Watch System Update #13 here on Rumble.
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In this episode, we examine the serious struggle House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy is facing in his bid to become Speaker of the House, due to serious internal divisions and ideological debates within his party. Those conflicts stand in very stark contrast to the almost always unanimous harmony and obedience of the Democratic House and Senate caucus to their leaders, where rarely a word of dissent is heard or tolerated, and it rather strongly negates the popular liberal view that Republicans, generally, and conservatives, specifically, are a bunch of primitive, mindless cult members who worship their leaders and do what they are told — a description that does seem to describe quite aptly one of the two major parties, though not the constantly debating and fighting Republicans.
In the second segment, we will examine yet another case of glaring and deliberate media lying, just spreading absolute falsehoods on purpose about their political enemies, and what this reflects about the defining mentality and primary mission of corporate journalism in the United States.
It is an article of faith in liberal Democratic circles that the Republican Party and the American right is a cult, a cult of personality, in which reverence for Donald Trump is required, no dissent from party orthodoxy is permitted, and everyone mindlessly and obediently falls into line behind their leaders whenever they’re told, doing whatever they’re told, without questioning any of it.
That’s because American liberals are sophisticated. They’re well-educated and erudite, very rational, so, they know how to think for themselves. They love to flatter themselves by reciting the 1930’s Will Rogers’ quote: “I don’t belong to any organized political party. I’m a Democrat”. They’re just too thoughtful, too intellectually feisty to be controlled. They’re guided by science and the values of the Enlightenment. They’re profoundly individualistic and can’t be herded or controlled.
The Conservatives, they’re primitive. They barely have functioning brains. That’s why they go to two-year community college programs and learn how to fix cars, and are plumbers, or sell boats. They’re simple-minded, even religious. They love and worship authority, so they just do whatever they’re told. That’s why they all think and act alike.
All of this probably comes as a huge surprise to Congressman Kevin McCarthy. The California Republican was the second highest-ranking member of the House Republican caucus behind then-Speaker John Boehner and then Paul Ryan. When Ryan retired, in 2018, McCarthy succeeded him as the Republican leader, though at that point the Republicans were in the minority, so McCarthy became House Republican Minority Leader while Nancy Pelosi seized the gavel as House speaker.
But now, with the Republicans having won back the majority in the House in last November’s election, McCarthy was the obvious choice to become Speaker of the House. After all, he was already the Republican leader and thus next in line. That’s how things normally work in Washington. Nancy Pelosi spent years as leader of the House Democratic Caucus in the Minority, then twice waltzed into the speakership with only token opposition.
But not only is McCarthy’s path to the speakership choppy, but it’s also genuinely imperiled. The vote is scheduled for midday Tuesday. To be elected, Speaker McCarthy needs 218 votes. Obviously, they all need to be Republican votes since no Democrat will vote for him. Because Republicans formed more poorly than expected in the last election, they only have 222 Republican members against 212 Democrats, so McCarthy cannot afford many defections and still expect to win. And yet, as The Wall Street Journal reported just this morning, “About two dozen Republican members haven’t said how they would vote and five are firmly against Mr. McCarthy.”
To secure the votes he needs, McCarthy has spent the last several weeks — really, the last several months — horse trading and making all kinds of concessions. That’s how politics ought to work.
The average member of Congress, as opposed to party leaders, only rarely has real power. Essentially, every House Republican member who could pose a credible threat to withhold their vote from McCarthy has real bargaining power: knowing that McCarthy desperately needs their votes in order to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming Speaker of the House, many of them — rather than just meekly and obediently falling into line and doing what they’re told — have instead been leveraging that power to extract power for themselves.
McCarthy’s opposition within his own caucus is largely composed of anti-establishment populists, such as Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida, whose opposition stems from the distrust that McCarthy is more a swamp creature than an anti-establishment populist, and thus, it may come as a surprise to learn that Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene, the purist and in my view, most organic MAGA populist in Congress, is now a steadfast supporter of McCarthy and has been for months.
That is not because Congresswoman Greene suddenly became a compliant soldier eager to appease Washington’s power players or do what she was told. That is not her at all. On the contrary, it’s because she forced McCarthy to accept and then publicly acknowledge the reality that, among the Republican voting base, she is clearly one of the most influential, trusted, and respected members of Congress. Arguably, after Donald Trump himself, there is no politician who holds more sway with the still-large-and-vibrant group of Trump voters on whom the Republican Party still relies.
You may recall that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats created a brand new precedent by stripping Greene of all committee assignments, not due to any behavioral infractions or ethical violations, but because of their distaste for some of her statements prior to being elected to Congress. As is true of Pelosi’s equally precedent-breaking decision to reject McCarthy’s nominee for the January 6 Committee — because she wanted the appearance of bipartisanship without the annoyance of actual disagreement and thus herself put the easier to manipulate Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger on the committee as her Republican pets – McCarthy, in order to secure these outstanding votes, agreed to use those precedent-breaking moves by Pelosi, to remove both Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from their perches on the House Intelligence Committee.
In Swalwell’s case, because he got caught having an affair with a Chinese spy, and in Schiff’s because he’s a pathological liar, whose compulsive deceit is quite plausibly inconsistent with his ostensible role in overseeing the CIA and other agencies of the intelligence community to ensure integrity and transparency.
As a side note: note that the liberal academics, historians and journalists who draped themselves in an endless array of sanctimonious Trump-era lectures about the sacred value of Normalcy – This. Is. Not. Normal! they tweeted virtually every day during the Trump presidency – did nothing when Pelosi broke with centuries of tradition other than clap and giggle in approval.
Months ago, Congresswoman Greene secured a promise from McCarthy to restore her to her Committee assignments – and not just any Committee assignments, but the ones that are among the most powerful and important, including the House Oversight Committee that will allow her to dig deep into all sorts of scandals – from the coercion from Democrats and the FBI to pressure Big Tech to censor whatever information they did not want the American people to see, to how it is that a large group of former intelligence officials induced most corporate media outlets to ratify an outright lie – that the Hunter Biden laptop was “Russian disinformation,” and then induce Twitter and Facebook to suppress that story in the days before the 2020 election, all based on that lie.
