Patterico's Pontifications

1/25/2022

With A Straight Face, GOP Rep. Asks If We’ve Ever Seen A President Attack The Free Press Like Joe Biden Has??

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:32 pm



[guest post by Dana]

I really didn’t have much interest in this non-story, but because it’s turning out to be one of those situations where, amusingly, both sides of the aisle are scrambling to claim the moral high ground, I’m compelled to post about it. Anyway, yesterday President Biden was caught on a hot mic calling a Fox News reporter a “stupid son of a bitch” after Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy shouted a question at the president about inflation (a subject, I think it’s safe to say, that the president would rather not talk about):

President Biden appeared to call Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy a “stupid son of a b—h” after Doocy shouted a question the president found ridiculous.

“Do you think inflation is a political liability ahead of the midterms?” Doocey appeared to ask Monday at the end of a press event.

The president, seemingly not noticing he was still seated in front of a live microphone, looked off camera, repeated the question, then replied sarcastically.

President Biden later phoned Doocy to clear the air:

President Biden reached out to Peter Doocy on Monday night and “cleared the air” after calling the Fox News White House correspondent a “stupid son of a bitch” an hour earlier.

Doocy told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that the president called him on his cellphone and told the reporter, “It’s nothing personal, pal” after the hot mic blunder in the White House East Room.

Asked if Biden issued an apology, Doocy said he doesn’t need one and that the president simply “cleared the air.”

“I appreciated it. We had a nice call,” Doocy said of the communication.

“I don’t need anybody to apologize to me,” Doocy told Hannity. “He can call me whatever he wants as long as it gets him talking.”

I’m not going to post links, but suffice it to say that the right side of the aisle is in a tizzy because the alleged Great Uniter in Chief attacked a reporter who works for a conservative outlet and the left side of the aisle is in a tizzy because they want to know where the right’s outrage was when Trump repeatedly attacked members of the media.

I don’t see how calling a reporter a “son of a bitch” one time compares to Trump’s endless rants and rages against reporters that displeased him. And as far as I know, he never called the targets of his ire to clear the air. But maybe I missed it. So, while lofty pundits from both sides of the aisle are milking this for all it’s worth, I personally think Rep. Jim Banks takes the cake for the most brazen and opportunistic efforts by a politician to use the kerfuffle to increase his popularity with his base, and with Trump:

While it’s no longer startling that a Trump ally and member of Congress would actually say something like this out loud, this is a man who said that he would “never apologize” for objecting to the 2020 election results, so I’m pretty sure he’s not only comfortable tweeting what he did but did so with all the straight-faced seriousness of a true believer and crafty politician.

–Dana

99 Responses to “With A Straight Face, GOP Rep. Asks If We’ve Ever Seen A President Attack The Free Press Like Joe Biden Has??”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (5395f9)

  2. Thank you very much for posting the video, Dana! I had read the story, but not seen the exchange. It was no big deal. Biden was smiling when he called Doocy that.

    nk (1d9030)

  3. I don’t see how calling a reporter a “son of a bitch” one time compares to Trump’s endless rants and rages against reporters that displeased him.

    Because it was a personal attack, regardless of what Joe says, rather than an assault on the news outlet Doocy represented.

    “It’s nothing personal, pal” … except it was completely personal, to both Doocy– and essentially, his mother as well. Wonder how Joe would like it if a voter told him his mother should have had an abortion. ‘Nothing personal, pal…’ Right, Joe?

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  4. The more charitable interpretation of Jim Banks tweet would be that it was tongue in cheek.
    When Trump did his thing, it was always “worst ever in the history of our democracy and our free press”. Doocy gets credit from me for putting on his big boy pants. Biden is a buffoon prone to curmudgeon, Trump is a curmudgeon prone to buffoonery and vice versa. The race to the bottom will continue apace

    steveg (e81d76)

  5. steveg,

    At first I wondered if it were tongue-in-cheek, but the more I read about Banks, his support of Trump, his objection to the election results, and criticisms of Liz Cheney, etc, the less I was inclined to believe that it was tongue-in-cheek.

    Dana (5395f9)

  6. SteveG and Dana: It could be that Rep. Banks’ communications director was Tweeting tongue-in-cheek on the Congressman’s behalf, but he/she didn’t stop to think that his/her boss would never issue something so clever.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  7. Because it was a personal attack, regardless of what Joe says, rather than an assault on the news outlet Doocy represented.

    “It’s nothing personal, pal” … except it was completely personal, to both Doocy– and essentially, his mother as well. Wonder how Joe would like it if a voter told him his mother should have had an abortion. ‘Nothing personal, pal…’ Right, Joe?

    How about we trust Doocy with whether this was a big deal. He said he didn’t need an apology and that Biden could say whatever he wanted as long as it got him talking. It sounds to me like Doocy didn’t take it personally and actually saw a that it could actually help with future interactions with the president. So, if Doocy didn’t take it personally, why should you or anyone or else?

    Dana (5395f9)

  8. JVW,

    If this was the case, one would have to question why said person was working for Banks when clearly they have no idea about him or his politics, and further, why would Banks hire someone for such a critical position ?

    Dana (5395f9)

  9. @7. That’s up to Doocy – especially in a professional capacity- but that doesn’t change the character of the comment[s] by the POTUS nor how Doocy may feel personally within his family/friends. He’s covered Biden for 3 years. And lest we forget, Joe’s called citizens- voters- to their faces ‘lyin’ dog faced pony soldiers’ and crowed about whooping Corn Pop and wanting to take ‘folks’ behind the gymnasium. Hey Joe, your mother wore army boots! “Nothing personal, pal.”

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  10. This priceless clip pretty much puts to bed who the real “stupid-son-of-a-bitch” is:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu11f4ndnv4

    ‘Nothing personal, pal.’

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  11. I don’t recall Bush or Cheney apologizing when they agreed with each other in front of an open mic that Adam Clymer was an a$$hole.

