Trump is not to blame for people’s righteous anger at the FBI

The goal of this government sponsored misdirection is the same as it’s always been:  Keep the focus on President Trump, suggesting it no longer takes two to tango as the old saying goes, rather than demanding much needed answers from the very people that plunged us into this situation to begin with.

Once upon a time, midsummer was a graveyard for television as networks aired reruns in advance of the upcoming fall season.  In politics, the period before Labor Day is known as the silly season.  This year the two have merged in the wake of the Department of Justice’s unprecedented attack on a former President and future contender for the 2024 Republican nomination, Donald Trump.  We’ve all seen this show before, from the vague, largely leaked allegations to the FBI’s refusal to provide transparency, all the way up to the mainstream media’s insistence everything is being conducted “by the book” and this is totally normal.  The spinoff is also the same: Trump is stoking an unjustified anger among his supporters and encouraging violence that threatens the Republic. He is personally to blame because people are angry about the FBI’s egregious actions and total lack of transparency, and any deranged individual who does anything is his responsibility.  There’s no reason to be concerned that the Biden Administration has been less than forthcoming about the details of the investigation, refusing to reveal the basis for their belief that Trump is actually a spy, especially when similar claims made in 2016 were based on shoddy work and outright lies. This would likely be called “victim shaming” in other contexts.  It’s similar to suggesting a man who’s just been punched in the face is out of line for being angry at the injury and affront. It is unfortunate that some have made verbal threats and attacks, and a couple of deranged individuals have acted violently.  Both are wrong and all who broke the law should be held accountable, but that is not enough for Democrat politicians, Never Trumpers, and the mainstream media.  Instead, the easily predicted fallout of a never before seen attack on a major political figure is, in fact, that very political figure’s fault. 

Of course, the goal is the same as it’s always been:  Keep the focus on President Trump, suggesting it no longer takes two to tango as the old saying goes, rather than demanding much needed answers from the very people that plunged us into this situation to begin with.  Thus, we are treated to two simultaneous streams of information.  The first is a steady drumbeat of news suggesting there is a major threat to the FBI driven by the anger and hatred of Trump supporters.  The source for this information is, perhaps needless to say, the FBI itself.  For example, ABC News reported that “Federal officials warned in a new bulletin that law enforcement officers and others in the government are facing increasing threats after last week’s unprecedented search of former President Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago.”  The information itself was contained in a bulletin, which reads more like a press release for external consumption.  The FBI claims it was written “in light of an increase in threats and acts of violence, including armed encounters, against law enforcement, judiciary, and government personnel, in reaction to the FBI’s recent execution of a court-authorized search warrant in Palm Beach, Florida.”  “Since the search, the FBI and DHS have observed an increase in violent threats posted on social media against federal officials and facilities, including a threat to place a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI Headquarters and issuing general calls for ‘civil war’ and ‘armed rebellion,’” the bulletin claimed.  “Many of these threats include references to the perception that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent and other claims of government overreach, which are narratives that have mobilized [domestic violent extremists] in the past to commit acts of violence, including against law enforcement and federal, state, and local governments,” the FBI added.

Stories about the general increase in threat level, often delivered without any evidence or metrics to speak of, are accompanied by in-depth coverage of the handful of deranged individuals who have actually committed violence, suggesting a straight line between conservative anger and illegal activity if not outright insurrection.  For example, Adam Bies of Mercer, PA was recently arrested for threats to slaughter agents and “water the trees of liberty” with their blood.  According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, “Adam Bies, 46, of Mercer, faces one count of influencing, impeding, or retaliating against federal law enforcement officers — a charge punishable by up to six years in prison.”  The authors take great pains to ensure readers make the connection to Trump, noting “His arrest comes amid heightened concern over the violent rhetoric spreading on pro-Trump internet forums against FBI agents, which may have played a role in two attacks last week involving other men with Pennsylvania ties.”  The other two attacks include Ricky Shiffer, killed in a standoff after trying to breach a building with a nail gun and an assault rifle, and Richard Aaron who shot himself after ramming his car into barricades outside the Capitol building.  The Philadelphia Inquirer is not alone in making the connection between Trump and these unacceptable acts of violence, essentially blaming him for the actions of everyone.  The New York Times is more than happy to help, headlining a story “As Right Wing Rhetoric Escalates, So Do Threats and Violence.”  These articles are rounded out with additional commentary, such as The Hill, which noted “Violent threats against the FBI make us less safe” and “Spike in FBI threats unsettles the right.”

