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CSotD: An Elephant Often Forgets

One of the myths about elephants is the notion that they are terrified of mice. It’s an absurd idea, which makes it particularly appropriate for Michael de Adder to offer this piece, in which an insignificant little rodent forces a mighty elephant to perform tricks for him.

For the past several years, those on the left have waited for a reprise of that moment from the Red Scare of the 1950s, when Senator Joe McCarthy finally pushed things too far and, having bullied and libeled a young attorney with accusations of disloyalty, he was brought up short by Joseph Welch, who, in a blistering exchange, demanded to know “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

It hit the American people like a bucket of ice water, awakening them to their own sense of decency and bringing an end to the campaign of fear, suspicion and groundless accusations that had so captured the nation. In its wake, the only people still looking under their beds for commies were seen as kooks and paranoid extremists.

And so it seemed that the attempted coup on January 6 had, on the Feast of the Epiphany, brought about an epiphany in which the lies and divisions foisted on the country had been revealed.

Republican leaders rose to denounce the insurrection and to denounce the man who inspired, encouraged and invoked the riot and who ignored cries to bring it to a halt.

There’s no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about it. The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president. And having that belief was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories and reckless hyperbole which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on Planet Earth. — Mitch McConnell

The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. … These facts require immediate action from President Trump — accept his share of responsibility, quell the brewing unrest and ensure that President-Elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term. And the president’s immediate action also deserves congressional action, which is why I think a fact-finding commission and a censure resolution would be prudent. — Kevin McCarthy

The attack at the Capitol was a despicable act of terrorism and a shocking assault on our democratic system. The Department of Justice should vigorously prosecute everyone who was involved in these brazen acts of violence. I thank the brave men and women of the U.S. Capitol Police and all other law enforcement agencies who responded to restore peace. — Ted Cruz

But that was then. This is now.

As Nick Anderson (AMS) points out, Ted Cruz was called on the carpet by one of the true leaders of the Republican Party, Tucker Carlson, and forced to recant his position that the riot and attempted coup was terrorism and an overall bad thing.

Which might be more shocking if Cruz hadn’t already decided it was okay for Donald Trump to call him a liar, to accuse his father of being a conspirator in the assassination of JFK and to say that his wife was ugly.

Which in turn might be less shocking if Ted Cruz were not still viewed as a leader within the Republican caucus.

 

All of which might be less shocking if, as Anderson points out, Fox were not also the home of another Republican operative posing as a journalist, the utter falsity of the claim being evident by the fate of a CNN host who crossed an ethical line to advise his brother.

 

Now, according to Lisa Benson (WPWG), there is an Earth 2 Alternative Reality in which the Republican Party has denounced Donald Trump and moved on without him.

 

But, on this planet, we saw only one of 50 Republican Senators (Correction — one of 212 Reps. See comments.) stand, with her father the former vice-president, for a moment of silence to honor the Capitol Police who protected legislators from a murderous mob of tourists.

Perhaps the other 49 (211, which I would suggest is worse) were doing a historic re-enactment of the moment, hiding under their desks as they had that day.

 

Nor is this brazen disloyalty simply a case of cowardice and deceit in the swamps of the Potomac: Greg Kearney notes that, in Maine, 49 of 54 Republican state senators voted against a resolution to honor the Capitol Police.

 

Mind you, the same Fox/GOP political juggernaut has denounced the Black Lives Matter movement because it criticizes police, and, as Ed Hall points out, has spread the false idea that shifting funds from enforcement to prevention is disloyal to police.

The police whom they will not even thank for saving their lives.

 

There is some hope. Michael Ramirez (Creators), normally a dependably loyal Republican supporter, does not ignore the clear facts of the case.

 

And, as David Fitzsimmons points out, there is ample evidence that the “tourists” who visited the Capitol that day came prepared not simply for destruction but to mete out death. You do not bring these tools on vacation, but only on a deadly mission, and, as investigations go public, the facts are going to be very hard to deny.

 

However, we ought not to let facts get us too cocky: Jack Ohman (WPWG) notes the ability of True Believers to dodge reality when it conflicts with the beliefs they have been programmed to believe by the Republican Party, by talk radio and by the Fox network.

We live in a political world of “alternative facts.”

Not just about the withdrawal. Not just about the pandemic. Not just about the economy. And not just about the events of January 6.

But, increasingly, even about numbers. The White House can say it, but who will believe it?

The continuing work of Republican state legislators to increase gerrymandering, restrictions on voting and laws allowing them to override the popular vote may give them an Orwellian 2+2=5 majority that will prevail in 2022 and 2024.

 

Even as they conspire to whittle down their actual voting bloc, according to Chris Britt (Creators).

 

Don’t you let nobody turn us ’round.

Community Comments

#1 Paul Berge
January/8/2022
@ 8:16 am

Liz Cheney isn’t one out of 50. She’s one out of 212 Republicans in the House.

#2 Denny Lien
January/8/2022
@ 10:17 am

My favorite MYTHBUSTERS episode also made a pretty good case that, in the wild, elephants may indeed be afraid of (or at least spooked by/cautious around) mice:

https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa16/2016/10/20/david-vs-goliath-are-elephants-really-afraid-of-mice/

#3 Mike Peterson
January/8/2022
@ 10:34 am

Change made, Paul. Thx. Especially since it seems to strengthen my point.

And Denny, I’m going with ‘cautious’ and agreeing with the blogger that they should have tried frogs, turtles, etc. “Scared” of mice was definitely not proven.

And imagine how the world would be different if the GOP elephant had had the judgment to walk around that particular little rodent.

#4 gezorkin
January/8/2022
@ 3:44 pm

The thing is, the real insurrection, or coup attempt, was taking place behind closed doors in the Oval Office or nearby.

That was the plan/plot of Pence refusing to allow electoral votes to be counted, throwing the election to the House, where Trump would remain in power.

Unfortunately, our Attorney General has given NO indication he is even aware that such a plot was being attempted.

And evidently, he has not yet had time to un-redact the Mueller Report.

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