The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The J6 Smear Machine

Posted on | June 15, 2022 | 2 Comments

“A show trial is a mock or make-believe trial in which the guilt of the party is predetermined. The trial is just a form of theater. Lenin called them ‘model trials.’ The aim was not to discover the truth — which was supposedly already known — but to stage a propaganda exhibition.”
Roger Kimball

What does Kimberly Guilfoyle’s speaking fee have to do with the alleged “threat to democracy” that the House Select Committee claims to be investigating? Nothing, so far as I can tell, and yet there’s the headline in the Washington Post (“Publix heiress paid Kimberly Guilfoyle’s $60,000 speaking fee on Jan. 6”) at the top of Memeorandum. An acquaintance who was subpoenaed by the J6 Committee described their requests for texts and emails as a “fishing expedition,” making broad categorical requests for communications in the apparent hope of finding something useful to embarrass or discredit either the subject of the subpoena or some other target of the investigation. Like the revelation of Guilfoyle’s speaking fee, these “fishing expedition” subpoenas show that the committee isn’t seeking to prove any actual crimes, but rather seeks more generally to smear Republicans. In terms of what happened at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, this isn’t such a mystery that a congressional investigation is necessary. Most of us (by which I mean, people who pay attention to politics) watched the thing happen live, in real-time, streaming on video and social media. Yet the committee hearings — which so many people have compared to Soviet-era “show trials” — continue to generate headlines as if Benny Thompson and his comrades were actually making newsworthy discoveries.

In true Stalinist fashion, these hearings are utterly one-sided. All of the witnesses appearing live before the committee — e.g., the bloated has-been Chris Stirewalt — have been hand-picked to give testimony reinforcing the foregone conclusion that (a) there was no reason to doubt the result of the 2020 election and therefore (b) the protest against certification of the Electoral College vote was inherently illegitimate, a seditious “insurrection.” There is no cross-examination of these witnesses, no one at the hearings who represents the opposing viewpoint. Most importantly, there is no ranking Republican member of the committee. Nancy Pelosi rejected House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy’s choices for the committee, instead appointing anti-Trump Republicans of her own choosing, so that the composition of the Select Committee’s membership is a violation of House rules. “Norms, restored.”

At no time during the Select Committee’s proceedings is anyone going to mention why so many Republicans believed (and most GOP voters still believe) that Biden didn’t actually win the election. The election was effectively decided by the results in three states (Georgia, Arizona and Wisconsin) with a combined 37 Electoral College votes (EV) in which Biden’s reported margin of victory was less than 1% of the total:

Georgia (16 EV)
Biden ….. 2,473,633 (49.5%)
Trump …. 2,461,854 (49.2%)
Margin …. 11,779 (0.236%)

Arizona (11 EV)
Biden ….. 1,672,143 (49.4%)
Trump …. 1,661,686 (49.1%)
Margin …. 10,457 (0.309%)

Wisconsin (10 EV)
Biden ….. 1,630,866 (49.5%)
Trump …. 1,610,184 (48.8%)
Margin …. 20,682 (0.627%)

Switch those 37 Electoral College votes from Biden to Trump, and the result would have been an Electoral College tie — 269 EVs for each. So about 43,000 votes in three states actually made the difference. It furthermore bears pointing out that Biden’s margin in two other states (Pennsylvania and Nevada) was also rather slender:

Pennsylvania (20 EV)
Biden ….. 3,458,229 (50.1%)
Trump …. 3,377,674 (48.8%)
Margin …. 80,555 (1.165%)

Nevada (6 EV)
Biden ….. 703,486 (50.1%)
Trump …. 669,890 (47.7%)
Margin …. 33,596 (2.391%)

Now, while the numerical margin was larger in Pennsylvania, it was statistically closer, percentage-wise, than Nevada. And in both states, Republicans were suspicious of “shenanigans” in major Democrat-controlled cities. Pennsylvania Republicans pointed to Philadelphia, where Joe Biden got more than 600,000 votes, while Nevada Republicans pointed to Clark County (Las Vegas) where Biden got more than 500,000 votes. As to exactly how such “shenanigans” happened, some of my friends who are obsessed with the topic could lecture you for hours on the details, but the subject bores me to tears, and I’ll just summarize my general impression that this involved “ballot harvesting” of the mail-in ballots which were mandated as an emergency COVID-19 measure. My point is not to argue about such details, but rather to say that it’s not really a far-fetched “conspiracy theory” to suspect that the 2020 election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. Far be it from me to claim it is proven as a fact that Democrats stole the election, but neither am I inclined to argue with anyone who believes it was stolen.