As MarketWatch reports, such a committee assignment would enable Greene to use congressional subpoena power to unearth a wide range of other scandals as well:
The oversight committee would likely play a key role in a Republican-led House, as McCarthy told CNN, his party views oversight as a key priority, including potential probes of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and how the Biden administration has handled parents and school board meetings.
That’s what it means to wield power for real against the party leadership. That’s what it means to refuse to do what one is told. That’s what it means to recognize that there are very sharp, vibrant, and passionate debates within your own party about the party’s core values and agenda, and to do whatever you can to ensure that your vision prevails not by solely fighting against the other party — that’s easy — but also against your own party’s leadership, its funding base, and its power structure. That doesn’t really sound like a cult to me.
Nor does this. The most watched cable host in the country — in the history of cable actually — is the conservative Fox News host Tucker Carlson. And yet, on a weekly basis, if not a daily basis, Carlson criticizes, berates, and sometimes outright attacks the most powerful Republican leaders in the country and in Congress.
On the day that the Democratic-led Congress in yet another precedent-shattering act was obtained and then dumped into the public domain years of Donald Trump’s secret tax returns, he first mocked the lack of evidence of Kremlin payments that liberal commentators insinuated for years would be found within Trump’s tax returns, but then immediately shift his focus to urging the release of the tax returns of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and longtime Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell. Watch:
T. Carlson: So, Democrats have been huffing about Donald Trump’s tax returns for years now, like six years, now when you see what’s in his tax returns — personal checks from Vladimir Putin — but you couldn’t see it because people’s tax returns are private. That’s sacrosanct. But now what? Donald Trump, because he’s a bad man. So, the normal laws don’t apply. And Congress just grabbed his tax returns and then released them to the public.
And you know what they show? They show that he got poorer in public service, probably the only president in modern history who got poorer while serving as president. Compare that to Nancy Pelosi or Mitch McConnell, both of whom have gotten very rich in, quote, air quotes, now, “public service”. Trump lost tens of millions of dollars. So, it’s not really a bombshell, it’s actually kind of a case for Trump, isn’t it? How is it not? How did Mitch McConnell get so rich? Does anyone ask that? No. Good question, though.
Again, isn’t it amazing that the people who masqueraded as defenders of normalcy cheered one precedent-breaking move after the next, things that had never previously been done in the history of our republic, in the name of stopping Trump? Those are the people waging wars on normalcy at the same time as they were sanctifying it as our highest value for some reason. But here’s the real point.
Try to imagine any host on the liberal cable and news networks — CNN, NBC, MSNBC, ABC — harshly criticizing a Democratic Party leader, the way Tucker Carlson just criticized Mitch McConnell there. Can you even imagine a world in which, say, Anderson Cooper or Don Lemon aggressively criticizes Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi that way, or Chris Hayes speaks ill of Amy Klobuchar or Elizabeth Warren? One wants to laugh, trying to imagine it because it’s so impossible. So, which is the closed-party cult that allows no dissent, and which is the side that is driven by sharp and vibrant debates? To ask the question is to provide the answer.
When I showed that video that you just saw and made this point on social media over the last few days — and remember, I’m not cherry-picking some obscure video in the past. The thing you just watch was something that happened in the last few days.– one of the primary answers I heard was, “Well, of course, Tucker is willing to harshly criticize Mitch McConnell. That’s because, on the stump, McConnell is a stalwart critic and enemy of Trump and therefore someone Tucker wants to malign”.
But if that’s true, what happened to the narrative that the Republican Party is a cult of personality, petrified of doing anything other than falling in line behind Donald Trump? It is true that McConnell has, for many years, spoken poorly of Trump and condemned many of his statements and many of his policy views. That’s because Trump ran on a platform of harshly condemning the establishment wings of both parties, and nobody represents the establishment wings of both parties more than Mitch McConnell.
Undoubtedly, he has a lot more in common with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi on many key issues than he does with Donald Trump. But that’s the point. There are, and have long been now, some very sharp and consequential and weighty debates within the Republican Party, not on ancillary issues, but on fundamental ones.
Remember that Trump’s entire 2016 campaign was full of attacks on the foreign policy orthodoxies of George Bush and Dick Cheney and the neo-cons who accompanied them — and even, at times, the defining economic pieties of Ronald Reagan. And by doing that, Trump won the GOP primary. Can one even imagine a leading Democratic Party presidential candidate running an explicit and aggressive opposition to a beloved former Democratic Party president such as Bill Clinton or Barack Obama? It’s more likely they’d be expelled from the party than win the nomination. Probably kicked off Twitter to boot.
That’s because there is one political party in the United States that resembles an authoritarian cult, where reverence for political leaders is compelled and harsh critiques of them are taboo. And, at least since 2015, that party is not the Republican Party, which is riven with ideological and policy divisions of almost every kind.
As for the claim that Carlson only attacks Republicans when they are opponents of Trump, that would be really cool. That would make a lot of coherent sense if it were not for the very small problem that the Fox host often criticized and condemned Trump himself when he was president — again, not on small and trivial questions, but on some of the weightiest and most consequential decisions of Trump’s presidency.
Many of you likely will recall that at the start of the COVID pandemic, when little was known, Carlson interviewed one Trump official after the next, berating them and demanding to know why the U.S. wasn’t better prepared to handle that pandemic, harshly criticizing them for failures on logistical levels, such as a lack of respirators, and asking why more wasn’t done to secure adequate supplies of masks. Then, convinced that Trump was underestimating the gravity of the COVID virus, he flew to Mar-a-Lago to personally argue to the president that his administration’s preparations were inadequate and then said so on television repeatedly.
Perhaps the most striking example was Carlson’s public opposition to one of Trump’s signature foreign policy decisions, a decision that commanded widespread support among both Republicans and Democrats alike: the January 2020 airstrike that targeted and killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. CNN’s media critic Brian Stelter — who, in an act of projection and lack of self-awareness rarely seen in the history of humanity, constantly accused Fox of serving as State media for Trump — conveyed how sharply Carlson denounced Trump’s move without any recognition that this episode contradicted four years of his narrative by Stelter about Fox and Carlson.