    I don’t recall Trump ever apologizing for any of his countless insults to reporters; the journalists who did challenge him with actual probing questions were the “Enemy of the People”. The irony is that Trump never said anything remotely close to that about Putin, an actual hostile to American interests.

    Biden insulted one reporter and afterward called Doocey directly and apologized. Basically, Doocey won, he got a rise out of the POTUS and had a few rare moments on the high ground, and now the story is over.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  12. . . . and afterward called Doocey directly and apologized.

    Or not.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  13. The point I’m making there is that, as we have already gone over, the President in fact did not apologize to Doocy, or at least Doocy pointedly stopped short of using that word to characterize what the President said to him. Yet it seems that a lot of Biden apologists in the mainstream media are quite happy to use that characterization, inaccurate though it may be. Why, it’s almost as if they are trying to run cover for him, but of course none of us think that the media is capable of such deviousness, do we?

    JVW (ee64e4)

  14. Dana,

    I agree, Doocy honestly didnt care what Biden called him, and with the world trying to catch on fire, this shows our allies and enemies, how unserious the public discourse is. Biden needs to concentrate on his situation that has arisen and distracting him, may not be the smartest thing right now.

    EPWJ (0fbe92)

  15. You can give credit to the President if you wish for having the grace to call Doocy and say, “Hey, this is just the way that the Washington game is played, right pal? You know that’s how it goes.” But let’s not pretend that Joe Biden is some sort of class act who seeks to lift up the level of discourse in Washington, especially after that garbage speech he delivered last week.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  16. Or not.

    It’s what they said on Fox & Friends this AM, which I watched. Papa Doocey was there.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  17. Well, I didn’t say that Biden apologized. I also didn’t compliment him nor hold him up as a paragon of virtue for making a call. He’s no fool: he knew everyone heard/saw him insult Doocy and he went as far as he was willing to go to patch it up. For the sake of his public image. Of course he wasn’t going to apologize.

    None of this changes the fact that both sides are trying to use it to score political points.

    Dana (5395f9)

  18. He’s no fool…

    That’s highly debatable- and it’s quite questionable whether everyone heard him real time anyweay- Doocy certainly didn’t at the time and was only made aware of it afterwards– and the WH feed was cut– only CSPAN picked it up as they record events until officials leave the room.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  19. He’s no fool as in he understands politics and the optics therein.

    Dana (5395f9)

  20. None of this changes the fact that both sides are trying to use it to score political points.

    Some people in the middle are saying “Because Trump was so awful doesn’t mean we should lower the standard for everyone.”

    But it’s the Trumpites — exemplified by Jim Banks — who are being grossly hypocritical, or just plain dishonest. For the past several years they derided anyone who suggested that Trump’s conspicuous lack of manners and decency was actually a demerit. Much of the base hailed his rudeness as a mark of authenticity and pugilistic valor, and many of them took it as license to behave badly themselves.

    But they apply an entirely different standard to people who disagrees with them politically.

    Radegunda (c9718a)

  21. None of this changes the fact that both sides are trying to use it to score political points.

    No- it only reinforces the reality of the emerging pattern that our so called congenial ol’grandpa Joe is increasingly curmudgeonly toward ‘folks’ breaking into his bubble and irritating his universe… and due to be taken behind the gymnasium again himself– the Taliban smacked him around in August… and Vladimir is about ready to do it in February…

    … and Putin smiled.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  22. @15. Bingo. Right on. Nearly 50 years of government experience– around microphones at public events and he still farts up a storm at Buckingham Palace, poops himself for a pope and can’t walk up a flight of stairs. But hey, Joe… nothing personal, pal. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  23. Sigh! Nobody is heartened that Biden still remembered that the opposite of liability is asset?

    nk (1d9030)

  24. Apparently Jim Bank’s Twitter account that he may or may not operate equals “ the right side of the aisle is in a tizzy.”

    What a ridiculous thing to complain about.

    BuDuh (4a7846)

  25. @23. C’mon, man– Joe’s got plenty of lie-ability, nk- it’s the biggest asset in America– other than the one stitched to the butt of the King Kong exhibit at Universal Orlando. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  26. CNN’s Kaitlin Collins tweeted that Bide apologized:

    President Biden called Peter Doocy tonight to apologize for his remark earlier.

    No correction from her as of tonight.

    Dana (5395f9)

  27. I’d think that Biden’s calling Doocy a stupid SOB is close enough to being a nontroversial hot mic moment. Not too dissimilar from Bush 43 and Cheney in 2000 conversing about Adam Clymer of the NYT being a “major league a$$hole”. Given that members of Congress are quoted using the F-bomb and other vulgarities publicly with greater frequency than in years past, Biden’s words are quite comparatively tame. Private expressions of derision by politicians towards media personalities have long been a staple of American politics. There are far more substantive matters where Biden is richly deserving of criticism than a hot mic moment.

    HCI (ed8ecd)

  28. Biden’s remarks weren’t a hot mike. They were said deliberately and with malice because he was being asked a question he didn’t want to answer.

    Period.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  29. Other than Nixon, I don’t think that press hostility was a particular problem for presidents until this century. W, Obama and Trump all felt that some of the press was hostile. Before that, the press was just not their friend.

    Reagan, for example, did not spend a lot of time complaining about the press; when necessary he just went around them to the people. It’s a skill that not every president has. Most are dependent on the press to get their message out and some deal with it better than others.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  30. I don’t recall Trump ever apologizing

    When you spend your first 70 years with everyone groveling, you may not learn how to do it.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  31. Other than Nixon, I don’t think that press hostility was a particular problem for presidents until this century.