None of this is to suggest that violence of any kind is ever justified.  It isn’t.  These men and any others should be arrested, charged, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law, assuming they are still alive to begin with.  At the same time, the media in collaboration with the government only crafts this particular kind of narrative when it becomes convenient to target conservatives.  The same connect the dots approach never applies to progressives, even when the same stories could easily have been written earlier this summer after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.  The controversial ruling prompted left-leaning politicians to explode in anger and frustration, perhaps rightfully so depending on your position on the issue.  The progressive media and social media sphere was filled with calls to disband the court, pack the court, or ignore it entirely.  The Chair of the Democrat National Committee, Jaime Harrison, took to Twitter, claiming “I’m overwhelmed with anger and pain. This illegitimate Supreme Court filled with political extremists just struck a blow to American freedom. These folks won’t just stop at this right. So with everything we got & all that we are – each of us  must end this tyranny on our rights!”  The progressive publication, The Guardian, concurred when Jill Filipovic wrote, “It’s time to say it: the US supreme court has become an illegitimate institution.”  In her view, the Court is now merely a “tool of minority rule over the majority, and as part of a far-right ideological and authoritarian takeover that must be snuffed out if we want American democracy to survive.” Ms. Filipovic told readers to “declare this court illegitimate. Demand its expansion. Abolish the filibuster. Treat this like the emergency it is, and make America a representative democracy.”

This rhetoric, a call to “snuff” out the highest court in the land, was accompanied by the bombing and vandalism of pro-life non-profits across the country, culminating in an attempted assassination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.  Some of the violence began before the official ruling.  There was a “firebombing” at a pregnancy center in Buffalo and arson in Wisconsin.  As of June 17, a total of 17 pro-life groups claim to have been targeted.  The mainstream media, the Justice Department, and President Biden himself remained almost completely silent throughout, refusing to enforce laws that prevent Justices from being harassed at their homes.  Neither the President nor Attorney General Merrick Garland even bothered to speak about the attempted assassination, saying not a single word in public concerning a potential earth-shattering event planned by a deranged progressive, obviously inspired by Democrat rhetoric.  There were no new threat assessments issued, no bulletins, no warning about the danger of left-wing extremism.  The only reference I could find was to an FBI statement before the ruling claiming they were “probing” the series of attacks.  Compare this anodyne statement to the bulletin referenced above, “The FBI is investigating a series of attacks and threats targeting pregnancy resource centers and faith-based organizations across the country.  The FBI takes all threats seriously and we continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners and will remain vigilant to protect our communities.”  There is  no mention of politics, the political leanings of the perpetrators, or the overall political environment.  The mainstream media took the same tack.  There were no editorials directly connecting rhetoric declaring an entire branch of government illegitimate to violent extremism.  If they covered the violence at all, and many major outlets didn’t, it was always as a one off instance.  A deranged person who did something wrong with no connection to Democrats whatsoever.  The same pattern played out after an insane Bernie Sanders supporter opened fire at a congressional baseball game and after rioters did billions of dollars of damage, taking dozens of lives in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.  It is only when conservatives are involved that the actions of obviously troubled people are seen as the direct result of political rhetoric.