As Stelter wrote, “On Friday afternoon, President Trump praised Tucker Carlson along with other conservative Fox News stars. ‘We have great people’, Trump said. A few hours later, Carlson tore into Trump’s decision to authorize the U.S. airstrike that killed Iran’s top general, Qaseem Soleimani, while he mostly refrained from criticizing Trump directly, Carlson condemned “chest-beaters” who advocate for foreign interventions. He asked for questions that made clear his antiwar point of view: ‘Is Iran really the greatest threat we face? And who’s actually benefiting from this? And why are we continuing to ignore the decline of our own country in favor of jumping into another quagmire from which there is no obvious exit? By the way, if we’re still in Afghanistan, 19 years [sad years] later, what makes us think there’s a quick exit out of Iran?’”
So again, try to imagine one of Barack Obama or Joe Biden’s defining economic or foreign policy decisions, then, think about who, on CNN or MSNBC or NBC News, would harshly criticize it in the manner that Tucker Carlson went onto his own show at 8 p.m., knowing he was speaking primarily to an audience of people who supported that strike and condemn Trump for making such a rash and, in his view, reckless judgment. Regardless of whether you agree with Trump on that decision or Tucker — it’s more likely than not that your agreement is with Trump and not Tucker –this shows a very healthy willingness in the American right to openly and, sometimes, bitterly debate ideas and ideological viewpoints where all kinds of dissent flourish all the time.
Let’s take a look at the most significant foreign policy decision of Joe Biden’s presidency thus far, which is the decision to heavily involve the United States in the war in Ukraine and to treat it increasingly as a direct U.S. proxy war, sending what is now an excess of $100 billion to keep that war fueled and going.
Remember that, in May of 2022, there was a vote in the House of Representatives on whether or not to approve Joe Biden’s war package to send $40 billion more on top of the 13.9 billion that had already been sent only three months into the war. Here you can see the Democrats there, voting yay in favor of that war package: 219 Republicans voting nays; zero. Zero — completely unanimous unity on the part of the Democratic Party in favor of this war, including by every single member of the so-called radical Squad, several of whom had previously warned of the dangers of getting involved in the war in Ukraine.
In fact, on the day this vote happened. Congresswoman Cori Bush, a member of the vaunted squad, from Missouri, issued a statement nominally explaining her vote. It sounded like one of the gravest and most eloquent denunciations of this decision, warning that most of this money or much of it was likely to go to CIA and Raytheon, that it had very little control, that it was risking an escalation with a nuclear-armed power; that this kind of imperialism, as she saw it, involving ourselves, in other wars, on the other side of the world, was something that was one of the most dangerous things we could possibly do — and yet she fell into line, obviously, against her own conscience and viewpoints and voted yes the way she was told to, so that there was unanimous support on the part of the Democratic Party.
But there you see the Republican Party. Their vote was much more divided. They actually had disagreement within their caucus on one of the most significant votes of Joe Biden’s presidency, if not the most significant. The majority of Republicans in the House voted the way a majority of Republican voters, polls show, at least back then, also thought, which was they too were in favor of Joe Biden’s war policies. After all, the Republican Party is still dominated not by anti-establishment populists, but by traditional pro-war establishment mavens. That’s why Mitch McConnell is their leader in the Senate and Kevin McCarthy is their leader in the House. Those people still dominate, but there you see a very significant dissent of 57 no votes, every single one of which came from the Republican Party. And they did so even knowing that many of their voters opposed them, but they voted in conscience against this war.
This is just by itself extremely compelling evidence of where there’s dissent and where none is allowed. If you look at the Senate vote, you’ll see the same exact dynamic. The Senate vote is up on the screen and there you see every single no vote: 11. The vote was 88 to 11 in favor of the $40 billion going to Ukraine. Every last one who voted no was a Republican, including Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama. That’s quite a diverse list of people who stepped out from the views of their party leadership and voted no, along with the five dozen or so of their colleagues in the Republican House.
And yet, you’ll notice, there is not a single Democrat appearing as a no vote, including the equally radical, godfather of the Squad, Bernie Sanders, who, though is technically still an independent, has completely fallen into line with the Democratic Party — spent the year urging his supporters to vote for Joe Biden and got the Senate Budget Committee chair in return, and has barely uttered a peep against the Biden administration, let alone take meaningful action against them. He wrote an op-ed before the war started in The Guardian, similarly warning, like Cori Bush did, of all the dangers of doing exactly this, but, nonetheless, voted because the Biden White House told him to. And in this party, people fall into line and do what they’re told. No dissent is allowed.
You may remember that we reported last week that Bernie Sanders had introduced a resolution to disempower or de-authorize the Biden administration from their ongoing participation in the war in Yemen, which began under the Obama administration and was carried through the Trump administration, supplying the Saudis with all sorts of highly sophisticated weaponry, surveillance technology and targeting aid. Bernie Sanders has long been opposed to this war, and he saw the only chance that could possibly happen for this bill to pass in the lame-duck session because with Kevin McCarthy and the Republicans taking over, it’s very unlikely that they will be willing to bring that to a House for a vote. This was his only chance to finally get accomplished what he’s long claimed he wanted, which was an end to the war in Yemen, or at least the U.S. role in it.
But the Biden White House told him they opposed that resolution, they wanted to keep this authorization, and so he meekly and obediently withdrew his own bill even though it had a very good chance of passing, although lots of Democrats who previously voted for this authorizing this resolution when Trump was president to deauthorize the war, now also began to announce that they had done a 180 and were willing to vote no on Bernie Sanders’ bill.
Why? Because the Biden White House told them to and they obey their leaders. There was no dissent allowed in the Republican Party, so Sanders meekly withdrew his only chance to have this bill passed because the Biden White House directed him to, just like he refused to join the Republicans in voting no, even though he wrote an op-ed in The Guardian right before the war started warning of exactly these things that he voted yes, because in the Democratic Party, everyone falls into line and does what they’re told, except when they’re permitted to cast a theatrical vote of dissent when it never matters.
