Sunshine with a cool breeze this late-afternoon Monday here in California’s Central Valley as we try and make it through the shit piled-up around our ears.
One aspect of this shit is the astounding, unmitigated gall of Republicans to switch truth in reality to lying in the open and getting pissed when called on it. Do they believe people in their ignorance, or they just don’t care?
Or maybe both:
Sidney Powell has moved to dismiss Dominion's defamation lawsuit. She argues that when she accused Dominion of being part of an election-rigging scheme with ties to Venezuela, "no reasonable person would conclude" those "were truly statements of fact" https://t.co/RDPD1eGvY3 pic.twitter.com/p5zssgV5JJ
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) March 22, 2021
Details via Law&Crime this afternoon:
Facing more than $1.3 billion in liabilities over her post-election conspiracy theories, lawyer Sidney Powell told a judge that the defamation lawsuit Dominion Voting Systems filed against her earlier this year should be dismissed because “no reasonable person” would believe that her well-publicized comments about an international plot against former President Donald Trump were “statements of fact.”
“Given the highly charged and political context of the statements, it is clear that Powell was describing the facts on which she based the lawsuits she filed in support of President Trump,” her attorneys wrote in a 54-page motion to dismiss on Monday, noting that Dominion characterized her theories as “wild accusations” and “outlandish claims.”
“They are repeatedly labelled ‘inherently improbable’ and even ‘impossible,’” the motion to dismiss continues, referring to the conspiracy theories peddled by Powell, her law firm and her non-profit group Defending the Republic. “Such characterizations of the allegedly defamatory statements further support defendants’ position that reasonable people would not accept such statements as fact but view them only as claims that await testing by the courts through the adversary process.”
In her motion to dismiss, Powell does not argue that the statements were true. She claims they are not actionable because they are protected statements of political opinion.
“Reasonable people understand that the ‘language of the political arena, like the language used in labor disputes … is often vituperative, abusive and inexact,’” her motion to dismiss argues. “It is likewise a ‘well recognized principle that political statements are inherently prone to exaggeration and hyperbole.’”
“It would make no sense, and serve no public purpose, to give immunity for statements made during the course of litigation – which are themselves public – but burden lawyers with the threat of billion-dollar defamation verdicts when the same allegations are made at press conferences and news releases announcing and discussing the case,” her memo states.
In addition to potentially staggering liabilities, Powell may be fighting for her law license.
The state of Michigan and the city of Detroit have both asked a federal judge to refer Powell for disbarment proceedings, arguing that she defrauded the court by lying about witnesses and violated rules of professional ethics in an attack on U.S. democracy.
Cataloguing Powell and Wood’s “lies,” “unhinged conspiracy theories,” and “fraud on the court,” Detroit created a detailed list of Powell and Wood’s courtroom and extrajudicial antics—such as pining for martial law, fundraising through shadowy dark-money entities, and marshaling a secret witness code-named “Spyder” who later told a reporter that the legal team made him submit a false declaration.
Lying your ass off, then claiming who would believe that shit, anyway? Nutcase America right now as one of only two political parties in the US is bat-shit crazy and way-way-dishonest without an ounce of humanity. And they’re fleecing/grifting the yokels with wordplay and straight-up bullshit. A lot of it, like Powell’s crapola, appears to be tricks out in the open, spin without the spin, then denying the spin by screaming, ‘look over there!’
I’m not an asshole for not wearing a mask, but that loud-mouth woman is because she called me out on it:
Rand Paul tells Tucker Carlson he was running on a treadmill without a mask recently, prompting "some Karen" to complain about him pic.twitter.com/paXgt49wfd
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 20, 2021
Amanda Marcotte at Salon, also this afternoon, took a look at this latest Republican shit-face tatic, the troll two-step:
Donald Trump may be off at Mar-A-Lago throwing childish tantrums on his golf course, but his legacy lives on with Republicans, who are increasingly realizing that the best way to appeal to GOP voters is to ape his strategy of acting more like a shock jock than a politician.
Beyond just acting like crude bigots and jerks, the real goal is to rake in the cash in the aftermath of the outrageous behavior.
The politician plays the victim of “cancel culture,” thereby sanctifying whatever gross thing they said or did with the holy water of “free speech,” which is merely coservative code for the “right” to be free of any pushback or criticism.
Call it the troll two-step.
First, draw a huge amount of negative attention from progressives and the press by saying racist things or otherwise acting like a pig.
Then, whine about how you’re being “canceled” — even though your critics have no power to actually silence you — and bathe in the sympathy (and often dollars) generated by the victim-tripping right wing crowd.
The best part? You don’t even have to defend the indefensible thing you said or did, because you’ve now successfully changed the subject to a vapid debate over whether your “rights” are being violated.
Step one: Do something deliberately offensive that is guaranteed to get a negative response.
Step two: When the provocation works and someone reacts, play the victim to much acclaim and sympathy on right-wing media.
Bonus points for continuing to redefine “Karen” away from its original definition of “racist white woman” to a sexist term to shame women for setting boundaries, no matter how reasonable they may be.
The troll two-step is also shaping up to be the preferred method for starting a campaign, as demonstrated by Josh Mandel, a former Ohio state representative who is hoping to be the Republican’s nominee to replace Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who is retiring in 2022.
Mandel went on Twitter last week and unleashed a bunch of racist vitriol about “the various types of illegals flooding across the border,” citing “Muslim Terrorists” and “Mexican Gangbangers.”
When Twitter reacted predictably, by removing this blatant violation of their rules against hate speech, Mandel shifted seamlessly to playing the victim.
“Conservatives everywhere should be frightened by the ongoing censorship by Twitter, Facebook, Google and the liberal media,” he decried in a statement.
Et voilà! Instant sympathy and victim status, without even having to raise a finger defending the original statement, which was equal parts racism and blatant lies.
Way-terrible position America is in right now with a large minority of loud-mouth assholes creating bluster waves as the country gets creamed by a pandemic, economic insecurities and racist bullshit — misinformation, lies and two-step verbal shenanigans is crushing life as it attempts to live.
Yet, behind the curtain, the truth calls:
“Those morons out there…”
(Illustration: ‘Pinocchio,’ by Enrico Mazzanti (1852-1910), found here).