The January 6 Commission hearings make it clear that the politics of lying is in a steep descent.
We don’t know how long it will take until the fabulists duping donors for hundreds of millions on the lie that Donald Trump “won” the 2020 Presidential election finally concede that their man lost by more than 7 million votes. This is a fact that has been confirmed nationwide, including by the Michigan Republican Party’s own analysis of the statewide returns.
Like so many failed ad campaigns — whether promoting the health benefits of products ranging from cigarettes and the “antiknock” attributes of poisonous tetraethyl lead in gasoline — the Trump campaign, created on the Obama birther lie, is now foundering. Dozens of courts have ruled against the defeated ex-president’s claim that his “victory” was stolen.
The fact that judges he appointed, including several now on the Supreme Court, have consistently ruled against him in jurisdictions far and wide should be solace to Republicans, Democrats and Independents. We can proceed with confidence that our electoral system remains safely intact.
There has never been a time in the history of our republic when the politics of lying has been in such a steep descent.
Today over 257 million Americans — 78 percent of our population — has received at least one Covid-19 vaccine, in spite of anti-vaxxer's noisy nonsense.
After more than a decade of ignoring the obvious impact of letting 18-year-olds buy semi-automatic weapons, Senate Republicans are working with Democrats to make Red Flag laws easier to implement nationally, along with enhanced background checks for young people who want to buy these weapons.
After more than 30 years of coddling Vladimir Putin’s fascist regime in Russia, the Western business community has abandoned a country propped up by corruption and lies about an imaginary “Nazi” regime run by a Jew in Ukraine. This long-overdue progress puts the trading partners that matter most to Putin’s reign of terror out of his grasp.
The common denominator in all of these disproven lies is the misleading notion that “the truth is out there.” These myths are peddled by cable TV demagogues who would have you believe that they curate the truth when in fact their sole goal is higher ratings and ad sales.
The lynch mob being prosecuted for attempting to hang Mike Pence on January 6, 2021, has failed to advance the false notion that the vice president was a modern day Brutus trying to bring down an American Caesar.
Thanks to great reporting this past week we now know the truth. Pence’s boss had a plan to dispatch the vice president from Congress via a Secret Service vehicle on the night of the January 6 insurrection.
The dream was to hurry Pence off to some “safe haven” like Alaska. His replacement, Senator Chuck Grassley, would hopefully choose to hold up the electoral college confirmation of Joe Biden’s victory. This subterfuge would give the White House time to steal the election by selecting new swing state electors slates favorable to Donald Trump. In other words, the President was attempting to steal the election he falsely claimed had just been stolen from him.
For the same reasons that McCarthyism failed in the 50s, housing segregation collapsed in the 60s and 70s and laws against interracial marriage and gay marriage have been overturned, it is now clear that there is no going back on what matters most to the future of our country — finally making good on our founders' belief that all men, and women are created equal.
Doing so means confronting people in power who believe lying is the best way to achieve power.
Yes, it’s true that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanugh lied when he told Congress in general (and Maine Senator Susan Collins in the privacy of her office) that Roe v. Wade was “settled law.”
We now know that this falsehood was necessary for him to be confirmed for a lifetime appointment. Assuming constitutional reproductive rights are overturned by this court, the nation will come to understand that false promises like Kavanaugh’s threaten the integrity of the highest court in the land.
The fact that Kavanugh appeared to get away with this lie sheds light on the critical issue at the heart of our democracy. Voters now realize that a nominee who insults women like Senator Amy Klobuchar during his confirmation hearing and claims no memory of committing sexual assault when he was drunk is probably not a credible nominee for the Supreme Court. If his nomination were to come up today, I doubt he would be confirmed by swing voters such as Republican Senator Collins.
Both parties have come to understand that this sort of Kavanaugh-style hypocrisy means we can no longer afford to elect leaders who disrespect women and minorities, trash the NATO alliance and the freely elected leaders of Ukraine. These red flags disqualify candidates who see democracy as an inconvenience.
The January 6 hearings, led jointly by Democrats and Republicans, make it clear that those attempting to overthrow our duly elected government on the basis of Presidential lies will be prosecuted for their alleged crimes.
This process benefits both parties because it protects our nation from succumbing to the kinds of false narratives peddled by dictators who make truth their first casualty. Ultimately, untangling this knot of lies promotes our national security.
As for the Supreme Court, it’s clear that any attempt by dishonest justices, such as Brett Kavanaugh, to overturn Roe v. Wade will be met with the kind of resistance that will prove, once and for all, that undermining women’s bodily autonomy is doomed in our democracy.
Roger Rapoport’s new kidnapping-centric novel My Search For Sarah Price will be published early next year by Lexographic Press. Visit rogerrapoport.com/calendar for upcoming events.