A New Front Opens In The War On Authenticity

The “Parthian Shot” is a legendary military tactic, in which cavalry pull a pursuit by appearing to retreat, then suddenly turn in their saddles and give the pursuer a massive barrage of arrows straight in the face.

This technique represents tactical genius of the highest order: the cavalry can switch from 100% running away to “staying just out of reach and slaughtering you” seamlessly. All it requires is well-trained horses and disciplined cavalry – something that Europe’s feudal armies were only rarely able to produce.

I just had to include a horse picture for the horse-lovers [Mike Loades]

Today [This is written after the 1st day of Michael Cohen’s public testimony] the republicans demonstrated a new variant of the parthian shot, in which you whirl about and fire an arrow into the bridge of your own foot, pinning youself helplessly to the floor. Today, the republican party opened a brilliant new front in the war on authenticity by attacking itself.

Suddenly the republicans are pretending to care about Truth. It’s a shocking new development.

It’s actually difficult to unpack the layers of hypocrisy that shroud this battlefield, like mustard gas in Flanders fields. Let us briefly recap the action. Today, the republicans, who are led by a man whose only acquaintance with Truth is that he tried to grope her in passing, attempted to discredit Michael Cohen’s testimony because he’s a liar. That’s true, except that the whole point of the exercise, and how he got his criminal record, was because he was lying to protect the president. The action opened today with a phalanx of republicans drawn up behind an obstacle some ill-advised minion placed on the battlefield:

Republican Paul Gosar from called Cohen a “disgraced lawyer” and a “pathological liar” [cnn] some of which is true (the disgraced lawyer part) and the rest of which is blowin’ in the wind. Historians will write accounts of this battle and argue who was supposed to be telling the truth.

In the end, the carnage may end with Truth holding the field. Unfortunately, the field is so confused even Truth won’t know which end is up.

So many arrows, so many feet!

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The whole charade with Cohen revealing Trump’s signature on the checks was impressive but pointless. All that stuff will be available in bank records. It’s amazing that the republicans are trying to claim that Cohen is lying (now) given how easy it will be to substantiate what he’s saying. None of that matters, though, since he’s just left everyone in Trump’s command open to subpoenas and demonstrated that they are lying. It’s lies everywhere!

I am surprised that Cohen didn’t point out, “yes, I was lying – at the behest of the president, and my earlier lie was edited by Trump’s other lawyer.” He did say as much, but he passed up a great opportunity to slap charges of lying right back at the republicans.


  1. Oggie. My Favourite Colour is MediOchre says

    The GOP claims that Cohen is lying to reduce his prison time. They do realize that if he lies now, after the plea agreement, that the the plea agreement can be nullified and all of a sudden every thing that he said while aiding the prosecutors would become fair game for additional charges and additional time? Or are none of the GOP lawmakers, or staffers, actual lawyers?

  2. lorn says

    Republicans aren’t wrong in identifying the problem as lying. But their problem didn’t originate with Cohen lying. What rubbed their fur the wrong way wasn’t him lying. It was only when he started to tell the truth that they started to feel uncomfortable enough to start making rude noises.

    It is rich when a liar stops telling lies about a lying con-man and his henchmen try to discredit him by calling the truth lies and calling him a liar.

  3. says

    Consider this headline:
    Rudy Giuliani and Trumpworld Raged as ‘Career Criminal Liar’ Michael Cohen Spilled Secrets

    If he was lying then he wasn’t spilling secrets, now, was he?

  4. Hj Hornbeck says

    Expect things to get even more bizarre. Quoting myself:

    Cohen is throwing cold water on a few fringe theories, FWIW. He again denied going to Prague, contradicting Steele’s dossier on that point; he doesn’t think the story about Trump’s secret love child is real; he has no reason to believe the “pee tape” exists; and he doesn’t think Trump would hit Melania, which was a possible explaination for her three-week disappearing act.

    By unilaterally declaring Cohen to be a liar, Republicans have also lost a key witness on those theories. Already, Trump has tried to have it both ways:

    Trump called the Cohen hearing a “fake hearing” and said Cohen lied about “everything” except for when he said he did not have evidence of collusion with Russia. “The most important question up there was the one on collusion, and he said he saw no collusion.”

    So keep an eye out for a number of Republicans saying “Cohen’s an untrustworthy liar, EXCEPT when it comes to X.”

  5. Hj Hornbeck says

    I am surprised that Cohen didn’t point out, “yes, I was lying – at the behest of the president, and my earlier lie was edited by Trump’s other lawyer.” He did say as much, but he passed up a great opportunity to slap charges of lying right back at the republicans.

    Actually, my second-hand impression was that he did a good job of this. One example:

    REP. JEFF COOPER: Mr. Cohen, several times in your testimony, you state the bad things you did for Mr. Trump, and at some point, you apparently changed your course of action. There is will recurring refrain in your testimony that says, and yet, I continued to work for him, but at some point, you changed. What was the breaking point at which you decided to start telling the truth?

    MICHAEL COHEN: There are several factors. Helsinki, Charlottesville, watching the daily destruction of our civility to one another. Putting up silly things like this. Really unbecoming of Congress. It’s that sort of behavior that I’m responsible for. I’m responsible for your silliness because I did the same thing that you are doing now for ten years. I protected Mr. Trump for ten years, and the fact that you pull up a news article that has no value to it and you want to use that as the premise for discrediting me that I’m not the person that people called at 3:00 in the morning would make you inaccurate. In actuality, it would make a liar which would put you into the same position that I am in, and I can only warn people the more people that follow Mr. Trump as I did blindly are going to suffer the same consequences that I’m suffering.

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