“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” — Joseph Goebbels
Disgusting. And desperate. The headline on the front page of the print version of New York Times shrieked:
A Word Too Far? ‘Blood’ Remark Tests the GOP: Trump Provokes Again
Fallout From Suggestion That Moderator Was Menstruating
And the “proof” of this disgusting headline? These words from Donald Trump to CNN’s Don Lemon: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
Having listened to Trump say these words in real time, I thought nothing of it. In fact, I myself had noticed Kelly’s fierce glare across the stage at Trump and thought it an apt description. The next day I awaken to the news that Trump had been disinvited from a Red State appearance by Erick Erickson because, said Erickson, “I think there is no way to otherwise interpret Mr. Trump’s comment.”
Huh? It took a minute to sink in. Erick Erickson is saying what? And there’s “no way to otherwise interpret” what was said? Well, I beg to differ. The disgusting thought that Erickson was abruptly introducing into the public debate never entered my head when I heard Trump’s words. Which perhaps underlines a difference between where my mind goes and where Erick’s goes.
But to my astonishment, Erick Erickson was not alone. What has followed has been 48-hours of the most disgusting pieces of political analyses I have ever heard in my life. A plu-perfect example of the insight of Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” There was not a word said, not a hint, not a suggestion, that Donald Trump ever said Megyn Kelly asked her lead question of him because she was menstruating. Say again… not… a… word. Not one. This is — there is no other word for it — a Goebbels-esque lie. Right up there with “Bush lied” or the “hands up, don’t shoot” lie that fueled the Ferguson riots in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown. That jewel was eventually refuted by a jury and the Department of Justice.
Donald Trump should be so lucky to have a jury verdict. In a stunning convergence of the Goebbelsesque Big Lie technique with today’s left-wing political correctness, Erickson, the Republican Establishment — of which Erickson is decidedly not a member — and many in the media have made it a point to endlessly repeat Erickson’s slander.
In their zeal to get Donald Trump, both Erickson and the Republican Establishment have laid bare a streak of appallingly condescending sexism towards Fox anchor Megyn Kelly. Ms. Kelly — in my opinion a terrific journalist (although yes, I think Kelly’s initial question to Trump was a decided “gotcha”) — has drawn the wrath of Donald Trump. So too did Trump attack Kelly’s colleagues Chris Wallace (the latter in the same “blood coming out of his eyes” words he used to attack Kelly) and Bret Baier. So too has he taken off on pollster Frank Luntz.
And how did Erickson and the GOP Establishment respond? The only one of the above people — say again the only one — that Erickson and the Establishment rushed to defend was… the woman. Apparently it was OK for the men to be attacked but, hey, Wallace, Baier, and Luntz are just guys. They can take it. But the little lady? Well, by God everybody knows women really aren’t a man’s equal. Poor little Miss Megyn Kelly needs these big strong men to defend her honor.
To be blunt. What a bunch of condescending sexist baloney. Megyn Kelly is — newsflash — a professional journalist. She is every bit the professional equal of her male peers who were also attacked by Trump. She dishes out regularly — and Trump dished it right back to her. And… so?
Let’s go through the names here.
Erick Erickson is no member of the GOP Establishment. I know him a bit, and I like him. But his conduct in this has been just appalling. A primo example of male chauvinism run rampant. Let’s recall that a while back, as here, Erick was on Kelly’s show arguing that women should stay home and raise the kids while the men earn the bread. Snapped Kelly: “What makes you dominant, and me submissive, and who died and made you scientist-in-chief?”
Now, all this time later, Erick is doing this same sexist drill — except this time it is in “defense” of Kelly. In disinviting Trump for his comments, among other things Erick said: “But I just don’t want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal.”
Got that? Aside from telling that Goebbels-like deliberate untruth of what Trump had said, Erick’s instinct, just as it was in his own earlier dust-up with Kelly, was to assert that women are somehow submissive to men, inferior, and therefore must be protected from a potential-possible-maybe-it- could-and-might-happen-maybe “hostile” encounter with Donald Trump.
What sexist garbage. What politically correct, identity politics-playing garbage.
