It’s the 298th day of a 15-day shutdown, and we’re wrapping up the second month of a three-week curfew. No kidding.
Deb and I are perfectly fine. No kidding.
Have you ever noticed that the popular media, in addition to covering the same stories in the same way, all tend to use the same lingo in their unoriginal reporting? Of course you have, and so have I.
It’s worse than it’s ever been. Partisan talking points are distributed with breathtaking immediacy. Groupthink has become groupspeak. I once saw a card-carrying member of the punditocracy get a text alert in the middle of a live interview and shift his talking points on-the-fly.
It infects politics as well as media. Here are some phrases in the news these days that annoy the ever-lovin’ crap outta me.
“Incitement of insurrection”
On Wednesday a sitting President of the United States was impeached by the House of Representatives on a single charge of “incitement of insurrection.” That indictment could carry the political equivalent of the death penalty if Trump is convicted by the Senate.
I’m no attorney, but a few days ago I began to suspect that words like “incite” and “insurrection” might have legal definitions — and sure enough, they do. The legal standard for “criminal incitement” generally rests on a 52-year-old Supreme Court case, Brandenburg v. Ohio, and it requires intent, instruction and the likelihood of provocation.
It’s beyond credible dispute that Trump’s conduct on January 6th didn’t rise to the level of a crime, and that’s not even a close call. A free and independent press carrying out its proper role in our society would’ve pointed out, quickly and repeatedly, that this week’s snap-impeachment appropriated the language of criminal law to level a political charge that sounded like a crime — but wasn’t.
It was (and is) a sham. And anyone who invokes “incitement” and “insurrection” with regard to Trump is a toady.
(For more on Democrats’ trademark “sounds like” tactic, flip back to “Day 287: We still can’t fix stupid, but now we’re not even trying.”)
“Peaceful transfer of power”
At the risk of dancing a semantic jig on a postage stamp here, I have to say that I shake my head every time I hear “transfer of power.” Why?
Because this is The United States of America, dammit, and ’round these parts we don’t transfer power.
Stay with me.
The Declaration of Independence speaks to governments “deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” In an established nation, “just powers” describes lawful authority, such as that defined by the Constitution, and “consent of the governed” represents the conferring of lawful authority through a democratic process.
As we’ve seen over the years, and especially in the last year, government can and does abuse lawful authority to seize power. But power doesn’t come to them by way of any sort of “transfer,” peaceful or otherwise — they take it without permission.
Ignore the narrative. A “transfer of power” doesn’t happen in America. Never forget that power always and forever resides with the People.
Let’s get something straight: A firearm is a tool, not a prop. A gun isn’t something to be strapped on a hip or slung over a shoulder to make a statement.
If you’re one of those who shows up for a rally prominently displaying your stick, brandishing it as if it makes you somehow more serious than someone who doesn’t, then
And yet people still do it, which begets the ridiculous term, “armed protest.” It’s a lazy way for media to stereotype people, and it’s absurd because if it were literally true, blood would be spilled.
Think about it.
“President of all Americans”
Every incoming president says this, especially after a particularly contentious election or when the office moves from one party to the other.
And despite all of the silly “not my president” talk, it’s still technically true. We have one president, whether or not individual citizens recognize his authority as lawful.
When we hear, “I will be president of all Americans,” most of us take it as magnanimous. Even if we know it’s bullshit, and weak bullshit at that, people generally perceive it as an extended hand.
I submit to you that’s not at all what it is.
It’s a closed fist. It’s a veiled threat. It’s FAFO, a rattled saber, a reminder to the resistance that elections have consequences and that his opposition is about to bear those consequences.
Daffy McHairsniffer will say he’ll be “president of all Americans” in every press conference over the next five days, and he’ll repeat it during his virtual inauguration.
When he does, when you hear it, just remember what he’s really saying.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.
(Header image: Working in Ernie late into the night earlier this week.)