Speaking of that, that tactic of casting a theatrical vote of dissent when it never matters, just last week in Congress, there was a $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill that was passed and then flown on a private jet to Joe Biden in the Caribbean, where he was on one of his many vacations – even while huge numbers of Americans were dying and freezing to death in places like Buffalo. For some reason, that didn’t –provoke the ire of the media the way it did when Ted Cruz went to Cancun — even though he wasn’t the governor of Texas but the senator — when people were suffering in Texas from not having any energy. Joe Biden flying to a glamorous vacation in the Caribbean to enjoy the sun, while people in Buffalo and other places were freezing to death prompted almost no media outrage. Nor does it prompt any outrage from climate activists to use a jet to fly a bill. No people on it, just a bill to Joe Biden for him to sign it and return it to Washington.
But that bill passed overwhelmingly, and in the House, there was one no vote, one single person who stood up and voted no. Her name was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. And her doing that created all sorts of praise from left-wing groups that treated it as though she had personally broken out of Guantanamo. Here you see the tweet from the Democratic Socialists of America: “The Democratic Socialists of America stand in solidarity with our endorsed member, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who courageously voted against expanding ICE and law enforcement funding and massive military spending increase”.
She ‘courageously voted no’, even though this bill was guaranteed to pass and her no vote was guaranteed to be completely irrelevant. That’s why she did it. Dissent is permitted only when it’s inconsequential. And then these cheap dates, who are her supporters stand up and applaud her like good old seals, calling her courageous for casting a no vote only because she knew, as we’re about to prove to you, it had absolutely no consequence of any kind.
If that vote of AOC would have made a difference, it was the difference between Biden’s spending bill passing or not, I promise you, she would have voted yes. I’m about to, in just a few minutes, show you the proof of that.
Well, here’s another example you might recall. In November 2021, there were two bills that the Biden White House claimed they wanted. One was an infrastructure bill to spend money on improving America’s infrastructure and another was Biden’s Build Back Better bill that was going to spend hundreds of billions — I believe it was over $1,000,000,000,000 — in a hodgepodge of projects that progressives, liberals and most Democrats wanted.
The problem was there probably weren’t enough votes for that Build Back Better bill, but there were enough votes for the infrastructure bill. In order for the infrastructure bill to pass, they needed the vote and support of every Democratic member, given the tight margins with which Pelosi was working. But unlike what the Republicans are doing now — using their leverage, knowing that Kevin McCarthy needs their votes and therefore extracting concessions in return – Rep. Pramila Jayapal and her colleagues in the Progressive House Caucus completely caved when they were told to do so. At first, they swore up and down, ‘Look, we will never vote for your infrastructure bill if you separate it from Build Back Better bill because we know if we do that, you’re going to deceive us and exploit us and use our votes on this bill you want to be passed while making sure the bill that we really want fails’ — and she said, ‘We’re not joking. This is not a bluff. We will vote no on your infrastructure bill’.
But nobody took this threat seriously because these are Democrats and they always, at the end of the day, fall into line and do what they’re told. That’s exactly what they all did. The House Progressive Caucus decided, “You know what? We swore up and down we would never vote for your infrastructure bill if you separated it from that Build Back Better bill but now that you actually need our votes for the infrastructure bill, of course, we’re going to obey. And this is here, Pramila Jayapal explaining to NPR why she decided to do what she swore up and down she would never do, which is vote for the infrastructure bill, and of course, what happened was that bill they wanted passed only in a way watered down for many months later as they knew it would. This is what Democrats always do.
There were a couple of votes of a margin that they had, so they allowed a couple of Squad Nays in the House. As we talked about, that’s what identity politics is for, to take totally banal status quo, perpetuating institutions and politicians like Hakeem Jeffries and drape them in the costumes and their clothing of someone radical and revolutionary.
Here is Jamaal Bowman, a member of the Squad, explaining why, despite Hakeem Jeffries, representing everything in politics they claim to oppose — he’s the ultimate swamp creature: he takes all kinds of lobbyist money, he even despises the Squad; he financed the incumbents whom they ran against, then, once they won, he financed primary opponents against them — despite making clear how much Hakeem Jeffries hates them and how he embodies everything they claim to oppose in politics, they all meekly fell behind him and voted yes to make Hakeem Jeffries their leader, even though it conflates every value they claim to have.
And here is Jamaal Bowman, when asked what he thinks about Hakeem Jeffries becoming the leader of the House Democratic Caucus, when Chuck Schumer, also from New York, is the leader of the Senate Democrats, to New York leaders, he replied: ‘It’s really ‘gangster’ that this has happened’. This is what Democrats do. They not only fall into line, but they also humiliate themselves in order to do it and justify it.
Some of you might recall that there were some American leftists, back in 2020, when Nancy Pelosi was in a similar situation as Kevin McCarthy is now — she wanted to be Speaker, the House majority that she had was a very small one, and she could afford almost no defections — for once, the Squad had real leverage, real power. If they didn’t vote for Pelosi, she wasn’t going to be Speaker.
Just like these holdouts in the House Republican caucus – if you don’t vote for Kevin McCarthy, he’s not going to be Speaker. That’s the reality. And as a result, there was a campaign created by Jimmy Dore and other left-wing activists called “Force the Vote”, in which all they did was ask the Squad not to refuse to vote for Pelosi but to extract the concession that in exchange for their vote for Pelosi, Pelosi would agree to bring to the floor the bill that leftist activists and the Squad claim is the most important one for them, which is Medicare for All, a bill that would ensure that Medicare would essentially be expanded so it doesn’t just cover elderly citizens, but all Americans, to ensure that every American has access to health care. That is and has long been a top priority of left-wing political activism in the United States.
And even if the Bill were to fail, as it probably would, it would at least force Democrats to go on record about whether which of them supported this and which of them opposed it – and sometimes losing is the first step on the road to victory. So, all they did was say to the Squad, ‘Use your leverage. Don’t give Nancy Pelosi your vote for free in exchange for nothing. At least get a House vote on Medicare for All, the most important priority you told us you had’. Obviously, needless to say, unlike the Republican holdouts, the Squad refused to anger or defy Nancy Pelosi. They famously or notoriously posed with her on the cover of Vogue or one of those magazines and then, ultimately, ended up rejecting left-wing calls, as you see here from the Business Insider headline: “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Rejects Left-Wing Calls to Force Pelosi to Hold a ‘Medicare for All’ Vote in Exchange for Her Vote for the Speaker”.
