Greetings from Earth Two!
The Republican Party has gradually divorced itself from the real world and taken a not insignificant amount of the population with it. There will be no witnesses or evidence in the Senate Trial of Donald Trump because on Earth Two, we don’t need no stinking witness.
With the Senate impeachment trial in its second week the sight of Ken Starr decrying the politicization of the impeachment process is hilariously terrifying. Starr is the guy who worked to impeach a president who lied about being a sexist pig, but now defends a sexist pig who was elected president because he is a xenophobic, racist and sexist pig.
Alan Dershowitz declared anything done by the president is okay if It was done for . . . oh, bullshit.
Pat Cippolone is straight up LYING and Pam Bondi is still pushing a conspiracy theory about the Bidens and Burisma that is pure fantasy. Everyone in the whole world (including former Vice President Joe Biden) thought Viktor Shokin was corrupt because he wouldn’t investigate Burisma, so the situation is exactly the opposite of what the president and his lawyers are saying because they are speaking to folks who live on a different planet.
In the realm of DC Comics, there are multiple universes with their own version of Earth. These alternative Earths were usually so vastly different that no one would confuse our Earth, that is, Earth One or Earth Prime. However, the existence of an Earth Two was established and we should wonder how the Republican Party and its supporters wound up living on Earth Two.
This moment has been coming since way before the days the GOP straight up lied the nation into war. This has been a consistent and extremely successful longterm strategy as deliberate as it is insidious. It is, in effect, a Jedi Mind Trick on a massive scale. However we have now arrived at the space and time where the conservative bending of reality has crashed full on into the real-time reality where they are beholden to . . . Donald Trump?
Some of the roots of this tree of crazy can be traced back to the Southern Strategy the GOP employed in the wake of their 1964 national ass-kicking when Barry Goldwater was their presidential nominee.
With the racial upheavals of the mid 1960s (black people demanding more of the societal benefits that most white people take for granted), Republicans capitalized on the backlash of racial resentment that accompanies every advance made by people of color.
Shortly after Ronald Reagan’s 1981 inauguration, one of his key campaign aides, Lee Atwater, explained how Republicans win the votes of racists without sounding racist themselves:
“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘nigger, nigger, nigger.’ By 1968 you can’t say ‘nigger’ — that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, ‘forced busing,’ ‘states’ rights’, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites. . . . ‘We want to cut this,’ is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than ‘nigger, nigger.’ ”
Speaking in code — blowing dog whistles — used to be the way conservatives shaped their argument to resonate with supporters by saying words they could not only hear, but also understand the message, and that message was received and accepted across all party and economic lines: ”If they get more I get less.”
September 11 was the inflection point where the message became the full on manipulation of reality through WMD, color-coded threat levels, duct tape and plastic sheeting, etc., etc.
Ron Suskind interviewed a high-level aide in the Bush II Administration:
“The aide said that guys like me [Ron Suskind] were in what we call the ‘reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’ ”
— The New York Times Magazine, October 2004
Yeah, you know that was Karl Rove. One day he and Lee Atwater will share a lava pool in Hell with Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch. Those last two established the FOX media hub that connected the various right wing media silos into a clearing house for distributing that alternate reality.
In 2011, former President George W. Bush’s speechwriter David Frum asserted:
“But the thought leaders on talk radio and Fox do more than shape opinion. Backed by their own wing of the book-publishing industry and supported by think tanks that increasingly function as public-relations agencies, conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics. Outside this alternative reality, the United States is a country dominated by a strong Christian religiosity. Within it, Christians are a persecuted minority. Outside the system, President Obama — whatever his policy errors — is a figure of imposing intellect and dignity. Within the system, he’s a pitiful nothing, unable to speak without a teleprompter, an affirmative-action phony doomed to inevitable defeat. Outside the system, social scientists worry that the U.S. is hardening into one of the most rigid class societies in the Western world, in which the children of the poor have less chance of escape than in France, Germany, or even England. Inside the system, the U.S. remains (to borrow the words of Sen. Marco Rubio) ‘the only place in the world where it doesn’t matter who your parents were or where you came from.’ ”
In the wake of Trump’s election (despite paying off mistresses and bragging about sexual assault) pundits swore he would ‘pivot’ and become presidential once sworn into office. However, on the very first day of his administration, Trump essentially told the world, “I’m going to lie right to your face and so will my minions.”
Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s first official press statement was a lie and a threat:
“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period. . . .
“Yesterday, at a time when our nation and the world was watching the peaceful transition of power . . . some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting.
“There’s been a lot of talk in the media about the responsibility to hold Donald Trump accountable. And I’m here to tell you that it goes two ways. We’re going to hold the press accountable, as well.”
The next day, Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway, defended Spicer in the following exchange with Chuck Todd of “Meet The Press:”
Conway: “You’re saying it’s a falsehood and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that.”
Todd: “Alternative facts are not facts. They are falsehoods.”
Conway: “If we’re going to keep referring to the press secretary in those types of terms I think we’re going to have to rethink our relationship here.”
In a March 2017 press briefing touting the positive numbers detailed in the Bureau of Labor Statistics February 2017 Jobs Report, Spicer responded to questions on the president’s past declarations that employment numbers under President Barack Obama were made up and false. The gathered press laughed along with Spicer as he said:
“I talked to the president prior to this, and he said to quote him very clearly: ‘They may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now.’ “
From then on, it’s been an escalating move to an alternate reality, and as Rove said in 2004, by the time the media catches up, they’ll be on to the next level of bullshit. In the interim, the outright lies by the president have increased, and his defenders have become more brazen and bizarre.
Rudy Giuliani on “Meet the Press” during the Mueller investigation:
Giuliani: “When you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well, that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth,”
Chuck Todd: “Truth is truth.”
Giuliani: “No, no, it isn’t truth. Truth isn’t truth. The president of the United States says, ‘I didn’t . . .’ “
They don’t pretend anymore because they don’t have to. Trump didn’t take over the GOP, they welcomed him with open arms. The Republican Party has condensed itself into the party of aggrieved white people who will bite off their own noses if they thought it would hurt minorities or sacrifice their grandchildren for bigger dividends from the petro-stocks in their investment portfolio.
They claim we live in Marco Rubio’s meritocracy, yet they chose Donald Trump to be their leader, a man whose only true accomplishment in life was being born to rich white parents.
Welcome to Earth Two, where our media is trying to make sense of the deliberate crazy of the conservatives while the GOP has already moved on to the latest bit of crazy . . . Jared Kushner’s Mid East Peace plan.