Newsmax pundit Dick Morris has had to back off somewhat from the election fraud conspiracy theories he's been spouting since November, but he's still pushing other kinds of craziness. Take this slice of fearmongering from his Jan. 14 column under the wildly hyperbolic headline "The Democratic Reign of Terror Has Begun":
Like Maximilien Robespierre, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden are taking no prisoners.
A new Democratic reign of terror is upon us, endangering our free speech, free press, political playing field, and personal liberty.
Watch your back.
The Democrats are using the outrageous and unsupportable Capital riot the same way that the Reichstag Fire of 1933 was used — as a pretext for an authoritarian crackdown in Germany.
The re-impeachment of President Trump and the banning of his emails, tweets, texts and Facebook posts are merely the first examples of a growing authoritarianism.
But the threat of punitive actions and censorship in this new reign of terror hangs over us all.
And, yes, Morris did work an election fraud conspiracy into this bit of paranoia as well:
Will the Democrats equate our political speech in even mentioning vote fraud issues and election irregularities with sedition, subjecting us to fines or imprisonment just for challenging the election of 2020?
That is the new premise of the coming Democratic reign of terror: That political statements charging that the election of 2020 was stolen or riddled with fraud are, by themselves, inciting violence by Trump supporters.
This approach harks back to efforts to suppress opposition to the World War I draft, the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by John Adams in 1798, and the 1954 law criminalizing membership in the American Communist Party (Communist Control Act of 1954).
Morris also served up a few bullet points to absolve Trump of any responsibility fir the Capitol riot:
- Trump never advocated entering, much less taking over, the Capitol building and always explicitly opposed violence.
- The charge that he "incited" the riots only refers to his peaceful exercise of free speech, denouncing the election of 2020 as the result of fraud and saying that it was “stolen.” Whether you agree with his statement or not, that is the essence of free speech that is protected by the First Amendment.
- Impeachment has been a vengeful kick while the President is down. A purely symbolic act, removal from office is a logistical impossibility within the time remaining until inauguration day. Although the Speaker and her minions claim that President Trump is so dangerous to the country that he must be removed immediately, they speak of sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate in months with a trial to follow!
In his Jan. 18 column, Morris spun another conspiracy, that polls showingexceptionally low approval rates for Trump after the riot were "manipulated" because the polls use a smaller percentage of Republican respondents than the vote Trump got in the election.For instance: "Pew Research captured headlines by finding Trump’s approval at only 29%. This poll was heavily by Chris Wallace on Fox News this weekend. But its sample is heavily biased against Trump. Although the president got at least 47% of the vote on November 3rd, Pew’s sample only has 30% Trump voters."
But the poll meticulously describes its methodology, which includes weighting results to correspond with population benchmarks. Does Morris not know how that works?
Apparently not, because he went on to tout the one poll whose results he likes: "The only outlier — which is to say the only honest poll — is by Rasmussen that shows the president maintaining a 48% job approval." Morris didn't mention that, according to FiveThirtyEight, Rasmussen has a pro-Republican bias and lower quality polls.