So, they refuse to use their leverage because, within the Democratic Party, it’s a cult. No dissent is allowed. People are required to obey their leaders, and they usually do so. Again, within this contrast, one sees the reality of this narrative.
Let me just end this point with an amazing anecdote that some of you might recall some of that, I think it is really worth going through what happened, because the humiliation is so abject, and the willingness to comply in the most self-humiliating manner is so vivid that I think it’s crucial to understand what’s going on in the Democratic Party. It’s so ironic that these liberals constantly tell themselves that it’s the Republicans and conservatives that form a cult who obey their leaders when no one possibly could do that anymore pitifully and pathetically than the Democratic Party and especially the left-wing faction that claims to oppose party leadership.
So, here’s what happened. In May of 2021, Nancy Pelosi decided she wanted $2 billion more in additional spending on the Capitol Police because she wanted to expand the functions of the Capitol Police to allow them to surveil more, and to operate more outside of the Capitol, including in many major cities. Obviously, the security breakdown of January 6 was the justification.
Nancy Pelosi was playing the classic game of national security politics, where some attack happens, some crisis happens, and then it’s instantly used to spend more money on national security and police forces on a federal level and to increase surveillance powers. That’s how the whole War on Terror and its dynamic ran. Nancy Pelosi, by the way, was the minority-ranking member of the Democratic House Intelligence Committee during the War on Terror in the earliest years and was always briefed on the most controversial Bush-Cheney War on Terror policies. In every case, she approved of it, and acquiesced to it, even though she then became a symbol of opposition once the politics changed.
But that’s always been Nancy Pelosi’s view. She’s an extremely rich person who lives in very gated communities, and she absolutely is in favor of spending huge amounts of money to make sure people like her are protected while people like you aren’t. And so, she wanted $2 billion more in Capitol Police spending. The problem was pretty obvious. This is May 202, barely a year after the George Floyd murder, after Democratic politicians like AOC and every member of the Squad were in the street chanting “Defund the police’ and making clear that by ‘defund the police’, they meant defund the police. So how was it possible for Nancy Pelosi to get enough votes to get a $2 billion increase while you have these Democratic Party members who built their identities around defunding the police, not giving $2 billion more? And yet she managed — and the way she managed is amazing.
Here you see May 28, 2021, from CNBC News: “House passes a $1.9 billion Capitol security bill that faces Senate roadblocks”. Nancy Pelosi got her way. How did she do that? Again, her margin was very small. You had many of those progressives, especially the Squad, marching, saying ‘defund the police’. How did she get the House to pass $2 billion more in expenditure for the police that they wanted to be defunded? The answer is amazing. So, it passed by one vote.
Here. CNBC is reporting on what happened:
The House passed a $1.9 billion U.S. Capitol security bill Thursday as Congress splinters over how to protect lives and the democratic process after the January 6 insurrection.
The Democratic-held chamber approved the measure by the thinnest of margins a day after it passed a bill to set up an independent commission to investigate the attack [on the legislature]. Opposition from Republican leaders had raised doubts about whether either proposal can get through the evenly split Senate. The House cleared the security funding in a 213 to 212 vote, while three representatives voted ‘present’.
So, it passed by one vote.
The three Democrats who opposed the bill and those who voted ‘present’ are part of the party’s progressive wing. Every Republican voted against the security money a day after 35 GOP representatives backed the bipartisan deal to set up the commission to investigate the insurrection.”
It passed by one vote. Keep that in mind because this is what happened. The Squad promised the anti-police and criminal justice reform advocates that they were all going to vote no. They promised they were all going to vote no.
Here you see one of those activists, Alec Karakatsanis, proudly announcing on Twitter that he secured the promise of all six members of the Squad to vote no: “A major scandal is happening right this moment on the House floor: mainstream Democrats are quietly trying to ram through a $1.9 billion ‘budget increase’ to the Capitol Police, military and DHS, supposedly because January 6 showed that they ‘need more funding’.
This is the position that could have united the left and the right: the idea that they were exploiting January 6, as he says, to get a budget increase for Capitol Hill, the military, and Homeland Security to operate more on domestic soil, something every Republican in Congress had vowed to oppose. He went on: “All people of goodwill must speak out against the latest attempt by the Democrats to waste money expanding state bureaucracy, violence, militarization, and surveillance. All of these instruments will be turned against the most vulnerable people in our society”.
Absolutely. He was absolutely right. And he was incredibly proud of this: “Some of the only people opposing this violent nonsense are: Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Cori Bush, AOC, Jamaal Bowman, and Rashida Tlaib. All six members of the Squad, telling these activists, ‘We promise you we will vote no”. The reason that they were saying that was because, of course, they had to. They had gone around for an entire year chanting ‘Defund the police’.
Here is Rashida Tlaib, in April 2021, so just a month and a half before that vote, making clear what her views on the police are “It wasn’t an accident. Policing in our country is inherently and intentionally racist. Daunte Wright was met with aggression and violence. I am done with those who condone government-funded murder. No more policing, incarceration and militarization. It can’t be reformed”.
No more policing, she said in April 2021. Of course, I’m pushing possibly vote for $2 billion more in policing, less than two months later after saying that.
Here’s Jamaal Bowman, another member of the Squad: “We’re fighting in your memory, Tamir. You won’t be forgotten. A system this cruel and inhumane can’t be reformed. Defund the police and defund this system that’s terrorizing our communities”.
‘Defund the police’, they were all chanting. This was just six months before Nancy Pelosi asked them for $2 billion more in Capitol Hill spending.
Here is AOC, in July 2020, just in the wake of the George Floyd murder and the protests that spilled as a result. You see the headline: “New York City Will Take $1 Billion from Police Budget, But Many Say It Doesn’t Go Far Enough”. So, Bill de Blasio reduced the police budget by $1,000,000,000, but to left-wing activists, including AOC, that wasn’t enough to defund the police in New York City:
As calls to defund the police grow louder around the country, New York City officials agreed on a budget that shifts roughly $1 billion from the police department, but advocates and lawmakers say the change doesn’t go far enough.
