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Weird and Perverse Republican Logic

(If you didn’t see the post below, this is another post by me, William, with the wlp22 being the new “name” that I needed to use to get onto Word Press. Or maybe I didn’t need to, but could not figure out the right way to do it. Okay, enough of that, the post follows,)

What else can you call it? This isn’t a matter of disagreeing with a Republican, or the whole party, it is about their stupid or deceitful inability to adhere to any kind of logic in their arguments or contentions. Sometimes it is hard to separate one’s dislike of, or disgust with, their policies and pronouncements, from one’s realization that they don’t even know how to make a logical argument based on facts or consistency. Why do they do this? Probably because all they care about is the politics of it, trying to convince voters to support them. And sometimes it works, and sometimes the media goes right along with it, at least to the extent that it fits their premise that there are two political parties, thus both must be accorded a presumption of having a valid argument, so let’s put them out there, like two boxers whom the announcer urges the crowd to both cheer for.

But the truth is that over the years, the Republican veer further and further from rationality. It is somewhat amusing to view the weird contortions which they go through to somehow validate their positions on a matter, when the truth is that they have no moral or intellectual grounding behind any of it. Of course, they thrive on anti-intellectualism, so this fits. It would be very amusing, were it not so horrifying, the ways in which Republican leaders and supporters desperately try to support a position which they only took because it furthered their political ends.

Let’s look at…well, how about the the second Trump impeachment? They don’t want to convict him, because they are afraid of his supporters, and because they are much like him. But they can’t say, “We don’t want to convict him because we think he is great, and so what if his mob wanted to kill a bunch of Congresspeople? (Actually, I am doubtful that they wanted to hang Pence, I think the scaffold was for show, but I won’t push the point). So they come up with these arguments:

  1. “We need to put it behind us, so America can heal.” How can it heal if we just let this go? A President lies about the validity of the election results, is still lying about them. He whips up the social media to a frenzy. He encourages a variety of violent extremists to come to Washington, and promises, “It will be wild.” He tells his Defense Department people to make sure that there is no substantial police resistance to the crowd, which he exhorts to walk with him to the Capitol building, though he bails out, leaving them with their pipe bombs, zip restraints, guns, battering weapons, to storm the building, kill and maim police officers, and bang on doors ,looking for Pelosi and AOC and any other people they don’t like, ostensibly to kill them. But we are supposed to put this behind us to heal? This is the same party, and many of the same people, who still have not let go of Benghazi, even though Trey Gowdy, the lead accuser at the hearings, eventually admitted that they had no evidence whatsoever of any culpability on the part of Hillary Clinton. But they’ve made “Benghazi” into some kind of rallying cry, which was their only goal.

2. “There were riots last Summer in ‘Democratic-run cities.'” And? Yes, there was violence, fires set, businesses looted. That is lawlessness and should be punished, as President Biden has said. But how does that validate the behavior of the mob which stormed the Capitol in an effort to kill Congresspeople, maybe the Vice President, and to keep the election returns from being approved by the Vice President, as prescribed by the Constitution? Mr. Smith is shown on video killing someone, but Mr. Jones also killed someone in another city, and so…? Republicans always do this, whatever they did or are accused of, is met with, “Yes but this Democrat did something, or maybe did, so it’s a tie, and both should be thrown out! Do-over!”

3. “You can’t convict a former President.” Oh, where do you get that from? There has never been an effort to, there is no legal precedent either way. There have been a couple of instances of public officials being convicted after impeachment, even though one of them resigned before the trial. So what makes Republicans so sure that this is unconstitutional? Well, they aren’t, they just proclaim it loudly, hoping that this will have an effect. In fact, this is going to be their fallback, their excuse for acquitting Trump. “Well, this was all very bad, but we have to get over it to heal the country, and besides, you can’t convict a President who is out of office, the Constitution says so.”

Well, it doesn’t, and you can. The alternative would be that a President who is a few weeks away from leaving office, could then commit any crime, since the Republicans have decided that a DOJ memo of 1974 says that a President cannot be charged with any crime. So you can’t try him in criminal court him for his crimes, and you can’t impeach and convict him in the Senate, and remove him from office. You can’t do anything, while he goes around murdering people, extorting money, selling State secrets to foreign governments, maybe even inciting a crowd of murderous Nazis and fascists to kill members of Congress, and overturn the election results. Can’t do a thing. Even though the impeachment was made while he was still in office, even though the Senate Majority Leader of his own party, refused to allow the trial to take place until Trump was out of office.

