Saturday, March 11, 2023

A Fatal Disease

Ignorance is a curse. Willful ignorance is a fatal disease. Kevin McCarthy has succumbed to the disease. Dana Milbank writes:

Not since the Know-Nothing Party disappeared in the 1850s has a public figure boasted about his ignorance with as much gusto as Kevin McCarthy does.

It doesn’t seem to matter what you ask the speaker of the House. He hasn’t read it, seen it or heard about it.

The explosive documents from the Dominion case showing Fox News hosts privately said Donald Trump’s election lies were hokum but promoted the lies on air anyway?

“I didn’t read all that. I didn’t see all that,” McCarthy told The Post.

The way Fox News’s Tucker Carlson (predictably) manipulated the Jan. 6, 2021, security footage McCarthy (foolishly) gave the propagandist, giving the false appearance that the bloody insurrection was “mostly peaceful”?

“I didn’t see what was aired,” McCarthy asserted.

Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, in an implicit rebuke of McCarthy, blasting the Carlson propaganda while holding up a statement from the Capitol Police chief denouncing Fox News’s “outrageous,” “false” and “offensive” portrayal of the insurrection?

You guessed it. McCarthy “didn’t see” McConnell do that.

The benighted McCarthy has been amassing this impressive body of obtuseness for some time. If ignorance is bliss, the California Republican has been in nirvana for years now.

At first, McCarthy's devotion to Ignorance might seem funny. But there comes a point when it's far from funny:

This week, McCarthy’s see-no-evil approach was just plain evil.

After Carlson aired his phony portrayal of the insurrection, several Republicans finally spoke up about Fox News’s lies: “Inexcusable and bull----” (Sen. Thom Tillis, N.C.), “whitewashing” (Sen. Lindsey Graham, S.C.), “dangerous and disgusting” (Sen. Mitt Romney, Utah).

Then there was McCarthy, questioned by reporters just outside the speaker’s office, which the supposedly “peaceful” insurrectionists had ransacked that terrible day.

“Do you regret giving him this footage so he could whitewash the events of that day?” asked CNN’s Manu Raju.

“No,” McCarthy replied, adding some gibberish about “transparency” (which is the very opposite of Carlson’s fabrication).

“Do you agree with his portrayal of what happened that day?” Raju pressed.

“Look,” McCarthy said. “Each person can come up with their own conclusion.”

That was exactly the position millions took when Jews were packed into cattle cars and shipped off to Auschwitz.

Image:  Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images


zoombats said...

Ignorance may be a curse but it is not an excuse. A more significant question that i haven't seen put to K Mac is did he break any laws handing over sensitive material to a private corporation. Didn't Julian Assange with Wikileaks do something similar albeit on a more massive scale? How was he able to offer up hours of footage to allow Tucker Carlson to apply his weasel words and personal spin on the situation? The fact that Fox News is embroiled in a lawsuit at this time should have some bearing on questions of KMac's legality. the next time you are questioned on an issue of law try "I didn't know that officer" and see how far that will go.

Owen Gray said...

Like his master -- Mr. Trump -- McCarthy seems to believe he's above the law, zoombats.

Graham said...

Zoombats is right, ignorance is no excuse and wilful ignorance is much worse. At that point one is purposely avoiding the facts or the truth and usually along with that is supporting fabrications, also known as lies.
KM also didn’t answer the question of whether he agrees with the portrayal, lies, Carlson came up with by using the footage KM supplied. He should be pressed on that until he gives HIS opinion.
Much like the whitewash some try to give the convoy thingy here, sure, not as bad, but the problem is we all saw it on tv. The footage available to disprove the whitewashes is huge and they only get any consideration because they use selected clips and editing to try to make it look other than what it was. It may take a while to sort it out but there is no way, none, that with all the evidence to the contrary this comes out any other way but the facts and the truth.

Owen Gray said...

There is no such thing as an alternative fact, Graham. But there are lots of lies.

Lorne said...

That people still take the Republicans seriously is just another indication of how far the party of Lincoln has sunk, Owen.

Lorne said...

Actually, what I meant to say is the fact that people still take the Republican Party seriously is an indication of how far the American mentality has sunk, Owen. It is no longer the party of Lincoln.

Cap said...

It's the Sgt. Schultz school of politics: "I see nothing! I know nothing! I will say nothing!" If Trump and McCarthy believe they're above the law, it's with good reason. It seems that every week, we get a new story about how Trump will be prosecuted for sure this time only to find out that a limitation period was allowed to expire, or a new prosecutor was assigned and decided to drop the case, or the midterm election's coming up, or Jack Smith's been assigned to look into it, or some other lame excuse for inaction.

We're now more than two years after Trump incited an insurrection that McCarthy was deeply involved in. We know what happened because the events were covered on live TV, and Congress did an extensive post-mortem and recommended that Trump and others be indicted. But all we've heard from the DOJ is crickets. When criminals aren't prosecuted for crimes committed in full public view, we shouldn't be surprised when they get the idea that the law doesn't apply to them. They're right.

Owen Gray said...

Lincoln could look at facts straight on, Lorne -- no matter how unpleasant they were. Those who claim to be his inheritors simply can't endure facts.

Owen Gray said...

Precisely, Cap. Trump is who he is because no one has ever held him to account.

lungta said...

Wilful ignorance works hand in hand with situational morality. Me telling you what you want to hear regardless of facts is the game.
Otherwise there is no reason to accept the premise of your question.
We have always lived in a society that takes unprovable myths and beliefs as actionable "gospel" no matter how devastating the actual facts might be.
And I don't use gospel by accident.
Most of the worlds conflicts are existent due to religious beliefs wilfully ignorant of the delusion and factlessness it takes to maintain them.
We is the humans, it's what we do.

Owen Gray said...

Superstition is still alive and well, lungta.

hels said...

Not reading reports and appearing stupid in public might be a very clever (if aggravating) strategy. A politician can hardly be held responsible for something he knows nothing about.
Art and Architecture, mainly

Owen Gray said...

I suspect that's true, hels. However, in a court of law -- as zoombats writes -- is not a defense.

the salamander said...

I ‘keep up’ with the Grim Reality of American Corruption
mainly because Canadian Partisans embrace the guilty
.. and the totally absurd creeps as ‘Role Models’

My ‘Concerns’ & Political Efforts are for Canada & Canadians
& that all may enjoy the opportunities, privileges & wonders I have

I believe I have a lot to offer .. not just unique hybrid media skills
but the ‘lived experiences’ as reference - to what ‘can be’
as well as ‘what truly should not be..’

‘I was there.. during the Harper Regime’
and here I am again.. with Poilievre..
and so many of the old Harper scumbags

So again I’ll state this..
McCarthy is showing us PLENTY .. re ‘Who He Is’
.. the issue for me is those who can’t recognize
what is staring them in the face.. he’s a ‘facade’
‘a Front’ .. a ‘Corrupt, Adult - cabin boy’, a Sold Out’

And so again.. I’ll Say What I’ve Seen
.. What or Whom McCarthy ‘IS’ .. ?
well ain’t that’s What / or Whom so many of our
Media & Political Figures are as well.. or aspire to ?

Owen Gray said...

We're truly fools, sal, if we refuse to recognize who and what he is.