A representative for de Blasio told multiple media outlets that Williams can’t stall the budget. U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez echoed the criticism Tuesday, saying the cuts don’t go far enough. ‘Defunding police means defunding the police,’ the congresswoman said in a statement. ‘It doesn’t mean budget tricks are funny math. It doesn’t mean moving school police officers from the New York City Police budget to the Department of Education’s budget so, the exact same police remain in schools’. ‘When I say defund the police, what I mean is defund the police’.
Same thing Rashida Tlaib and Jamaal Bowman said. So of course, the justice activists correctly assumed that they would promise to vote no and they did promise to vote no. And so, what happened?
Here is the same activist, Alec Karakatsanis: “UPDATE. Devastating news, devastating news. This dangerous bill passed 213-212 with AOC, Rashida Tlaib and Jamaal Bowman abandoning their positions and voting ‘present’ instead of against it, thus supporting giving cops more money and weapons to use against the most vulnerable people”. They promised they would vote no and they devastated these activists when, instead, they voted ‘present’ in order to allow the bill to pass by one vote.
Here you see who he is, who Alec is. He is the founder and executive director of the Civil Rights Corps, a civil rights leader, and author of “Usual Cruelty”.
So, I want you to just think about what happened here, because it’s unbelievably illuminating of Democratic Party politics and of what the Squad is willing to do to deceive their voters over and over and the way that they swallow whatever they feed them. These six members of the Squad promised to vote no for one very simple reason: they thought Nancy Pelosi would be able to get the votes she needed anyway by luring at least a couple of Republicans to vote in favor of the $2 billion. In other words, they promised to vote no only if they thought that those votes were completely inconsequential and wouldn’t stop the bill.
So, they would never have to defy Nancy Pelosi, never have to impede whatever Nancy Pelosi wants, but still get to go and show the idiots who follow them, “Oh, look, we’re dissidents. We’re radicals. We voted no”. Even though Nancy Pelosi told us not to. But gosh darn it, we just didn’t have the votes we needed. But we tried. We tried. You can’t blame us. We tried. We all voted no. Except what happened was the GOP caucus stayed united. Nancy Pelosi couldn’t get a single yes vote from any member of the Republican Party to vote for $2 billion more for the Capitol Police. So, the only way that bill was going to pass is if three of those Squad members withdrew their no vote and instead voted ‘present’. And that’s exactly what they did.
Why? Because they’re only willing to show dissent when it’s theatrical and meaningless. But when it comes down to it, every Democratic Party member in the House and the Senate obeys their leaders. And so, when Nancy Pelosi came to them and said, ‘We don’t care what you promised these activists, we don’t care that you spent the last year chanting defund the police and saying, when we say defund the police, we mean defund the police. You’re going to vote for this because that’s the way it’s going to pass’. Then they turned around and did exactly what they were told.
Three of them voted ‘present’ and a bill to increase the police spending by $2 billion increased the surveillance state and the national security state in the United States. And three of them voted no because that way they could tell their followers while we voted no, knowing that it didn’t matter. That is Democratic Party politics.
A party that permits no dissent requires party obedience and loyalty and compliance. All while Republicans are riveted with all kinds of ideological debates — turn on Fox News and even just on the Fox primetime lineup — you’ll see major divisions over ideology and policy where Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham oppose the war in Ukraine, the U.S. role in it. While Sean Hannity, standing in the middle, has his lapels of the CIA and the Ukraine flag demanding that we defeat Russia. There are all kinds of vibrant debate on that side of the political spectrum and none on the Democratic Party spectrum, which is why it’s the ultimate form of projection for Democrats to continue to say that it’s Republicans who are a cult that never challenged their leaders when nothing is needed to understand the Democratic Party except to understand that that’s true of them.
So, needless to say, I am a harsh critic of corporate journalism in the United States. I don’t think that’s a particular secret. Almost from the very beginning of the time when I began writing about politics or to take from a legal and constitutionalist perspective the policies of the George Bush and Dick Cheney administration when it came to civil liberties but quickly realized that it’s impossible to have an effective voice or to get anything done here in the United States if you’re not willing to become a very harsh critic of the corporate media because there’s no way to get through to anybody unless you’re going to dissect the propaganda that they disseminate to protect ruling class institutions.
I’ve been saying for a long time that the corporate media lies, they disseminate propaganda, and I believe, in particular, that that escalated severely in 2015 and 2016, with the election of Donald Trump, because within these liberal institutions, they really told themselves that Donald Trump was a once in a generation evil or a once in a century evil, a new Hitler, therefore, doing anything to stop him, including lying and spreading disinformation in their media platforms, was not only justifiable but a moral necessity. Sort of the Sam Harris theory. Yes, of course, they lied, and yes, of course, they deceived to manipulate it but Trump is such a huge danger that it’s worth doing that.
Predictably, you’re already seeing that dispensed with because with Ron DeSantis perceived as the likely presidential nominee of the Republican Party, in 2024, media outlets are already rushing to say, ‘Oh yeah, well, DeSantis is just as bad as Trump’. So already he went from a once-in-a-century evil to now the equivalent of Ron DeSantis. By next year will be DeSantis makes Trump look good, and by 2025 it’ll probably be DeSantis make him look good. He’ll be the new Hitler.
Remember they talked about George Bush and Dick Cheney as Hitlers, in 2002 and 2003, and now they say, “look, I had some disagreements with Bush, but I never questioned their integrity or their patriotism. It was just some good faith disagreements. They’re good people, unlike Trump”. That’s what they’re going to be saying about Trump in a couple of years if Ron de Santis becomes president. So, they lie constantly. They lied. They decided to lie even more limitlessly with the advent of Trump. But one of the things I learned is that when you’re actually the target of their lies and you know for a fact that they’re lying, you see, with all new clarity, not just that they lie, but how willing they are to lie.
This is something I learned when I was really in the middle of a major media news cycle for the first time, in 2013, when I began working with the source, Edward Snowden. We began going around the world reporting top secret documents on the NSA, showing how our government was spying in illegal and unconstitutional ways in mass indiscriminately on our population. And so many times I would read in The New York Times and The Washington Post, in the most authoritative tones imaginable — where they would just assert not in op-eds, but in these articles — factual claims that I had firsthand knowledge were false because I was present for those events or knew exactly about them. There’s no substitute for that.
