ChrisWeigant.com

Trump's Big Lies Will Get A Lot Smaller Now

[ Posted Monday, January 18th, 2021 – 17:35 UTC ]

The mainstream media is finally using the correct terms to describe Donald Trump's efforts to overthrow an American election. The outbreak of insurrection at the U.S. Capitol apparently was enough for them to start calling a lie a lie. And not just a lie, but (as many journalists are now admitting) a Big Lie.

The term is capitalized because it is a historical reference. Adolf Hitler coined the term in Mein Kampf, and Joseph Goebbels perfected its use in Nazi Germany. The idea is a simple one (although this quote attributed to Goebbels may never have actually been said by him): "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." Trump's current Big Lie, of course, is that he won the election "in a landslide" and somehow it was stolen away from him by a conspiracy of pretty much everybody. But because Trump's Big Lie led to such a horrific and violent attack on democracy, journalists are now calling it by its rightful name.

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Friday Talking Points -- The House Does Its Duty

[ Posted Friday, January 15th, 2021 – 17:20 UTC ]

I have to apologize in advance, once again, because I feel that the dire and unprecedented nature of the past week must be directly addressed without the distraction of our other regular Friday Talking Points features. Or, to put it another way, here comes another extended rant, folks.

Next week should be better. Next week should be -- for us all, not just for this column -- a very real and long-awaited return to normalcy. I hope so, at any rate. By this time next week, we will have President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris running the government, and Donald Trump will be fading from the scene in a very big way (after we all endure his final swansong: his second impeachment trial in the Senate). We'll all have breathed a gigantic sigh of relief, and then we can start thinking about handing out awards and writing talking points for Democrats to use once again. But not this week. This week, we have to rant. So here goes.

 

Throughout his entire presidency, Donald Trump has continued to top himself in the category of "most intense week ever." Over and over again, people thought: "Well, that's it -- he'll never sink lower than this," only to have this turn out to be mere wishful thinking, when the following week turns out to be even worse.

So why was anyone surprised when Trump rolled out his "season finale" (and "series finale," one would like to hope) of his made-for-television presidency in the first week of January? We all knew that whatever the end would look like, it would be spectacular (or, perhaps, "spectacularly bad"). And here we are.

The House of Representatives has only ever impeached a president four times in all our history. And the most disgraceful president (in my lifetime, at least) wasn't even one of them, because Richard Nixon quit before the House could approve the articles of impeachment they had drawn up against him. I should qualify that, because Nixon will now be known as "the most disgraceful president until Trump came along." And as many have been pointing out, Watergate was bad, but at least it had no body count.

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Don't Let The Terrorists Win

[ Posted Thursday, January 14th, 2021 – 17:00 UTC ]

No House Republican has actually gone on record saying he or she voted against the impeachment of the president because of fear for themselves or their family, but that is indeed what is being reported by other House members they've shared such fears with. If true, this is a stunning indictment of their own moral failing. Because it means that the terrorists have successfully extorted votes in Congress with the threat of personal violence or death. Think about that concept for just one moment, because it is stunning. By refusing to vote a certain way out of fear, the terrorists have won. No, they didn't win the larger vote, but if even one vote switched out because of such rank intimidation, then something is very wrong indeed.

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Fourteen Days In January

[ Posted Wednesday, January 13th, 2021 – 18:26 UTC ]

That headline is meant to evoke an earlier phrase from American history which (even before a book and subsequent movie popularized the term) denoted one of the most existentially-dangerous times in not just our country's history, but in that of the entire world: the "thirteen days in October" of the Cuban Missile Crisis. President John F. Kennedy was informed that the Soviet Union had installed nuclear-tipped missiles a mere 80 miles from the United States, and he began a series of moves which could very well have ended up as the start of World War III. This is not an overstatement or exaggeration. If open hostilities had broken out during the height of the Cold War, it is almost certain (especially seeing what caused the crisis in the first place) that there would have been an exchange of nuclear weapons between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. For 13 days, from October 16 to 28, 1962, the world teetered on the edge of all-out nuclear war. Thankfully, sanity prevailed, and both sides agreed to face-saving measures which ended with the Soviets removing their missiles from Cuba. Kennedy gambled, he gambled big, and he won.

The year 2021 is still young -- only 13 days long, in fact. Yet we're only halfway through what historians might later call the "fourteen days in January." The period between January 6, 2021 and the inauguration of Joe Biden at noon on January 20 will forever be seared into the memory of every American now alive as witness to another existential crisis. This time, though, the enemy is not from without, but from within. It comes not in the form of a nuclear attack, but rather in the form of a direct attack on American democracy itself.

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From The Party Of Law And Order To The Party Of No Accountability

[ Posted Tuesday, January 12th, 2021 – 16:39 UTC ]

Younger readers may be surprised to hear it, but the Republican Party used to stand foursquare for law and order. Indeed, it was a big part of their whole political brand. Republicans used to actually sanctimoniously lecture the rest of us on the righteousness of taking personal responsibility for our actions, and how there simply had to be severe consequences for bad actions. Society absolutely depended on it, they told us.

