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Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum: “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox.”

GOP Outrage Is Always Fake — Never Believe It

The GOP and its allies in the right wing media are very, very good at attacking their opponents and winning elections. They excel at generating outrage and carrying a consistent message. Unfortunately, many public officials and reporters in the “liberal” mainstream media are mortified at the possibility of being attacked by what has been described as the “Republican Noise Machine.” This fear caused the mainstream press to over hype the Clinton email controversy in 2016 and influenced James Comey to release his infamous letter in October 2016 that swung the election to Donald Trump.

What we Democrats and progressives need to realize is that GOP outrage is always fake and we should never believe it. In addition, we must convince the press that GOP isn’t on the level and is acting in bad faith. A short trip down memory lane should convince any fair minded person that the GOP should never be taken seriously when they go on the attack.

In 2016, the GOP and the “liberal” mainstream media made email security the paramount issue of the 2016 campaign. According to a study from the Columbia Journalism Review: “In just six days, the New York Times ran as many cover stories about Hillary Clinton’s emails as they did about all the policy issues combined in the 69 days leading up to the election.”

It was recently revealed that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has used a private email address to conduct official business. According to Josh Marshall, DeVos has joined this long list of Trump officials who have used private emails to conduct government business: “Mike Pence (as Indiana governor); Jared Kushner; Ivanka Trump; Steve Bannon; Reince Priebus; Gary Cohn; Stephen Miller; K.T. McFarland; James Comey; Kris Kobach and other former members of Trump’s bogus voter fraud commission; John Gore, to correspond with members of the President’s bogus voter fraud commission; and Scott Pruitt (as EPA administrator and Oklahoma attorney general).”

Trump himself has committed a serious security breaching by continuing to use an unsecured I-Phone — much to the consternation of intelligence and security officials — as president.* Moreover, Trump obtained a security clearance for Jared Kushner over the objections of two career security specialists.

Are we hearing outrage from the GOP over this? Where is the mainstream media? Are their any GOP led Congressional hearings? All we are getting is crickets from the same people who obsessed over Hillary Clinton’s email server in 2016.

The GOP also focused on the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi during the 2016 election cycle. No less than eight GOP majority Congressional committees investigated Benghazi and they never confirmed any of the Fox News and the radical right’s bizarre conspiracy theories.

What was never really discussed was the fact that there were 13 embassy attacks during the George W. Bush Administration in which 60 people died. As a matter of fact, there were no hearings and no investigations regarding those embassy attacks during the Bush years. (It is also seldom mentioned that the Congressional Republicans voted to reduce funding for embassy security in 2011 over the objections of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.)

A long time subject for faux GOP outrage was the deficit during the Clinton and Obama presidencies. When there is a Republican president, the GOP blows up the deficit. Once a Democrat occupies the White House, the GOP demands that deficit reduction be the nation’s top priority. The GOP creates the problem and then campaigns against the solution.

The truth about the deficit is that Reagan tripled the national debt during his presidency and racked up the biggest peacetime deficits in U.S. history. Between the two of them, Reagan and Bush 41 quadrupled the national debt. George W. Bush squandered the hard earned $5 trillion surplus he inherited from President Clinton and doubled the national debt. Since he has been in office, Trump has doubled the annual deficits he inherited from President Obama and created $1 trillion annual deficits as far as the eye can see.

All of this phony outrage from the GOP about spending and the deficit is really all about its opposition to spending on the middle class, the elderly, the sick and the poor. The GOP has no problem blowing up the deficit for the rich and the defense contractors. I can safely predict that once a new Democratic president takes office on January 20, 2021, the Republicans will declare a so-called deficit crisis- and the vapid and gullible mainstream media will fall for it.

Another target for the GOP’s wrath was executive power when Obama was president. After President Obama signed off on the DACA program, the GOP alleged he was a “tyrant,” a “lawless president,” and was acting like a “king.” Incidentally, two U.S. Court of Appeals have sustained the DACA program and ruled that Trump’s termination of the program was “unlawful.”

Yet since Trump has been in office, he has been on pace to sign more executive orders than Obama did. Moreover, Trump’s exercise of executive power is much more aggressive than anything Obama did. Currently, Trump is trying to spend money for a wall along the Mexican border without a Congressional appropriation and by executive fiat. Moreover, Trump has defied all Congressional efforts to exercise its constitutional oversight duties. The former TV reality star has rejected all Congressional subpoenas of witnesses and documents.

I could give you numerous other examples of how the D.C. Republicans have done a 180 on a policy they recently told us was about some great moral and constitutional principle. Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman said it best: “The lesson here is never to take right-wing huffiness about the process of politics and political debate seriously. These guys don’t actually believe in any rules at all; whatever rule they may lay down in one case, they’ll break in an instant if they think they see an advantage.” The only thing the GOP cares about is power and making the already comfortable even more comfortable. Once you figure that out, the D.C. Republicans are pretty easy to understand.

I’m a trial lawyer, a Democratic activist and a sports fan.

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