I remember my father when I was growing up. He was an accountant, never a particularly politically engaged person. He liked people like John Wayne and Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan or Oliver North, certainly iconography of conservatives, but he was never particularly very politicized or engaged politically. He basically trusted the major American news networks, and when he read the newspaper in the morning, he assumed essentially that it was true. Yet for the only time in his career as an accountant, he happened to have a client who was in the middle of a public controversy, — it was a client who wanted to develop a casino on Native American reservations, and it became a public controversy and a lawsuit.
I remember he would read in the newspaper reporting on this story, and he would be shocked and outraged that so much of what he was reading in the Miami Herald and major outlets was just false because he knew it was false. And I remember he came to me and said, “I’m really wondering, do you think this kind of lies, this kind of recklessness is how they report on other things when I don’t have firsthand knowledge?” So, it really changes the way that you think. Even if you have a rational understanding that the media lies, you really can’t appreciate how aggressively and casually, easily, and frequently they do it.
I got reminded of this again over the weekend when I was the target of just a blatant disinformation campaign by several major media outlets, all based on a total demonstrable obvious lie. It began with the arrest in Romania of Andrew Tate, the highly controversial, what will we call him, commentator, and cultural figure. He owns a webcam business. The Romanian authorities have detained him in order to question him about allegations that some of the women who work for him were coerced, that he brought them across state lines and he may have trafficked them, and that he bears allegations of rape. I don’t think he’s been formally charged yet. I don’t know. He hasn’t been convicted.
Obviously, no one wants to entertain any argument as usual that maybe we should, before assuming his guilt, wait to really see the evidence, let alone like maybe charges and a trial. That’s all passé. I remember very well when I was trying, in the wake of the New York Times article, in 2020, that was based on an anonymous leak that Matt Gaetz was the target of an investigation to determine whether he was guilty of sex trafficking and pedophilia to say, “You know what, maybe we shouldn’t assume that Gaetz is guilty of these very serious crimes until we actually see evidence of it”. And, of course, I got accused of defending a pedophile and defending a sex trafficker, even though two years later, after that article, the Biden Justice Department announced they weren’t planning on pursuing charges against Matt Gaetz. So not only was he never convicted, but he was also never charged.
Of course, soon as Andrew Tate’s name emerged in connection with these very disturbing and serious accusations, there was an attempt by media outlets and media figures to link anyone they hated, anyone that they regarded as a political enemy, to indicate, even if the person has no connection to Andrew Taylor — I’ve never met Andrew Taylor in my entire life, I’ve never spoken with Andrew Tate on the telephone, I don’t think I knew who he was until several months ago when all of the Big Tech platforms, the few remaining ones where he was still allowed, united, obviously in collusion, to jointly, all at once, ban him from their platforms…
That was the first time I became aware of any Andrew Tate. I don’t think I’ve watched a video of his. I barely knew who he was until a few months ago. I have absolutely no connection to the advocate of any kind, but that didn’t stop these media figures from directly not only linking me to Andrew Tate, but essentially trying to blame me in some way for all of this, to kind of, in this very sinister way, suggest that I was somehow involved in Andrew Tate’s illegal behavior.
It began with a tweet from an anonymous Twitter account so someone who can just obviously lie with zero accountability. No one knows who this person is. They’re just one of those liberal accounts to defame people all the time while hiding like a coward behind anonymity. And they just fabricated a complete storyline which read: “Peter Thiel and Glenn Greenwald’s YouTube knockoff service” — presumably meaning Rumble — look at that authoritarianism embedded there like ‘Oh, you cannot compete with Big Tech. It’s wrong to do something that Big Tech’s already doing that Google is already doing with YouTube’. “Peter Thiel and Glenn Greenwald’s YouTube knockoff service paid Andrew Tate, a handsome star, to start streaming from their service this year”.
Then he added, “A few months ago, he was photographed entering a Romanian castle for a secret Halloween party that Musk allegedly also attended”. All kinds of very serious insinuations here, not just about me, but Peter Thiel going to a Romanian castle, presumably for an Andrew Tate party, which would be kind of a weird thing for the gay Peter Thiel to want to do to concert with Andrew Tate’s webcam girls, and the claim that Musk allegedly was also. So, none of this is any evidence at all. And it’s also a complete lie, at least as far as I’m concerned.
The part, I don’t own Rumble. Rumble isn’t my YouTube knockoff service. I didn’t pay Andy Tate anything. I don’t even know if Andrew Tate has been paid by Rumble. I have no idea. I have no equity in Rumble, I never have. I have no stock options available, I never have. My only relationship with Rumble, as The Wall Street Journal has reported, is the Washington Post as reported, is that I produce a show and exclusively publish it here on Rumble in exchange for a payment. I don’t have any more involvement in Rumble than this. And yet this anonymous Twitter account, which is one of the benefits of anonymity, you get to defame people at will, made up this whole narrative trying to connect me to Andrew Tate.
And it was retweeted by an NBC News reporter, Kay Tenbarge, who ironically is part of the team at NBC that claims to combat disinformation. There you see her retweet. It caused this tweet to go viral. Here, by this point, there were, I think, at least 4000, 5000 retweets. It’s now up to 6000 or 7000. Hundreds of thousands of people have seen this lie, presumably millions. I don’t care about this anonymous account, but the fact that an NBC News reporter spread such a blatant and obvious lie is kind of amazing, even though it’s not surprising. I went on Twitter and I explained why it was a lie, and why it was false. There are other tweets as well.
And I wrote, these people are lowlife scumbags who lie for a living because that is exactly what they do. I mean, they just made this up, this entire storyline, and then she retweeted it and posted it with absolutely no evidence or even concern over its truth and caused it to go viral. That’s what they do, these people. These are the people who want to censor the Internet because they claim to be so concerned about the spread of disinformation. And yet they’re the ones who spread disinformation more readily than anybody, even so. So that is what he did. And then here we have after my own denial of this went viral, of course, the NBC News reporter didn’t and retweet it. Everybody spent the day demanding she do so. She just ignored it. She never answered the fact that she spread a lie.