The second stream supplements the first.  These government reports, recycled by the media, prompt calls for President Trump and other Republicans to do something about the situation, as if they and they alone are responsible for the actions of individual people in a society of over 330 million.  This is long expected from progressive media outlets.  It’s been part of their go-to playbook for decades, but everything is amped up in the Trump Era and Fox News is now a willing participant in the charade.  Thus, Peter Doocy wonders whether the Republican party still supports the FBI given the “harmful rhetoric,” only to opine, “It would be great if he called for an end to violent rhetoric against law enforcement,” even though Trump hasn’t called for any violence of any kind.  Never Trumpers such as Allahpundit writing for HotAir.com echo these claims, insisting that Trump is not being helpful and not doing enough.  Somehow, the only goal that matters “is to calm people down” and in that regard, the former President isn’t being “super helpful.”  Anyone who disagrees might not have a “conscience” or be “understandably disturbed” by news reports that recycle the FBI’s own claims.  The goal here could not be more obvious, depict Trump as the problem and insist he needs to restrict his comments on the matter to what his opposition approves.  He should no longer feel free to state the obvious, like “America has never suffered this kind of ABUSE in law enforcement!  For the FBI to RAID the home of the 45 President of the United States, or any President for that matter, is totally unheard of and unthinkable.  This Break In was a sneak attack on democracy (our Republic!), and was both unannounced and done at a time when the President was not even present.  It was for political, not legal reasons, and our entire Country is angry, hurt, and greatly embarrassed by it.  MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

There is no doubt that Trump’s rhetoric is fiery and in your face, but so is (almost) every other politician in a highly polarized country.  Trump, however, is the only one that is subject to these sorts of lectures and accusations.  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer can stand on the steps of the Supreme Court, promising a “whirlwind” so fierce the Justices won’t know what hit them.  President Biden can refer to Republicans variously as Neanderthals, confederates, and supporters of Jim Crow.  Almost the entire Democrat party can call for the dissolution or radical restructuring of an “illegitimate” Supreme Court or whatever other institution draws their ire.  All of this is the normal democratic process in action, free speech and all that.  President Trump, however, is different, a unique threat that must be targeted and silenced.  To the extent this is true, the talking heads have it precisely backward:  Trump is the one that has been targeted multiple times now with unprecedented actions.  He is the one whose home was raided, a first in 246 years of US history.  He is the target of an endless series of defamatory leaks.  He is the man the media openly discusses being behind bars at some point in the near future.  As CNN’s legal “experts” put it, “Trump’s groundless caterwauling this past week proves he’s concerned about possible prosecution. He should be. There are just too many ongoing investigations to think that he can dodge them all.”  In their view, Trump’s only acceptable course of action is to do and say nothing.  He is to turn the other cheek until the Department of Justice finally deigns to explain itself or attempt to throw him in jail.  They even believe the end result might b nothing if no charges are followed, just a steady stream of reports on investigations that go nowhere. Anything else is either calling for or condoning violence.

Back in the real world, I’m reminded of Newton’s Third Law of Motion:  For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  The Department of Justice took the first action in this case, conducting an unprecedented raid without making so much as a statement on the matter or explaining their position on issues relevant to the future of the entire country.  Trump is merely reacting to events that have never happened to anyone else in his position, and he is suspicious with good reason:  This is not the first time he’s been targeted.  The investigation into the malfeasance underlying the last time hasn’t even been completed yet.  What we know so far about the events in 2016 suggests the FBI was either corrupt, overly aggressive, incompetent, or some combination of the three when they secured multiple court-approved warrants based on false information.  There is no reason to believe the current investigation, actually investigations is more accurate if the leaks are to be believed, is on any firmer ground, especially when the Department of Justice couldn’t even accurately confirm whether President Trump’s passports were confiscated.  First they claimed they weren’t, then they admitted they were even though no passports were on the inventory of everything that was taken from Mar-a-Lago.  If they can’t get their basic facts straight, why would we believe they can be trusted with anything?  To paraphrase Chuck Schumer, they and they alone have reaped the whirlwind this time around.  We cannot blame people for reacting to their actions so long as it is kept peaceful and lawful.

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