    Well, several had issues but certainly not to the point of personally hostility — JFK railed at the Herald Trib and cancelled the sub; LBJ had issues as Vietnam went bad but often used proxies or just tried ‘his treatment’ and got in their faces – but still lost the then’ most trusted man in America’– Cronkite; Nixon’s abuse was well documented publicly from the Tricky Dick days and usually critiqued internally in memos, ripped daily on the tapes and w/making the Enemies List– but his public contempt often surfaced at televised pressers. Athlete Ford was unfairly mocked in the media as a perpetual stumblebum; Carter was often ripped as impotent in the job and the hostage mess opnly reaffirmed the perception; Reagan was unfairly pegged as either a cowboy, a dummy or just feigned helicopter wash as drowning out Sam Donaldson snapping at his heels; WW2 vet Bush was wrongly labelled a wimp; Bubba shifty and ‘incredibly shrinking’… Bush2 as a puppet, dumb as a rock; Obama- effete and tone deaf; Trump a bombastic Barnum… but the angry old man thing w/Joe goes personal more often than not- especially of late as the failures pile up and his own words return to hurt him. The news media he depended on to shield him and carry his message is turning against him before his eyes. Even Pelosi complained about that– and the nearly 82 year old bag says she’s running again. It’s a party of old farts and fools on parade.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  32. @27. It wasn’t a hot mic. It was hot air vented by an angry old man.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  33. @19. He’s no fool as in he understands politics and the optics therein.

    There’s no fool like an old fool— especially one sold as having half a century of experience ‘understanding politics and the optics’ – hair plugs and all– and life around microphones at public events spouting cliched platitudes of insincere BS. ‘C’mon, man, here’s the deal;”Seriously–I mean it.’ ‘No kidding.’ ‘No joke.’ etc., etc.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  34. I think biden is a stupid son of a bitch

    mg (8cbc69)

  35. @29. Remember Harry Truman, Kevin– who publicly using ‘son-of-a-bitch’ would have been considered subtle by Truman standards– ripped a reporter who went after daughter Margaret’s piano playing:

    “Harry Truman to Music Critic Paul Hume:

    “Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!”

    Now that’s how a kickass POTUS slam dunks a reporter, Joe. LOL

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  36. “Biden’s words are quite comparatively tame. Private expressions of derision by politicians towards media personalities have long been a staple of American politics. There are far more substantive matters where Biden is richly deserving of criticism than a hot mic moment.”

    This is the truth. It’s not that language doesn’t matter….I’ve spent 5 years blistering Trump for lowering the quality of discourse….it’s just that Trump has so normalized blunt, public, outrageous insults….that this is almost quaint. Presidents shouldn’t lose their cool and shouldn’t drop down into the food fight, but right now I want the President and journalism focused on things of infinitely more imprtance…..Ukraine, inflation, hopefully wrapping up Covid, and building consensus on controlling debt and spending. We need to be more serious people….and by consistently falling into the unserious pretty much tells you why we can’t do much collectively these days but burp and fart…and think its amusing…..

    AJ_Liberty (3cb02f)

  37. What troubles me more is that another hot mike caught Jen Psaki singing sotto voce

    There is no Politkovskaya solution
    ….

    nk (1d9030)

  38. 1. Biden shouldn’t have called him a “Dumb SOB.” And should have clearly and openly apologized.
    2. The question was dumb. “Is inflation a political problem” is a dumb question. A better question would be “what are you doing to address inflation?”
    3. Biden should have used the opportunity to explain what his plan is, or at a minimum shown the people who care about inflation that he’s aware of the problem and that he cares about it also. His answer plays will to his left flank on twittter but that’s not where he’s losing support and a more adept politician could have found a way to do both. He’s clearly lost a few steps because a younger Biden would have some up with that answer.
    4. The people pretending this isn’t a mistake are hacks.
    5. The people upset about this but who had no problem with the many many insults Trump directed at both individual reporters and the very concept of a free press are also hacks. This one comes last because no one sane is expecting honesty or consistency from Trump supporters at this point,

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  39. #38

    This is the definition of stupid beltway kerfuffle. Just the thing to inspire a little Trumpy shamelessness. It will happen again in much the same way and generate the same stupidity from like minded stupid shameless people.

    Frankly my dear, I don’t give a moderation.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  40. You know what this reminded me of? You probably don’t, so I’ll tell you. This reminded me of the time a reporter asked 43 how he knew he could trust Putin, and he answered: “I looked into his eyes.”

    You cannot use sarcasm on TV news reporters, comrades. They represent the TV news audience: Simple people. People of the land. The common clay of humanity. You know… morons.

    nk (1d9030)

  41. “Do you think inflation is a political liability ahead of the midterms?” Doocey appeared to ask Monday at the end of a press event.

    This was a kind of rhetorical question – it wouldn;t be expected to be answered “No” but the question wasn’t:

    “Do you think inflation is a political liability or an asset?”

    …as Biden seemed to think (and he also did not recognize it as rhetorical, because reporters’ questions are not supposed to be)

    But the question, fully spelled out was:

    “Do you think inflation is a political liability or does it not matter?” (for the midterm elections)

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  42. nk —

    I remember the incident of which you speak, but I never heard that W was trying to be sarcastic. (Interesting, because that was a definite part of his personality profile.)

    Appalled (1a17de)

  43. I don’t subscribe to the idea that reporters is some special class deserving as an entity that should be free from these sorts of outbursts.

    Politics is a “contact sport”.

    If, as a political report, or a politician cannot handle being called an SOB or names, then you’re in the wrong industry.

    It doesn’t faze me when Trump did it…

    Biden calling Doocy an SOB is a nothingburger.

    Doocy knows what he’s doing, and he’s getting his soundbites.

    Not unlike the CNN/MSNBC/ABC reporters getting their soundbites from Trump.

