Many publications provide their writers with “style sheets,” a list of dos and don’ts with respect to things like diction, punctuation, grammar, and linguistic etiquette. My personal list of “dos” includes the Oxford comma (apples, oranges, and pears: that last comma is requisite) and, in most cases, using the singular masculine pronoun after collective nouns like “everyone” and “someone” (e.g., “Everyone likes to have his [not ‘their’] own way”).
Style sheet prescriptions (and proscriptions) can be more elaborate, and can affect substantive as well as stylistic matters. Over the last year or so, I have noticed an innovation, at once stylistic and substantive, that has taken root throughout the regime media. It is this: whenever referring to Donald Trump and the 2020 presidential election, be sure to insert editorial comments to the effect that any concerns about the fairness of that election are “baseless” or the result of “lies.”
On Saturday, a meeting of the Wyoming Republican Party led to the passage of a resolution expelling Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from the party and no longer recognizing her as a member, as reported by CNN.
The resolution was passed by the Wyoming GOP Central Committee, by a vote of 31 to 29. Although the measure does not actually wield any direct power over Cheney, it marks the latest symbolic blow to the incumbent representative as a result of her frequent anti-Trump statements, which have all but eroded her popular support in her own state.
As we get to the midpoint between the last presidential election and next year’s midterms, all political sides are expending extraordinary effort to ignore the 900-pound gorilla in the formerly smoke-filled room of American politics. This, of course, is Donald Trump.
The Democrats are still outwardly pretending Trump has gone and that his support has evaporated. They also pretend they can hobble him with vexatious litigation and, if necessary, destroy him again by raising the Trump-hate media smear campaign back to ear-splitting levels.
Last week, the special counsel appointed to oversee the probe into the FBI’s investigation of former president Donald Trump indicted Michael Sussmann, a lawyer for the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. Republicans and Trump allies are optimistic about the latest development in John Durham’s investigation but are still concerned that Attorney General Merrick Garland might halt the investigation to protect allies and even the president himself.
FBI notes appear to suggest that as vice president, Joe Biden played a role in the Democratic Party project to smear Trump as a Russian asset by raising the obscure, disused, 18th century statute the Logan Act as a possible vehicle for prosecuting Michael Flynn for speaking with the Russian ambassador to Washington — even after FBI case agents had cleared Trump’s incoming national security adviser of wrongdoing.
And now Republicans are raising concerns that the judge appointed to the Sussmann case has too many conflicts of interest to preside over it fairly.
One of the scant few House Republicans who voted to impeach President Donald Trump last year is receiving backing from former Speaker of the House John Boehner ahead of a primary challenge from a pro-Trump candidate.
Boehner next week will appear at a Zoom fundraiser for Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, according to Politico. Gonzalez, who is up for reelection in 2022, was among the 10 Republicans in the House to vote to impeach Trump on charges of having “incited” the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
College community members are subjects of internal and even federal probes for their presence at “Stop the Steal” protests on Jan. 6.
It’s largely unclear if the identified participants committed acts of violence at the U.S. Capitol or simply showed up to peacefully protest the Senate’s confirmation of Electoral College votes.
Yet their alleged attendance – and in one case, online rhetoric – was enough to spawn investigations by their colleges and, in another case, the feds.
For the past year, defenders of the FBI have consistently downplayed the significance of an FBI staff lawyer falsifying evidence in the government’s investigation into Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia. They argue Kevin Clinesmith’s crime of altering a CIA document to obscure the fact that former Trump campaign aide Carter Page worked for U.S., not Russian, intelligence was a rare lapse in judgment by an overworked bureaucrat. It was not, his apologists say, part of any broader conspiracy to conceal exculpatory information from surveillance court judges, who never learned of Page’s history with the CIA before approving FBI warrants to wiretap him as a suspected Russian agent.
But such explanations are challenged by new revelations from court papers filed in the case, which some civil libertarians call the most egregious violation and abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) since it was enacted more than 40 years ago.
America will weather its current hysterias.
But the tensions and furor are reminiscent of the last generations of the Roman Republic. In its last century, Romans began to adjudicate politics by obsequious partisan town criers (their version of our media), mass demonstrations, and freelance street gangs. Looters, arsonists, and demonstrators did pretty much as they pleased in the streets of Rome without fear of legal consequences.
In our time, the media has now vanished – kaput, no more, ended.