Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Cue the Moral Outrage

It’s a rhetorical strategy like another. Call it the “cue the outrage” strategy. You will see it at work week after week, especially from the people who whine about facts and reason.

The pattern should be familiar by now. President Trump says something that it dubious or false or both. Before you know it, the Obamaphile outrage machine is up and running. Its members, many of whom worked for the previous president, are out there fulminating about Trump’s stupidity, his ignorance, his incompetence, his worthlessness, his lack of patriotism, his defamation of his predecessors.

Before you know it the nation is consumed in a grand discussion about how bad Trump really is, what a horrible mistake he made, how he is unfit for office, how he should immediately be impeached or removed, how he is making Hitler look good.

Case in point: at a press conference on Monday when asked whether he had called the families of the victims of the terrorist attack in Niger, Trump said that he was writing letters, and that, besides, previous presidents did not call all of the families of deceased service members. It is not exactly a pure falsehood, but it is certainly an exaggeration. In truth, George W. Bush called the families of many fallen servicemen, as did Barack Obama. Apparently, Obama did not call Gen. John Kelly, currently the White House chief of staff when his son was killed in action.

Since Trump has a habit of playing fast and loose with the truth the press corps and his political enemies were at the ready to pounce on the misstatement. One day he might learn not to shoot his mouth off without having been thoroughly briefed, but that day seems not to be dawning, just yet.

Cue the outrage. From the Washington Post:

Near midnight Monday, former U.S. attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr., who in 2009 accompanied Obama to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to witness the return of 18 Americans killed in Afghanistan, tweeted for Trump to “stop the damn lying.” He added, “I went to Dover AFB with 44 and saw him comfort the families of both the fallen military & DEA.”

And, of course, Ben Rhodes, Obama’s foreign policy consigliere chimed in:

Ben Rhodes, who served as Obama’s deputy national security adviser, called the statement “an outrageous and disrespectful lie even by Trump standards.”

Rhodes was instrumental in the foreign policy debacles of the Obama administration, leading up to the brilliant deal that gave Iran legitimate access to nuclear weapons and enough cash to fund all the terrorism they want. Good to hear from Ben on Trump’s language.

Also writing in the Washington Post David van Drehle declared that Trump had shown himself to be unpatriotic. Keep in mind, refusing to stand for the National Anthem or to pledge allegiance to the flag are now patriotic actions. Don't believe me... ask that great patriot Hillary Clinton.

Anyway, something else happened Monday that showed the true patriotism and sound judgement of a great commander in chief. You remember the time when Barack Obama was commander in chief. You remember when he snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory in Iraq? You remember when he opened the floodgates to ISIS, in both Iraq and Syria. You remember when he walked away from his red line in Syria, contributing to a bloodbath of mammoth proportions, coupled with a refugee crisis that is overwhelming Europe.

I am sure you remember those examples of a truly competent, truly patriotic commander in chief. Clearly, it all pales in comparison with the unmitigated horror that we must assign to a misstatement by Donald Trump. If, perchance you can flood the news cycle with your statements of outrage on the day that American forces, not led by the pusillanimous Barack Obama, liberated the ISIS capital of Raqqa, then no one will notice that you are basically using your moral outrage as a tool to distort the news coverage of important events.

Better yet, your gales of the insincere outrage have also served to cover up another story, a story that also occurred on Monday. If you are reasonably sentient you know it well. On that day Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty to the charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy during the war in Afghanistan. You remember Bowe Bergdahl. You remember when Barack Obama held a welcome home ceremony with his parents at the White House. You recall when Obama declared Bergdahl to be a great patriot, a great soldier, a man who fought for his country. You remember all the lies, lie after lie after lie, that Obama used to justify his having made a deal… and traded a deserter for five Taliban commanders. How patriotic can you get?

Marta Hernandez wrote on the Victory Girls blog:

 In an interview aired by Good Morning America today, Bergdahl sniveled that it was “insulting” that he’s being portrayed as a traitor. You got that, boys and girls? The traitorous little prick is offended that after walking away from his duty station, hooking up with the enemy, causing the deaths of and grave injuries to several fellow service members, and finally being exchanged for five terrorist Taliban scum, who are running around, no doubt planning more attacks on Americans, poor little Bowe is offended at the “traitor” moniker!

She continues:

Eyewitness accounts recount Bergdahl had at some point decided he was going to be a warrior for Islam, whose captors even allowed him to carry a gun at times. Emails he sent to his parents prior to his desertion say he was ashamed to be an American. If this is true, punishment for misbehavior before the enemy should be the least of the charges against him! I vote wood chipper. Feet first.

Additionally he admitted to a fellow troop that if the deployment wasn’t badass enough for his standards, he would just walk, and that’s exactly what he did, resulting in years of rescue efforts, American casualties, and the release of five high-value Taliban prisoners in exchange for his worthless ass. This wasn’t about trying to draw attention to leadership failures. This wasn’t about a gnawing conscience about his mission in Afghanistan. This was about a narcissistic dick weasel, who was rejected by the French Foreign Legion, probably because his ego was writing checks his body couldn’t cash.