    I think the only difference is that we all knew Trump is a boorish politician. With Biden, there’s this perception that Biden was that “old lovable uncle” and he wouldn’t repeat Trump’s boorish behaviors. Many are finding out that Biden is an old hand as being that boorish jerk in politics.

    whembly (7e0293)

  44. On my part, I always took it for sarcasm, Appalled, because it was such an obviously stupid question. As it got legs as a serious answer, and even John McCain made grist of it (“I looked into Putin’s eyes and I saw the letters K, G, and B”), I imagined other rejoinders from Bush: “Spy satellites!” “We pinky swore!”

    nk (1d9030)

  45. But it’s the Trumpites — exemplified by Jim Banks — who are being grossly hypocritical, or just plain dishonest.

    Let’s review:

    Trump promised to play smash-mouth politics. Trump played smash-mouth politics. Trumpites cheered. neverTrumpites complained.

    Biden promised a return to civility and norms and competence. Biden is a grumpy old man who isn’t very civil and hasn’t returned to norms and isn’t very competent. Trumpites are having some schadenfreude. NeverTrumpites are making excuses for Biden and want to change the subject.

    But they apply an entirely different standard to people who disagrees with them politically.
    Radegunda (c9718a) — 1/25/2022 @ 8:34 pm

    Seems like it’s the neverTrumpites who are being grossly hypocritical, or just plain dishonest and it looks like they really don’t like that being pointed out.

    frosty (f27e97)

  46. No correction from her as of tonight.
    Dana (5395f9) — 1/25/2022 @ 9:47 pm

    as with nina totenberg, waiting for a correction from cnn is probably a ridiculous plan

    as for banks, sounds like it was a troll that worked like a charm

    trump had to deal with a hostile press, as opposed to a flaccid limp one, yet he held regular press conferences and gave as good as he got

    biden has virtually none, and doocy is the only challenge he gets

    so yes, percentage wise, demented joe has a higher attack-on-the-press batting average

    and good on doocy for taking it in stride

    JF (e1156d)

  47. It’s people watching the same screen and seeing two different movies.

    I agree with @45 above, but YMMV.

    The more interesting thing to me is comparing this reporter’s reaction to Jim Acosta.

    The main stream press (especially CNN) sucks.

    DenZel (5a7c58)

  48. I don’t see how calling a reporter a “son of a bitch” one time compares to Trump’s endless rants and rages against reporters that displeased him.

    Because it was a personal attack, regardless of what Joe says, rather than an assault on the news outlet Doocy represented.

    Trump attacked plenty of individual reporters in personal terms, see here.

    Rip Murdock (d93e1f)

  49. The more charitable interpretation of Jim Banks tweet would be that it was tongue in cheek.

    It could be that Rep. Banks’ communications director was Tweeting tongue-in-cheek on the Congressman’s behalf, but he/she didn’t stop to think that his/her boss would never issue something so clever.

    Excuses, excuses. Assumes facts not in evidence.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  50. You do realize, don’t you, that if the 2020 election were held today, Trump would have a landslide victory. One year of Biden makes even Trump look good. I shudder to think what the next rung down will be like.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  51. CNN-Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer plans to retire

    What a fracking shock. Time for a far-left justice 51-50.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  52. Biden has pledged to appoint a black woman. Hmmm. Now, where could he find a black woman lawyer with Democrat cred? Ms Intersectionality Bingo?

    Kevin M (38e250)

  53. What a fracking shock. Time for a far-left justice 51-50.

    Any replacement won’t change the balance of power on the Court.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  54. I think, though, at this point the GOP needs to suck it up as far as any procedural complaints they might have. Even a 51-50 vote will be OK.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  55. Assumes facts not in evidence.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 1/26/2022 @ 9:10 am

    Back the truck up. Is this back to being a thing? Please tell me this is back to being a thing. Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

    frosty (f27e97)

  56. Breyer is a fairly ordinary New Deal liberal. But the Democrats have a giant box of crazy to pick from. I think that Kamala Harris is even odds though. Kick her upstairs to a lifetime of frustration.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  57. Biden has pledged to appoint a black woman. Hmmm. Now, where could he find a black woman lawyer with Democrat cred? Ms Intersectionality Bingo?

    Kevin M (38e250) — 1/26/2022 @ 9:18 am

    But will she be wise? It would be nice if he could find one that is wise.

    frosty (f27e97)

  58. Seems like it’s the neverTrumpites who are being grossly hypocritical,

    When did Trump promise “to play smash-mouth politics”?

    When did Trumpers said “It’s great that Trump plays smash-mouth politics all the time, but no one who disagrees with us should ever say a mean word about anyone on our side, and if they slip up just once, they deserve the wrath of God”?

    Is the new rule: Whoever says he will be rude and amoral (assuming that Trump did any such thing) gets a full pass on being rude and amoral, but anyone who ever acknowledges civility as a higher value gets no mercy?

    Or is it: Because Trump believes he’s a law unto himself and nothing he does can ever be wrong, therefore it’s totally unfair to hold him to the standards that other people are supposed to follow?

    And: Do you believe that Jim Banks was sincere and honest in his rhetorical question implying that no previous president had ever attacked and maligned the free press so grossly as Biden did in his one rude statement about Doocy?

    Why is Banks pretending that Trump never played smash-mouth politics toward the press?

    Radegunda (e99c47)

  59. The more charitable interpretation of Jim Banks tweet would be that it was tongue in cheek.

    Which implies that Banks is fully aware that his guy was far worse in attacking and maligning the free press, and that he must have intended to call attention to that fact with a statement that was deeply ironic if it wasn’t just flagrantly dishonest.

    Radegunda (e99c47)

  60. I think that Kamala Harris is even odds though. Kick her upstairs to a lifetime of frustration.

    I doubt it. More likely Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson (51) of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, Justice Leondra Kruger (45), of the California Supreme Court, or District Court Judge Michelle Childs (55) of South Carolina.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  61. Is this back to being a thing? Please tell me this is back to being a thing.

    For you Frosty, yes it’s back to being a thing. Any insinuation that Banks (R-Insurrectionist) was not serious doesn’t pass the laugh test.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  62. no one sane is expecting honesty or consistency from Trump supporters at this point

    I long ago stopped expecting honesty or consistency from Trump supporters. A certain commenter here has basically valorized inconsistency in service to Trump.

