Column: Inside the GOP response to the Jan. 6 hearings: If all else fails, start chanting ‘LOCK HER UP!’ – Chicago Tribune

column:-inside-the-gop-response-to-the-jan.-6-hearings:-if-all-else-fails,-start-chanting-‘lock-her-up!’-–-chicago-tribune

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Opinion content—editorials, columns and guest commentaries—is created independent of news reporting and is exclusive to subscribers. Through one of my well-placed (and possibly imaginary) sources, I have received this VERY NOT MADE UP text of a speech delivered this week during a Zoom meeting attended by thousands of Republican lawmakers and right-wing pundits: Hi, everyone, and welcome to today’s GOP Talking-Point Response Planning session. Hail Trump! (pause for mandatory “Hail Trump!” response) We’re here today so I can run you through our plans for a patriotic, America-first response to the Democrats’ outrageous, toxic, backward-looking, Communist-kangaroo-court House select committee hearings on the so-called “Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.” To start with, we will claim that Jan. 6 does not exist. If you reference the desk calendar you received with your minimum $500 donation to the Donald Trump “Walkin’ Around Money” Fund, there is a Jan. 5 and a Jan. 7, but no Jan. 6. So there couldn’t have been a domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol on that day, because that day is a fabrication cooked up by left-wing calendar makers, likely sponsored by antifa. Also, because Democrats claim Jan. 6 is the day the election of “Sleepy” Joe Biden was certified, we know that must be fake and President Trump is still president. Pretty simple stuff, really. (pause for boos and misplaced chants of “Lock her up!”) Because we know the Democrats and their lap dogs in the fact-obsessed lamestream media will insist on covering the Jan. 6 committee investigation as if it’s a real thing rooted in concern for the future of our democracy, we must be prepared to rebut their findings and any testimony that comes forth. The first line of defense, as always, is to use what the left calls “a false equivalence,” or what we call “a good equivalence,” because it’s extremely effective at getting our base to not waste time on notoriously liberal activities like “gathering information,” “thinking” or “separating fact from fiction.” The good equivalence we’ll use goes something like this: “This so-called ‘attack,’ which was really more of a peaceful protest, is getting all this attention, but what about the Black Lives Matter protests last summer that burned every city in the nation to the ground? How come nobody got arrested for those?” If someone points out that more than 14,000 people were arrested during the summer of protests, or if some lefty from one of the burned-down cities points out that their city is not in any way burned down, just repeat the same talking point, only louder. That should do the trick. The next step is to denounce anyone who testifies at the Jan. 6 committee hearings as a lying, Marxist radical. (pause for cheers from fans of denouncing people) While we support our nation’s police officers … (pause for cheers and “BACK THE BLUE!” chant) … and while we think anyone who talks about defunding or reforming the police is a hate-filled anarchist hellbent on destroying America … (pause for boos and chants of “USA!”) … the Capitol and D.C. Metro police officers — the ones testifying before the committee about their experience defending the Capitol that day, describing how they were beaten with bats and flagpoles, tasered and called “traitors” and racial slurs — are intolerant garbage humans who hate this country and should be relentlessly insulted. (pause for light chants of “(EXPLETIVE) THE COPS!” followed by confused murmuring) We’ll leave most of the police-defaming work to our friends at Fox News, like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, who will mock the emotions the officers show, minimize the trauma they experienced and generally belittle them in a manner so cruel and shameless some will wonder how America managed to sink so low. Should anyone point out that Carlson or Ingraham would likely soil their undergarments if an angry-looking bunny glanced at them sideways, simply shout that person down by yelling “BACK THE BLUE!” without recognizing your own hypocrisy. Invariably, the Democrats on the select committee, along with the Republican-Democrats (Reps. Liz “Lib” Cheney and Adam “Won’t Drink The Kool-Aid” Kinzinger), will try to pin the blame for the Jan. 6 attack that didn’t happen on President Donald Trump. (pause for “Hail Trump!” chants) They’ll claim President Trump spent months promoting a “lie” that the election would be stolen, then claimed the election was stolen and then encouraged his supporters to rise up in an attempt to violently stop the election results from being certified, and they’ll support those claims using the flimsy evidence that that’s exactly what President Trump did and it’s all on video and in tweets he sent before he was kicked off social media for inciting an insurrection. (pause for louder “Hail Trump!” chants) We will not, of course, stand for that twisted linear left-wing logic. The correct response to any such scurrilous claim is that the Jan. 6 attack that was peaceful and also never happened was entirely the fault of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. If that sensible assertion is pushed back on simply because Pelosi does not direct the National Guard or play a role in U.S. Capitol security, simply blame the attack on the Biden administration. If anyone points out that Biden was not yet president and there was no Biden administration on Jan. 6, say that we know billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has created a time machine and ask: Why didn’t the Biden administration use that device to travel back in time and stop the Jan. 6 attack that wasn’t really an attack and also didn’t happen? If all else fails, just start chanting “LOCK HER UP!” (pause for chants of “LOCK HER UP!”) You have your messaging plans now. Go forward and MAGA. Hail Trump!
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