Just as Democratic Party elites and Big Tech try to stamp out the Hunter Biden email story comes another angry demand:
Truth and Reconciliation Commissions.
Chew on the chilling, delicious irony as Joe Biden tells us he wants to heal the nation while pundits of the left, backing Biden, seek tribunals. There’s nothing like punishing your opponents in the name of national healing, non?
Or is that, oui?
“When this nightmare is over, we need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” tweeted Robert Reich, the progressive former Labor Department secretary to former President Bill Clinton and adviser to President Barack Obama. “It would erase Trump’s lies, comfort those who have been harmed by his hatefulness, and name every official, politician, executive, and media mogul whose greed and cowardice enabled this catastrophe.”
This follows another call for a Truth Commission delivered by an MSNBC host, the lefty Chris Hayes:
“The most humane and reasonable way to deal with all these people, if we survive this, is some kind of truth and reconciliation commission.”
And after the public show trials, are the guilty humanely offered blindfolds and a last cigarette? A cafe Americano might be nice.
Among Republicans, the outraged hot take on all of this is to bring up George Orwell’s “1984.”
“It’s Orwellian,” they say.
But Orwell’s “1984” was a soulless world ruled by dispassionate intellects. Their terror was numbing and methodical. These Reich/Hayes Truth Commissions are tinged instead with the angry passion of the zealot seeking revenge. It’s rather French. No, not the France of today, but of the French Revolution, of tribunals and trials and the Reign of Terror, the France of the Jacobins.
Unfortunately for those who say they wish to heal the nation and bring back decency and compassion, threatening voters who dissent might be the wrong approach. Yet it has been a theme of Democratic political actors and pundits across social media platforms since President Donald Trump was elected in 2016.
It may be why many who detest Trump’s boorish public behavior and presidential tweets aren’t drawn to Biden and the (likely next) President Kamala Harris. On one side they see Orange Man Bad. But on the other, they see the glint in the eyes of the Jacobins and Madame Guillotine, waiting.
When the working class obeyed politically, they were treated as Democratic Party heroes, as evidenced in the iconography of Depression-era WPA public art right through the John Lennon song. But when the working class began to dissent, to question progressives, they were dehumanized.
Likewise, conservative Black voters who reject liberal policy as harmful to their communities are demeaned as “Uncle Toms” and race-traitors. Working-class white voters were kicked to society’s margins as xenophobes and racists by Democratic Party leaders. Think of Obama’s famous elitist slap at working-class voters bitterly clinging to their guns and religion.
Even Hillary Clinton, then a rival, tried to club Obama with that one. But years later, she, too, joined in with her “basket of deplorables” mockery that helped cost her the 2016 election. Since then it has only intensified.
But the left’s Truth Commission idea is a new wrinkle in an old skin.
It comes as Twitter and Facebook act as State Media to suppress the stories about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine, China and elsewhere published in the New York Post.
Other news organizations have leaped to Joe Biden’s defense in attempts to slap it all down. The FBI is now said to be investigating, and former intelligence officials are reaching into their favorite Cyrillic rabbit hole, questioning whether Russian election interference played a role in the laptop mystery.
Of course, there were many questions about the sourcing of that infamous Russia dossier of opposition research linked to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and used to delegitimize the Trump campaign. But Democrats and the media haven’t been as religiously indignant about the source of that dossier.
There are two elements that should also be considered here. One is that Hunter Biden did make a great deal of money from overseas interests while his father, Joe, was Obama’s vice president and dealing diplomatically in those nations. Hunter Biden had little experience in the natural gas business but received at least $50,000 a month as a board member of Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma. And he was involved in business deals in China shortly after Joe Biden left the White House.
All that has been credibly reported long before the recent Hunter Biden email story ever surfaced.
And the other thing to consider is that though the New York Post published its first story more than a week ago, Hunter Biden has yet to deny these were his emails or his laptop.
The media doesn’t press Joe Biden about Hunter all that much. He wasn’t asked about it in that friendly ABC chat with George Stephanopoulos that was like a “Town hall of Hugs.”
If anything deserves a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, it’s the Hunter Biden drama, but pro-Biden forces won’t allow it. They want one for Trump and his supporters.
Today’s Truth Commission zealotry causes me to think of a priest, a father of the French Revolution named Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes, commonly known as the Abbe Sieyes.
In order to keep his head amid all that frightful head lopping that he helped start, the good Abbe renounced his faith and swore his oath to the new state. Before the peaceful end of his life in 1836, Abbe Sieyes was asked: What did you do during the French Revolution?
“J’ai vécu,” he said. “I survived.”
Listen to “The Chicago Way” podcast with John Kass and Jeff Carlin — at www.wgnradio.com/category/wgn-plus/thechicagoway.
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