    There are also some big “What if Democrats had done this” questions:
    What if a Democratic president had refused to concede that he lost an election?
    What if he had pressured state officials to swing their results his way?
    What if he had tried to install a lackey as AG when neither the AG nor the subsequent acting AG would go along with his demands to declare the election fraudulent?
    What if he had entertained the idea of having the military seize voting machines and ballots, after firing the SecDef and replacing him with a loyalist as the acting SecDef?
    What if he or his flacks had orchestrated the production of fraudulent slates of electors, as part of a plot to pressure Congress to throw out the votes of entire states and crown him the winner?
    What if he had whipped up rage in his fanatical followers and invited them to come to DC for a “wild” protest on the day of certification, and told them to “fight like hell” or they wouldn’t have a country anymore, and then watched them fight through police lines for three hours and chant “Hang Mike Pence” after he tweeted that the VP lacked the courage to keep him in power, and what if he turned a deaf ear to numerous entreaties to call off his mob — and then finally did so only reluctantly and ambivalently, telling them “We love you, you’re very special”?

    All of this is far worse than anything Biden has done. (There are also many stories from insiders of how Trump had to be walked away from his wacky ideas, and how he undermined his own official policy in order to benefit himself.)

    And what if most of the Democratic Party and liberal thought-leaders were rationalizing and justifying what their guy did? Every Republican and conservative would be howling about the outrageous corruption and dangerous antidemocratic turn of the Democrats. And they would be right to do so.

    It sickens me to see what “conservatives” today are willing to justify because they lined up behind a congenitally dishonest, pathological narcissist for the sake of a few (temporary) policy victories — and now they don’t have the integrity to acknowledge that they chose to lionize an egregiously flawed human being. Or worse: because they admire his amorality more than they care about defending the Republic.

    Radegunda (e99c47)

  63. Two thumbs up, Radegunda. Thanks for taking the time.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  64. The Democratic majority disappears if Harris is added to the Court. She’s not the next justice.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  65. But will she be wise? It would be nice if he could find one that is wise.

    As wise as the Latino. I mean, really, Democrats don’t think right.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  66. The Democratic majority disappears if Harris is added to the Court. She’s not the next justice.

    I’m more worried about the next President. The Democrat majority is toast anyway unless Biden can find that “middle ground” he always pretends to care about.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  67. I doubt it. More likely Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson (51) of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, Justice Leondra Kruger (45), of the California Supreme Court, or District Court Judge Michelle Childs (55) of South Carolina.

    You are probably right, but can’t we have the Senate vote Kamala down first? After a lengthy TV grilling.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  68. We talk about taking people a “face value” and then proceed to stamp our own personal value onto it.
    Dana made a good argument that this was straight faced and I agree it was delivered straight faced, but after that we sorta parted ways because in spite of all the reasons Dana described, I don’t know if this was done as turn about or really what was going on in this Rep’s head. Certainly didn’t seem to be worth a post, but here we are.

    I was watching Ozark the other day and the money launderer and a cartel lawyer were talking.
    She told him: You move money around for a living, I move words.
    We can all be hanged by how our words are framed. For example, Patrick seem to be very good at this. (I do not mean framed in the pejorative), I think he’s very good at his job and in context of his principles, his precision of language and his ability to provide context for his statements it is unusually easy to see precisely where he stands and how he got there (Patrick if you read this post, there are a few compliments in there somewhere. Pretend its wordle and fit it together).
    I’m imprecise. I may make a precise statement but not provide my own context and leave it to the reader or the listener to fill in their own “educated” guess.
    As much as that is on me for being too loose, I still bristle when people impute. Someone who refuses to do a charitable take on a statement is clearly signalling opposition and maybe even emnity.

    I remember when Hank Johnson talked about Guam capsizing. That was too fun to pass up, but a charitable listen would let me believe he might also have just mixed a bunch of metaphors. I believe the military guy who fielded the statement did a fantastic job of moving on without laughing and one tool to do that would be to be charitable

    steveg (e81d76)

  69. 40. nk (1d9030) — 1/26/2022 @ 7:41 am

    …This reminded me of the time a reporter asked 43 how he knew he could trust Putin, and he answered: “I looked into his eyes.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/bush-saw-putins-soul-obama-wants-to-appeal-to-his-brain/2015/12/01/264f0c7c-984b-11e5-8917-653b65c809eb_story.html

    In 2001, President George W. Bush famously looked Russian President Vladi­mir Putin in the eye and peered into his soul….

    ….“I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy,” Bush said in remarks he later regretted. “. . . I was able to get a sense of his soul.”

    Didn’t British Prme Minister Margeet Thatcher say the same thing or something similar about Gorbachev?

    https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2015/10/22/when-margaret-thatcher-and-mikhail-gorbachev-changed-the-world-a50435

    I like Mr. Gorbachev. We can do business together,” Thatcher once said.

    This was in 1984 in a BBC interview. She thought that Gorbachev believed in his system, but wanted to avoid war.

    https://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/105592

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  70. Biden wouldn’t last 5 minutes through Britain’s Prime Minister’s Question Time.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  71. Thanks, Paul.
    I’ve not been weighing in on the faults of the Bidem admin. because I expect Dems to do things I don’t like. But I want the R’s to be better, and currently they are not, all things considered.

    Trump’s behavior surrounding the election is much worse than bad policy, and it’s been hugely disappointing to see people I once regarded as principled thinkers making excuses for him and trying to argue that the “deep state” is the real evil force at work.

    Trump has accelerated some trends that were already at work on the right: A distrust of the mass media, aside from explicitly conservative outlets; a distrust of “government,” especially the civil service, or any politicians aside from a chosen few heroes; and a distrust of expertise.

