The ‘McCoy vs. Spock’ impeachment. Plus: Cancel culture strikes. West Virginia officially goes red.

By Gary Abernathy

The ‘McCoy vs. Spock’ impeachment trial

Among the analogies that always emerge for me when it comes to liberals and conservatives are the original Star Trek characters, Dr. McCoy and Mr. Spock. McCoy strikes me as the liberal – emotional and passionate, with his worldview ruled by his feelings. Just like the way liberals feel about conservatives, McCoy is always angry at Spock for being so “uncaring” and purely logical, and for always setting his emotions aside to make decisions based on facts, not feelings.

The prosecution in the impeachment of private citizen Donald Trump has so far relied almost entirely on emotion to score points to its audience – an audience which includes not just the senators gathered in the chamber, but, more importantly, Americans watching from home. It’s not difficult to create an emotional narrative focused on the violence and mayhem brought about by the insurrectionists who invaded the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Showing the fear that gripped everyone inside the building, and the narrow escapes by many lawmakers, are powerful images designed to tug at the jury’s – the senators’ – heartstrings.

The prosecution is building a slam-dunk case against the rioters. What they are doing their best to accomplish is to connect the rioters to Trump, and, in essence, make Trump responsible for the pain, misery and even death caused by the angry mob. Did an invitation to Washington cause this? Did a speech inspire this action? Did a tweet inspire another? Did a video message pour more gasoline on the fire? These are the dots the prosecution is trying to connect for maximum emotional effect.

The job of the defense will be to counter the prosecution’s emotional appeal with facts and logic that will ask senators to put aside their fear, anger and natural inclination for revenge, and focus on the facts of the case, letting logic rule over emotion. It will be their job to show that the actions of the mob can be blamed on numerous factors aside from Trump – especially on the rioters themselves, but possibly including comments and tweets from other officeholders. They will try to show that the riot was merely another in a long line of violent protests that have also happened on the left over the past couple of years – and who will we hold accountable for those?

Star of ‘Star Wars’ project ‘canceled’ for views

From Star Trek to Star Wars: News comes that an actress named Gina Carano has been “cancelled” from a Star Wars-themed TV show called “The Mandalorian” for posting conservative-leaning views on social media.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “Carano has frequently drawn ire for her social media statements. Her name was trending earlier Wednesday after she shared an Instagram post that suggested being a conservative today is comparable to being Jewish during the Holocaust. That post has since been deleted She has previously been called out for posts that mocked wearing masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic and making fun of the practice of sharing pronouns…”

I’m never a fan of making Nazi comparisons for anyone other than, well, Nazis. But how often have Trump and his supporters been compared to Nazis? Countless times, and usually by respected pundits. Has anyone been “canceled” for doing that?

More Republicans than Democrats in West Virginia

A friend from West Virginia texted me this morning to let me know that Republicans have just become the No. 1 party in regard to registered voters in West Virginia. “How far we’ve come,” he noted.

He wanted to let me know because he had been on our staff when I was executive director of the West Virginia GOP from 2001-2004, when Democrats still controlled the state legislature, the congressional delegation, and Democrats outnumbered Republicans 2 to1 among registered voters – 3 to 1 in some parts of the state.

The change really began in 2000 when the state voted for George W. Bush over Al Gore for president, and elected Shelley Moore Capito to the U.S. House of Representatives – the first Republican member of Congress from West Virginia in nearly 20 years. The GOP had a new, aggressive chairman named Kris Warner, who built a staff with the help of the Republican National Committee, which began to put some money and other resources into the state.

But overall, what happened is really due to what Ronald Reagan always said happened to him – West Virginia didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left West Virginia. The far-left turn by the Democratic Party abandoned conservative states like West Virginia, where pro-life attitudes abound, the Second Amendment is held close, and coal and fossil fuels are still not demonized.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is the only Democrat left in West Virginia of any stature in regard to holding high office, and that’s because he’s always basically been a Republican in his political positions. Still, he’s been an officeholder since Democrats ruled the roost, including when he was governor. He must often feel lonely these days.

Here’s an article describing the GOP voter registration gains.