Friday, May 14, 2021

OPINION: For Elise Stefanik, Lying Pays Off

In the days before the riots at our nation’s Capital that temporarily stopped certification of Joe Biden’s election as President, I wrote a piece for the Almanack detailing all the ways that our Adirondack and North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik had lied to her constituents about the 2020 election. Then, after the rioters were cleared from the Capitol on January 6th, which included dead bodies, Elise Stefanik took to the floor of the House of Representatives and lied some more.

Elise Stefanik has gone big on Donald Trump’s big lie, which is that Trump won the 2020 election. Despite numerous recounts and audits in places like Georgia, Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, which included the participation and oversight of hundreds of local Republican election officials, Donald Trump’s big lie says that in all these places, in hundreds of different counties, there was a grand conspiracy to steal the election. Trump tells us that he won the election by a lot, in a landslide. Trump tells us that Joe Biden did not win the popular vote by over 7 million votes.

In the past four months since the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol, Elise Stefanik stepped up her lying, and today she managed to lie her way into a leadership position. She was voted in today as the House Republican Conference Chair, the 3rd highest ranking position in the House Republican conference. In Washington, D.C., she’s part of the political leadership and is now a power player by any standard. 

I live and vote in Hamilton County, which is near the center of the 21st Congressional District. Elise Stefanik is my representative in Congress. I find it disheartening to have as my representative somebody who has decided to lie continuously and aggressively. It’s something that she started during the first impeachment hearings of President Trump in 2019 and it has escalated over the last 18 months. Elise Stefanik now tells us that she’s lying to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

In embracing the big lie, Elise Stefanik has shown that she is willing to trade away her moderate bonafides, her independence, and any reputation she may have achieved for trying to work across the aisle. She decided she’s willing to align herself with the most radical of Republicans in the House. In the last few days, her statements when campaigning for the No 3 position among House Republicans were empty of substance, yet laced with disdain for “socialist democrats.” She still refers to Trump as President Trump. What does her willingness to trade away her political brand, and any principles that she may have held, tell us about her willingness to trade away things for her congressional district? She has not been big at bringing home the bacon, and now, will she be able to secure funding for things like broadband or infrastructure funding for bridges and municipal water systems? 

The reality of our times is that as Elise Stefanik has increased her lying and told bigger and bigger lies, her campaign contributions, her TV appearances, and her prestige and status in the Republican Party have all risen dramatically. As Elise Stefanik lies more, her fame and power grow. Lying, quite literally, opened the doors to leadership among House Republicans.

In moving up to House Republican Conference Chair today, Stefanik took out Representative Liz Cheney from Wyoming, who had refused to lie, and who had called out Trump’s big lie as a big lie. Liz Cheney said “we’ve had a situation where President Trump claimed for months that the election was stolen and then, apparently, set about to do everything he could to steal it himself.”

Before she was voted out, Cheney said “If you want leaders who will enable and spread his [Trump’s] destructive lies, I’m not your person. You have plenty of others to choose from.” And then today House Republicans chose Elise Stefanik, who is quite happy to spread destructive lies.

In her farewell speech before being ousted, Cheney spoke about the importance in America for the “reverence for the rule of law.” She said “Those who refuse to accept the rulings of our courts are at war with our Constitution.” Trump’s big lie was tested in more than 60 courts (reviewed by 86 different judges, 38 of whom were appointed by Republicans) where he and his supporters lost legal challenges again and again. Cheney said “remaining silent and emboldening the lie emboldens the liar. I will not participate in that. I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy.” 

After being deposed, Cheney told reporters “We cannot both embrace the big lie and embrace the Constitution.”

You don’t have to take it from me, but by using Liz Cheney’s analysis of things, Elise Stefanik has become emboldened by Trump’s big lie, has abandoned the rule of law when she sought to overturn the election, and is now working to undermine our democracy as she continues to press the big lie.

Donald Trump’s big lie is now Elise Stefanik’s big lie. 