As for Obama’s gushing praise of the deserter, Scott Johnson recalls it on the Powerline blog:

National Security Adviser Susan Rice was President Obama’s designated liar. Her shamelessness must have been her foremost qualification for the high office she disgraced.

Obama sent her out to the Sunday gabfests to have her declare that Bergdahl had served “with honor and distinction.” And that’s not all. “Sergeant Bergdahl wasn’t simply a hostage,” she asserted, “he was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield.” And further: “We have a sacred obligation that we have upheld since the founding of our republic to do our utmost to bring back our men and women who are taken in battle, and we did that in this instance.” 

Johnson continued:

Obama’s statement foregoes outright lies in favor of falsehood by implication. In retrospect, we can see the calculated duplicity in it.

We have Obama’s fake bonhomie with the Bergdahls. We have the portrayal of Bergdahl as a heroic prisoner of war. Unlike Susan Rice, Obama omitted any assertion fact regarding Bergdahl’s capture. The heroic portrayal is implied in the depiction of Bergdahl’s deprivations. We have Obama’s negotiation with terrorists and exchange of a deserter for five-high ranking Taliban terrorists as a triumph of martial valor, fidelity to military tradition and brilliant diplomacy, all in the service of American ideals.

When undermining the United States, Obama frequently resorted to the refrain: “That’s who we are as Americans.” He didn’t give us the facts. He didn’t give us an argument to support what he had done. He gave us his refrain. Don’t play it again, Barry.

The Taliban treated Bergdahl as a high-value hostage. Obama accorded Bergdahl a similarly high value as a pawn to be used in his project of closing Guantanamo and getting out of Afghanistan. Here are brief profiles of the five Taliban butchers Obama offloaded for Bergdahl.

In today’s New York Post Paul Sperry revisits the deal. Sperry reports: “The Pentagon itself refused to list Bergdahl as a POW. That’s because an internal 2009 Army report found he had a history of walking off his post and more than likely deserted. It also found he shipped his laptop back home to Idaho, and left a note expressing his disillusionment with the war, before ending up in the arms of the Taliban.”

So, we have fervent moral outrage over Donald Trump’s misstatement. But, with a few exceptions, we hear no outrage over the lies that Obama told, openly and shamefacedly, about Bowe Bergdahl. After all, Obama knew that the media would never hold him to account for any of his lies, so he was free to say whatever he wanted. Sending five Taliban commanders back to the battlefield where they could fight against and kill American and Afghani forces… not a problem. Certainly not unpatriotic. If you say that it was an appallingly bad decision... then the thought police will descend on you like a band of locusts.

It is fairly obvious that we are living in the era of the big lie and where lies cannot be challenged when they are told by Democrats. We are living in a time when emotion has drowned out reason. 


trigger warning said...

Pity Trump doesn't have more class. He should buy a selfie stick. Or hit on a female Prime Minister at a memorial service. Or interview with high profile YouTube journalists like GloZell, the bathtub Fruit Loops queen. Then he'd be more popular in all 57 states, not just the Deplorable, Bible-clutching, Xenophobic, Opiate-Sucking, Gun Nut Flyover hinterlands.

Sam L. said...

This is why many of us refer to the MSM as "the enemedia", and keep saying, "This is how you get more Trump."

Ares Olympus said...

In the very least, the MSM obsession with calling out every little neural-misfire in Trump's Solipsistic mental world just strengthens the attraction of the Right to "Alternative media" and all the associated fake news that help get Trump in front for the GOP primary and elected in the first place.

Stuart: It is fairly obvious that we are living in the era of the big lie and where lies cannot be challenged when they are told by Democrats. We are living in a time when emotion has drowned out reason.

But we shouldn't forget that the republican party itself seems to be in full rebellion against itself, like Bannon encouraging Republican primary challenges.

And Republican Senator Corker, who announced he's planning on retiring now has the freedom to speak against Trump.

And GOP Senator, with terminal cancer, John McCain also seems to be looking to strengthening his legacy by speaking against Trumpism that he sees as destroying his party.
"To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain 'the last best hope of earth' for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history."

Anonymous said...

Re: McCain speaks againt destruction of his party...

It's not "his" party.

Sam L. said...

I see the GOP destroying itself in front of those who want to vote for it. (e.g., the Tea Partiers.)

James said...

"It is fairly obvious that we are living in the era of the big lie and where lies cannot be challenged when they are told by Democrats. We are living in a time when emotion has drowned out reason."
This is correct. It is also correct that reality is coming and reality does not care. There will come a time that all of this foolishness will be washed away into a era possible similar to the early 1300's or the fall of Rome circa early 400's.
There is a segment of the world's population (mostly in the West)that believes that the state of affairs in the world will always be better tomorrow and thus anything they do for (in their minds) it's improvement (right or wrong) will be ok . There is no guarantee that tomorrow will be better. There is no guarantee anyone's efforts will have the desired effect, we can only try.