Both-sidesism

One of the most popular justification techniques, and defenses, of bad behavior is the claim that anyone on the other side of the argument would do exactly the same thing. If I punched you in the face during a heated argument it is only because I had the courage to do what you wished you could have done, if you weren’t a pussy like Mike Pence (president’s words, yo) [1]. You see how beautifully that works? Both sides truly want violence when they are enraged, it’s human nature, so if one side uses it, who on the other side can blame them without being a liar and a hypocrite since you yourself would have used violence, if you weren’t like Mike Pence?

After an angry pro-Trump mob chanting “Hang Mike Pence! Hang Mike Pence!” (speak of the devil) broke into the Capitol building and sacked it last week we actually heard members of one side, arguing against holding the main instigator of the riot responsible, comparing the violent response to the president’s incendiary lie about a stolen election to the angry nationwide protests over police killing of unarmed black people, like the recent senseless murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor (and others since) which were met with justifiable government force and mass arrests (14,000 and counting).

That strained “both sides do the same thing” comparison is absurd, even just in light of the respective actual violence of the two groups. Members of both crowds broke windows, sometimes — true, but the comparison pretty much ends there. In fairness, only one side overran police barricades, assaulted and seriously injured officers (killing one, in another videotaped case beating downed police officers with the poles of American flags while chanting “USA! USA!!”) and smashed up the interior of a public building, violently disrupting the lawful business of the people working there. There are also reports of the MAGA crowd repeatedly calling Capitol Police Officers doing their duty “niggers.” They said the fucking n-word!!!

Also notable in comparing these, eh, “protests” is the five or six hour lag in restoring order during the Capitol riot, while lawmakers were forced to hide from a violent mob, in closed rooms, huddled close together with defiant, mouth-breathing “anti-maskers” [2] and the immediate mobilization of overwhelming police force during the Black Lives protests. In the case of the largely peaceful protests over the unjustifiable police killings of unarmed citizens, the use of government force, batons, horseback maneuvers, tear gas (or ‘non-irritating’ pepper spray, as Barr ridiculously insisted), mass arrests, was often pre-emptive. Think of that phalanx of federal law enforcement, in riot gear, standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial as the Black Lives Matter protesters went by. Think of the instant mass arrests for curfew violations, five minutes after curfew was called. Then think of the president, watching his violent mob live on TV for hours, not taking frantic calls from besieged lawmakers (even from his vice president the pussy), doing nothing whatsoever to stop it [3]. And rioters, strolling unmolested after the curfew in DC was called.

Think back into the dark past, five or six months ago, when Mr. Barr and “Mr.” Trump sent federal anti-riot forces in to break up mostly peaceful protests in what they later deemed “Anarchist jurisdictions”. Federal law enforcement spokespoodles (like the recently departed Chad Wolf –no time like during a national emergency to finally step down) claimed they were enforcing the law against dangerous “violent anarchist” mobs when they deployed anti-riot squads to battle crowds that threatened federal property. These federal anti-riot troops were sent in, usually over the objections of local “anarchist” authorities, pursuant to Mr. Trump’s July 3, 2020 Executive Order on protecting monuments (and federal property) [4] which states, in section 6:

Sec. 6.  Protection of National Garden and Statues Commissioned Pursuant to this Order.  The Attorney General shall apply section 3 of Executive Order 13933 of June 26, 2020 (Protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues and Combating Recent Criminal Violence), with respect to violations of Federal law regarding the National Garden and all statues commissioned pursuant to this order.

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Ah, pursuant to section 3 of Executive Order 13933. Of course. You can google that shit, I don’t need to read (or smell) it at the moment. I remember reading some of it at the time, great fun.

Just one more example of this maddening “both sidesism,” because my anger just won’t resolve into peaceful acceptance at this still perilous moment for us all. If there is a pandemic, let’s say, and my side decides to weaponize health and safety precautions because we think it somehow helps our party maintain political dominance — well, wouldn’t you have done the same if your side had thought of it first? We cleverly become the party of freedom, because we hate all forms of tyranny and lockdown. Your party is the party of tyranny, because you hate freedom and love stupid lockdowns. You close businesses people love, we open businesses people love. You doomsayers are just jealous because we thought of this winning strategy first! YOU WOULD HAVE DONE THE SAME THING WE DID! And, making you even more despicable, you’re too dishonest to admit it.

Sekhnet has been on-line for hours and making phone calls around the clock trying to get an appointment to be vaccinated against COVID-19. She’s having a devil of a time, the websites are all overwhelmed, no appointments available until after June, places giving the shots yesterday are out of vaccine today. We hear that the release of the vaccines has been “botched.” So judgmental. Who botched it? Don’t look at us, cuck!!! It’s the fault of corrupt local authorities, private industry, nothing to do with the federal government that was robbed so openly by tens of millions of traitors!

There is a real cost to convincing citizens that the government is the enemy. The extremism of the president’s party (it’s his party, and he’ll cry if he wants to) is the culmination of a more than sixty year reaction to an “activist” Supreme Court unanimously ruling that racial segregation was not “separate but equal”– that, in fact, segregation imposed an unconstitutional badge of inferiority on American citizens based on their complexion.

