If you’re going to lie down with lions, you should expect to be eaten.
That’s a saying, right? Not just something I made up for the moment? Although if I did, feel free to start using it as a saying.
Thieves fall out. That’s definitely a saying, and we’re seeing that one play out in high fashion as the January 6 insurrectionists — I’d call them “alleged,” but they keep confessing on social media — are beginning to rat one another out. Here’s the part I have been struggling to understand for years now: people rushing to profess blind fealty to a man who has shown over, and over, and over and over and over and over and lots more overs that there is only one skin worth protecting, and that is his own. At whomever’s expense is most convenient in the moment.
Yesterday Rolling Stone broke a story that two of the Jan. 6 rally organizers, neither of whom apparently anticipated the storming of the Capitol, are emphatic that members of Congress were aware of, and probably actively participated in, the plans for overturning the will of the American people.
Let’s just pause right here for a quote I only became aware of the other day despite its having been around awhile and the saying itself mistakenly attributed to Mark Twain when it’s more properly Jonathan Swift: “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.”
As the chinks begin to appear in the gargantuan Facebook dam, making it glaringly clear how social media has amplified Swift’s assertion of swiftness of mistruths and misinformation, let me tie your shoes for you: There was no large and looming fraud in America’s 2020 election.
Either you’re nodding with me, or your “news” sources have convinced you otherwise and it doesn’t matter what Misters Swift and Twain say, nor how many former Facebook employees come forward to attest that misinformation has knowingly had a major place on their platforms, but here it is, as plainly as I can manage: you are wrong.
There was the man in Salida who is alleged to have killed his wife, still missing, who took it upon himself to cast her ballot: he voted for the incumbent on her behalf. That is fraud, and it did not help Joe Biden. And it was one vote, which is about all that’s been found in any jurisdiction. I might add, every fraud case I’m aware of involved votes for the incumbent, one or two at a time.
This has not stopped any number of local people, I’m told, from flooding our county election office with allegations of impropriety and concerns about voting security. They are expressing this to people who have managed our elections quite competently for years. For years.
Voting is a right and a privilege, and I’m going to once again encourage every eligible American citizen to cast your ballot by Nov. 2. I’d like it better if you took the time to read your blue and white books and especially the ever-so-helpful pamphlets put out every election by the non-partisan League of Women Voters that are much easier to understand than the blue books.
But vote. You can do so, right now, at any one of the 24 hours of any day, safely, securely, without fear of fraud, here in Gunnison County, if you’re registered here. Need to register? Need a ballot? Our county clerk and her staff are there to help. As they have been for years. Without fraud. Be sure to thank them for all their hard work in conducting a free and fair election while you’re there.
So, no large-scale fraud, barely any small-scale fraud, no matter how many lies have flown around the world while I’m here futilely tying shoes for you. Just a massively sore loser who lost, soundly — let’s be clear, he lost the popular vote twice, losing the 2020 popular vote by just about the entire populations of Colorado and New Mexico combined. Electorally, he lost by a greater margin than the one that he claimed was a “landslide” victory in 2016.
He lost both ways, popularly and electorally, in 2020, and while his past actions suggested he would be quite gracious in defeat somehow he just wasn’t. Here is what his grace had to say 24 hours after the death of the almost-universally-acclaimed Colin Powell: “He was a classic RINO, if even that, always being the first to attack other Republicans. He made plenty of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!”
I sure hope I don’t cause any offense, but it seems the first — being first is important, you know — to attack other Republicans is this epitome of graciousness. And that’s what I still just don’t get. Sooner or later, no matter who you are, except maybe Allen Weisselberg (whom the wise guy would be wise to placate in whatever fashion possible), you’re getting tossed under that bus.
Which is how the Rolling Stone story came about. Paul Gosar, such an admirable member of Congress that most of his family campaigned against him, assured organizers that “blanket pardons” would be provided. They weren’t: Steve Bannon is as close as the insurrectionists got to a pardon, and that isn’t what he was pardoned for (making him eligible for yet another criminal trial), and now that has honked at least two of them off enough to begin talking to the media, with a promise of testifying before the barely bipartisan select committee.
It’s barely bipartisan because too many Republicans, particularly in the House, don’t want anyone digging too far into the details, because scratch the surface and this is what surfaces: several members of Congress, including “my” representative, are now being fingered by jilted presidential allies as being complicit in the seditionist activities of Jan. 6.
They must be hitting close to home, because Rep. Mo Brooks offered this as a feeble excuse: I didn’t have anything to do with it, but possibly my staff members did. And I support them fully, jacking the bus up right after the tires have left marks across their chests.
Somewhere this morning I read that chiefs of staff, including “my” representative’s, turn out to be fairly loose-lipped, so there’s liable to be a lot more grinding of the gears as that bus tries to make its way up the ever-growing pile of cast-under bodies in the next few days.
Will it do any good? The web of lies is pretty colossal, so even when you’ve got the feeble-minded like Mo Brooks assuring us that he did nothing wrong but the people who work for him could have fomented insurrection, and so-far anonymous organizers not only fingering people but pointing to social media posts from 2020 into early 2021 that show the same trends, it might not be enough to cause the disappointingly mild-mannered Merrick Garland to move to action.
If there is any justness in this world — many days, I’m not sure there is — the truth will emerge as the lion gorges himself: here in the cradle of democracy, there was a plot to violently overthrow the will of the people, and it was aided and abetted by members of Congress and the White House. No American should be okay with that.
Tie your shoes. Listen to the thieves as they fall out. The truth is out there, as they liked to say on the X Files. After so many years and so many lies, it might be hard for us to recognize it, especially when it turns ugly, but if democracy is to have a chance, every last plotter needs to be held accountable, no matter what office they hold/held.
In the meantime, go vote. Fearlessly. That’s what makes America great.