Donald Trump may be inept at governing, but there is one thing he absolutely excels at-- branding people and events with a catchy, derogatory name and repeating it relentlessly until it reshapes the public’s perception of the people and events being attacked.
Labeling the Mueller investigation as a “witch hunt” is a perfect example. The term suggests an unjustified persecution of innocent victims by malicious zealots. “Witch hunt” is Trump speak for “My team has done nothing wrong; this is just an attempt by my enemies to overturn the 2016 election.
Innocent? The facts suggest otherwise (the investigation has already generated five guilty pleas and 18 indictments). But in Trump’s world, facts don’t matter. Say something loud enough and long enough and people will believe it, whether it’s true or not.
It’s the Art of the Bib Lie, and Trump learned it from the best: Roy Cohn, Joe McCarthy’s right-hand hit man.
What’s interesting is that congressional Republicans of that era failed to stand up to McCarthy and condemn his smears and lies.