I understand that people are outraged by the Tucker Carlson/Kevin McCarthy video stunt. It’s natural and understandable to react negatively and angrily to liars and traitors. But this is not at all the best or most effective response. The first response is simply mockery. That’s the most logical response and also the most effective. Watch these videos. They’re moments when the insurrectionists weren’t breaking down doors or hitting Capitol Police over the head with flag poles. This is like showing a Zapruder film containing just the part where JFK is happily waving to the crowd in Dealey Plaza. He’s having a great time. Why does Oswald get such a bad rap? Similarly, it’s been shown that probably 99% of the time Osama bin Laden wasn’t blowing up anything. And yet, look at what’s gotten all the focus.
This is more Saturday Night Live skit than outrage.
Yet there’s something in the liberal mentality that makes this emotive register sometimes hard to operate in. It’s not funny! It’s super serious, I hear again and again. Well, yes it is. But it’s also hilarious. And mockery is often a more powerful weapon than outrage.
This deserves mockery because it is a lame and transparent effort on the part of the 20% to 25% of the population (and their Fox News cheerleaders) which endorses and supports the insurrection to repackage their degenerate values as a kind of evidentiary breakthrough. The insurrection was traitorous and disgusting; clumsily edited video of an insurrectionist putting back upright a flipped over chair is hilarious because it’s so stupid. We should treat it as such.
It’s also another opportunity to remind voters in 2024 of the main reason they turned against Republicans in 2022: their obsession with taking away rights and supporting violent extremists to overthrow the federal constitution. As David Kurtz illustrates here, insurrection-supporting members of Congress have been on Twitter over the last 24 hours demanding that all violent insurrectionists, convicted or awaiting trial, be immediately freed in the wake of this new “evidence.”
What can be done about this? Just make a note of every affirmative statement and every refusal to comment and cue it up for use in 30 second ads. It’s true that most of those who publicly state their support for the insurrectionists and future violence against the constitution are from fairly safe districts. But that hardly matters. It’s the support of the entire GOP caucuses in the House and Senate and, in truth, in every legislative chamber across the country which puts radicals and extremists like these in positions of power. The same goes for presidential candidates. Donald Trump demanded the release of all the most violent insurrectionists who supported his call to attack the Capital. But no other Republican presidential candidate, declared or expected, has denounced this latest wave of stated support for the January 6th attack.
The real lesson of the 2022 election is that the country is ready to move on from extremists and traitors. And yet they’re going right back to it because it’s who they are. We hear constantly how the GOP is moving on from Donald Trump and yet not a single Republican of any standing is ready to denounce him when he promises a 2024 election in which he pledges “I am your retribution.” Democrats need to make that clear again and again until the insurrection is clobbered out of them by loss after loss.