Monday, January 25, 2021


Sarah Huckabee Sanders has announced her run for governor of Arkansas. She'll win easily -- she's in the right party, she has the name recognition, and her first campaign video is a solid piece of work.

It's also a solid piece of demagoguery.

The video runs nearly eight minutes. Barely a minute and a half in, Sanders says this:
We've seen violence in our streets, at a congressional baseball practice, and at our Capitol. This is not who we are as Americans. To remain free, we must have law and order and resolve our differences peacefully. The radical left's solution is to impose government control and censorship from the top down. But their socialism and cancel culture will not heal America. It will only further divide and destroy us. Everything we love about America is at stake. And with the radical left now in control of Washington, your governor is your last line of defense.
She goes on to say,
As governor, I will defend your right to be free of socialism and tyranny.
As she says this, we see the alleged tyrants: Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, and Cory Booker. Later she says:
I took on the media, the radical left, and their cancel culture.
When she says this we see the radical leftist Jim Acosta of CNN.

Nancy Pelosi, shockingly, doesn't make an appearance in the video, but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does, of course, about five and a half minutes in.

Remember, Sanders isn't running for Congress or president -- she's running for governor. Of Arkansas. Against Bernie Sanders and AOC. And while she eventually talks about issues a gubernatorial candidate should talk about -- jobs, taxes, the pandemic -- her focus is relentlessly on "socialism," "the radical left," and "cancel culture."

We talk a lot about Donald Trump's lies -- there were more than 30,000 of them -- but we don't talk about the Big Lie that every Republican politician and right-wing media figure tells: that all Democrats (and all non-conservative media figures) are members of "the radical left." Since "the radical left" can be blamed for political violence, that means every Democrat and every TV news person who isn't on Fox, Newsmax, or One America News is essentially responsible for burning buildings in Portland and the shooting of Steve Scalise.

Yes, Sanders does mention the Capitol riot -- apparently that's regarded on the right as a bad thing. But I'm sure she and her team know that quite a few of her potential voters blame the Capitol violence on Antifa, and most of the rest probably believe that left-wingers are ultimately to blame:

We don't even notice the routine McCarthyism of GOP rhetoric. It's in nearly every utterance of every Republican who stands before a microphone or otherwise has access to the media. Democrats don't do this -- they denounce Trump in strong terms, but they don't denounce every Republican every time they speak. Only a few even suggest that Republicans are similar to Nazis or fascists. But for Republicans, this is everyday talk -- so routine we don't even hear it anymore.

This video won't be seen as shockingly inflammatory or offputting. Maybe we need to develop more of a capacity for outrage.

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