Recent Arguments for Republicans Substandard

If Virginia has a “Conservatism Inc.,” it’s clearly all in for Glenn Youngkin. This should surprise no one. Unfortunately, their recent attempts to defend him and his ticket-mates are so racked with minimization of the GOP’s authoritarian and misinformation about everything else that it reveals how far Virginia’s “Conservatism Inc.” has fallen from its glory days.

I refer to  a post in this very quarter that begins with a bizarre implication that Democrats once believed that “accusing the other party of stealing elections was the highest form of patriotism.” I presume this comes from 2004, when there were more than a few lefties creating their own wacko version of Shadowrun, led by the defeated John Kerry who swore that the Presidency was stolen from him by Ohio Repub….

Oh, wait.

Moving on, there has been recent talk of national separation, and who wold be at fault for the alienation fueling that talk:

If one were to use the metaphor of a rock dropped into a pond? The ripple effect of suburban (purple) and exurban (bright red) voters contrast sharply with the more pinkish (Republican-leaning) voters in the rural parts of Virginia.

…maybe we ought to be asking whether progressive values in the cities are forcing the question of suburban flight into the exurbs as the values of the left not only force out but radicalize the refugees (so to speak).

There’s only one problem with this graphical reading above: “pinkish” in the map cited does not reflect a weakness for Republican support, but rather sparse populations (see for yourself). Ironically, the actual map makes the case against separation even stronger, but at the cost of being unable to burn strawmen to one’s left.

That misinterpretation is mild compared to this firehose of misinformation:

General Milley openly discussing with the Communist Chinese and breaking the chain of command to talk to Speaker Nancy Pelosi all seems pretty non-conspiratorial to me. As for FBI involvement in certain activities, the fact that 12 of the 15 people involved in the “kidnapping” of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) were actual FBI informants strikes me as rather odd.

As for QAnon, I’m not sure that the left gets the joke. QAnon is a trolling operation; it’s like picking on a sibling in the back of the car. Storm is coming. Ooooooo….

Of course, if one actually clicks the link provided, one finds the description of events in Michigan … wanting.

The government employed at least a dozen confidential informants to infiltrate groups of armed extremists who allegedly plotted to kidnap the governor of Michigan, according to a new filing in federal court on Monday.

The alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made international headlines last October, when the Department of Justice announced it had charged six men in a kidnapping conspiracy. Five of the defendants — Barry Croft, Adam Fox, Daniel Harris, Kaleb Franks, and Brandon Caserta — have all pleaded not guilty and have been held without bail since their arrests. A sixth, Ty Garbin, pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate in the case in January.

According to the Justice Department, the men met and trained over a six-month period in 2020, during which time they developed a plan to kidnap Whitmer from her second home and possibly take her out of state where she could be put on “trial” for being a “tyrant.” No plan was ever executed before authorities made arrests.

Eight other men were charged under Michigan’s anti-terrorism statutes for providing material support to the plotters. Half of the defendants in the combined cases were members of a militant group known as the Wolverine Watchmen, which was associated with the Three Percenters extremist movement. All but two are from the state of Michigan.

Note to the readers: the FBI doesn’t charge their own informants.

As for General Milley, well….

“The calls on 30 October and 8 January were coordinated before and after with Secretary Esper and Acting Secretary Miller’s staffs and the interagency,” he told the committee. “The specific purpose of the October and January calls was generated by concerning intelligence which caused us to believe the Chinese were worried about an attack on them by the U.S.”

“I know, I am certain, that President Trump did not intend on attacking the Chinese and it was my directed responsibility by the secretary to convey that intent to the Chinese,” said Milley. “My task at that time was to de-escalate. My message again was consistent: calm, steady: De-escalate. We are not going to attack you.”

“At Secretary of Defense Esper’s direction, I made a call to General Li on 30 October. Eight people sat in the call with me, and I read out the call within 30 minutes of the call ending,” he said.

Milley added that the second call on January 8 was prompted by a Chinese request for him to call again that had been made on December 31, 2020

“Eleven people attended the call with me. Read-outs of this call were distributed to the interagency that same day,” he said. “Shortly after my call ended with General Li, I informed both Secretary of State Pompeo and White House chief of staff Meadows about the call among other topics. Soon after that, I attended a meeting with Acting Secretary Miller where I briefed him on the call.”

