Donald Trump's impeachment lawyers on Friday centered their defense around several embarrassingly incoherent video montages of Democrats repeatedly using the word "fight" in speeches over the years. One 11-minute montage alone featured some 238 utterances of the word, none of which included a lick of context. Frankly, it should have been an embarrassing defense presentation. But once wasn't enough for the shoddy lawyering of Trump's defense team—they played three separate montages of the recycled clips aimed at absolving Trump of culpability for inciting the murderous mob at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The flimsy idea was that Democrats repeatedly employing the word got Trump off the hook for telling his rally goers to “fight like hell” and then directing them to Capitol, where they proceeded to beat, bludgeon, and kill people. The one small hiccup in the logic was that none of the Democrats' followers ever ended up marching to the Capitol to attack the U.S. seat of government and murder people in the process. And in fact, Trump lawyer David Schoen helpfully made that exact point in a Fox News appearance just days before deploying that defense video, according to The Washington Post.
On Tuesday, Schoen and Fox host Sean Hannity were discussing that Democrats had been using the word “fight” for years when Schoen voluntarily drew a distinction in outcomes.
“They’re using rhetoric that’s just as inflammatory, or more so,” he said of the Democrats. “The problem is, they don’t really have followers, you know, their dedicated followers and so — you know, when they give their speeches.”
Right, the Democrats' "problem" (i.e., their inability to actuate violence) was that they don't have "dedicated followers" (i.e., people who will haul off and commit murder on instruction).
Exactly. Schoen's characterization of Democrats' nonviolent followers as a "problem" is pretty stunning on its own. But even better, he completely undercut the insinuation of the video that Democrats use the word "fight" too, just like Trump did.
Nope, not just like Trump did. Democrats didn't spend months predicting they would lose the election because it was "rigged" and assuring their followers that they both would be and had been disenfranchised. Democrats didn't spend years stoking the grievances of their followers, encouraging their violence, praising them for beating people up, and promising to pay for their defense if their violent acts landed them on the wrong side of the law. Democrats didn't encourage their followers to believe that their personal satisfaction and gratification superseded someone else's right to personal and physical safety.
Nope. Trump and his GOP conspirators did that—which is why Trump’s supporters went off to murder people in plain sight on Jan. 6. And they succeeded, just not on the scale they had hoped.