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Mon Feb 13, 2023, 05:20 PM Feb 2023

A "weaponization of government" trope explainer (long, but really good read)


The Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government began its business this week. The hearings were not been especially interesting, replaying old grievances of how Trump had been mistreated, with a star FBI whistleblower who turned out to have left government in the last century.

What is more interesting is the way in which the idea of “weaponization” itself has emerged and been, well, weaponized.

The creation of the new subcommittee represents the formalization of a new trope that has quickly become part of the partisan language of government, serving as a linguistic shorthand for an array of imagined misdeeds, in the way that “woke” or “CRT” has come to do. The word “weaponization” is intended to evoke a pavlovian response that short-circuits actual engagement about evidence: you know the narrative already, so no need to critically assess the specifics.

As it is used, “weaponization” appears to mean an inappropriate use of government resources to target people for unjustified partisan purposes. But “weaponization” by who? And against who? As the Stefanik example above makes clear, there is no effort to employ it even-handedly: the implication is that the federal government is coming for conservatives. (Stefanik is a member of the committee, along with notables such as Matt Gaetz, who was investigated for sex trafficking by one of the agencies the committee will investigate). So where does the trope come from?

A "weaponization of government" trope explainer (long, but really good read) (Original Post) Nevilledog Feb 2023 OP
Bookmarking to read in doses. It's a doozy, an important one. K&R crickets Feb 2023 #1
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