The original multi-millionaire racists who organized to fight against the Court’s tyranny, men like Charles Koch’s dad, Fred, and his colleagues in the John Birch Society, framed their jihad for liberty as anti-Communism. Any program initiated to help citizens, or society at large, was part of a massive Communist anti-American conspiracy. Within a decade they’d frame the fight more directly as against “big government”, insisting that private initiative is the best way to deal with any and all problems. Reagan famously quipped about the “scariest nine words” in the English language “We’re from the government and we’re here to help.” Newt Gingrich and presidential medal of freedom recipient Rush Limbaugh and their fellow travelers carried the fight to shrink government so that it could be drowned in a bathtub forward.

Currently that battle, whose shock troops are white supremacists, has been against plainly observable fact, truth itself. Mask wearing during a pandemic is not a sign of social responsibility, not an act of love for our neighbors, it is a sign you hate the president! If you had the election stolen from you, you would also run amok and threaten with death anyone who tried to justify the steal!!

Who is the great enemy of the modern day Republican party? Antifa, which is short for anti-fascist. To be anti-fascist is to be unAmerican in Trump’s America (let’s dig up that antifa murderer Dwight Eisenhower!). We should form a committee in Congress, once Republicans regain control, to investigate and hold public hearings on the unAmerican activities of these opponents of fascism. I nominate Josh Hawley and Lyin’ Ted Cruz to head it, even though they are, technically, senators. They would do no less to us!

[1]

Donald Trump has chosen to spend the waning days of his presidency alternating between feeble efforts to cancel the election and subjecting his vice-president to a series of torments. The New York Times has new details about the latter, which includes Trump making a final demand that Pence attempt an absurd, illegal maneuver to overturn the election results. “You can either go down in history as a patriot,” Trump said, according to two sources, “or you can go down in history as a pussy.”

The sheer stupidity on display in this exchange is worth contemplating. Trump was insisting on a theory that had emerged from far-right fever swamps, according to which the vice-president can unilaterally decertify the electoral votes of any state and for any reason he chooses. The theory implies that the Constitution contains a loophole that gives vice-presidents the ability to negate any election result, but that no previous vice-president has bothered to use this tool.

Trump was further supposing that Pence would submit himself to the humiliation of being smacked down by the Republican-controlled Supreme Court. And he believed, most bizarrely of all, that his best way of winning Pence over to this scheme was to call him a “pussy.”

This is Mike Pence. The extremely religious conservative, who won’t be alone in a room with a woman who isn’t his wife and who was mortified by Trump being caught on tape using the word “pussy.” Try telling him Jesus wants him to do it! It probably won’t work, but the pussy line is definitely not going to work.

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[2]

After the riot, and the confirmed infection of at least three Democratic lawmakers locked down for hours with people refusing to put on the masks they were offered, the Democratic-controlled House leapt into action, immediately passing a strict rule that mandates mask-wearing in the Capitol during the deadly pandemic. Fines imposed under this new rule will be taken directly from the paychecks of those who violate the rule. In this case, I can confidently state that Republicans, in the majority, would have done no less.

Not for nothing, “anti-maskers” turned a terrifying siege by the militant wing of their party into a super-spreader event, as any responsible citizen in their right mind would have done. Clearly.

[3] Donald Trump, Jr. is, undeniably, a moron and a blowhard, though during the riot he helped incite, he showed himself to be smarter than his genius dad:

Around the same time, Trump Jr. headed to the airport for a shuttle flight home to New York. As he waited in an airport lounge to board the plane, the president’s namesake son saw that the rally­goers they had all urged to fight were doing just that, breaching police barricades and laying siege to the Capitol.

An aide called Trump Jr. and suggested he immediately issue a statement urging the rioters to stop. At 2:17 p.m., Trump Jr. hit send on a tweet as he boarded the plane: “This is wrong and not who we are,” he wrote. “Be peaceful and use your 1st Amendment rights, but don’t start acting like the other side. We have a country to save and this doesn’t help anyone.”

But the president himself was busy enjoying the spectacle. Trump watched with interest, buoyed to see that his supporters were fighting so hard on his behalf, one close adviser said.

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but don’t start acting like the other side

lame, yes, but the best he had. At least the little piece of shit stayed on-brand with his sprayed diarrhea, in the course of covering his ass by immediately calling for restraint. When he told the mob they’d have a good time going after traitors, immediately before the riot his dad couldn’t take his eyes off of on TV (“and I’ll be there with you!”), he meant that metaphorically, under the license granted to all great poets and visionaries.

[4] which explains, in the immortal prose of Stephen Miller:

These statues are silent teachers in solid form of stone and metal.  They preserve the memory of our American story and stir in us a spirit of responsibility for the chapters yet unwritten.  These works of art call forth gratitude for the accomplishments and sacrifices of our exceptional fellow citizens who, despite their flaws, placed their virtues, their talents, and their lives in the service of our Nation.  These monuments express our noblest ideals:  respect for our ancestors, love of freedom, and striving for a more perfect union.  They are works of beauty, created as enduring tributes.  In preserving them, we show reverence for our past, we dignify our present, and we inspire those who are to come.  To build a monument is to ratify our shared national project.

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Like the eternal blessed memory of those great men who led the forces of rebellion against the United States, who took up arms to kill their brothers, in the name of States’ Rights to have chattel slavery, if they so choose.

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