The Big Lie and Why

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The Big Lie and Why

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Jul 01, 2022 7:29 am

The Big Lie Is Just the Pretext
What if they gave a coup and nobody cared
Charlie Sykes in The Bulwark
Jul 1
After the wreckage of Watergate, the conventional wisdom embraced the cliché that the coverup was worse than the crime. Actually, that’s still true. But we need to upgrade our hierarchy of horribles.

Politicians will always commit crimes, and some will try to engineer elaborate schemes of concealment. The sins of the powerful are with us always; their essential untrustworthiness was baked into our system of checks and balances.

“If Men were angels, no government would be necessary,” James Madison would have tweeted. “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and the next place, oblige it to control itself.”

This, of course, is the tricky part, because it assumes that the institutional and political restraints would hold, and that the American people would want them to.

But what if they didn’t?

What if we had a coup and a coverup, and nobody (by which I mean the GOP) cared?

In 2022, the real danger isn’t just the crime or the coverup, it’s the acceptance.

We know that the nation can survive insurrections and even attempts at obstruction of justice. But can it survive a shrug?

Polls continue to show that the majority of Republican voters still believe the Big Lie, and support Trump.

So what happens if one of the nation’s two dominant political parties decides that it doesn’t care? And is rewarded by the voters for its cynicism and moral nihilism?

**

This seems like a good time to point out something else: The real threat to democracy is not the Big Lie. It’s something worse.

This is not to suggest that election denialism or conspiracy theories are not dangerous; they are, of course. But the January 6 Committee has reminded us of something important: the whole Big Lie thing is ludicrous, risible, inane bullshit. It is an entire political belief system based on demented theories about Italian satellites, Venezuelan voting machines, and the hallucinations of Mike Lindell.

But that’s not the point.

You may have noticed how the various claims from Rudy/Dinesh/[Insert name of insane Republican] are ever-shifting. A bogus charge is made, debunked; and quickly replaced with the next fabrication, and so on. It’s an endless morphing chain of guano-soaked nonsense. But despite the parade of absurdities, no factual refutation ever seems to the stick.

Why? Because the lies don’t matter. Only the outcome counts.

In other words, millions of Americans don’t necessarily believe something crazy and bogus. They believe something much worse.

The Big Lie is the pretext for the refusal to accept the peaceful transfer of power to political opponents who are seen as evil and dangerous.

Forget about the drop boxes, mules, and rigged voting machines; nobody really cares about the votes or the counting of votes. It’s not about that; it’s about winning — or to be more precise, defeating the enemy.

A subtext of right-wing politics now is that the other side simply cannot be allowed to win. They hate America, they hate God, and they will destroy everything you hold dear.

It’s the Flight 93 election forever. It’s January 6… forever.

**

So we get increasingly brazen attempts to rig elections, including the notion that gerrymandered majorities in state legislatures can overturn the popular vote.

And because the stakes are apocalyptic, we are hearing threats of secession and nullification, and seeing polls like this:

More than one quarter of US residents feel so estranged from their government that they feel it might “soon be necessary to take up arms” against it,.
**
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Re: The Big Lie and Why

Post by sgkent » Fri Jul 01, 2022 6:02 pm

The author makes one terrible mistake. The author starts with a conclusion and writes quotes to prove it. This is not the scientific method, or the Constitutional legal method in the USA. First we must gather facts in an unbiased as possible way, then we discuss and cross examine the facts. Even in science, in the 1980's the new laws of chaos showed that we must look outside our comfort zone for facts. Material facts may be so diverse and far away from what we are looking at, that we would not otherwise consider them. Next we must thoroughly cross examine these facts, whether in science, law, or government. In the case of Jan 6, if the Dems were serious they would not have thrown all the GOP members out, including the ranking member because they feared cross-examination. That is if we are after the truth. If we are just trying to spin our side of the argument, and care nothing about the truth, then the author is right on for his position. Remember, the Butterfly Effect is real when one considers the laws of chaos. That said, if you think the solution to the problems today are more socialism, then consider this solution one party has: "Sarcastically, although it pains me, I do see the left’s side of the aisle so we are adopting it. In fact this Halloween I am dressing up as a Bernie Sanders, and the other half as AOC. We are going to take all the candy from the kids and give it to the ones too lazy to get their own. In the meantime I put up a sign at the front door with a lock box. It reads, "All delivery drivers, solicitors, and visitors. please put your wallets, purses, watches, and all other valuables into the lock box. We will redistribute them later after we take our cut. Thank you for your cooperation at making this a more equitable and green country."
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Re: The Big Lie and Why

Post by Amskeptic » Fri Jul 01, 2022 8:00 pm

sgkent wrote:
Fri Jul 01, 2022 6:02 pm
The author makes one terrible mistake. The author starts with a conclusion and writes quotes to prove it.