    It’s good to take a skeptical view of any media reports if they can’t be corroborated (e.g. the allegations about Gorsuch and masking), and to understand that people in government can be self-serving and dishonest; and to realize that experts can get things wrong. But it’s not reasonable to believe that the MSM always lie, or that the bureaucracy is a huge pit of vipers, or that the experts are always wrong and it’s better to trust the non-expert of one’s choosing.

    Then Trump came along with his extremely self-centered concept of true and false, right and wrong, his “I alone can fix it” arrogance, his claims to know everything better than anyone else, his shallow but ostentatious version of patriotism, and his lack of manners — and millions of people who distrust “the media” and “the government” and “experts” decided that he is the true North Star of patriotic virtue, the one who always “tells it like it is” and always puts “America First.”

    In their view, it follows that whoever does not serve the wishes or stroke the ego of Donald Trump is necessarily on the side of corruption. Any obscure civil servant or any politician who takes a stand for the rule of law of for the constitutional limits on presidential power is cast as a treacherous agent of the “deep state” bent on destroying the “duly elected president” for petty reasons of “style” or out of hatred of the “real America” or some such.

    I wonder if Trump corrupted people’s judgment — or just gave permission to some darkness in their souls.

    Radegunda (e99c47)

  72. We move heavy things around for a living. Under 75# is done at some point by hand. Yesterday we planted a 9000# tree with a crane done by 9AM, but we had to muscle it straight, spin it to get the best angle to the window and we did it in both Spanish and English. There are constant small misunderstandings that could hurt someone, you are in a crowded hole with 9000# swinging around on chains and slings making sure 5 sets of fingers, toes stay intact. All of those misunderstandings, imprecisions are dealt with charitably and constructively.
    Its a habit I have on the job.

    In politcs and on these blog topics I’m a diffent person. Its hard to be charitable towards Joe and Kamala because I’m so invested in my belief that they are going to ruin the next 8+ years in this country. I can believe that, but be charitable that they are not intending to ruin the next 8 years, they are not intending to set Europe of fire. Just knuckleheaded, not evil, I’m trying to get unstuck on evil.

    steveg (e81d76)

  73. I’m more worried about the next President. The Democrat majority is toast anyway unless Biden can find that “middle ground” he always pretends to care about.

    Me too. Biden has lived down to my expectations, and then some. But there are reasons why a goodly number of people who worked in the Trump administration and saw up close how he thinks and operates are deeply worried about the prospect of another Trump presidency.

    His post-election behavior should absolutely disqualify him from ever holding office again. It’s shocking that so many R’s – including supposed thought-leaders — want him to be president again, instead of building up someone who will promote policies they like but without the amorality and vengefulness and disregard for any rules beyond self-interest.

    Radegunda (e99c47)

  74. Radegunda,

    maybe you focus on the former president too much.

    You wrote a post starting with “I’ve not been weighing in on the faults of the Bidem admin. because I expect them to do things I don’t like”

    That’s a topic sentence.

    Then you follow up with another anti-Trump rant. What was the point of the topic sentence when it had nothing to do with your never ending topic… how much you hate Trump.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  75. When did Trump promise “to play smash-mouth politics”?

    This seemed obvious to me from the beginning. Or is this the gag were you’re wanting me to look up a quote where he literally said smash-mouth politics because you put it in quotes?

    When did Trumpers said “It’s great that Trump plays smash-mouth politics all the time, but no one who disagrees with us should ever say a mean word about anyone on our side, and if they slip up just once, they deserve the wrath of God”?

    This doesn’t seem like a common sentiment from Trumpers so I’ll go with never. I’m pretty sure Trumpers expect nothing but “mean word(s)”. The crowd demanding civility and norms from them has not set a good example.

    Is the new rule: Whoever says he will be rude and amoral (assuming that Trump did any such thing) gets a full pass on being rude and amoral, but anyone who ever acknowledges civility as a higher value gets no mercy?

    The old rule was that it’s ridiculous to accuse someone of being a hypocrite for doing something they never promised not to do especially when they gave you every indication they were in fact going to do it. The other old rule was that people who claimed to value a thing should be criticized when they broke their own rules.

    So, yes, if someone says they’re willing to be rude it’s fair to criticize them for that but it’s ridiculous to then call them a hypocrite when they are rude. And, yes, that same rude person gets to criticize someone who does say they will reject rudeness and all it’s vices and then fully embraces them.

    Or is it: Because Trump believes he’s a law unto himself and nothing he does can ever be wrong, therefore it’s totally unfair to hold him to the standards that other people are supposed to follow?

    I’ve noticed this is imaginary creation that inhibits the minds of a few neverTrumpists. They will make an over the top or hyperbolic accusation, sometimes they will simply lie, and if anyone pushes back this line comes out.

    And: Do you believe that Jim Banks was sincere and honest in his rhetorical question implying that no previous president had ever attacked and maligned the free press so grossly as Biden did in his one rude statement about Doocy?

    Why is Banks pretending that Trump never played smash-mouth politics toward the press?
    Radegunda (e99c47) — 1/26/2022 @ 9:32 am

    I have no idea who Banks is, I’ve no interest in defending him, and I’m not even interested enough to do a google search on him. He was used as a totem for the “right side of the aisle [being] in a tizzy”. My comment referencing Trumpites was in the same context.

    frosty (f27e97)

  76. Biden wouldn’t last 5 minutes through Britain’s Prime Minister’s Question Time.

    He would outlast Harris, however.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  77. Me too. Biden has lived down to my expectations, and then some. But there are reasons why a goodly number of people who worked in the Trump administration and saw up close how he thinks and operates are deeply worried about the prospect of another Trump presidency

    So am I. Biden v Trump, Harris v Trump, AOC v Trump all have me thinking about stocking up the MREs. There’s a common factor in those matchups that could change. I would very much like to see an open GOP nomination process that did not include Donald Trump.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  78. Can any serious person claim with “a straight face” press coverage for Biden and Trump was equivalent? Biden asks his Big Tech supporters to ban internet sites that criticize him. And they do if they can.

