Just last week, some GOP insiders were fretting that there might not be enough speakers to fill out the slate at this year’s Republican National Convention, but as they learned last night, sometimes nothing is better than a batshit crazy something.
Case in point: Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, who gave what some would describe as the keynote address for the opening night of the convention. Ernst, who has repeatedly bragged about castrating hogs back on her family farm, decided to go full bizarro wackobird and declare:
“This administration has called [ISIS] junior varsity adversaries, ignoring some of the best advice they were given. They represent a threat that is not limited to the Middle East, and which is spreading rapidly.
“In fact, according to the FBI, ISIS is present in all 50 states. Terrorists from ISIS are in every one of our 50 states. They will use whatever weapons they have: guns, trucks, knives, poisons, and bombs to kill innocent people.”
OK, I am more than willing to grant Senator Ernst that ISIS is a threat to the entire world. But we are bombarding them in Syria and Iraq, and they are on the run. They are striking out with acts of terror because they have no other way to remind us they still exist.
But for Ernst to claim the FBI has said ISIS is present in all 50 states is a fiction of massive proportions. FBI Director James Comey told Congress this in February:
“We have investigations of people in various stages of radicalizing in all 50 states.”
That, of course, could mean the FBI is investigating people who have visited online sites devoted to ISIS or chatted online with other supporters. But that does NOT make ISIS present in every state in this country. What Ernst did was something Donald Trump is so fond of: She took a nugget of truth and spun a humongous lie with it in order to try and scare people.
Supposedly the theme for the first night of the GOP convention was, “Make America safe again.” But safety is not achieved with slogans, half-truths, or lies. Fear is the only campaign strategy the Republicans have, and they’ve been using it in one form or another ever since September 11, 2001.
Here’s Ernst’s speech from last night:
This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org