On the Twitter this week, an interesting video snippet of Nancy Pelosi describing a tactic called (in her words) “the wrap-up smear“:
“We call it the ‘wrap-up smear.’ You smear somebody, with falsehoods and all the rest, and then you merchandise it,” Pelosi said at a press conference last year.
“And then you write it, and then they’ll say ‘See? It’s reported in the press that this, this, this and this,’ so they have that validation that the press reported the smear, and then it’s called the ‘wrap-up smear.’ Now I’m going to merchandise the press’s report on the smear that we made.”
Sounds an awful lot like the attempted “suckers and losers” smear of Donald Trump by Jeffrey Goldberg writing last week in The Atlantic. Astute tweeters resurrected the old clip.
In October 2018, Snopes.com “debunked” an Infowars.com post which linked the video clip and observed, “Sounds eerily similar to what we saw happen to Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation process.”
As a longer clip and transcript clearly show, Pelosi was calling out Republicans for conducting wrap-up smear campaigns, not touting the phenomenon as a go-to strategy for Democrats.
Nancy Pelosi is a cagey old pol with a lot of tools in her kit. You’d have to be an idiot to think that she was saying “Here’s our strategy …”
On the other hand, I’m not the first to observe that the Democrats engage in projection: In general, if Dems are accusing the Republicans of something, you can bet they’re guilty of the same thing themselves.
The Democrats tried the wrap-up smear on Justice Kavanaugh, and they tried it again with President Trump. In neither case did the rumors have substance. Of course Nancy’s not going to admit it. She merely described the tactic.
But what really motivated me to write this blog was the “added context” that Snopes provides, the full exchange between Speaker Pelosi and ABC’s Jake Tapper. Since the original article was written, certain facts have been revealed that make the following passage rather hilarious. All the emphasis is mine.
TAPPER: So, let’s start with President Trump’s allegation, so far evidence-free, that President Obama sought to have him wiretapped during the campaign. You’re part of the Gang of Eight. That’s a group of House and Senate leaders, both the leadership and the leadership of the Intelligence Committees, that would be privy, one suspects, to such information. Do you have any idea what he’s talking about?
PELOSI: Well, the president, you know, is the deflector in chief, anything to change the subject from where the heat is. And, as one who has been engaged in intelligence, a member of the Gang of Eight, for a long time, I can tell that it’s just ridiculous for the president, President Trump, to say that President Obama would ever order any wiretap of an American citizen, any president. That’s just not — we don’t do that.
And, so, this is — it’s called a wrap-up smear. You make up something. Then you have the press write about it. And then you say, everybody is writing about this charge.
It’s a tool of an authoritarian, to just have you always be talking about what you want them to be talking about. Rather than Russia, we’re talking about, did President Obama do thus and so?
Turns out, as far as Russian collusion and the Trump campaign, there was no there there. And we’ve pretty well confirmed that President Obama did do “thus and so”.
Who’s the authoritarian? And who is the deflector in chief?
Gaslight much, Nancy?