Schwab: By any other name (riots or guns) it still smells

When the truth convicts — on blame for insurrections and massacres — the only option is deny, deny, deny.

By Sid Schwab / Herald columnist

“The whole thing is insulting. In fact, it’s deranged,” whined whiney Tucker Carlson, during Fox’s counterprogramming to the truth presented by the Jan. 6 committee. “They are lying, and we’re not going to help them do it.”

Not knowing what was being presented, but saying it anyway, tells us everything about him. Fox “news” so feared its viewers might break away for a few minutes and learn something that it carried no commercials. Which tells us everything about them, and how they’ve viewed viewers from the moment of fertilization of Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda egg.

There was no election fraud. Trump was fully aware. The hearings leave no doubt. So, is he a monumental liar or delusional? Both, probably. He knows he’s lying and is so pathologically unwell that he believes he — who claims to know everything about everything but knows nothing about anything — deserved to win. Lying, suborning violence, rejecting democracy, he justified anything required to retain the office to which he felt entitled (YouTube: tinyurl.com/summary4u).

Having nothing with which to refute the committee’s laid-out facts, Foxing heads focused on denying Jan. 6, 2021, was an insurrection. Or an attempted coup, or even a riot. Or on Ashli Babbitt, “martyred,” they’d say, when a good guy with a gun, sworn to safeguard members of Congress, facing a rampaging mob chanting for murder, shot her as she breached the final barrier protecting the members.

Does terminology even matter, though? By another name, let’s call it a rose. In fact, Jan. 6 isn’t really the point, any more than whipped-up cream is the point of a banana split. It’s everything that preceded and followed the up-rosing. Launched long before the election and aided by his coterie of unprincipled enablers, it’s Trump’s willful deceit. It’s his intent to malign and silence the majority of voters who ejected him, soundly and legally. It’s his Putinesque plan to dismantle democracy in order to acquire permanent power, about which the hearings are removing all doubt. Yet millions believed his transparent, discredited lies and still do. MAGA? Hardly. Playing his followers for gullible patsies, Trump’s vision of “greatness” is only his own. Inexplicably, his big-lie-pushers still win elections. Their voters weren’t watching, evidently. The need to believe is stronger than truth (YouTube: tinyurl.com/heknowsmore).

Keeping belief alive is essential for Trump’s post-presidency grift. The “Election Defense Fund,” in the name of which he suckered hundreds of millions of dollars from small-dollar victims, never existed. The haul went to himself and to his protectors’ “charities,” rather than “election defense,” whatever that is. A scam more tasteless than Trump steaks, more flightless than Trump Air, more content-free than Trump University. Who’d have guessed? (YouTube: tinyurl.com/vapor4u)

Still seditiously attacking a decisive, clean election, still bawling about a “landslide” win, Trump has undertaken his only well-conceived ruse in a lifetime of fraud: teasing another presidential run (yes, please!) as a way to escape indictment. Counting on Merrick Garland’s ethical standards, he’s betting the attorney general won’t charge a clearly criminal, but front-running presidential candidate, lest it appear “political.” He might be right.

Or not. A Republican front-runner for governor of Michigan was just arrested by the FBI for his participation in the “rose.” Maybe enough of the hearing’s 20 million viewers, not counting who-knows-how-many online, have become convinced of Trump’s criminality to demand indictment. What would be worse for democracy: the inevitable Trump-encouraged violence, or letting a corrupt “president” off the hook? The answer is obvious: (YouTube: tinyurl.com/2solve4u)

Meanwhile, following the Texas massacre and decades of Republican obstruction, a bipartisan group of senators has agreed upon tweaks to gun laws. Quoting arch political blogger Charles P. Pierce, “The bill is a good start, like tying your shoes is a good way to start a marathon.”

They couldn’t agree, of course, to re-ban assault-style rifles, much less, God forbid, raise the purchase age, despite it already being 21 to obtain handguns. The bill increases background checks. For teenagers. It “encourages” states to create red-flag laws. Increases “mental health” funding; how the spending will reduce mass murders isn’t specified. Will it pass? We’ll see.

Many red-state governors refused Obamacare’s Medicaid funds, through which the money is likely to flow. If it passes, will they accept the dollars this time? Doesn’t matter. Per Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, “We protected law-abiding Texans’ right to bear arms.” And that’s what counts.

A helpful letter-writer recently reminded Herald readers that AR-15s aren’t “assault rifles.” OK. Let’s call them pool noodles. Powerful enough to pulverize children beyond recognition. Everyone, especially legislators, should be made to see full-color pictures of those victims. I’ve operated on people whose livers were literally exploded by less-powerful weapons; gruesome as that is, by comparison it’s nothing.

Email Sid Schwab at columnsid@gmail.com.

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