Rand Paul pushes back against Stephanopoulos narrative
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) appeared on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos. The latter tried to bully Paul into accepting the Democrat narrative that Joe Biden, a corrupt, debauched old man who periodically emerged from the basement to "campaign" for president, won more votes than any candidate in presidential history, including Obama, the first sort of Black president, and Hillary, the first genetically female presidential candidate. Sen. Paul not only refused to be bullied, but he pushed back, exposing to viewers the fact that Stephanopoulos is not a journalist but is, instead, a Democrat party activist.
Stephanopoulos entered politics early, working for Michael Dukakis's 1988 presidential campaign when Stephanopoulos was in his mid-20s. In 1992, he was back again working for Bill Clinton's campaign, making his name as a spokesman for Clinton both during and after the election. Beginning in 1996, Stephanopoulos left the White House for ABC, and he's been there ever since.
Although technically a "journalist," Stephanopoulos is famously partisan, routinely serving as an attack dog for the Democrat party. He certainly showed that side of himself in the interview with Sen. Paul.
What Stephanopoulos hadn't counted on is that Paul has an advantage compared to many of the elected officials, bureaucrats, and assorted famous people whom Stephanopoulos bullies...er, interviews on his show. Paul is a principled man. His values do not change depending on where he sees an advantage to himself. That gives him a moral clarity that makes it impossible to bully him, as Stephanopoulos discovered to his cost.
In the clip that's making the rounds on the internet, Stephanopoulos opened by demanding that Paul recite the current leftist catechism, which is that Slow Joe, AKA Basement Biden, won the election fair and square: "Ah, Sen. Paul. Let me begin with a threshold question for you. This election was not stolen. Do you accept that fact?"
The message behind that aggressive question is clear: in Biden World, we must all accept the party line. Dissent will not be tolerated.
Paul was not intimidated. Instead, he said something important: there has never been an evidentiary hearing about fraud. Instead, the courts shut fraud claimants out on procedural grounds without addressing the merits. Moreover, we know there was fraud, and we know that several secretaries of state unconstitutionally and unilaterally amended voting laws, something the courts may still consider.
Stephanopoulos wasn't going to let it go. He interrupted Sen. Paul to say Trump and his allies lost all 86 challenges, completely ignoring what Sen. Paul had just said about the lack of any substantive judicial review. Stephanopoulos then went over the same old evidence — state certification (irrelevant if it was covering for fraud), recounts (irrelevant if fraudulent ballots were simply recounted), and Bill Barr's fact-free assurance that everything was fine, followed by his running away from Trump.
And then, again, the insistence that Sen. Paul parrot the official line: "Can't you just say the words that this election was not stolen?"
Sen. Paul pointed to something important, which is that we need greater confidence in our elections. He noted that 75% of Republicans agree with him, only to have Stephanopoulos interrupt to say that's only because Trump fed them a "Big Lie" (note, please, the subliminal Nazi allusion). In fact, Trump-supporters figured out on their own that crazy things happened before, during, and after the election, all of which were inconsistent with election integrity or the victory of a corrupt, debauched, increasingly demented old man who didn't campaign.
It was at this point that Sen. Paul called out the fact that Stephanopoulos is not a journalist — he's a political shill:
George, where you make a mistake is people coming from the liberal side like you, you immediately say everything's a lie instead of saying there's two sides to everything. Historically what would happen if I said I thought there were fraud, you would interview someone who said there wasn't. Now you insert yourself in the middle and say the absolute fact is everything I'm saying is a lie.
The debate between the two men continued in this vein for a few more minutes. Stephanopoulos manifestly couldn't grasp that there could be a viewpoint different from his. The only truth was his truth. His religion — not Greek Orthodoxy, but leftist orthodoxy — left him incapable of contemplating the possibility that he might be wrong.
To take the religious metaphor farther, for Stephanopoulos, there's an Inquisition going on, and heresy (in this case, the claim that there was election fraud sufficient to change the outcome) cannot be examined. Instead, it must be snuffed out as brutally and completely as possible. If he could have, Stephanopoulos would have gathered the branches and lit the matches for the most extreme form of auto-da-fe.
Please cheer Sen. Paul's valiant stand for truth and journalistic integrity, but understand that he's the heretic and that, for the time being, American power is lodged with the doctrinal purists who will brook no dissent.
Image: George Stephanopoulos and Rand Paul. Rumble screen grab.