June 26, 2022 / by 

 

Gaslighting of the Obstructive Kind

[NB: check the byline, thanks. / ~Rayne]

It’s pretty damned bad when your uncle feels he must denounce what you’ve said and done as the head of your shared political party.

Ronna McDaniel, niece of Mitt Romney and Republican National Committee chairwoman, deserved her uncle’s rebuttal. She’d tweeted in response to The New York Times’ article, ‘G.O.P. Declares Jan. 6 Attack ‘Legitimate Political Discourse‘ which reported the RNC’s censure of Representatives Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) for their participation in the House January 6 Committee:
As the chair of the RNC, it’s “legitimate political discourse” all the way down with McDaniel. She must have approved the wording of the censure which included the description of the U.S. Capitol’s violent storming as “legitimate political discourse,” doubling down when tweeting her objection to the NYT’s straightforward stenography of the censure.

There are so many layers of stupidity to this censure, one of which Marcy has already addressed. But for McDaniel and the RNC to expect the American public to believe their claim is unmoored from reality.

This is not “legitimate political discourse” by ordinary citizens.

Not legitimate as an exercise of free speech.


Violent to the point political perspective has been lost, beyond an effort to obtain agreement.


No reasoned discourse, just rage the entire world could see.

What instead McDaniel and the RNC have offered is gaslighting – an effort to change the public’s perspective of what they saw on television on January 6, 2020; what they’ve seen online across numerous news outlets since then; what the public has been shown by the Federal Bureau of Investigation which is still searching for perpetrators; what the Department of Justice’s prosecutors have shown grand juries and courts as more than 700 individuals have been identified and arrested for their actions on January 6.

Gaslighting — a truly feeble effort which damages the RNC even further because the public can see through the dampened tissue held in front of its eyes.

More specifically, this gaslighting is aimed at GOP voters, who also saw a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6:

The last year of denialism, trash talking the House J6 Committee, and GOP congressional caucus refusal to cooperate in good faith has moved the disapproval rating 13%, still leaving 61% of GOP voters unhappy with what transpired on January 6.

So McDaniel and the RNC doubled down to try and recover more ground with GOP voters.

But the photos and videos don’t lie, and the other evidence gathered so far by both the House J6 and the DOJ bolster what the visual evidence tells us.

Nor has the court countered what the public saw, having convicted 208 and sentenced 85 out of 734 perpetrators charged to date.

The gaslighting will only become more obvious when hearings begin, and begin they will.

Not even Putin’s saber rattling over Ukraine can stop them.

~ ~ ~

The RNC had to backpedal on their claim this was “legitimate political discourse” because it even offended some GOP.

But the discussion over what the RNC really meant clouds another concern, which is that the censure itself was a fraud.

On January 6 and into the early hours of January 7, 2020, these states’ election certifications were called into question:

Arizona: 11 electoral votes – Counted following objection presented by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Senate rejected objection by a vote of 6-93
House rejected objection by a vote of 121-303

Georgia: 16 electoral votes – Counted following incomplete objection presented by Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) without a senator

Michigan: 16 electoral votes – Counted following incomplete objection presented by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) without a senator

Nevada: 6 electoral votes – Counted following incomplete objection presented by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) without a senator

Pennsylvania: 20 electoral votes – Counted following objection presented by Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO)
Senate rejected objection by a vote of 7-92
House rejected objection by a vote of 138-282

On December 30, Hawley said he was going to object to certification.

On January 2, 11 other GOP senators said they would object to certification. They were:

Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Mike Braun (R-IN)
Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Steve Daines (R-MT)
Bill Hagerty (R-TN)
Ron Johnson (R-WI)
John Kennedy (R-LA)
James Lankford (R-OK)
Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)
Roger Marshall (R-KS)
Tommy Tuberville (R-AL)

Blackburn, Braun, Daines, Hagerty, Johnson, Lankford, Lummis all withdrew their objections after the Senate reconvened and voted on certification.

Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) had not announced her intention to object in advance of January 6, but later withdrew her objection because of the assault on the Capitol Building.

Rick Scott (R-FL), Cindy Hyde Smith (R-MS), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) threw in with Cruz, Hawley, Kennedy, Marshall, and Tuberville to vote against certification though they did not announce their position ahead of January 6.

We know now that Tuberville had been contacted by phone on the floor of the Senate by both Trump and Rudy Giuliani just as the Senate was being evacuated on January 6.

Represenatives Brooks Gosar, Greene, Hice, Perry objected to the certification of states Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania with support from senators Cruz and Hawley.

In all, 148 GOP members of Congress – 8 senators, 139 representatives – voted against certification of the election.

What McDaniel and the RNC have tried to hide with their claim that January 6 was “legitimate political discourse” was the autogolpe attempted even after the insurrectionist rioters disbanded and left the Capitol Building.

“Legitimate political discourse” this was not, though it has now been whitewashed by the RNC and protected by the weaponized Speech or Debate Clause.

Which of these GOP members of Congress were in on the conspiracy to obstruct government proceedings?

Which of them knew in advance how the plan to overturn several states’ election certifications would work, and knew their role in the conspiracy?

Which of them performed their role as they understood it?

Which ones remained silent and voted against certification, saying little to nothing afterward?

Which ones vacillated – hello, Kevin McCarthy – or played some other role in the conspiracy – hello, Lindsey Graham?

Which ones refused to participate in the conspiracy, but have simply said nothing at all, implicitly supporting sedition, insurrection, and the peaceful transfer of power with their silence?

The lack of honest, forthcoming answers about the GOP congressional caucus’s role is both instructive and obstructive.

~ ~ ~

McDaniel and the RNC may think they’re going to pull their party’s butt out of the fire with this gaslighting effort, by attempting to reframe angry hordes summoned to D.C. — who attacked police and threatened members of Congress, insulted the country by defecating on the Capitol Building’s marble floors after smashing its doors and windows, stole podiums, papers, laptops — as ‘ordinary citizens’ engaged in “legitimate political discourse,” while redirecting attention away from the roles that GOP members of Congress played on January 6.

But they’ve only demonstrated once again the Republican Party is incapable of governing, just as it’s been incapable of establishing a platform since 2016 based on coherent values it demonstrates in its actions.

If the GOP can’t engage in “legitimate political discourse,” if it can only exercise bad faith in words and deeds, it’s dead.

Sic transit mundum tuum, Factio Republicana.

But what if this obstructive gaslighting was more than a reframing exercise meant to skew public opinion?

What if McDaniel and the RNC instead meant to greenlight the same kind of violent behavior Trump’s supporters exhibited on January 6, using the censure of Cheney and Kinzinger and subsequent discussion as cover?

What if the walking dead GOP is not only rotting the brains of its followers with its false reality but encouraging them to continue to rebel because they have no other truly legitimate means to stay in power if voter suppression doesn’t succeed?

Copyright © 2022 emptywheel. All rights reserved.
Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/tag/mitt-romney/