Worse, Jeb (“By the way, did you know my wife is Mexican and has darker skin than me”) Bush joined in this game. Bush has displayed a serious taste for identity politics. Now he’s revealed a serious problem with political correctness and out and out sexism. With identity politics and political correctness anathema to conservatives and conservatism.
Said the man who only days earlier had to back peddle on a cavalier statement that indicated he didn’t think women’s health issues were all that important — which he quickly retracted — Jeb played his chauvinist card this way as he supported Erick Erickson’s sexist outburst. Said Jeb: “Come on — give me a break. I mean, do we want to win? Do we want to insult 53% of all voters? What Donald Trump said is wrong…”
Then he said to Erickson: “Your decision, I think, was the right one. Mr. Trump ought to apologize.”
In other words? Bush went for a twofer — repeating the Big Lie about Trump (“what Donald Trump said” was in fact never said) and then suggesting that the best way to not “insult 53% of all voters” — aka women — was to condescend to them, to patronize them by coming to the defense of that poor little woman Megyn Kelly. The fact that Bush is so incredibly obtuse about patronizing and condescending to women should be a serious signal of his lack of communication skills as a candidate.
Bush wasn’t alone in this disreputable performance either. Disturbingly, Carly Fiorina, who turned in her own impressive performance in the earlier debate, also played the Big Lie game. In a tweet Fiorina said: “Mr. Trump: There. Is. No. Excuse.” There is no excuse for repeating a flat untruth — and Fiorina should know better. The last thing the Republican Party and the conservative movement needs is a candidate who spurns a role as an American Margaret Thatcher to play the politics of victimology. Does Ms. Fiorina really plan to campaign like Hillary Clinton? One would hope not.
And so it went. Scott Walker jumped on the Big Lie bandwagon. So too Rick Perry and Lindsey Graham. In Graham’s case there was a revealing glimpse of just how RINO Republicanism really works. Said Graham: “As a party, we are better to risk losing without Donald Trump that trying to win with him.” In other words? If Trump were nominated, Graham would apparently sit out the 2016 election. Shades of Nelson Rockefeller refusing to support Barry Goldwater.
The stand-out here was Senator Ted Cruz. Cruz refused to buy into the Big Lie about Trump and the epidemic of political correctness. Neither would he even think of condescending to Kelly. Cruz’s wife Heidi is, like Megyn Kelly, a seriously accomplished professional — a Harvard Business School graduate and a managing director of Goldman Sachs. Condescending to a professional woman is clearly not in the Ted Cruz playbook, and thank God for that.
Last night NBC News released a new poll, a poll taken not only after the debate but during the height of the weekend controversy over Trump’s remarks to Don Lemon. Here’s the link and here’s the headline:
New NBC News/Survey Monkey Poll: Donald Trump Still in the Lead After Debates
The story NBC posted begins as follows:
If Donald Trump’s comments about Fox News Anchor Megyn Kelly are hurting his standing in the Republican primary, it’s not showing in the numbers.
According to the latest NBC News Online Poll conducted by SurveyMonkey , Trump is at the top of the list of GOP candidates that Republican primary voters would cast a ballot for if the primary were being held right now.
The overnight poll was conducted for 24 hours from Friday evening into Saturday. During that period, Donald Trump stayed in the headlines due to his negative comments about Kelly and was dis-invited from a major conservative gathering in Atlanta.
None of that stopped Trump from coming in at the top of the poll with 23 percent. Sen. Ted Cruz was next on the list with 13 percent.
Imagine that. After an entire weekend of Erickson’s condescending anti-woman shenanigans and mass repetition of the Big Lie deliberately misrepresenting Trump’s remarks, Republican primary voters responded. They gave first place to Trump. And — note well — second place to Senator Cruz.
Will Erickson and Bush and the rest apologize to Trump for this dismal performance? Not a prayer. Will they apologize to Megyn Kelly for a serious, condescending insult to her professionalism? Not a prayer of that either. The obtuse male chauvinist is the obtuse male chauvinist.
But in fact, it doesn’t matter.
As that NBC poll illustrates yet again, there’s a serious message in the Trump candidacy for all to see.
And that’s no lie.