The big lie is now the heart and soul of Elise Stefanik’s political life.

On January 6th, after Congress reconvened after the riot, Stefanik spoke on the House floor. She amplified the big lie and attacked the elections in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin and Michigan with even more lies. She said that she was doing so because “My North Country constituents and the American people cherish the Constitution. And they know that according to the Constitution, elected officials closest to the people in state legislatures have the power of the pen to write election law, not unelected bureaucrats, judges, Governors, or Secretaries of State.”

Item by item in Stefanik’s speech on January 6th was shown to be nonsense. Elise Stefanik tells us that she’s not lying for her own career or to gain political power in the Republican Party. She tells us that, in essence, she’s lying because she cherishes the Constitution, and she’s lying for her constituents who also cherish the Constitution. 

On the other side of the U.S. Capitol after the January 6th riot, in the Senate chamber, Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney gave a speech. He said “The best way that we can show respect to the voters who are upset is by telling them the truth. That’s the burden, that’s the duty of leadership. The truth is that Vice President Biden won the election and President Trump lost.” Romney closed with this question: “And in light of today’s sad circumstances I ask my colleagues: Do we weigh our own political fortunes more heavily than we weigh the strength of our republic, the strength of our democracy, and the cause of freedom?”

Senator Romney believes that a political leader in America should tell the people the truth. Leaders should not misinform their constituents for political gain. Same goes for Liz Cheney. Elise Stefanik does things differently. Unlike Senator Romney or Congresswoman Cheney, telling the truth is no longer an option for Elise Stefanik. The rewards for lying are simply too good.

One of the reasons that Elise Stefanik has embraced lying as a core part of her politics is that she’ll pay no price for lying in her congressional district. In every race from now on, she’ll have untold millions to use to lie about and squash her opponents.

25 years ago Adirondack politics was dominated by theories about black helicopters in the skies over the Adirondacks leading to a United Nations takeover. At public meetings in the 1990s fears about black helicopters and a UN takeover would elicit thunderous applause. Conspiracy theories were thick about state environmental agencies spying on Adirondack landowners. Exercises in things like park-wide wetlands mapping were hyped as the first step of the government’s removal of the local population. When local government leaders dared to sit down with state officials they faced a rebellion in their towns and were ostracized from other local government leaders. Our politics was irrational and paranoid.

In many ways, the crazy Adirondack politics of the 1990s was just ahead of its time. We often think that we’re behind the times in the Adirondacks and the North Country, but in irrational politics, paranoia, and conspiracy theories, we had to wait for many other parts of the country to catch up. Over the last ten years, I’ve watched with dismay as the crazier strains in Adirondack politics went national.

There appears to be a lot of places in the United States today where lying works and pays off handsomely. 139 members of the House of Representatives, mostly from other rural parts of the U.S., also practice the politics of the big lie. Unfortunately, I think that Elise Stefanik has shown us that the Adirondacks and the North Country is part of the new American geography where lying works and pays off politically.

I’m confident that Elise Stefanik will keep lying to her constituents like me and my neighbors in Hamilton County and to everybody else in the 21st Congressional District. The big lie now defines who Elise Stefanik is. Lying is Elise Stefanik’s brand.

At the same time, I’m pretty confident that a majority of Elise Stefanik’s constituents will reward her with new term after new term. She can never win statewide office in New York State, but she can probably keep winning her seat in Congress as long as her congressional district is mostly the Adirondacks and the North Country. That says a lot about the viability of Elise Stefanik’s ruthless politics of lying and deception, but it also says a lot about us.


Please note that comments and commentary included on the Adirondack Almanack are those of the individuals and not the Adirondack Almanack or Adirondack Explorer.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the writer, in his personal capacity, and do not necessarily reflect the views of his employer, its officers, directors, or members, or any other person associated with it.

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Peter Bauer

Peter Bauer is the Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks.

