Opinion| On your Mark, Get Set, to the Bottom
In less than thirty hours, we saw and heard decisions to fine broadcaster Alex Jones nearly 1 billion dollars in actual damages, with punitive damages to follow soon. A member of Congress (Marjorie Taylor Greene) defended his vile exploitation of the parents and spouses of murdered children and educators, asserting, “Were his [Jones] words wrong, and did he apologize? Yes. That’s what freedom of speech is. Freedom to speak words.” Maybe, Rep. Greene was sick when her sixth-grade class talked about yelling fire in a crowded theater—free speech does have limits. The race to the bottom finished with the January 6 hearings presenting dramatic evidence of the possible complicity of the Secret Service, cowardice by the upper echelon of the White House staff, and a President participating in the planned assassination of his Vice President. Other than that, it was just another Thursday in Republican politics.
I took the leap and ventured over to Fox News to watch their take on the hearing after it adjourned for a ten-minute break. I was met with contributor Marc Thiessen who dismissed the talk about sedition, death, and a threat to democracy and instead read a litany of grocery store prices, contending that Republicans only need to talk about inflation, gas prices, and crime. All those kitchen table issues are crucial to life, but freedom from fascism and preserving the republic are higher on my list.
One of the overlooked and under covered tidbits in yesterday’s hearing was the sudden and unexpected attempt by Mr. Trump to withdraw troops from Somalia and Afghanistan in his waning days in office. Trump’s acolyte and chief of staff to the acting Defense Secretary, Kash Patel, tasked Retired Army Col. Douglas MacGregor with informing the Pentagon of the hastily designed plan to create chaos for the incoming administration. General Milley [chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] got downwind of the plan and characterized the memorandum as “odd… non-standard, …potentially dangerous and… militarily non-feasible.” The information came to light in the hearing from a taped interview of Milley, who recounted a memo written by the assistant of fired and rehired John McEntee. Set aside the fact McEntee’s foreign policy experience was as the CEO of a conservative dating app and was once fired by Trump, the flippant handling of such a serious issue is beyond alarming. From what appears to be a series of hastily and ill-conceived note passing, like 12-year-olds in fifth grade, it was ostensibly meant to fly under the radar of protocol.
Each day is filled with the swing of a new danger. The Republican party has become a three-ring circus with the American people on a trapeze without a net. With all the information that comes to light daily from the Trump administration, the recovery of government documents that Trump insists are his is paramount. The famous question asked by Howard Baker during Watergate was, “what did the president know, and when did he know it? We need to update that question, what does the president know, and what will he do with it?
Continue to Vote for Change.