One of the flaws I think many skeptics share is a love of consistency. If we’ve done any studying of philosophy, or even practiced thinking, we tend to feel that “but you contradicted yourself!” is a winning point.

In the authoritarian goonosphere, it doesn’t matter. Naturally, I am upset and amazed but that’s sort of the point; it’s the humpty-dumpty defense:

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less. ‘

Including its opposite. In other words, “the party of law and order” elects an obviously criminal goon who led an incompetent but obviously criminal plot to overthrow the goverment – they’re all about “the thin blue line” except for when their Q-anon addled members are beating police with fire extinguishers, and when the FBI comes to exercise a carefully-scoped and fully legal search warrant, they freak out and start accusing people of planting evidence.

Meanwhile, the idiot wind who fills all their sails, has decided to “take the 5th” 400 or so times in the New York city case in which the Trump family did what most New York real estate owners do: they made their properties out to be worth less at tax time, and more when it came time to get a loan on the properties. I suspect there are real estate owners all over New York state going, “wait, that’s a felony? I thought it’s just how we do things.” I am disappointed that they’re going after Trump for that, because it sets the whole situation up for an Al Capone maneuver: “we couldn’t get him for any of the many murders he ordered, so we got him for tax evasion.” That is, if I may say, a travesty of justice. It says, “we are not competent to learn anything else.” Frankly, that can only be because (in Capone’s case) the FBI didn’t look closely enough. That is not the case with Trump – in fact, the Jan 6 committee did a good job of building the DOJ’s case for them, but Merrick Garland is aiming to go down in the history books as a proud nonentity. (Comey will go down in the history books as an ideological clown who helped throw the 2016 election)

We expect consistency, but consistency is not on the menu with authoritarians. In fact, the point of being an authoritarian is “things are what I say they are.” Control of reality. When liberals try to correct them, they don’t care – they already know they’re lying and incoherent – what they’re really saying is “do what I tell you or else.”

That said, it can still be fun. There are multiple layers regarding Trump’s whole “plead the 5th” thing. He contradicts himself freely because he doesn’t care – he just wants people to shut up and do as they are told. Meanwhile, it’s amusing as hell that Trump signed into law the penalty for taking home national security information – and, when he signed it (I am not making this up) he wrote on the document that the penalty was 5 years, instead of 1. So he’s bedeviling himself with himself. Again, he doesn’t care – I’d bet his mental landscape is puzzlement (“why isn’t everyone just obeying me!?”) and rage (“laws don’t fucking apply to me!”) I hope he checks out with a heart attack before the election. My favorite scenario is that the republicans face-punch themselves in a brutal primary, and then Trump dies face down in his food.

If Trump or his followers did care about consistency, it would be tremendous fun to see all the right-wing pundits turn on him. But an important point stands out from all of this: they don’t care. That is relevant. People who make no attempt to be non-hypocritical (i.e.: consistent) cannot hold an opinion that’s worthwhile, because they can’t talk anything but bullshit.

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“Pleading the 5th, as innocent people do, you know?” That’s been a lot of fun lately. Amazingly, Trump does not make any attempt to rebut any of the charges against him, he’s just concerned with the window-dressing stuff like whether or not he struggled with a Secret Service agent.


  1. johnson catman says

    I hope he checks out with a heart attack before the election.

    I hope that he has a massive stroke that leaves him unable to speak or move about on his own. As in, worse than his mocking of the disabled reporter in 2016. But I would not shed a tear if he was found face down in his McRib.

  2. Tethys says

    I am fine with the lack of grandstanding on the part of Merrick Garland. This has been a three ring circus of awful reporting and various GOP people making bizarre claims. Added to tfg’s whinging, that has been more than enough overblown ego and drama.

    It is amusing/horrifying that his supporters seemed to think the FBI search was part of the Jan 6th investigation, rather than an entirely separate incidence of blatant criminality.

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