He has been working in various capacities on Adirondack Park environmental issues since the mid-1980s, including stints as the Executive Director of the Residents' Committee to Protect the Adirondacks and FUND for Lake George as well as on the staff of the Commission on the Adirondacks in the Twenty-First Century. He also worked at Adirondack Life Magazine. He served as Chair of the Town of Lake George Zoning Board of Appeals and has served on numerous advisory boards for management of the Adirondack Park and Forest Preserve.

Peter lives in Blue Mountain Lake with his wife and two children, enjoys a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities throughout the Adirondacks, and is a member of the Blue Mountain Lake volunteer fire department.

Follow Protect the Adirondacks on Facebook and Twitter.

184 Responses

  1. Vanessa Banti Vanessa says:

    Wait wait I can’t be first comment here, can I? I doubt I shall be the last…

    First, and unequivocally, Stefanik’s trajectory is terrible for the North Country and unfortunately her supporters will get exactly what they “paid for”: an ambitious elitist who will throw anyone and any previously claimed principle under the bus in her pursuit of power. It’s all a game and riding the corrupt Washington DC train to personal gain for her. You all should remember when you cared that she lied in 2015 about her parents’ camp and claimed residential bona fides she didn’t have. If you’re OK with being lied to about certain things, you’re gonna get someone that lies to you about everything. The NoCo will find this out one way or another.

    That said – I seriously disagree with almost all of the second half of this piece, in terms of the way Peter is describing his neighbors. While I am not afraid to call out people who believe in conspiracy theories, bashing and dunking on those people is a really good way to ensure that they double down on what they believe.

    People in the NoCo have plenty of legitimate reasons to distrust political leaders. Conspiracy theories are popular because they provide a narrative of explanation, and empower the believer to think they can do something about forces that in reality are not actually in their control. I don’t have to legitimize someone’s bunk theory to be empathetic to their state of mind, and yes indeed I’m aware that the last thing many MAGA people want is my sympathy!

    But they’re gonna get a degree of my sympathy anyway, because at the end of the day, most of us do have an agreed set of mutual values, even if we’d never articulate that we do. The pursuit of truth and refraining from lying is a really, really big one.

    It’s my strong opinion that while admitting it in public would probably literally kill them, a lot of folks still on the MAGA train know 100% that that train is going off a cliff into the abyss at breakneck speed. It is vital that we give those people room to save face and get off the train. And trust me, they scare the $&“$ out of me. I have mentioned before that I’ve been attacked by a good few of them, most whom I’ve had the misfortune of interacting with.

    Even so, we need to show that there are alternatives to sticking with a liar who you know doesn’t care about you. That starts with laying off the bashing.

    • Pat Smith says:

      Hi Vanessa, you’re right we have to stop bashing each other. You and I disagree on many topics but we all have to try to find common ground. She has won 4 terms in her district, so her supporters must feel she represents their interests. What happens in the mid term and 2024 election remains to be seen. I grew up in a Democratic home but no longer can identify with the values the current party represents. I think that is why so many voters are looking to Republicans, both moderate and more conservative. About half the country holds the same point of view. Most that I know are caring, decent people not some hateful,evil villains. Nasty attacks from either side don’t solve problems. Thank Peter for firing the first salvo. Maybe he should remember “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. Or perhaps he is that perfect person. Lets be the two opposites who start thoughtful, meaningful conversation.

      • Steve B. says:

        Week opposition candidate in ’14 in a already conservative district. And once they’re in office it sometimes takes dynamite to get them out, so powerful is the strength of an incumbant. She’s a shape shifter, ran on a line of “Washington is broken” when she herself had spent years working for Bush and Paul Ryan, then she grabbed onto Trumps coat tails. Zero morals or ethics as is the case with too many Republican politicians these days.

        • Pat Smith says:

          Zero morals and ethics on both sides of the aisle. If I were king of the jungle (or swamp) the first order of business would be term limits. 2 terms for senators, 4 terms for members of congress. Then out they go and restricted from any elected position, including dog catcher, for five years.

          • Mitch (Raquette Lake) says:

            Term limits are one of those simple ideas that sound good but will have the opposite effect of what the people who support it want.

