Schwab: A supremely clear look at the worst of pols, pundits

The court of public opinion holds in contempt GOP antics during the Senate confirmation hearings.

By Sid Schwab / Herald columnist

What an embarrassing performance by truly loathsome people. As others on the Senate Judiciary Committee sat by, buttockly-self-thumbed, lifetime members of the Republican Deplorable Caucus harangued Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, repeating the same discredited charges, over and over, each climbing higher into the grandstand. Interminably interrupting her answers. Rudely. Deliberately disrespectful. To impress their disrespect- and rudeness-loving base.

Sens. Cruz, Graham, Hawley, Blackburn, Cotton. Wasting opportunities to question her substantively, they chose to play for airtime on Fox “news,” et screech. Generate money-raising campaign ads. Cruz, about whom there aren’t words — printable or otherwise — adequately to convey his repugnance, was caught searching for online self-mentions immediately after he’d finished his act. Q, as they say, E.D. (Twitter:

Ignoring the number of national police organizations supporting her, encephalopathy-vector Josh Hawley, who openly encouraged violent lawbreakers on Jan. 6, 2021, claimed she’s “soft on crime.” Loves her some child pornographers, said all the rest; most especially the smarmy, self-righteous Lindsey Graham. No matter her explanations, cut off so often she may as well have not even tried, they perseverated in their made-for-TV charges (ABC News:

Previewing the game-plan for future elections — namely, pushing culture wars, transgenderism most especially, because they have little else to offer — Blackburn demanded a definition of the word “woman.” As only he can, Cruz notched it up. And they all harped on base-inflaming “critical race theory,” nonexistent in K-12 schools, and forehead-slappingly irrelevant to the proceedings. For particulars, read this: (New Yorker:

Then, for those interested in what’s really behind it all, watch Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., lay it out like a picnic blanket, confirming why we so desperately need conscientious congresspeople: (YouTube:

Have those preening protectors of Supreme integrity spoken out about the ethical travesty of Ginni “Justice” Thomas pressuring Trump’s chief of staff to overturn a lawful election? Or her husband, alone, voting against allowing Congress to see those communications? What may we extrapolate about Thomas’ own mindset, when his wife extols and parrots a certifiable lunatic, in those emails he wanted hidden? On the list of concerns about the ultimate arbiters of American law, doesn’t this rank higher than children’s books? (Daily Beast:

Those questions don’t matter to that claque. Closing the feedback loop that runs directly from internet conspiracies to Congressional deplorables to Fox “news” and thence injected into Trumpofoxified brains, which restart the loop, Laura Ingraham did her part. To her contentedly credulous viewers she horrored that if Judge Jackson is approved, “It’s goodbye to voter enforcement. It’s goodbye to the Second Amendment. It’s goodbye to moms and dads raising their kids as they see fit. Goodbye to the right of the unvaccinated to live freely in society. And someday goodbye to the right to maybe even drive a gasoline-powered car.” Didn’t have time, evidently, to include forcing your children into sex acts while drinking their blood.

But that’s not the worst current example of the downward-spiral churning between Republican leaders, right-wing media, and their dupable believers. It’s biolabs in Ukraine, which do exist, but about which Putin lies that they’re manufacturing weapons to attack Russia, therefore justifying his invasion. Debunked but regurgitated (which should become their corporate motto) by Fox’s tyrannophilic talkers, the lie lives on. Last week, Russia’s Defense Ministry took it to Q-worthy levels: Hunter Biden bankrolls the labs. Care to guess who lapped it up, passed it on like a kidney stone? “What are the outlines of that story,” asked Tucker. “We’re not sure. We know it’s legitimate to ask what it means, why wouldn’t it be? You’re not a Russian agent repeating discredited Putin talking points if you ask. You’re a good citizen.” Butter wouldn’t melt, as he oh-so-innocently, just-askingly poisons his followers. Putin seems to have designed the perfect disinformation dissemination scheme. (NPR:

And so it goes. The SCOTUS hearings revealed the cynical depths to which right-wing media descend in order to deceive their listeners; how the lies start, who repeats them in Congress, and how Foxification embeds it too deeply to be excavated. We’re seeing how irresistible and effective it’s become. Force-feeding an oligarchic Trumpublican agenda which will, in fact, make life worse for most of its viewers, and for democracy. But not themselves. It’s a dangerously effective, democracy-destroying, self-perpetuating, perverted system of virtual brainwashing; a solution to which, having become “normalized,” is hard to envision.

Finally, an off-topic word about President Biden’s speech and the ad-lib which, according to “analysts and experts,” pushes our relationship with Russia “closer to collapse.” After the invasion, other than Trump’s continued praise of Putin, and, yet again, asking him for electoral help — this time mid war-crimes — what relationship remains? Here’s fuller-than-Fox context, for when President Biden said what we’re all thinking: (YouTube:

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