    FWIW I want Trump to shut up and go away.

    DN (3966d9)

  79. It’s shocking that so many R’s – including supposed thought-leaders — want him to be president again, instead of building up someone who will promote policies they like but without the amorality and vengefulness and disregard for any rules beyond self-interest.

    I think you judge them too harshly. They don’t want him to be president again, but they are resigned to it. Unlike us, with our day jobs and other professions, politicians live in a much smaller ecosystem, and right now Trump is in charge of their food. The day he isn’t, they will kick him to the curb. Some tried after 1/6 and found that Trump was still in charge of their food.

    Several things can happen.

    * Trump could die, have a stroke, a psychotic break, or otherwise be physically unfit.
    * Trump could be in jail, or fighting for his freedom/money in the courts.
    * Trump could badly lose an early primary to someone else (DeSantis?) and be written off.
    * Several people in the party could find their balls and run.

    I think that some potential contenders are concerned that running against Trump will doom them going forward, but it may also be that NOT opposing him now will be what hurts. Trump’s legions may dissipate, but #neverTrump will hold reunions.

    Kevin M (38e250)

  80. Why worry; if you’d backed Trump you’d only have 3 years left of the show now and another SCOTUS nom in your pocket. Instead, you’re stuck w/t current stupid SOB, unless he croaks- and a very good chance of a Trump Redux when he wins for a fresh four years.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  81. @80. Lest you forget, Joe’s the SOB who has a history of brain surgeries. Expect him to leave the stage first.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  82. Sometimes your comments have kernels of truth that I’m not sure you intend.

    And what if most of the Democratic Party and liberal thought-leaders were rationalizing and justifying what their guy did?

    They’ve been trying to for a year but it’s getting difficult even for them.

    Every Republican and conservative would be howling about the outrageous corruption and dangerous antidemocratic turn of the Democrats. And they would be right to do so.

    Biden is doing more of the authoritarian constitution ignoring things that his supporters imagined Trump was doing. To the degree that R’s and conservatives (whatever this now means) howl about corruption and whatnot they are howling. So are independents. Have you seen the latest polling numbers?

    It sickens me to see what “conservatives” today are willing to justify because they lined up behind a congenitally dishonest, pathological narcissist for the sake of a few (temporary) policy victories — and now they don’t have the integrity to acknowledge that they chose to lionize an egregiously flawed human being. Or worse: because they admire his amorality more than they care about defending the Republic.
    Radegunda (e99c47) — 1/26/2022 @ 10:08 am

    It’s pretty sickening what neverTrump is willng to justify because they lined up behind a congenitally dishonest, pathological narcissist for the sake of some mean tweets. Now they don’t have the integrity to acknowledge that they chose to lionize an egregiously flawed human being. Or worse: because they admire his turn to the left and the bait and switch and the sticking it to Trumpers more than they care about defending the Republic.

    frosty (f27e97)

  83. @83. Well said. During the 2020 race the Never Trumpers fawned over Biden.

    DN (3966d9)

  84. #77

    KevinM #77 re: your observation

    That was funny but true.

    I know this is considered harsh and out of bounds by some, but Biden is a dementia patient, somewhere between stages 1-7. The WH doctors would be remiss if he was not, and it is a correctly a State secret as to what stage he is really in and how they are drugging him up and getting him through his bad days.
    Yet Biden would still be better at “Prime Minister Question/harangue Time than Harris.

    steveg (e81d76)

  85. You wrote a post starting with “I’ve not been weighing in on the faults of the Bidem admin. because I expect them to do things I don’t like”

    That’s a topic sentence.

    Then you follow up with another anti-Trump rant.

    Strange that you overlooked what immediately follwed my so-called “topic sentence” (which I did not conceive as such): “But I want the R’s to be better, and currently they are not, all things considered.”
    There is no logical ground to read that whole line as requiring some followup on the faults of the Biden administration.

    I want a better alternative to Biden in 2024. Right now, odds are that the R. candidate will be the person who tried to overturn an election he lost — and who is currently trying to get people in place to hand him an election he loses next time around.

    That is a chilling thought to anyone who cares about our constitutional system. Anyone who wants Trump to be president against probably doesn’t care much about our constitutional system.

    It also isn’t much better to see the presidency going to anyone who tried to outdo everyone else in demonstrating fealty to Trump and making excuses for his dishonesty and probable criminality. It’s depressing how thoroughly Trump has corrupted the side that I had always aligned with — which is why I comment on Trump and his cult.

    But again, I have to wonder: Why does it upset you so much that I do not like or respect Donald Trump?

    Radegunda (e99c47)

  86. When did Trump promise “to play smash-mouth politics”?

    This seemed obvious to me from the beginning.

    Again, when did he PROMISE to “play smash-mouth politics”? As distinct from saying he wouldn’t be “politically correct”? Or did saying he wouldn’t be PC give him a moral license to trample on all standards of basic decency — and make it unfair for anyone to criticize him for crudeness and cruelty?

    And where does it say that if a politician gives himself license to trample on all norms and standards, therefore no one else should criticize him for doing so — but it’s still fair to come down heavy on any politician who acknowledges norms and standards but doesn’t adhere to them perfectly?

    That’s basically building your moral code on an explicit double standard: Someone who openly scorns standards should be exempt from judgment, whereas everyone else should be expected to adhere to standards — or at least everyone who disagrees with your politics.

    Trump doesn’t even object to standards in principle. He is quick to accuse other people of being “nasty” or “dishonest” or “crooked” or “horrible people,” or of being “losers.” Or fat. But his pathological narcissism makes him unwilling or unable to admit the possibility that anything he does to benefit himself and boost his ego and cut down rivals could ever be morally wrong.