            Term limits will increase the power of the unelected staff and lobbyists who will have long term knowledge and the ability to influence the inexperienced elected officials.

            Want to change what the problems are, remove the terrible influence of money in politics. The Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court that said that corporations have the absolute right to make independent expenditures of vast amounts of cash for and against people running for office is the cause of many of the worst problems we face.

            Of course, to correct the problem would require our elected officials to vote against those giving them all that money.

            • Pat Smith says:

              Citizens United was decided as a First Admendment cases. Sadly it created opportunities for the George Soros’ and Bill Gates’ ect. to use their wealth to try to influence elections. The problem of elected officials becoming career politician began long before Citizens United was decided.

              • Fed Up with the lies says:

                You are very correct in that Citizens United allows the mega rich to influence our elections however you seem only to be concerned with the more liberal leanings by not mentioning Sheldon Adelson or the Koch Brothers to name a couple of conservative right wing supporters.

                In my opinion ALL of this money should be banned and candidates should only be allowed contributions from people who reside in the districts that they will will be representing.

                • Pat Smith says:

                  I did have ect. there I agree banned contributions should be across the board.

                • Joseph Dash says:

                  Gary Casparov, 2 decade chess grandmaster cum Putin dissident in exile who now resides in the US stated, just last night, that we still don’t know Trump’s link to the Kremlin but by his tone and demeanor let it be known that he was certain there was one.

          • Tom Philo says:

            Spot on! Excellent commentary!!!
            Wrong ~ Republican have fine tuned lying, deceit, lack of ethics and greed!

            • Tom Philo says:

              Correction That should read “Wrong ~ Republican have fine tuned lying, deceit, lack of ethics and greed!”


              • H Jurewicz Sr. says:

                And the democrats haven’t? Really?

                • Steve B. says:

                  Name a some Democrats who have been as uncivil, rude, offensive, etc… as the likes of Marjorie Taylor Green, Josh Hawley, or Donald Trump and a few more. This offensive behavior to your fellow politicians is a new thing, it plays well with the like minded supporters back home but makes it difficult to legislate and is a completely unwelcome following of what we saw in Trump for 4 years. If this kind of behavior occurred in a high school student, they would be expelled, yet their fellow Republicans do nothing and say nothing.

                  • Steve H says:

                    You are delusional if you think that this is a one party problem. They are all lying and horse trading to get their way. It’s all about money.

      • Vanessa Banti Vanessa says:

        Well, it’s a fact that people voted for her, but that neither excuses her character flaws nor does it necessarily imply that she represents their values. I voted for Biden happily and he doesn’t represent my values, and the shortest way to explain my decision is that I believe that the alternative guy would be happier if I were dead than alive, essentially, soooo…

        I voted for survival, not to see my views represented.

        I really hate to add the following, because perhaps your experience is truly representative, but – not have the majority of Trump people I’ve met (like the real devotees, many of whom aren’t even classic conservatives) been what I’d describe as nice people. I have no idea if they’re good people or not. And not just talking the road rage or car scratchers either – like many people, perhaps like you, I have lost the ability to speak with family. People who were in my life, in my wedding – they’re the ones with the litmus test now. I either worship at the altar of MAGA or we can’t talk. It’s bizarre, and I do not see this phenomena as severely prevalent among left-wing people.

        Again, not bashing. But my experience is also a valid truth.

        • Pat Smith says:

          I do believe in the greatness of American and its people. We’re having a conversation and that is how things improve. I’m sorry for the relationships you have lost. My own experience is one where disagreeing people still respect the others point of view. Sadly most politicians have serious flaws motivated by greed and power. My vote was also cast as matter of survival. To try to insure our nation survives as a free republic not as a socialist nation. Of course people with similar ideals would not ostracize you. The problem is the hate that is directed to anyone with a different opinion. Both sides are guilty of this. The question is how do we move forward.

          • ConcernedUpstate says:

            “We should be able to disagree and still respect the others point of view.”