Are you suggesting that the Big Lie isn't a big lie? Is that his terrible mistake?
Colin
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Re: The Big Lie and Why

Post by sgkent » Sat Jul 02, 2022 9:08 am

I am suggesting that people on both sides of the aisle are building their cases on only one side of the story. Neither side has interest in learning what really happened including the author. There has to be a genuine search for and cross examination of the facts before accepting them to make a conclusion. Otherwise someone is just parroting what they have heard for political gain. That position then is nothing more than an opinion whether one person or a million share it.
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JLT
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Re: The Big Lie and Why

Post by JLT » Sat Jul 02, 2022 11:53 am

Um, as for the statement that "neither side has interest in learning what really happened," you might have noticed that there is a congressional investigation that has been called for the precise purpose of learning what happened. I've even seen it on television, unless that's just another TV series.

True, both sides are building their cases on only one side of the story. One's side story is that there was an illegal attempt at a seizure of power contrary to the accepted practice of electing a President, and that this was abetted by a mob of people who stormed the Capitol for the sole purpose of disrupting that accepted practice, and that various crimes were committed by that mob, up to and including bodily harm to the Capitol police, and that those crimes were premeditated.

The other side's story is... what? That the election was illegitimate, that the people trying to exclude electors had the law on their side, that the actions of a few disruly people were spontaneous and unpremeditated and had nothing to do with the President's speech hours before.

But one side has the evidence, and the other does not. One side has presented testimony, given under oath, of what they saw and heard during that period of time, and the other has given us fabrication upon fabrication without a shred of verifiable evidence. One side has clearly addressed its foundation on due process of law, and the other side believes that the law was irrelevant and that they were above it.

As for presenting your conclusions first, that is exactly the format of a peer-reviewed scientific publication. The writers present their conclusions first, based on the evidence they have collected, in the first paragraphs of the article. Then they present the evidence that supports the conclusions. Otherwise, the reader would not have a clear idea of what the article is about.

Nor is it the "Constitutional legal method." A jury hears the conclusion of the prosecutors first... that's why they are in the jury box in the first place. The police believe that a crime has taken place, and that the defendant might have committed the crime. They collect evidence and see if it supports their hypothesis. They come to a conclusion that it does, and turn the charge and the evidence over to the prosecution. The prosecution concludes that they have a case they can bring to trial. That's the conclusion that the jury hears after they are sworn in. At the trial, the prosecution is obliged to present the evidence it has collected and demonstrate that the evidence supports their conclusion. It's up to the jury to determine whether the evidence truly supports the conclusion and whether the defendant is guilty or innocent of the crime.

Journalism works the same way. The journalist describes what he or she thinks has happened. Then the evidence to support that belief is presented, showing the reader how that belief came to be. If the journalism is good, it's because the evidence is verifiable. If it's bad, the evidence isn't there.

The real questions were: Were crimes committed? If so, by whom? And who knew that these crimes were being committed and failed to report them to the proper authorities? These are all things that can be verified... in the first case, by comparing actions to the legal description of an alleged crime, and in the second and third cases, by witness testimony and an evidence trail of documents, film, and recorded or transcribed telephone calls and emails.

These are not partisan issues. The only time politics intrude is when a crime is ignored because of partisan influence, or when witnesses are intimidated or commit perjury because of partisan influence. As far as I can see, the only witness intimidation is coming from Trump and his allies. And witnesses are now asking to be heard by the commission again to "modify" their testimony in the light of contrary evidence, to avoid being charged with perjury.

At least, that's my take on the situation, for what it's worth.
-- JLT
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Re: The Big Lie and Why

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Jul 12, 2022 9:12 am

JLT wrote:
Sat Jul 02, 2022 11:53 am
True, both sides are building their cases on only one side of the story.
One's side story is that there was an illegal attempt at a seizure of power contrary to the accepted practice of electing a President, and that this was abetted by a mob of people who stormed the Capitol for the sole purpose of disrupting that accepted practice, and that various crimes were committed by that mob, up to and including bodily harm to the Capitol police, and that those crimes were premeditated.

The other side's story is... what? That the election was illegitimate, that the people trying to exclude electors had the law on their side, that the actions of a few disruly people were spontaneous and unpremeditated and had nothing to do with the President's speech hours before.

But one side has the evidence, and the other does not.
Stay tuned. The battle is on. The sides are being defined. The character of the people on each side is coming into focus.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,730 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 217,593 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 142,970 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,600 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 96,675 miles

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