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CSotD: Put up or shut up time

I couldn’t decide where to start this morning until I had settled on the headline, at which point it made sense to start here: Put up or shut up, Steve Kelley (Creators.)

Show your evidence of fraud and illegality. Seriously. Do it.

While you’re at it, explain why experienced attorneys and professional politicians who wanted to challenge the election results in court didn’t offer that genuine, documented evidence in place of the rumors and half-baked innuendo that got them kicked out of virtually every court in the land, sometimes more than once.

But at least show your own hand, because we’re all in at this point and the American Experiment would do better to lose to a winning hand than surrender to a bluff.

However, Kelley is right that the media has failed, though not in the way he says.

It’s only in the past few months that the media has done its job of ferreting out facts instead of simply parroting talking points, and Sunday is a good day to say so, because the Sunday morning news programs have been political infomercials, with spokespeople swapping those talking points instead of being held to account.

Someone observed that, if one person says it’s raining and another person says the sun is shining, the job of the press is not to simply publish both opinions in the name of fairness, but to look out the window.

And, just as there was no magical change when 2020 became 2021 the other night, there was no great transformation when Donald Trump became president four years ago.

The press had been performing its rainy-sunshine fairness charade since the days of Richard Nixon’s Silent Majority and Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America.

Instead of adding “alleged” to Trump’s false statements, together with whatever fig leaves of purported backup his quislings offered, and hoping their audience would deduce the real story, the press should have looked out the damn window and reported the facts.

 

J.D. Crowe (Alabama Media) has looked out that window and offers this, and he’s certainly right that Trump’s challenges will not keep him in office.

But we’re reached a point where even metaphorical predictions have to be tempered with the reality of how far we’ve fallen. The cops aren’t coming for this guy.

Nearly half the country is convinced that the media is part of a major conspiracy of lies. And by “media,” they don’t mean talk radio, Fox commentators, Newsmax or OAN.

Though since Fox news began to call out Trump’s falsehoods, they’re suddenly part of the conspiracy.

It’s a lovely hole we’ve dug for ourselves, and whatever happens January 6, when a quarter of the Congress votes against the clear results of a fair election, belief in the conspiracy will continue.

Both Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi had their homes vandalized the other night, and NH Governor Chris Sununu canceled his public inauguration because of armed protesters around his house and threats to his family.

I don’t know whether to mourn how far we’ve fallen in my own time, or to rage against the perverted baseline we’ve set for those just coming of age now.

I guess I’ll have to do both, while we watch Georgia, hoping for a glow in the embers to show that democracy’s fire hasn’t gone out entirely.

 

I do take some comfort in what Ed Hall (Ind) promises, a gentle dose of healing from what I think we can assume will be a one-term, moderate Democratic administration.

I know the progressives want more, and, if those Georgia embers can be nursed into a fire, we’ll have a better chance to undo a great deal of harm.

Given the efforts being made down there, given the turnout so far, given the clear differences between the candidates, the results will tell a lot about the next few years and maybe beyond.

Still, the Biden administration can provide a dose of honesty and common sense even if McConnell maintains his chokehold on justice, reform and the good of the people.

All my generation ever did was to overturn Jim Crow, stop an unpopular war, lower the voting age and drive two presidents from office.

Our days are numbered. It’s time now for the youngsters to show what they can do. (BLM is a good start.)

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Bill Bramhall – NYDN)

 

(Steve Brodner – Ind)

Bramhall and Brodner are right that Hawley’s challenge is a cynical stunt, based on his belief that he can ride Trump’s coattails of paranoia and alienation into his own successful political career.

We should be cautious not to dismiss him, particularly those of us who were delighted when the GOP nominated an airhead in George Bush but then found Dick Cheney’s cabal running the government, and who then laughed again when that media blowhard Donald Trump announced his candidacy.

We’re up to “fool me three times” now, at which point we ought to straighten up and pay attention.

 

Here, as depicted by Ann Telnaes (WashPost), is the fellow with the experience and requisite cynical lust for power to pose a genuine threat.

“Enabler”? This is a man so focused on advancing his own political prospects that, once Dear Leader had won, he ignored the fact that Trump called his wife ugly and accused his father of being party to the JFK assassination, because suddenly that backside had become worth warming up to.

If he’s willing to sell out his own family, how loyal do you think he’s going to be to you?

And, unlike Hawley, he’s not some fresh-faced flash-in-the-pan opportunist. He’s a well-established opportunist with an existing power base.

 

So I wish I could be as optimistic as David Horsey (Seattle Times), but I don’t see Dear Leader disappearing, and, even if his despair at losing causes him to forswear politics in favor of golf, the destruction he has wrought remains a base for aspiring fascisti like Cruz and Hawley.

In the long-term, given the shifts in American demographics, establishing itself as the party of white nationalism doesn’t seem to offer the GOP much of a future.

But who says we’re going to get to that future?

 

 

Community Comments

#1 Douglas Hawley
January/3/2021
@ 8:51 am

I am NOT related to Josh Hawley.

#2 Bob Crittenden
January/3/2021
@ 9:29 am

WOW! Fantastic column, Mike; an excellent selection of “toons” with spot-on commentary. Thanks and Happy New Year.

#3 David M Spitko
January/3/2021
@ 9:49 am

Ditto Bob above.

#4 Kip Williams
January/3/2021
@ 11:21 pm

Gops don’t put up or shut up, but it’s worth calling their bluff on it.

#5 Mike Corrado
January/4/2021
@ 3:24 pm

What Bob said!

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