One of ancient Greek fabulist Aesop's best-known stories is "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." Tending a herd of sheep on a hill near his village, a bored shepherd boy falsely cried out "wolf" twice, resulting in the villagers simply ignoring a third cry when the threat was real. The boy was subsequently counseled by a village elder, "Nobody believes a liar … even when he is telling the truth!"
One would hope to see such wisdom embraced by the House of Representatives which recently voted to censure one of its own. But, unsurprisingly, reflected by a vote down party lines, it apparently has not.
All during the hoax promoted in the media that Donald Trump had colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 presidential election, Democrats joined in on the chant. Among them was a Democratic member of the Intelligence Committee – Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. – whose comments, by virtue of his position as House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chairman, were given enormous credibility by the public. Schiff claimed there was "evidence in plain sight" of Trump's collusion. This was a clear abuse of his authority, as detailed below.
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It was only after Special Counsel John Durham's detailed investigation that we learned no such evidence ever existed and that Schiff was, like the shepherd boy, simply crying "wolf," seeking to convince voters in the 2020 presidential election that Trump was a traitor. Ironically, by undermining Trump's electability, Schiff gave mental lightweight Joe Biden the impetus to win the election, betraying American voters in doing so.
By a vote of 213-209, entirely along party lines, the House recently voted finally to hold Schiff accountable for his sins. The resolution failed a week earlier due to imposing a $16 million fine upon the lawmaker – a penalty removed in the approved resolution. Reprimanded for propagating unsubstantiated accusations about the Trump/Russia collusion, Schiff was censured. He may also now face a House Ethics Committee investigation. He has boasted the congressional censure is a "badge of honor." Had the fine been imposed as well, Schiff might not have been so dismissive.
The Democratic congressman became only the "third member of the House to face censure in the 21st century, forever bearing a lasting stain of disgrace." He is the 25th House member in U.S. history to be censured. It remains to be seen whether this "stain of disgrace" impacts upon his 2024 run to become California's next U.S. senator. Normally, such a stain should prove to be career-ending ,but California voters are a different breed.
No clearer case could be made than that against Schiff for falsely claiming he has seen non-existent evidence of someone's guilt. Yet House Democrats, unsurprisingly, were angry he was being censured for his misrepresentations about Trump. Immediately after the vote, Democrats gathered in the House chamber, chanting "shame" and "disgrace." Despite Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., being known to make misrepresentations of her own, she had the nerve to chastise House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., for being a "spiteful coward."
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McCarthy invited Schiff to address the House. As he did, his fellow Democrats – exhibiting little concern over misrepresentations to the public – applauded him. Schiff, demonstrating the same gall Omar did, urged Republicans to condemn those spreading "significant falsehoods" about the 2020 presidential election. McCarthy had earlier removed Schiff from the Intelligence Committee. Unwilling to accept accountability, Schiff lectured his Republican critics by saying, "You honor me with your enmity. You flatter me with this falsehood. You, who are the authors of a big lie about the last election must condemn the truth tellers, and I stand proudly before you." Understandably, he made no effort to deny he had done what he stood accused of doing.
As the media and politicians like Schiff continue to promote misrepresentations simply to enhance their ideology, it is becoming more and more difficult for the American public to separate fake news from truth. Hopefully, California voters will reduce the complexity of the problem by not voting for Schiff as senator. It remains to be seen if they grasp what the shepherd boy did in the end, that "Nobody believes a liar ... even when he is telling the truth!"
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