A senior citizen shared this mailing with me, a solicitation of donations for something called the Liberty Guard in Merrifield, Va. It claims that Trump has been the subject of an attempted coup d’etat and asks for donations to bring “Team Obama” to justice. The organization is run by Bob Barr, a former Republican congressman from Georgia who was one of the House leaders in the impeachment of Bill Clinton. He’s an extreme conservative who ran for president as a Libertarian candidate. He was once described as “the idol of the gun-toting, abortion-fighting, IRS-hating hard right wing of American politics.”
People at these extremes love conspiracy theories. They foment them. For a long time, Barr has been determined to defend the country against an onslaught of “San Francisco values.” Now, of course, he’s a big Trumpie. So, with tendencies toward conspiracy theories, it’s not surprising that his Liberty Guard claims a coup attempt. According to Barr’s solicitation — reading it will give you a headache — involved the use of government intelligence agencies by “Team Obama” to help Hillary Clinton win the 2016 election. Additionally, the investigation of the “hoax” Russian election interference was an effort to bring Trump down, led, of course, by the Obama-Clinton deep-staters. “America’s constitutional republic would have ended forever if Hillary Clinton had won and if Donald Trump had not survived this attempted coup d’etat. Now the treasonous perpetrators must be brought to justice!”
Never mind that all U.S. intelligence agencies; two congressional committees; Trump’s secretary of defense, his director of national intelligence and national security adviser all concluded that Russia had meddled in the U.S. election to tip the balance toward Trump. Never mind all that; it must all be part of the conspiracy against Trump. The mailing from Liberty Guard is long, overwrought and full of assertions, not facts. I share it here because, in the midst of the House impeachment inquiry and the Ukraine scandal, it serves as an example of the Trump counter-narrative — that is, when you’re being accused of selling out your country, when you’re being accused of soliciting foreign intervention in our elections, be sure to accuse the other side of doing the same thing, even though there’s no evidence of it. This is why Trump has the U.S. attorney general conducting an investigation of the Mueller investigation. It’s why Trump was on the phone with the Ukraine president. It’s all in support of the crazy counter-narrative. Trump’s only defense is offense. With his aversion to honesty, it’s impossible for him to admit that he tried to shake down the Ukraine president for dirt on Joe Biden — that, really, there was no other reason for the conversation — so he resorts to defending himself by accusing his accusers of treason. That’s a pathetic defense, and I’d say it was laughable. But there’s nothing to laugh at here.