  will probably be offensive to me once again, just as as it was right up to November 8, 2016.) However, the fact is that President Trump showed mastery of the situation. He managed the chaos and maintained his dignity while a generally angry and adversarial mob was shouting at him and interrupting him. I run interactive seminars with lawyers for a living, and I am qualified to say this: what he did is difficult, and he handled it very, very well. Anyone who watches those 51 minutes and refuses to say, “Well, he’s not senile, demented, unstable, dumb or teetering on the brink of madness, I’ve got to give him that much”  had disqualified themselves as a credible Trump critic. He was in command, quick, calm, and in his own way, masterful.

The response of the anti-Trump news media will be to “factcheck” him. He said, for example, that the IG report “exonerated” him, as the pack screamed, “But the report doesn’t discuss the Russian investigation at all!”  This is the old, dishonest and so boring, “Trump is lying when he expresses his feelings and impressions in the cloudy, semi-inarticulate imprecision that he always speaks in, which we will pretend isn’t what we already know it to be.” Of course the report doesn’t formally or actually exonerate him. It does,  in his view (and mine), show a corrupt and untrustworthy culture in the FBI and the Obama Justice Department that treated the Clinton investigation in exactly the opposite fashion that they have used to investigate him. This means, to Trump, that the Mueller investigation is a political hit job, and he regards that as the equivalent of exoneration. Well, he can regard it as cheesecake, if he chooses. His opinion is not “a lie.” (I am being sued, you may recall, by an Ethics Alarms commenter who maintains in his complaint that opinions are lies, so I am rather sensitive on this point.)

Several of Trump’s responses were succinct and effective, as well as infuriating to the anti-Trump journalists, I’m sure. He said that President Obama lost the Crimea when he refused to enforce his own “red line,” thus destroying his credibility and causing Putin to correctly assume that he could move on the Ukraine without consequences. True. He said that he was not worried that Michael Cohen would cooperate with the Mueller investigation, because he, the President, had done nothing wrong. (Headlines like “Will Cohen flip on Trump?” over the last few days imply that there is something to flip about, because the Left, “the resistance,” the news media and those AWOL Ethics Alarms readers have assumed from the beginning that Trump is guilty of some dire and impeachable conduct. Continue reading