3. “If you do this, we will do worse.” That is another tactic that Republicans increasingly use. If you hold this trial, wait until we are back in power, we will try all the Democrats , we will impeach all the former Democratic Presidents. If you take away Majorie Taylor Greene’s committee assignments, we will take away all the Democrats’ committee assignments, and then none of them can serve on any committees! Maybe we will expel them all from Congress , and then there will only be Republicans in there! They might do it, too, because there is no morality behind any of it, they can’t see the difference between Greene and all the mainstream Democrats. They voted to convict President Clinton for having an unseemly sexual relationshhip with an of-age woman, and to remove him from office. “What will the children say?” was their refrain. They didn’t worry about children with regard to Trump;s depredations, they want “to get past it, to heal the country.” “He made a mistake.” “Everyone makes mistakes.” “Let’s live and learn.” “A watched pot never boils.” “A stitch in time saves nine.”

4. Various inane and cowardly rationales to avoid voting to convict Trump. My “favorite” is Rob Portman’s. He essentially says, “Everyone knows that he is going to be acquitted, so why bother voting for conviction?” Yes, everyone knows that our team is going to lose the game, so why bother to play hard, just loaf through, and let the opponent pile up the points? I have some others to suggest to them. “If you convict Trump, we will vote against all of your bills.”

Actually, they’re already saying that with regard to the Covid package, push this through via Reconciliation, and we will not vote for anything else for the next four years. They’ve even got the media to repeat this, as if it is fair play, so why don’t the Democrats work with the Republicans on a bill? Because Republicans have no intention of working with Democrats on anything but their terms. What they want, is another rallying cry to get their base fired up, and to try to sway the media to their side. No Democrat threatened or demanded when the Republicans pushed through the massive tax cut for the wealthy that was disfavored by about 75% of the nation, by polling.

It is all backwards, of course. The Republicans always start with an end they want, and then they reverse engineer some kind of argument to rationalize it, even if it makes no sense. They couldn’t have hearings on Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court, because “Let the people decide.” When they had the President who made a nomination, not ten months from the election, but one month, they said, “We must do this, because the people voted for Trump, so he gets to make the pick.” And then when someone said, “But didn’t the people vote for Obama in 2012, why didn’t he get a hearing for his nominee?,” they either ignored that person, or said,”Well, it is different, because we control the Senate,and so the people wanted us to confirm the Far Right judge we want….and, oh, we’re going to do it anyway, so live with it.” That’s what Republican “logic” ultimately comes down to: We want this, and we’re going to use every tool possible to get it, and we are counting on Democrats not using such tactics, so it is a win-win for the Republicans. But maybe things are starting to change a bit with that rigged casino game they have been running, where the rules change depending on what kind of hand the dealer has.

2 Responses

  1. Why do they do this?

    IMO the simple answer is because they can.

    It started out with the whole idea that all you need to do is to yell loudly and often enough about something and it will be taken seriously. The whole idea of painting the media as Liberal was, IMO, the master stroke of this plan. Today, this mantra of the Liberal Media is still repeated, although it is far from true.

    The next step was realizing that there is a captive audience in commuters, and if you can give them something to keep them entertained you can start to program them to your way of thought. The whole ‘talk radio’ phenomenon and the concept of right wing media outlets like Clear Channel which broadcast Limbaugh to the masses over the public airwaves was a part of the plan. Adding in broadcast TV i.e. FOX News allowed them to take the ‘talk radio’ concept from your car and into your home. All of this helped along by the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine. ‘Fair and Balanced’ my ass.

    This was already quite successful before the internet (Why did Al Gore invent that in the first place?). Now GOP has taken full advantage of the convergence of marketing science, and the internet to truly control the minds of many. It’s (mind control) the only way I can justify (in my mind) the fact that there were 75M voters for Trump. Social Media is close to overt (at least to the outside observer) in the way it pushes its memes, and is truly evil, but I fear it is never going away at this point. It’s truly sad that technology is causing all these issues but it’s filling someones pockets so it is not going to be stopped. I worked in what is now called IT for 45+ years, and never would have considered myself a Luddite, but when it comes to social media, I am there.

    The good news (for me) is I am old so I will likely not see the horrors that this eventually leads to.

  2. I should have added another one. Trump’s attorneys argue in a statement today that “either a small group of violent extremists had been engaged in pre-planning the riot, or Trump incited the riot, it cannot be both.” Of course it can. If you have an angry group of people whom you have told that the election was fixed, and you urge them to come to Washington, and then you meet with them and tell them that you are going to march together to the Capitol Building, and that they must “fight like hell” to save the country, you have engaged in incitement and abuse of power for impeachment and conviction purposes. This is not a criminal trial! The standards for impeachment are different, and the punishments are also different. Actually, he is probably also guilty of incitement to violence, but the House does not need to prove that in terms of the criminal statutes.

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