            But surely you recognize that not all views can or should be respected.

            Yeah, sure. We can respectfully disagree about the definition of timber in the forest preserve. We can respectfully disagree about whether we should give tax relief to the rich instead of the middle class.

            We can NOT respectfully disagree about whether white nationalists are “good people,” whether members of the LGBTQ community deserve basic rights, and whether it is ok to amplify the Big Lie that incited a deadly insurrection. I’m sorry, but there are some views that are so violent and hostile, and some lies that are so dangerous to our fellow citizens and our country, that a happy go lucky “agree to disagree” is not possible.

            If you are concerned about the country surviving as a republic, then stop supporting people who promoted, and continue to promote, the lie that incited the mob that tried to overthrow it. This isn’t a right vs left thing. There ARE conservative republicans out there who did not participate in that nonsense. Stefanik is not one of them.

            • Pat Smith says:

              White nationalist are a fraction of the party and to the every day American they are ” not nice people “. Lots of big lies and insurrection involved in the violence that swept America last summer, again coming from both sides of the aisle. Was it right for Dems to blatantly call for the resist movement to harass and attack Trump supporter? Schumer, Pelosi, Waters, AOC and the list goes on are hardly shining examples of virtue either.

              • Concerned Upstate says:

                I am glad you recognize that the republican party does in fact include white nationalists. That, at least, is an admission I rarely hear from conservatives these days. How that fact alone doesn’t shock and terrify more republicans into some self reflection about their politics is beyond me. The party you support, its policies and agenda, its politicians, are in line with the views of actual white nationalists, Klan members, neo-nazis, and domestic terrorists. You want us to respect those points of view?

                I suspect you actually know this, but comparing the resist movement to what happened on January 6th is the mother of all false equivalencies. Armed Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to overthrow an election… and people were killed. This was a historically unique event in our country’s history. It is not even in the same cosmos as the resist or BLM protests, even the ones that descended into riots. You must see that the things you are equating are just not equal.

                Likewise, no, the Dems did NOT spend four years trying to overturn the results of an election. They spent four years trying to show that the election was influenced by our global adversary (which was confirmed by our intel agencies and the bi-partisan Senate investigation). There IS a difference. Hillary did not stand in front of crowds claiming that she actually won. Dem politicians did not repeat that lie. No one was maneuvering to get Hillary inserted as President after the fact. Just not the same thing.

                • Pat Smith says:

                  The party you support is following a socialist/ communists agenda. You want us to respect those points of view? Armed protesters siezed federal buildings and destroy private property, injuring and killing innocent civilians and law enforcement officers, the similarities are pretty striking. Also not entirely historically unique given our country was born out of insurrection. I don’t have much faith in the Intel community and their sources at any point after 2014-2015. Dems politicians repeat their own lies continually too. So one side is villified and the other is given a free pass? Both sides should be called out. Unfortunately most of the views here express one side is totally right and the other is totally wrong. And that my friend is what is the root of our nation’s problems

                  • Bob Meyer says:

                    Calling the Democratic party, Joe Biden et cetera socialist and Communists it’s like calling Kim Jong Un a democrat because he wins “elections” in N Korea.

                    • Pat Smith says:

                      Bernie Sanders and AOC identify as socialist.

                    • Bob Meyer says:

                      Sanders & AOC are 2 folks on the far left. He is nit even a Dem. No different than the few moderate Rs who don’t define their party.
                      Besides, get over the bogeyman anti socialist b. s. that has been nonsense since FDR !

                    • Pat Smith says:

                      Commenting here because there is no reply link on your previous response. Yes Bernie is an Independent but votes along Dem party lines. Hard to get over the socialist bogeyman be when Bernie won 7 states in the primaries, including California and Colorado. Also polling indicates the popularity of socialism is on the rise. Axios -70% of Millennial would vote socialist. Market watch a two thirds of Millennial approve of Communism. Gallup- 47% of Dems view capitalism favorably down from 56% in 2016, 57% now view socialism positively.