That was then. This is now.

Now, the Trumpian Republican Party is standing solidly against law and order. The president of the United States attacked the Constitution itself, by whipping up a dangerous mob to forcibly prevent the United States Congress from concluding a free and fair election (that Trump lost). That is anti-law and anti-order, defined. And now, all those who aided and abetted this attempt to overthrow the will of the voters are taking zero personal responsibility for both their actions and their inaction, and they are trying to convince the rest of us that there needn't be any consequences for any of it, "because it would divide the country." Not a peep about how a blatant attempt to overthrow a free and fair election "divided" the country, mind you.

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Calls For Unity Are Obscene

[ Posted Monday, January 11th, 2021 – 17:34 UTC ]

Republicans have always been much better at the spin game than Democrats. That's a generally-accepted fact. Which is why it is so important right now for everyone to reject, repudiate, and heap withering scorn upon the latest GOP talking point about last Wednesday's seditious insurrection at the United States Capitol, which tried to forcibly overthrow the will of the people as expressed in a presidential election.

"Impeachment," these shameless hypocrites warn us, "would just lead to further division in the country." Seriously -- they've got the unmitigated gall to preach some sort of Utopian "unity," after a direct and violent attack on American democracy which was led and egged on by a sitting U.S. president. The sheer chutzpah of this naked attempt at gaslighting is just staggering. The very idea is downright obscene, in fact.

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Friday Talking Points -- A Day Of Infamy

[ Posted Friday, January 8th, 2021 – 17:54 UTC ]

[Program Note: -- Due to the seriousness of events this week, we are pre-empting our usual Friday Talking Points format to instead bring you a free-form rant. Because if ever there were a week where a rant was needed, it was indeed this one.]

The sixth of January, 2021, has already gone down in American history as a day of infamy. This is, of course, the same phrase Franklin Roosevelt used to describe the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and it certainly seems appropriate right now.

For the first time since August of 1814, the United States Capitol was attacked. Back then, it was British troops who were at war with America doing the attacking (and burning the building down on their way out). This week, it was a violent anarchist mob encouraged, aided, abetted, and incited by the sitting president of the United States. Five people have died as a direct result of this attack on democracy, one of them a police officer.

This is more than just another protest, folks. In all of the District of Columbia's history -- including during the Civil War -- the Capitol has never been beseiged and invaded in such a fashion by Americans. There have been large groups of protesters on the Mall before -- up to a million of them at a time, for some causes -- but they've never violently occupied the legislative seat of out government before, no matter what they were protesting and no matter how angry they were. But this time -- even though the agitators were openly publishing their calls to arms and their intent to disrupt Congress in the Capitol -- neither the F.B.I. nor the Department of Homeland Security even bothered to do a threat assessment beforehand.

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A Monumental Change In Washington

[ Posted Thursday, January 7th, 2021 – 18:08 UTC ]

You'll have to forgive me, but I'm going to wait until tomorrow to write about the yesterday's momentous events at the United States Capitol. Personally, I am still processing what happened, so I'm going to save that rant for Friday. Instead, I'd like to spotlight another momentous event yesterday; one that was seriously overshadowed by the riotous assembly at the Capitol, but will likely have much more long-lasting consequences for the next two years. I speak, of course, of the victories of both Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in the two Senate runoff elections held Tuesday in Georgia. Because with these two wins, the Democrats will wrest control of the chamber away from Mitch "The Grim Reaper" McConnell. It'll be the smallest of majority margins -- 51-50 (with the addition of Kamala Harris to cast the tie-breaking vote). But the margin doesn't really matter, what does is being able to set the Senate's agenda -- and confirm Biden nominees, as well.

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I'm Speechless...

[ Posted Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 – 15:21 UTC ]

 

For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.
--Hosea, 8:7

 

All I can say is: I don't want to hear any Republican who is not condemning and denouncing what is currently happening right now get sanctimonious about "law and order" EVER again.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

Freedom Is The Freedom To Say Two Plus Two Make Four

[ Posted Tuesday, January 5th, 2021 – 15:01 UTC ]

Our title today is (of course) the core belief of Winston Smith, the protagonist of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. The entire book hinges on this concept, in fact. The end of the book comes after the totalitarian, personality-cult government reprograms Smith into not just repeating as the party line but actually believing that two plus two really equals five, not four. His belief in this falsehood is total at the end -- the party tells him it must be so, and so he believes it to be true.

This wasn't my original thought for a column today, but after reading the references in another opinion piece today (to give credit where it is due) I had to make it the centerpiece. Because where are we right now? The president of the United States -- a cheap and cartoonish knockoff of Big Brother if ever there was one -- insists that "recalculation" of a state's election results must be performed in order to add the necessary 11,780 votes (which can be "found" somehow, somewhere) that he needs to win the state. Or, to put it another way, that two plus two make five.

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