Bob Woodward on Friday suggested that authoritarian thinking was a problem among both the right and left in the United States -- but his Washington Post colleague Eugene Robinson and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough strongly disagreed.
Woodward was discussing the texts between right-wing activist Ginni Thomas and Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows. The Washington Post reporter and his co-author Robert Costa obtained the texts discussing plans to overturn Trump's election loss, but Woodward met fierce pushback when he argued that left-wing activists were engaged in similar efforts to gain political power.
"You're getting a skeptical look because, yes, there are extreme voices on the left, [but] I don't think this is an equal balance," Robinson said. "What you saw was the Republican Party writ large basically losing its mind but going, becoming a Trumpist party and adopting positions that establishment Republicans were horrified by, very conservative establishment Republicans were horrified by it. I don't see something equivalent happening on the left."
Woodward agreed that was a fair point, and he conceded that Thomas -- the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas -- and Meadows were hardly fringe figures, but he continued to insist that the left also harbored an anti-democratic impulse, which Scarborough then batted down.
"Donald Trump has the highest approval rating in that Republican Party," Scarborough said. "You have Ginni Thomas and the then-chief of staff of the White House -- what are they talking about? Are they talking about fiscal issues, are they talking about social issues that can be debated? No, they're talking about overthrowing a duly-elected president of the United States, arresting him, arresting his family, putting them on a barge to stand trial off of Guantanamo Bay."
"That is a false equivalency," he added, "and while there are progressives on certain policy issues are not mainstream with the rest of the American people, I do not see leaders of the Democratic Party saying, ‘Biden crime party ballot fraud co-conspirators are going to be put on a barge, bureaucrats, social media censorship mongers, mainstream media reporters are being arrested and detained for ballot fraud right now and over the coming days,’ says the wife of a Supreme Court justice to the chief of staff of a Republican president who is trying to defraud the American people and steal the presidency, ‘and will be living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition.’ If there is a parallel within any Democratic leader in Washington, D.C., let me know right now.”
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