                • David says:

                  Concerned Upstate, you and Bob Meyer should just save your efforts to explain to Pat Smith et al. This corrupt group has either convinced themselves by repeating FauxNews lies, or else they don’t have the intellectual curiosity or capacity to learn the truth. Or else they are actually black-hearts with evil intent. None of these options allow for change. They repeat lies, obfuscate the facts, conflate social democracy efforts with socialism/communism when they ate totally different terms and goals, and slur anyone who gets in their way. Reason and reasoning are foreign to their nature, so your efforts to turn them from their ways are largely wasted, only serving to raise your blood pressure. Don’t give them the satisfaction!

                  • Pat Smith says:

                    Dave, if you really read my comments you’d see that in
                    many of them pointed out that there was blame on both sides. I certainly didn’t slur anyone in my posts. You on the other hand have called me evil, black hearted, unable to make rational decisions and intellectually inferior. You’re a great example of “Build Back Better”

                    • David says:

                      Those were indeed options. There was the other option that you have been convinced by right-wing media lies and are repeating them, although that isn’t much of an improvement, I’ll admit. Until you and those like you get honest with yourselves and get on board with improving this country, giving everyone the promise of the American dream, and drop “owning the libs” as the ultimate fantasy goal, this stalemate will continue. With hiccups and speed bumps, history bends in the direction of justice. Question is, do you want to be part of the change, or just another obstacle?

                  • Susan says:

                    You sound just like you are describing a typical democrat!

                    • David says:

                      And you sound like a schoolchild yelling out “I know you are but what am I?” Nothing I said applies to anyone but Pubes. Own it or change it.

                • Steve H says:

                  Spoken like a true know it all progressive. Take what someone said and exaggerate it to meet your narrative and expect everyone to believe it because you said it. I am a registered independent and a moderate on most issues. I have called the conservatives out just like I am doing to you. There are white nationalists that agree with the policies of the conservative but that doesn’t mean the party supports them. For example they both have the desire to cut down on illegals coming thru the border but, of course, you’ll and lump them all together when in reality their reasoning why is on the opposite ends of the spectrum but that wouldn’t fit your narrative. What common sense would tell you, if you took you progressive hat off, is that we need to change the immigration policies so that a person can legally immigrate to the US without paying a huge amount of money and bureaucracy all while we have the ability to properly vet them and keep out the bad actors. It’s similar to conservative all saying that because AOC and Bernie support socialism the entire Democrat party are socialists. Until both sides get rid of the rhetoric and start looking at the real facts we will continue to spin in circles. Unfortunately we have waisted 4 more years on a president that was chosen by his party for his electability not his ability to stabilize the country. The election then became an election of the lesser of 2 evils. We went from a delusional control freak to a senile man controlled by the progressive looking to correct the perceived evils of the world. SMH

            • Pat Smith says:

              I’d like to remind you that the Dems spent four years trying to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

              • Bob Meyer says:

                Nonsense. To compare Democrats resistance during Trump’s four years
                To his lies and to the attempted disruption of our government on January 6 is totally off base and crazy!

                • Pat Smith says:

                  I think Steve Scalia’s mat disagree with you.

                  • Pat Smith says:

                    Typo it should read I think Steve Scalise may disagree with you

                    • JK says:

                      Dear Pat:
                      What happened to Mr Scalise as a result of political violence was awful. It was political, true, in the sense the person shooting seemed to want to harm Republicans. That type of violence has no place in a civil society, even if we are the country of the lone deluded shooter making news. He may have supported Bernie Sanders for president, but he acted alone. Mr Scalise should never have been shot. Period.

                      Now, January 6 was the culmination of months and months of misinformation. The former president claimed the only way he could lose the election was due to cheating. Fellow grifters in politics and the media, enough of them to reach many many households and individuals around the country, spoke incessantly of the cheating before and after the election.

