They say timing is everything. The day after I wrote Coup d’Doh, making fun of all the ham-fisted attempts to overturn the election through wild lies and dozens of asinine court battles, the mob of “very special” insurrectionists breached the Capitol after a raucous Trump rally when he encouraged the crowd to “take back their country.” At least five people were killed. They used American flags to beat down police. They used riot shields and fire extinguishers to smash through windows. They erected some scaffolds on the Capitol lawns and went searching for Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi. They were “loved” by our current president who watched it all on T.V.
In the aftermath, the House voted to impeach Trump a second time. None of this bothered senate Republicans who, once again, acquitted him, letting him get away without repercussions while simultaneously deriding Democrats as “bitterly partisan.” George Orwell is smiling from his grave.
Do and say whatever you want while simultaneously deflecting attention away from your horrible behavior by screaming that someone else is doing exactly what you’re doing. A lie in full view, don’t bother hiding it, just scream the loudest. This is the level of bullshit we’ve come to folks: we’ve arrived at our horrible destination. The post-Trump era is giving a lot of Republicans a lot more room to show off what they’ve learned by grinding what’s left of the country’s tattered democracy into a thick fluid of fascist populism.
This is traditionally the time to start the “a pox on both your houses” argument, where I show that Democrats are equally guilty of the same Orwellian doublespeak. Believe me I tried. But don’t worry: once it’s firmly established that just lying loudly is a vote winner, because voters either don’t care or aren’t really paying attention to anything but volume and repetition, others will pick up the newspeak rhetoric all on their own. It’s a helluva lot easier than having principles you have to defend or an actual position on anything. Why bother?
The most terrifying realization here is that this proclivity was lying dormant here all the time. Bullshit and Orwellian tactics weren’t invented by the former president, and 74 million people from the Republican base didn’t just wake up one day ready to accept a steaming heap of conspicuously obvious lies. They were ready all along.
At this point the question isn’t can we put this B.S. genie back in the bottle. The question is whether it’s worth it.