If they weren’t simply serial liars you might almost feel sorry for right-wing bloggers and “journalists.” They are forced on an almost daily basis to defend the indefensible. And that task has become more daunting than ever thanks to the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump.
The spin cycle has been working overtime since Sunday night’s debate, as conservatives try desperately to create a phony moral equivalence between Trump’s comment that if he were president, Hillary Clinton would be in jail, and things that have been said or done by Democrats. None of the arguments I have heard are anything close to valid, but one particularly poor example of faulty reasoning appears on the obscure site, The Federalist.
Writer Bre Peyton should have taken a course in logic and reasoning before sitting down at her computer to write a piece of total nonsense titled “16 Times Democrats Tried To Prosecute Opponents.” She would also do well to learn how to research before she writes. Peyton tries to play the “I know you are, but what am I?” card that conservatives just love, and fails pretty miserably. She totally misses the point that Trump was threatening his political opponent with prison if he wins — something that is pretty much unprecedented in the history of American politics, at least where the major party candidates are concerned.
Out of the 16 examples Peyton uses in her article, exactly ZERO represent a case where a Democrat brought about the prosecution of someone who ran against him or her in an election. In fact, the examples that involve elected Democrats represent the oversight of other elected officials that most Americans want. And in at least one case the person involved in bringing the prosecution Peyton refers to wasn’t even a Democrat.
Peyton’s first example, the Texas prosecution of David Daleiden, tells you that she spent next to no time researching her claims. Of course, that’s typical when it comes to the right. Why waste time doing research that is only going to tell you that you’re wrong?
Daleiden, the infamous creator of the doctored Planned Parenthood videos may have broken the law in several states by recording people without their consent. But Peyton focuses on his prosecution on a felony charge in Texas by Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, who is — whoops! — a Republican appointed by former governor Rick Perry, also a Republican.
Peyton’s second example is almost as bad as her first. She cites a case where the Obama administration took the Little Sisters of the Poor to court for violating the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate. But she doesn’t bother to point out the inconvenient fact that Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services was enforcing the law, which they are obliged to do. And like it or hate it, “Obamacare” is the law.
Example number three is just laughable. Peyton mentions that “leftists” have been calling for Michigan governor Rick Snyder to be jailed over the Flint water crisis. This time she doesn’t even mention an elected official who is trying to prosecute Snyder. Instead, she offers a tweet from comedian Andy Richter that asks the question “When is Rick Snyder going to go to jail?”
I could go through the rest of Bre Peyton’s examples, but I think you get the point. Her attempt to prove that Democrats have repeatedly done what Trump said he wants to do to Clinton is a ridiculous, abject failure that nobody with more developed reasoning than an adolescent would find credible. It might be good for a laugh or two, but when you stop and realize that a lot of people are reading it and nodding in agreement, you just might stop laughing and start to cry.
If you feel you must, you can read Bre Peyton’s drivel in its entirety here.
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