“At no time was I attempting to change or influence the process, usurp authority, or insert myself into the chain of command, but I am expected to give my advice and ensure that the president is fully informed on military matters,” said Milley.

He told the committee that after his staff meeting he notified Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller about Pelosi’s calls.

So either the “Deep State” involves Trump’s own employees, or the assertions regarding Milley sound pretty … well … conspiratorial.

I didn’t forget QAnon – but apparently some in RPV have forgotten how much violence has been wreaked, and people killed, by those who weren’t in on “the joke.”

Next up is the assertion that “Democrats have been very clear that they can and will change America through the courts on questions such as marriage, equity, and Obamacare.” Here’s a quick reminder: the deciding Justices who nationalize marriage equality and shoehorn Obamacare into constitutional law were appointed by Reagan and Bush the Younger respectively. One need not agree with the decisions themselves to recognize it was more than just “the Democrats” who made them possible.

Of course, for any Republican using bandwidth, there must be an insistence that Trumpism was unfairly abused by investigations into its ties to Russia, never mind that disturbing ties were actually found. Likewise, all Republicans must somehow minimize the January 6 insurrection.

Republicans by contrast just watched the Deep State wreck two years of the Trump presidency over charges of Russian collusion then followed it up with two more years of threats and rumors of a coup attempt — to the point where they actually contacted the Communist Chinese. Imagine their glee as a skeleton crew for the US Capitol Police was overwhelmed by a riot.

Sure didn’t happen that way during the Kavanaugh hearings in 2018 when 120 leftists were arrested as they stormed the Capitol during the peaceful transferal of power in a constitutional process.

Go ahead, click the link, but ask yourself as you read it:

How many of the Kavanaugh protestors broke windows?

How many assaulted police officers?

How many brought weapons with them?

How many demanded a politician be hanged?

Oh, and the “rumors of a coup attempt”? Those weren’t rumors.

A transcript of his testimony shows Rosen twice described Trump using that phrase. “One thing we know is [with] Jeff Rosen leading the Justice Department, nothing is going to get done in trying to overturn the election,” Rosen cited Trump as saying. When asked to re-state it, he offered the quote above.

Last I checked, “trying to overturn the election” is a coup.

Of course, if Republicans have to mention 1/6, they must also leap to an assertion that “the Democrats” caused “billions of dollars in property damages and harming and killing dozens of others — including police officers.” That can’t be a reference to the Black Lives Matter protests, since

… 94% of protests involved no participant arrests, 97.9% involved no participant injuries, 98.6% involved no injuries to police, and 96.7% involved no property damage.

Meanwhile ….

… demonstrations involving right-wing militias or militant social movements have turned violent or destructive over twice as often, or nearly 14% of the time

As for the exceptions to the rule, the Democrats, led by Joe Biden himself, condemned violence from left and right, in sharp contrast to Trump himself.

It has even become fashionable to somehow hold Terry McAuliffe responsible for the death of two VSP officers whose helicopter crashed in Charlottesville on that dark day in 2017. This would come as a surprise to both Hunton & Williams (who cited several things that went wrong in their review of the matter – Terry McAuliffe’s decision to come to Charlottesville not being one of them) and the attorney for the officers’ widows, who blamed “the manufacturer, the engine maker and the maintenance facilities (for) bad design and bad maintenance” but not T-Mac.

One could see the litany of misdirection, misinformation, and minimization that has become typical for Republicans in 2021 and despair (the evidence of Trump attempting to overturn the election are “rumors;” interagency calls by military officials at the direction of their civilian superiors are “breaking the chain of command;” eight plus six equals three; efforts to uncover the depths of Trump’s ties to Russia are “the Deep State”; and helping to protect American democracy from the authoritarian movement that has arisen around Trump becomes “submission”).

However, some RPV writers can see beyond the headline to deeper issues where agreement across the spectrum should be possible. Shaun Kenney himself has discussed how national and state governments are overriding local communities. Not these local communities, mind you, but it still provides an echo of a time when he and I worked together to stop a Republican governor from imposing an unnecessary tax hike on our fellow Virginians.

What a long strange trip it’s been since then.

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