All of this is relevant to the J6 “Stop the Steal” rally which led to the so-called “insurrection” that Nancy Pelosi’s Select Committee claims to be investigating in this show trial. Tens of thousands of Trump supporters showed up for the rally at the Ellipse — peaceably assembling to express their grievances, just as the First Amendment says — in an effort to make it clear to Congress that they didn’t think Biden won the election, and thus hoping to prevent certification of the Electoral College vote. This was not illegal, nor was this protest manufactured by “Trump’s big lie,” as Democrats have insisted. That is to say, there were (and still are) millions of Republican voters who watched the returns on Election Night, gathering the impression that Trump was on the verge of winning re-election, only to wake up the next day and be told that Biden had won, and at that moment became instantly convinced they were the victims of a massive election fraud. They decided this on their own, independently of any claim made by Trump. So a central assumption of the J6 Committee investigation — i.e., that the crowd who gathered for the “Stop the Steal” rally were “manipulated” and “incited” by Trump — is flatly false. Those people didn’t need any incitement from anybody to be mad as hell about the election, and if a few hundred of them got so mad that they broke the law by knocking over police barricades and storming the Capitol — well, they were “mostly peaceful” protesters, eh?

The actual purpose of Nancy Pelosi’s J6 Committee is not to “investigate” what happened during the riot, since we all saw what happened with our own eyes, but rather to scapegoat and smear Republicans as part of the propaganda operation aimed at shifting votes in this fall’s midterm elections. They intend, furthermore, to intimidate anyone who might raise questions about the fairness of future close elections that Democrats win, and beyond that, to promote the impression that any Republicans who complain too much are potential “domestic terrorists.”

In September 1936 [Nikolai] Yezhov replaced [Genrikh] Yagoda as the head of the NKVD. More than any other police chief, Yezhov was prepared to indulge Stalin’s paranoic fantasies by fabricating evidence of ‘counter-revolutionary conspiracies’ and ‘spy rings’ everywhere. He had curried Stalin’s favour by uncovering the Kremlin Affair in 1935.
For several years, Yezhov had promoted the theory that, on Trotsky’s orders from abroad, Zinoviev and Kamenev had been plotting to murder Stalin and other members of the Party leadership, including Kirov. On this basis, Stalin reopened the Kirov investigation. In August 1936, Zinoviev, Kamenev and fourteen other Party leaders were put on trial for treason. All of them were sentenced to death, along with 160 other people arrested in connection with the trial.
This was the first of several ‘show trials’ during 1936-38. Their aim was to expose a coordinated ring of ‘spies’ and ‘terrorists’ organized by former oppositionists. It was not enough to convict and punish them: the aim of the show trials was to prove the existence of these ‘conspiracies’ beyond doubt by having the accused confess their guilt before the Party and the world (unaware of the torture used to extract their confession). In NKVD circles the confession was regarded as the highest form of proof. There was no other evidence.

The larger purpose of the “show trials” was to consolidate Stalin’s power by eliminating potential rivals while, at the same time, creating a justification for more repressive measures by the Communist dictatorship. And this was all helpful as a distraction from the increasingly obvious economic failures of the Soviet experiment. At the same time Zinoviev and other former Bolshevik leaders were being purged and subjected to “show trials,” the collectivization of Soviet agriculture was reaching the 90% level, and far from providing the bountiful harvest the Communists had promised, hunger was widespread. Millions had died in the Ukraine terror famine, and many tens of thousands of peasants had been executed or sentenced to prison labor camps — the population of the gulags was nearly 2 million by 1938.

Publicly punishing “enemies of the revolution” supplied Stalin with ready-made scapegoats for his regime’s failures. If the wheat harvest fell short, or if the meat ration was reduced, the conspiracy of Stalin’s enemies was to blame — hadn’t they confessed to counter-revolutionary actions, after all? A similar propaganda function is served by Pelosi’s J6 show trials. Demonizing the opposition in public spectacles serves not only to distract public attention from the economic failures of the Biden administration, it also serves to discourage dissenters from speaking out, since they can see what kind of punishment the Democrats are willing to mete out to their opponents. Comparing it to The Great Terror may be hyperbolic, but the fact is that Democrats are essentially totalitarian in believing that they deserve a monopoly on political power, and that opposition should be repressed. Their totalitarian beliefs are the inspiration for their totalitarian tactics. Be afraid. Be very afraid.



2 Responses to “The J6 Smear Machine”

  1. The Smear Machine indeed! - The DaleyGator
    June 15th, 2022 @ 4:25 pm

    […] The Other McCain has a wonderful, and important post up regarding Marxists, and their beloved show trials. And yes Virginia, today’s Democratic Party is, indeed, Marxist! A sample […]

  2. The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Washington show trial – THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL.
    June 16th, 2022 @ 10:26 am

    […] Also see: Robert Stacy McCain: The J6 Smear Machine […]