October 25, 2016

Pay for Fray?

Did some Hillary Clinton supporters purposefully disrupt Trump rallies, perhaps even egging on some violence?

Quite possibly they did. It would not be surprising, given the rhetoric and level of aggression in his speeches, and the levels of passion shown by both his supporters and detractors.

Now, did they egg on those passionate supporters because they were paid to do so by some nefarious six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon plot cooked up by Democratic Party and/or Clinton campaign operatives? That's the story we're told to believe by the Project Veritas videos.

For those that don't remember, Project Veritas (PV) is the same group that alleged voter fraud and other crimes against ACORN, a group that was involved in advocacy efforts for the poor and underserved going back to the late 1970s or early 1980s, and of course with voter registration and advocacy efforts back in 2008 - you know, when America elected President Obama the first time.

The 'other crimes' included some bizarre "gee, we can't wait to get involved in sex trafficking with you" allegations against ACORN people by the PV actors. See, the PV actors passed themselves off as being interested in starting a brothel or similar pursuits, and pretended to be looking for assistance with their business. Appearing normally dressed during the conversations, James O'Keefe afterwards edited the videos with clips of him dressed as the picture-perfect Hollywood pimp straight out of a blaxploitation film.

Great stuff, honest stuff right there, trustworthy documentary film-making right there.

And while O'Keefe, the brains behind the current 'rigged system videos', ultimately paid a $100K fine related to his actions with the 2008 films, charges against ACORN  were not proven. But it didn't matter. Congress shut off funding to ACORN, similar groups, and allied groups, which caused a dry-up of corporate and charitable donations.

ACORN went bankrupt and is no longer in business, to the delight of folks who find their greatest happiness restricting the voting rights.  And, apparently, to the dismay of Republicans, who continued to specifically include mention of the group in legislation as recently as 2013.
Yes even though ACORN has been dead for over three years, so meticulous are the Republicans at keeping federal funds away from this organization that helped the poor and has never been convicted of a crime that they, in 2013, prohibit ACORN and its successors in interest from ever receiving federal funds.
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) illustration
Mission Accomplished! Those Thousand Points of Light right there were snuffed out, in the true spirit of Compassionate Conservatism.

Thank you, ALEC, for carrying the voter suppression mission forward!

Project Veritas lives on, although given their track record and that of other right wing groups that make similar videos, one can reasonably question why they're still in business to parade around their videos.

Would you be surprised to learn that the Donald J Trump Foundation, a charity that appears to exist solely to pay personal bills and buy artwork of the Donald for the Donald, made a $10,000 payment to James O'Keefe in May of last year, one month before The Escalator Descended in New York City? Would that cause you any concern? Would you maybe take one and one and one and get three?

I won't mention a whole lot about O'Keefe and Breitbart news, other than to mention that Breitbart is where Donald Trump's current campaign chairman comes from.

Was there some kind of 'pay for fray' here involving the Clinton campaign? As is his M.O., O'Keefe has not released the full videos, only heavily edited versions so for now, at least, we really have no idea what actually happened, who actually did what, who actually said what, and well, you can actually get the drift.

Or, was there some kind of pay for fray on the part of the Trump campaign? Why would his charity make a payment to a discredited right-wing inflammatory video maker?  What charitable purpose is being served here? O'Keefe can get funding from any number of people or organizations - why Trump, why then?

Maybe that's no more a smoking gun than O'Keefe's videos - but there is proof that someone has been inciting violence in this campaign.

Donald Trump personally encouraged violence at his rallies, he surely did. And he personally incited violence against Hillary Clinton herself, with his comments about Second Amendment people being able to stop her from making Supreme Court appointments, and his suggesting that if her security detail was to disarm, well, you know...

Choose your poison: shady videos produced by a compromised right-wing activist alleging a candidate paid people to disrupt the opposition's rallies, or a candidate who personally incites violence and, it seems, paid a compromised right-wing activist to make some shady videos accusing his opponent of  paying people to be disruptive?