But then, here you have a reporter from Rolling Stone. He’s someone who writes about TV and music, Marvin Stern, who used to write for The Daily Beast, who kind of stole the claim from that anonymous YouTube, that anonymous tweeter with no credit. And he repeated the lie: “Remember that these two were just arrested on suspicion of human trafficking in Romania, meaning the tape brothers worked for Peter Thiel and Glenn Greenwald Company”. And then there’s an announcement from Rumble that Agitate and Tristan tape are now on Rumble because that’s where they went, as so many people do once they got banned from Big Tech because Rumble is a free-speech platform.
So now here’s a second reporter who spread that lie, although he stole it from an anonymous account, almost plagiarized it with no credit, and spread it all over Twitter. This, too, went viral, though not nearly as much. Do you see how willing these people are to just outright lie and make things up? I mean, they just do it without the slightest compunction. In what conceivable way is Rumble Glenn Greenwald Company or in what conceivable way can payments to Andrew Tate by Rumble, if those exist, I genuinely don’t know, be attributed in any way to me? But they wanted to tie me to Andrew Tate, someone I’ve never met or talked to, and have absolutely no dealings with, and I barely heard of it until a couple of months ago.
They just invented a lie. I then contacted the editor of Rolling Stone, Noah Shachtman, with whom I’ve had a relatively civil relationship over the years, and said, “Do you mind at all that your journalists just make things up and spread absolute lies, complete fabrication, to defame people all over the Internet?” He took great personal offense, saying, ‘I think it’s unfair for you to accuse me of not caring about lying’ and has done nothing. Apparently, that I can see, this tweet is still up.
There’s no apology. There’s no retraction. I definitely do not expect there ever will be, because this is the point I want to make, and promise you this is really the truth. This is not hyperbole within liberal media outlets. And remember, I worked within one throughout almost the entire Trump years. I left right before the 2020 election when they tried to censor an article. I run it to write about Joe Biden. So, I work with them. I have friends on all of them. I’ve watched their behavior for many years. It is not just that lying is acceptable. As long as you lie about people their readers considered political enemies.
Obviously Rolling Stone has an overwhelmingly Democratic Party audience, as does NBC News. And so, of course, as a virulent critic of the Democratic Party for many years, they, of course, consider me a political enemy. It’s not just that lying is permissible or tolerated or acceptable. It’s encouraged. It’s demanded. Their readers want them to lie, to defame the reputations of political enemies. And they do. And the amazing thing here, though, is that this lie was so blatant that even people who follow Marlow Stern, and who clearly are no friends of mine, told him that it was a lie.
To be clear, he said, even though it’s a source of embarrassment for us, the company is owned and run by a Canadian, Chris Pavlovsky, the only became involved in 2021, being large by a large funding round. And as far as I know, Greenwald is just on the payroll. People told him over and over that what he said was false. And he clearly knew because my tweet denying it had also gone viral. And yet they will never retract that. They will never remove it; they will never apologize. And because lying is acceptable, we’ve seen this on so many other occasions.
Remember that with Donald Trump’s tax return, as Tucker Carlson alluded to, the claim from NBC News and Rachel Maddow and CNN for so many years, was that the reason Trump didn’t want to release his tax returns was because it would reveal secret payments from the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin and prove that Trump really was a puppet of Vladimir Putin, not what they claimed for years. They insinuated it and they stated it. And now here are Trump’s tax returns. The Democratic Party released them to Congress, and there’s absolutely no evidence at all of any of that. Of course, none of them will ever retract or apologize or account for it. Listen to what Lawrence O’Donnell and Rachel Maddow told their audiences about that. Let’s put that video up.
Lawrence O’Donnell: This single source close to Mike has told me that Donald Trump’s loan documents there show that he has cosigners that’s how he was able to obtain those loans and that the cosigners are Russian oligarchs.
Rachel Maddow: But, Really?
This is unbelievable. And they’re never going to go back and say, ‘You know what? When we told you that, that was false”. Obviously, the worst example was right before the 2020 election, they all spread the CIA lie that the Hunter Biden laptop was “Russian disinformation”.
Here is The Intercept, right before the election, through James Risen, the former New York Times reporter, and they just published the claims of intelligence agencies without any evidence of, exactly what The Intercept was set up not to do. They wrote: “The FBI has been investigating whether the strange story about the Biden laptop is part of a Russian disinformation campaign. This week, a group of former intelligence officials issued a letter saying that the Giuliani laptop story has the classic trademarks of Russian disinformation”.
This is in every news outlet that I’ve shown you many times before, and we know this is a lie now, because New York Times and Washington Post, CNN, and CBS News have all verified the documents as authentic, and yet not a single media outlet that spread this lie has ever gone back and accounted for it, apologized for it, retracted it, or explained why it happened.
And the reason is what I said earlier, the reason they’ll never retract those lies about me is that they know that their readers are Democrats and liberals who want them to lie about political enemies and that has become their function. That is their mission. That is what they do. That’s their profit model. There’s nothing, it has nothing to do with journalism any longer, and the fact that they are so willing to just do it so blatantly and not even pretend to care anymore shows you their real mission.
I think it’s very important to note that the public has lost complete trust and faith in these journalistic institutions. They constantly whine about it, they think it’s unfair, they claim that a loss of trust in them means that fake news can proliferate — and yet I think it’s really important to remember that however much you hate these people, however much you distrust them, however much you regard them as lying scumbags, it’s nowhere near enough because not only are they that, they are that through institutional sanction, it is the mission of their employers and of them every single day when they go to work.
That concludes our show for this evening. Now that we had a little break over the last week, a couple of days before the New Year, we’ll be back every night at our regular time, 7 p.m., live right here on Rumble.
As always, immediately following our show, we move to Locals, the interactive platform on Rumble, where we will have an interactive aftershow — we take questions from our audience, we hear feedback, we engage in all kinds of conversations with our audience on how to make our show better, and what topics you want us to cover. So, I really encourage those of you interested in that to join our Locals community, and that will give you not only full access to the aftershow, but also exclusively to my written journalism, which we’re going to start publishing only on the Locals platform sometime this month.
So, for those of you who continue to watch, we are really appreciative of that and we hope to see you back tomorrow night, here at 7 p.m., EST.
For now, have a great evening.