The Russia accusations against Trump are a classic opportunity to see innuendo in action. Indeed, this is the second such use of Russia, the first being the McCarthy era, which Dems belatedly opposed. McCarthy was a Republican.
Below I list the verbal tools of the intellectually-dishonest debate tactics known as innuendo and insinuation:
24. Innuendo: an indirect remark, gesture, or reference, usually implying something derogatory.
25. Insinuation: a sly, subtle, and usually derogatory reference
• Where there’s smoke there’s fire. (#11)
• This does not pass the smell test. (#11)
• Trump, Flynn, etc. have ties, connections, possible contacts, entanglements, etc. to Russia. (#11)
• There are “suggestions,” “questions” of wrongdoing. (#11)
• We need an independent special counsel to be appointed (implies that the Justice department and bi-partisan Congressional investigators are dishonest and/or incompetent (lack of fact- or logic-based probable cause to believe the accusation is true)
• It’s hard the avoid the conclusion [insert baseless allegation here] (#11, 53).
• claiming behavior “draws comparisons to” that of a historic bad guy like Nixon or Hitler without adequate factual basis, e.g., there were already many convictions when Nixon fired Cox; none now
• it was not clear whether [insert inconclusive fact here] were related to [whatever scandal is being alleged] This is the mirror image of the Watergate era non-denial denial: a non-accusation accusation.
• use of the word “bizarre” or “strange” to describe opponent words or actions (#11)
• use of the word “optics” to criticize (#11)
• use of the word “pattern— to elevate a series of molehill actions to a scandal “mountain” (#11)
• use of the word “troubling” to describe words or actions (#11)
• criticism of timing of an opponent action or “the way it was done” when there was no good time to do the act in question or better way—such criticism should be met with a demand that the critic point out the correct or better timing or better way
• Use of the phrase “I do not have confidence in” directed at an opponent
• use of the phrase “Constitutional crisis” to describe behavior of an opponent who is prominent in one of the three branches of the U.S, federal government Here is the first paragraph of the Wikipedia definition of such a crisis:
• use of words like “awkward” and “clumsy” to describe actions of an opponent (#11)
• use of the phrase “raised the specter” regarding the actions of an opponent (#11)
• use of the word “toxic” to describe a situation presided over by an opponent (#11)
• citing news coverage being “dominated by” a particular topic as evidence that the topic is extremely important (#27)
“A constitutional crisis is a situation which a legal system's constitution or other basic principle of operation appears unable to resolve; it often results in a breakdown in the orderly operation of government. Often, generally speaking, a constitutional crisis is a situation in which separate factions within a government disagree about the extent to which each of these factions hold sovereignty. Most commonly, constitutional crises involve some degree of conflict between different branches of government (e.g., executive, legislature, and/or judiciary), or between different levels of government in a federal system (e.g., state and federal governments).”
In the recent Comey firing, there is no question that the president had the authority to fire him. And no other branch of government has claimed nor could claim sovereignty over the firing. The House has the authority to impeach the President and the Senate has the authority to convict him regarding high crimes or misdemeanors of which they believe the firing is evidence. Complaints of a constitutional crisis absent stymied efforts to exercise those Constitutional responsibilities are not Constitutional crises. Constitutional crisis allegations are efforts to characterize a molehill as a “high crime or misdemeanor mountain.”
I ask readers to send me other examples of the innuendo phrases use in the Democrat Russia-based building a mountain out of a Republican molehill.
1. Name calling is a form of innuendo—disparagement without supporting facts
Dickens was big on this in the way he named his characters.
The web site LiteraryDevices.net says, “Innuendo can be an effective way of undermining somebody’s character in society.”
Much of the logic of those trying to make a mountain out of an opponent’s molehill is circular. Mainly, the media and other partisans hurl many many dubious innuendos at an opponent, then cite the volume of their own hurled accusations as evidence that more investigations are needed.
In a nod to Hitler’s Big Lie technique, the Dems implicitly offer the following logic: The possible crime of Trump being a modern-day Benedict Arnold spying on America for e the Russians or sabotaging America for the Russians is so monstrous that standards of initiating an investigation, like probable cause, should be suspended. In other words, the Left is saying, “If the crime we allege is sufficiently monstrous, we need not have any factual basis for making the allegation or demand for investigation. Mere size of the innuendo = probably guilty. This was the logic of Joe McCarthy in the early 1950s.
It is famously hard to prove a negative. But that is exactly what the Left in the Media and Congress are demanding of Trump. He says he did nothing wrong and the Left demands that he prove it. That’s not the way America works—at least since the last Salem Witch trial.
The burden of probable cause to begin an investigation is on the Left. They have not met it. Not even close. And if Trump or any of his associates are to be convicted of wrongdoing, the Left’s investigations have to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. If they are alleging treason—and I don’t know what other crime there could be regarding collusion between Russia and Trump—they need two eyewitnesses according to Article III, Section 3 Clause 1 of the Constitution. They have zilch so far yet the Left speaks as if Trump has been convicted.
The antidote to innuendo is to demand fact-based probable cause that a crime was committed before you accept the premise and discuss it. This is the 4th Amendment criteria for issuing a search warrant: “...and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation...”