Accidental Confessions

Photo: Sam Upshaw, Jr.

Sometimes crooks, liars and miscreants just flat-out confess to their malfeasance. Well, maybe not directly. They may not literally say, “Hell, yeah I’m guilty.”. But they make it known, almost as blatantly, in other ways. And as it happens, there were three developments within more or less the same news cycle that illustrated three different types of accidental admission of guilt.

One way such parties make their guilt clear is by projection — vehemently and inappropriately accusing others of what they themselves have done.

Take Kelly Ann Conway. Please. She was one of 11 officials appointed by the Orange One (to positions for which they generally were quite unsuited) who were asked to resign by President Biden. She not only declined to resign, making it necessary that the president terminate her, but she fired off a petulant letter to Biden.

Several times here she gives away her hand. Not even counting her screwing up (deliberately) the facts about Afghanistan, failing to mention that her former boss was the one who set up the withdrawal, and somehow, gee darn, neglecting to mention the thousands and thousands of COVID deaths he triggered with his willful negligence.

But when she really blazons her own guilt across the sky is when she accuses President Biden of being petty, political and personal in his motives. Those three P’s were the holy trinity for the administration to which she was an accomplice.

The real howler, however, is her hand-wringing over a “break from presidential norms”. Yes, this is the same Kelly Ann who coined the immortal phrase “alternative facts” to rationalize her boss’s incessant and unhinged lying. The boss who refused to acknowledge defeat in 2020, whipping up an insurrection in an attempt to have the election overthrown. Presidential norms were shredded to confetti well before Biden ever took office.

Then there’s confession by denial, in which one tries to fend off allegations or suspicions by accentuating the negative. Think of Nixon’s “I’m not a crook” or Clinton’s “I did not have sex with that woman”. The stronger the denial, the more likely the guilt. (“NO COLLUSION!!!!”)

Enter Amy Coney Barrett, who, speaking at the McConnell Center, named after Mitch McConnell by Mitch McConnell, who introduced her, lamented that the American public seems to view the current Supreme Court as being too politically motivated. Now why on earth would anyone ever think such a thing?

Where she really spilled the beans was her statement that “My goal today is to convince you that this court is not composed of a bunch of partisan hacks.” (Pardon me a moment while I wipe up the milk that spurted out of my nose.) Now since partisan hacks are not generally noted for their profound self-awareness, it’s theoretically possible that she actually believes her own words. In which case she is too ignorant, too naive, and just too fucking stupid to serve in any kind of public office, particularly the highest court in the land.

Most likely, however, had she really believed in the integrity and impartiality of the judicial body she is a part of, she would have stressed those qualities by saying something like, “I assure you that this court does its best to stay fair and impartial.” Maybe milk would have spurted only out one nostril, who knows. Instead she said the equivalent of, “No, no, there’s absolutely nothing hidden under the floorboards, so don’t even bother looking.” (A few days later, Clarence Thomas, who was one of several heavily vested interests on the bench who successfully plotted to subvert the 2000 presidential election, made a very similar protestation of purity in a speech at Notre Dame. It’s as if these guys compare notes and coordinate soundbites or something. Surely not.)

Finally, we have presumptive confession, in which the guilty parties presume an accusation is being aimed at them even when it hasn’t been. This happened on the twentieth anniversary of 9-11 when George W. Bush gave a speech at the site of the hijacked plane crash in Shanksville, PA. Now we should note that the revisionist effort by some people to retroactively and magically transform Dubya into a principled and impassioned leader is disturbing and downright nauseating. But to his credit, he at least does on occasion denounce the fascist takeover of his own party (for which he himself helped lay the foundation).

And that’s what happened with his speech, which included the following passage:

And we have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within. There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.

He was entirely correct that domestic terrorism is an even bigger threat than imported terrorism. Notice that he did not name any names or point any fingers at specific events or actions. Yet the MAGA cult exploded with anger (their standard response for everything from losing an election to finding their corn flakes a bit too soggy), denouncing Junior as a “RINO”, and how dare he throw mud at them for protesting the election — which they’ve been insisting was actually done by BLM and Antifa disguised to look like them.

Consciously or subconsciously, these people know who they are. And if you pay attention, they just might tell you.

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