If the lockstep media are good at anything, it's repeating phrases out of context until they're a mantra of shame.
This is done only to Republicans, of course. When Democrats commit awful misstatements, the media dismiss them as harmless “gaffes.”
By the way, if you think otherwise, you're a “lying, dog-faced pony soldier,” as Joe Biden said to a student. She was crushed, while the media gave Mr. Biden cover, saying he was only “joking.”
"The Democrats are constantly projecting their own sins onto the Republicans – taking words out of context, accusing people of bigotry … you name it, the Democrats are doing it. And you know now what the Democrats are up to when you see what they accuse others of doing: it's what they're doing. It's very clear." (Robert Knight, in an interview with AFN)
The current phrase for beating up on Republicans is “legitimate political discourse” from the Republican National Committee's Feb. 4 resolution censuring Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL).
The RNC smacked them for giving bipartisan cover to the Democrats' kangaroo court, otherwise known as the "Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol."
Whether the resolution was wise or not is open to debate. I think they just should have primaried Ms. Cheney and ignored Mr. Kinzinger, who is not running again.
No one, including the RNC, has excused the violence following the Trump rally. But the Left is vilifying rally attendees and speakers who didn't even enter the Capitol.
By contrast, Democrats egged on the Black Lives Matter/Antifa riots. Kamala Harris actually helped to raise bail for rioters. Why isn't she being investigated? The riots left dozens dead, hundreds of police officers wounded and cost $2 billion in property damage.
Ms. Cheney and Mr. Kinzinger were also among 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump over the Capitol attack. Democrats seated Ms. Cheney and Mr. Kinzinger on the Jan. 6 committee after denying choices of Republican leadership. Nancy Pelosi does not want anyone asking questions that might spoil the absurd “insurrection” narrative.
As for the RNC resolution, someone surely should have noticed that “legitimate political discourse” in the current climate would be an unforced error, handing Democrats a loaded gun. But even if the resolution had also condemned the violence it may not have helped.
Mr. Trump is still pilloried over his comments following the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia riot. Referencing the debate over Confederate statues, Mr. Trump said there were “very fine people on both sides.” He then said, “I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally.”
To this day, Democrats falsely accuse him of calling Nazis and white supremacists “very fine people.” Failed Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe used the slander in a campaign ad.
Repetition is powerful. In August 2006, Virginia Sen. George Allen was cruising toward re-election over Democrat Jim Webb until he joked about an undercover Indian-American Webb staffer at a rally, calling him “macaca.” Mr. Allen later explained that his own mother used to call him that when he got into trouble. The word, which is Portuguese for “monkey,” has also been used by some to denigrate Arabs. Does anyone honestly think Allen would knowingly make a racist comment, especially during an election?
Within a week, Allen's barb became a fiery ingot branding him over and over as a bigot. The Washington Post referenced “macaca” hundreds of times. Allen, who had also been a popular governor, lost what should have been an easy win.
Another political execution by phrasing was done to Missouri Rep. Todd Akin, a strong pro-life advocate who ran for the Senate in 2012.
Asked whether he supported allowing abortions for women who have been raped, he answered, "from what I understand from doctors,” such pregnancies are "really rare," adding, "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
Mr. Akin, who died last October, had a distinguished career in the House, but was ruined. Had he said a “forcible” rape, which is what he meant, it probably wouldn't have made any difference. The media painted this family man as someone who actually thought some rapes are “legitimate.”
It doesn't even have to be a hot button. Vice President Dan Quayle was helping with a spelling bee at a New Jersey elementary school in 1992 and was handed a card with “potatoe” on it. The sixth grader correctly spelled it as “potato” without the e.
“I noticed the discrepancy, showed the card to the other adults with me, and as they nodded in agreement, I gently said something about how he [the student] was close but had left a little something off,” Mr. Quayle recalled in his 1994 book “Standing Firm.”
Several unsure reporters rushed to dictionaries. Then, taking a page from their failed campaign against Ronald Reagan, they repeatedly made Mr. Quayle, another intelligent man, out to be a dunce.
The next time you see the media crucify someone over a phrase or a word, take it with a grain of salt.
A version of this column ran originally in The Washington Times.
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