The Washington Post’s Samantha Schmidt via the Denver Post on the recent escalation of rhetoric as investigations targeting the Trump administration get closer to the top, escalation that’s starting to feature terminology unfamiliar to most Americans–very disturbing terminology–to describe the course of events:
Conservative commentators on Fox have compared the FBI to the KGB, the notorious Soviet-era spy organization that routinely employed torture and summary executions. Fox News legal commentator Greg Jarrett argued on a segment of Hannity earlier this month that Mueller “has been using the FBI as a political weapon. And the FBI has become America’s secret police.”
“Secret surveillance, wiretapping, intimidation, harassment and threats. It’s like the old KGB that comes for you in the dark of the night banging through your door.” Hannity assured viewers “this is not hyperbole you are using here.” Tom Fitton, president of the conservative organization Judicial Watch, made the same comparison on Fox News on Wednesday, saying, “Forget about shutting down Mr. Mueller. Do we need to shut down the FBI because it was turned into a KGB-type operation by the Obama administration?” [Pols emphasis]
Apparently these strong words weren’t strong enough. Saturday night, Fox suggested that the Mueller probe might be “a coup in America.”
Of course, any sane person who understands the correct definition of these words knows that a legally sanctioned investigation by law enforcement cannot be accurately described as a “coup.” It is an investigation by law enforcement, and no one in America is above the law. And we would make the comparison between Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump administration and Ken Starr’s thoroughly partisan years-long investigation of far less consequential matters regarding Bill Clinton Republicans took so seriously–but frankly the comparison is laughable enough to be an insulting distraction to Mr. Mueller.
Yet here is the nation’s #1 conservative news network telling its viewers Mueller’s investigation is a coup.
In our thirteen years of covering Colorado politics, we’ve become accustomed to the occasional unhinged voice calling for insurrection, revolution, or some other extraconstitutional form of radical change to the American system of government. Once in awhile, like with former GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez’s regrettable musings about President Barack Obama “pushing the boundaries” toward civil war back in 2012, that kind of talk gets dangerously close to being legitimized by individuals with real political clout.
Now fast-forward to December of 2017, when it’s coming from the White House.
We don’t want to add any more incendiary rhetoric to an already raging fire, but this is not good. And if you’re not seriously concerned about where this rhetoric could be leading, check your history books.
You should be.