    What”s truly bizarre is how many people are so determined to endorse and prop up Trump’s self-centered understanding of good and bad, and echo his own double standard — his belief that he should not be judged in the way that other mortals are.

    When you commit to defending Trump at all costs, you have to be morally inconsistent and hypocritical — unless you’re willing to give everyone else the same indulgence. Which no Trumpers are.

    Radegunda (e99c47)

  87. Trumpers will never live down their failure to reelect Trump, but they will look for consolation everywhere they can, and blame everybody but themselves.

    nk (1d9030)

  88. I could say the same for defending anyone at all costs, even myself.
    I’ve done things, said things that are and were indefensible.
    All I can do is apologize, try to make it right, and maybe move on with it unresolved to everyones satisfaction. Or I can do the 2022 media model and just power forward. Thats how is current standard of conduct these days. Power forward

    steveg (e81d76)

  89. OT:

    NASA Pays Tribute to Fallen Heroes with Day of Remembrance

    NASA will honor members of the NASA family who lost their lives while furthering the cause of exploration and discovery, including the crews of Apollo 1 and space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, during the agency’s annual Day of Remembrance Thursday, Jan. 27. This year’s NASA Day of Remembrance also marks 55 years since the Apollo 1 tragedy.

    https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-pays-tribute-to-fallen-heroes-with-day-of-remembrance-0

    Vividly recall the pain and tears of 1/27/67 and 1/28/86- as if only last year.

    Ad Astra.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  90. This doesn’t seem like a common sentiment from Trumpers

    The post started with Trumpers purporting to be outraged that Biden made one mean comment about a journalist. And they were all in a flutter about a hard-hitting and divisive speech made a year into his presidency — as if Trump hadn’t made divisive and intemperate pronouncements on practically a daily basis.

    I also recall many times when Trumpers purported to be morally offended that Biden said things that were untrue — as if Trump didn’t do it thousands of times.

    So, yes, if someone says they’re willing to be rude it’s fair to criticize them for that but it’s ridiculous to then call them a hypocrite when they are rude.

    The point isn’t whether Trump is a hypocrite. It’s about the hypocrisy of all the people who now pretend to be concerned about decency and honesty after routinely defending Trump’s rudeness and dishonesty.

    But Trump too is a hypocrite whenever he calls someone else “nasty” or “dishonest” or “crooked”– unless he simply lacks the moral awareness to realize that he is all of those things.

    They will make an over the top or hyperbolic accusation, sometimes they will simply lie,

    Ah, once again accusing me of dishonesty. But it’s pretty rich — or rather, hypocritical — for a Trump defender to sniff about hyperbolic accusations or lying, given that Trumpers are not offended when Trump does either of those things.

    There’s also nothing hyperbolic about saying that Trump believes that “nothing he does can ever be wrong,” since he has actually said that he has never done anything that requires forgiveness. He recently claimed that his call trying to pressure Raffensperger to “find” 11,780 more votes for him was “even more perfect” than his call trying to extort a personal favor from Ukraine as a condition of fulfilling our official policy.

    On the very rare occasions when he acknowledges any error, it is only when he thinks his action did not benefit himself sufficiently.

    He was used as a totem for the “right side of the aisle [being] in a tizzy”.

    Banks was used as a particularly striking example of the Trumpist hypocrisy about standards of civility, but he is far from the only Trumper who now pretends to care about standards that were supposedly irrelevant when it came to assessing Trump.

    Radegunda (e99c47)

  91. #87 Radegunda – You may be happy, or at least less unhappy, to know that, as I write, British bettors give Trump just a 35.6% of winning the Republican nomination. (Plus, a 3.1 percent chance of his two kids winning it.)

    So, the odds are actually against him — though not nearly enough for my tastes.

    (This far out, I prefer betting markets to polls, as predictors. Click on “Track Record”, if you want to see some evidence. There’s much more in this Wkipedia article.)

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  92. Radegunda (e99c47) — 1/26/2022 @ 6:20 pm

    I answered these questions.

    The post started with Trumpers purporting to be outraged that Biden made one mean comment about a journalist

    That the post purports this is correct and it supplies one example. No one at Fox seems in a tizzy. They’ve been making fun of it. If this is what Trumpers are doing then it’s just more evidence that I’m not a Trumper. I’m not outraged by this at all. I’m not even surprised. I think the entire thing is much ado about nothing.

    It’s about the hypocrisy of all the people who now pretend to be concerned about decency and honesty after routinely defending Trump’s rudeness and dishonesty.

    It’s clear that you want it to be about that. Good luck. The people you’re talking about have been accused of worse and you’re not in the best position to convincingly make this case. But it’s a good attempt at distracting from the actual hypocrisy.

    once again accusing me of dishonesty

    Well not exactly but I’m getting the impression that details like this aren’t important to you.

    But it’s pretty rich — or rather, hypocritical — for a Trump defender to sniff about hyperbolic accusations or lying

    Since I’m not “defending” Trump I think you’ve identified the wrong hypocrite.

    example of the Trumpist hypocrisy about standards of civility

    Radegunda (e99c47) — 1/26/2022 @ 6:48 pm

    This cycle of accusing the other side of doing what you’re doing is one of the fascinating things about nevertrump.

    frosty (f27e97)

  93. * Trump could die, have a stroke, a psychotic break, or otherwise be physically unfit.

    * Trump could be in jail, or fighting for his freedom/money in the courts.

    * Trump could badly lose an early primary to someone else (DeSantis?) and be written off.

    * Several people in the party could find their balls and run.

    E) All of the above 😆

    norcal (d4ed1d)

  94. Trumps is already de

    nk (1d9030)

  95. Sorry. Never mind!

    nk (1d9030)

  96. every village has an idiot jim banks is one of many vying for that title in congress.

    asset (b0a07f)

  97. I cosign everything Radegunda said. She may have understated a few points, but let’s not nitpick.

    lurker (59504c)

  98. Again, well said, Radegunda.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)


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