It was one thing to hear our friend Curtis Houck refer to MSNBC’s Deadline White House as “Rich Liberal Wine Mom Story Hour” but hoo boy, it’s entirely another to actually sit through an episode of this dreck. Beyond dreck, today’s episode featured extremely dangerous rhetoric.
Today’s episode featured Nicolle Wallace hosting A HALF HOUR of Liz Cheney’s book tour: just a couple of Bush alumni doing the “look at us” meme, comparing the Capitol riot of January 6th, 2021 to the Al-Qaeda terrorist attack on September 11th, 2001, and as you’ll see in this clip below- bemoaning the lack of a domestic equivalent of the Patriot Act with which to persecute domestic political opponents. Click “expand” to view the transcript of this segment, as aired on MSNBC’s Deadline: White House on Tuesday, December 5th, 2023:
NICOLLE WALLACE: Do you think — I’ve asked people that study democracies the same question. And do you think that the violence is ahead or behind?
LIZ CHENEY: I think that it may well still be ahead. I think the fact that- that, you know, you begin with former President Trump and the extent to which he continues to make actually even more aggressive and more extreme attacks and claims, the kinds of things he knows caused violence on January 6th, you see- even if you look, for example, at what was going on in the Speaker’s race, when Members of the House Republican conference were receiving threats if they weren’t saying that they would vote for Jim Jordan, and in one of the most chilling reported episodes, and I talked to a member who was in this meeting, when members were saying to Jim Jordan, look, we’re getting threats of violence if we don’t support you. Warren Davidson of Ohio, a Jim Jordan supporter, reportedly responded and said “well, that’s not Jim Jordan’s fault. That’s your fault.” And think about, you know, what that means. That acceptance of violence in our political system.
WALLACE: Well, I want to ask you what it means because I don’t know if I read it and felt it- obviously, I read it and felt all of the parallels to this time of great threat to the country that we served in government at the same time, and that was post 9/11. But what’s so disorienting about this chapter is not just that we have fewer tools to address this threat, but that it masquerades and it burrows in under legitimate functions: as Speaker of the House, the front runner for the Republican nomination. And I wonder if you can talk a little bit about what you see as the way forward.
CHENEY: Yeah. Um, you know, part of the challenge is that it is, as you point out, is very disorienting. You remember after 9/11, Republicans and Democrats together stood on the steps of the Capitol and sang “God Bless America.” After the attack…
WALLACE: And voted 100-0 or 99-0 on the Patriot Act. I mean, the tools were passed. Everyone agreed on them, and the enemy was clear. This is the opposite.
CHENEY: Well, and I think this is a situation where you have the Republican Party actively trying to ensure that people- actively trying to ensure- to whitewash what happened on the 6th. And to collaborate with the former president, I think that’s a really important point. Because the threat that he poses wouldn’t be so significant if people had done the right thing, had said “no, he’s not…that’s not who we are.” But instead there’s obviously, there’s this embrace of him, and this collaboration with the very damaging efforts he’s undertaking.
The rhetoric advanced here is extremely dangerous, and the talk of violence will actually beget violence. It wasn’t that long ago that a deranged, MSNBC-binging Sandernista shot up a baseball field full of GOP congressmen, nearly killing Rep. Steve Scalise. The constant threat of violence and demonization of half the country as dangerous extremists may very well end up creating a permission structure for political violence towards conservatives.
Look very closely at the transcript. The proposal to emerge from this exchange is “tools” with which to “address the threat” from “enemies”, and “enemies” is defined as those who “collaborate with the former president”. That’s half the country. In very short order, we’ve gone from “bucket of deplorables” to denouncing half the country as domestic terrorists. Small wonder Cheney didn’t propose sending Trump voters to Gitmo.
Authoritarianism is already here, under the guise of “protecting democracy”. Chilling.