Pat Bagley sets the tone for today, or, more accurately, he comments on the tone set by the White House Press Secretary, who played the ambush tape of Nancy Pelosi on a loop at yesterday’s press conference as she unloaded a diatribe about the (alleged) event.
As Bagley notes, there are more pressing issues. At least when the GOP was attacking Hillary Clinton for mishandling emails, there was a potential issue of national security attached, though they spent a lot of money and failed to make any such connection. Ditto with the four dead in Benghazi.
Rightwingers have been after Pelosi for several years and have never specified what they hated about her.
Now they have found something, sort of, though with no more proof than they had against Clinton and not even a fig leaf of importance.
It’s not even “thin gruel.” It’s an empty bowl.
Which leaves us with Andy Marlette’s commentary, which I like because he seems more a fan of truth than of Nancy Pelosi, mixing the insult of comparing her to the Medusa with a confession that there is no there there and that the whole thing pales next to Trump’s silence-implies-consent response to the Russian bounties on American GIs.
The problem with the Pelosi “scandal” is that it began falling apart very quickly. Now, it’s okay to run with an early gotcha, but the problem is that once a lie is out in the world, it’s very hard to call it back.
And unlike the bogus stories of Al Gore claiming to invent the Internet or Dan Quayle misspelling “potato,” this phony scandal is being ginned up not just by late night comedians and political cartoonists but by the White House itself.
Even the transparent lies of the Swift Boat Veterans were spread by political operatives, not by George W. Bush or his staff.
Well, by now the expression “Have you no shame?” is so outdated that it’s not worth repeating.
The President has made this story large enough that it needs to be fact-checked.
Don’t you wish it were the only one?
Rob Rogers has some fun with Dear Leader’s latest delusional declaration, and perhaps laughing in his face is the only response to such nonsense.
Then again, Trump rose to political prominence on the Birther delusion, and there are many people who continue to believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim who was born in Kenya. And who vote.
As absurd as his changing tales of planeloads of blackclad terrorists may strike an intelligent person, there are plenty of people who will believe what the president says.
As the phrase goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 20,000 times, you’ve got my vote!”
Which brings us to our
Juxtaposition of the Day
I like the way Kevin Siers frames the double-voting issue in familiar, patriotic terms, an example of using understatement to make a solid point.
Nothing understated in Dave Brown’s commentary, and he manages to combine the postal service issues with the double-voting advice, then adds the touch of Trump kicking a postal bag of Biden votes into the sewer.
I’d want Siers making the argument in the courtroom, but Brown making it in the street.
But we are once again in a situation where it’s hard to distinguish a Cunning Plan from a Paranoid Delusion, because it seems unlikely those who follow Trump’s advice will end up voting twice, but they will certainly end up making for longer lines and greater delays at polling places.
Is that what he wants, or was it just random blather?
I’ll be a poll worker, and we were told at our training session that people who have requested absentee voting will have “AV” next to their names, with a box that will be checked if their ballot (which has a bar code on the envelope) has been received. If it’s checked, they can’t vote. If it’s blank, they can vote but their absentee ballot will then be discarded when it arrives.
New Hampshire also allows them to check online to see if their ballot has been received, but it seems likely we’ll have people who follow Trump’s advice.
The good news is that, with so many people choosing to vote by mail, we may have shorter lines anyway, so a few loyalists won’t clog the system too much.
Juxtaposition of Shame
The Atlantic article exposing the times Donald Trump has dismissed veterans — both dead and wounded — as “losers” and “suckers” should have the same impact as his statements about grabbing women’s pussies and his history of paying off the topless dancers and nude models he had sex with.
Unfortunately, it probably will, since “should” is a fantasy.
Perhaps less, since hundreds of thousands of women did take to the streets to protest Trump’s insults.
But he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose a vote, and for all that aggrieved veterans complain about being called “suckers” for having served, and for all their dubious claims of being spat upon, it’s likely his Deplorable ducklings will line up to vote for him just the same.
The chief attack against the Atlantic story is that it made use of anonymous sources.
The chief defense to that attack is “So TF what?”
It’s a transparent, flimsy attack on good reporting that could only come from people who have never read a newspaper, watched real news or, certainly, worked in a place that produced it.
It is always preferable to have witnesses go on the record, but it’s not always possible. When a witness demands anonymity, the choice is to grant it, or to miss the story. In a well-run newsroom, reporters may be required to disclose the identities of sources to their editors, but Deep Throat remained unknown because Woodward was trusted.
Which brings us to an excellent portrayal of a scene every good reporter has experienced in real life: a frightened, reluctant witness who wants the story told but is terrified of being tied to the revelations.
This is precisely how it looks, and sounds, and feels: