Last night, Bill O’Reilly “just asked” in his Talking Points commentary, “Is there a civil war brewing in the U.S.A.?” However, his immediate goal was not to enlighten anyone but to demonize anti-Trump protesters as dangerous traitors. I think there was another, darker agenda, too.
Here are some excerpts from O’Reilly’s commentary (via FoxNews.com’s transcript, with my emphases):
O'REILLY: The main beef seems to be that left wing protesters don’t respect an honest election. By the way, that’s a hallmark around the world. Every communist and socialist takeover from Cuba to Venezuela to Soviet Russia back in the early 20th Century featured violence and assaults on freedom. Here in the U.S.A., we honor protests, but increasingly we are seeing people who want our system destroyed.
[T]here are people, agitators who do want to hurt you. Who do not believe the way you do.
And in San Francisco, there is talk that the State of California should secede from the union.
O’REILLY: That sounds like the south before the civil war, does it not? Finally, the race hustlers are very angry. Chief among them Al Sharpton who despises Donald Trump.
O’Reilly’s concern trolling for respecting an honest election might seem a whole lot more authentic and a whole lot less self-serving were it not for his tolerance for his pal Donald Trump’s attempts to undermine President Obama’s presidency. Can you point to even one instance where O’Reilly condemned Trump’s bogus birtherism as a dangerous and anti-American attempt to undermine the election of our first African American president? When O’Reilly brought up the subject in September, his only concern seemed to be that Trump’s birtherism might have “hurt” him with the black vote.
I also don’t recall O’Reilly speaking out against his own network’s cheerleading for criminal rancher Cliven Bundy’s armed insurrection against the federal government. To his credit, O’Reilly did not join that disgraceful behavior. But I do recall O’Reilly whitewashing his colleagues’ support as an example of why Fox News is successful. “We have a wide variety of opinion expressed in a vibrant way,” he praised.
So don’t tell me that O’Reilly’s respect for dissent doesn’t depend almost wholly on who’s being protested and very little about how.
That’s disturbing enough. But I believe O'Reilly is promoting a deeper, more sinister agenda here. And it dovetails all too well with Trump advisor and likely cabinet member Newt Gingrich’s desire to resurrect the McCarthy-esque House Un-American Activities Committee. It’s hinted at in O'Reilly's conclusion, where he suggests that anyone who “promotes anarchy” should be quickly punished or exiled:
O'REILLY: Summing up, Talking Points respects sincere protests. If you believe Donald Trump is not good for America, I have no problem with you displaying that opinion. However, if you hurt someone, destroy something, or promote anarchy, you then become a danger to the republic. That kind of stuff needs to be punished and quickly. Also, we are living in an amazingly destructive politically correct environment here in America. Just because something offends you doesn’t mean you have the right to hurt or destroy.
The new president might want to make that very clear. And if you don’t like it, Canada and Mexico are nearby. They might be happy to have you. Then again, they might not. And that’s “The Memo.”
We can hope that O’Reilly’s definition of punishable protest is restricted to actual, serious violence and not, say, the kind of casual talk of a revolution in the clips he showed.
But we can’t count on that.
Watch this chilling editorial below, from the November 10, 2016 The O’Reilly Factor.
Drip… drip… drip… and the upshot was that this slander quietly penetrated 70 or 80% of the population (even Democrats reflexively doubted her complete honesty) when she really did very little to deserve such a reputation. A slow-motion crucifixion and a damned tragedy for America.
Which candidate refused to say that he would respect the result? Is O’Reilly’s memory betraying him? Or is he simply a shill? I vote for the latter.
Although I think a civil war situation might have developed had Trump lost: his followers are heavily armed and eager to use their toys. Lefties are more prone to marching and shouting and they are less likely to be armed. The violence at their marches is usually done by people who have nothing to do with the message but a lot to do with wanting to break things. Their intellectual level is that of three-year olds with a stack of porcelain cups.
I’m getting a strong feeling from the various personalities on the Right, including the people who are about to be given tremendous power in Trump’s White House, that they are in the mood for revenge and punishment. You’d think these guys would be happy that they pulled out the squeaker and that their depress-the-vote negative campaign gambit worked. But no, they’re really angry. And the oddest part is that they’re swinging at some of their own people first. Republicans who didn’t get on board Trump’s little ride are now being hung out to dry on Fox News and on AM Radio. Some of them are likely to be primaried from the hard right in 2-4 years.
But if the Far Right is angry at fellow GOP members who didn’t step in line fast enough, they’re positively furious at the Dems and their supporters. They are clearly bent on tearing up every last piece of the Obama presidency and leaving it on the highway. With this attitude, it shouldn’t surprise us that they are warming up to take actions that are likely to cause discomfort for millions of Americans.
I honestly think these guys don’t care if there is collateral damage – they just want it done. They don’t care if their destruction of the ACA results in people losing their coverage – they just want to be able to say that Barack Obama was a failure and that they are the ones who will take care of things now. If their constituents complain, they’ll be told that the ACA was unworkable and was a huge Democrat boondoggle that was costing everyone too much money. They’ll be told that the GOP is working on a replacement program but is dealing with so much Democrat obstruction that they will need to vote more GOP legislators in on the next round in 2 years. This is a typically Rovian move, and we should keep these tricks in mind before they come our way unexpectedly.
The harsh nature of the Right’s fury is what really concerns me here. If you look at O’Reilly’s face in that clip, there’s no mistaking the bald, red-faced anger at hand. He’s going to use this opportunity to rub every liberal’s nose in the mess, and he clearly wants to tell them to like it while he does it. It’s that kind of attitude from O’Reilly and Hannity that is scary to watch on Fox News. But it’s REALLY scary to see that attitude coming from people like Gingrich and Giuliani and Clarke, all of whom will be in positions with an ability to harm a LOT of people. Gingrich has already gone back to his usually nasty mode in his attacks on fellow GOP members. Just wait until he gets on the notion of punishing Dems. Giuliani may be the scariest one here, as he’s playing the card of being genial while saying some incredibly angry things – mainly about finding a way to charge, indict and arrest the Clintons.
There were articles today on CNN about how these guys really won’t be able to repeal the ACA and how they really won’t be able to indict the Clintons, and I actually burst out laughing at the second article. Because the articles assumed these guys would do what makes sense to a CNN op-ed writer. Which is hysterical on its face. These guys are going for the rich satisfaction of revenge, not anything that would actually help anyone. And unless the Dems show some backbone, the Right will get away with it. Again.
The one silver lining I’m finding here is that I believe we’ll see a series of scandals in this White House that will easily dwarf anything we saw in W’s two terms. And that mess would be enough to potentially bring some of these guys down – it’s just that we’ll have to endure at least 4 years of this craziness before we can do much about it.
Five more trillion down the plughole, a god-awful shemozzle over healthcare, job growth destroyed, race and religious relations set back decades and NO CHANCE WHATSOEVER of blaming anything on the Democrats. As it dawns on each subgroup of Trump voters that he’s making things worse for them, not better, they must at last reach the tipping point I for one thought they would surely reach before the election.
Rust belt – no new heavy industry.
Coal territory – no re-opened mines.
Poor white workers – no increase in minimum wage.
Mexican haters – no mass expulsion.
AfAm haters – nothing much of anything
Isolationists – plenty of war-mongering
Protectionists – increased prices on everything, including cars and pick-up trucks
Two years of Don the Con and his band of Merry Morons should be plenty.
Btw, if BOR is so worried about anarchy, where was he when his milkshake BFF was making comments that could be considered to be promoting anarchy? Just another example of BOR’s double standard.
A friend just posted that her neighbors (who are Black and Muslim) have a daughter who was attacked in school on Wednesday for wearing a headscarf. We’ve all seen the video of white kids in class yelling “Build the Wall” at the non-white kids. Where does O’Reilly stand on the growing evidence of the hatred he has helped encourage?
That last statement by him was a direct F You to everyone who voted for Clinton and Obama. You could think of it as his attempt to kill the microphone on dissenters.
I’ll be curious to see how he handles the upcoming Clinton indictment and prosecution by a Giuliani Justice Dept. My bet is that he cheerleads for it and enjoys the perp walk video when Giuliani provides it next spring.