                      Night after night and day after day the cheating claim was repeated with new evidence purporting to demonstrate it happened. Concerned citizens even used all these claims of cheating to bring forward evidence of their own about how the election had been stolen. The cycle (or circle) continued with the lawsuits, more air and print time, more outlandish claims.

                      As the lawsuits withered because the people bringing them did not bother to attempt to prove their assertions, everyone began looking around for non-Constitutional means of derailing our democratic process, The recounts were all legal. That didn’t help, the results stayed the same. More lawsuits, though frivolous, were legal as well. No joy there. The Supreme Court found a way to stay aloof.

                      So they hit on the idea of “coercing” the former vice president to do their bidding, He chose not to subvert the Constitution, but while he was doing that, a crowd was getting further exhorted to go un-democratic. People in the crowd listened, attempted to overthrow OUR country, and even injured law enforcement personnel.

                      Months and months of misinformation from the former president and a variety of figures fueled this. Over 400 have been arrested so far, but, as usual, the ringleaders and media mouths have gone unscathed, and have induced people with more misinformation to question if the overthrow attempt happened in the first place.

                      To be honest, while the shooting against the Republicans was sickening and without a place in our country, it is not at all comparable to the events leading up to January 6. One misguided gunman who for whatever reason chose to do what he did versus an entire media and political machine wishing to ruin our country.

                      Again, I do not see the equivalence here.

                      Best wishes,

          • Lillian says:

            This. Exactly this.

      • ADKresident says:

        Congratulations AA! You’ve successfully brought the ADK community together! Look how many minds were changed from this politically charged article- on a rough guess, Um, ZERO at best? Both sides basically say the same thing about the other side with nothing accomplished but, heels digging in deeper, finger pointing and raised tensions! Way to go, AA~ Keep up the good work!

  2. Pat Smith says:

    I enjoy the Almanac for its outdoor related articles and discussions. Can we keep one sided political stories in the guise of an opinion piece out of this forum.

  3. Jim S. says:

    She gave her soul to Cheeto Jesus.

  4. John says:

    Correct. The author should also call out the lies of the other Representative from the 21st Congressional District.

  5. Westernedge says:

    Thank you for your your courage, Peter Bauer!
    Many probably share your views, but would be hesitant to publicize them!

    • JohnL says:

      Since you took my last comment off, I’ll rephrase. I respectfully disagree with Westeredge’s post. I don’t believe it took a lot of courage on PB’s part to say what he did. I think it’s perfectly clear from the history of most of his postings that he is opposed to the conservative view of things and in this case saw a perfect opportunity to take a ‘shot’ at our duly elected representative, who I’m quite sure he didn’t vote for. In retrospect, his frustration at her almost 20% landslide win over her opponent in the 2020 election may have influenced the tenor of his article.
      P.S. Is this OK Melissa?

  6. Billy Easton says:

    Bauer is right Stefanik is a great big liar. For her to call herself a believer in the Constitution is the biggest lie of all. She doesn’t believe in elections unless she likes the outcome, she doesn’t believe in voting rights, and she places herself above the truth. Plus, she is aiding and abetting those who led the riotous insurrectionary attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6th.

  7. I know this is a hot topic, so wanted to chime in to say “Thoughtful comments welcome!” But those with profanity, and those comments that attack the author or other commenters will be deleted. I’ve already deleted one. Here’s a link to our commenting policy for reference:

  8. Richard Monroe Richard Monroe says:

    I commend Peter for having the courage to speak out, and The Adirondack Almanack for having the courage to give him voice. If we do not have the courage to speak out against the travesty the Capitol Insurrection & the traitors who fomented & continue to support it’s intent via the “BIG LIE” represent, then our nation’s continued existence, as we know it, is in deep peril. I am a registered Independent. I have been my whole adult life. I lean right on some things, left on some others. I have voted for & supported candidates from both parties. I am embarrassed that Stefanik is what the rest of the nation now sees when they see the North Country.

    • Pat Smith says:

      If she’s so unpopular how has she won 4 terms in her district, part of which preceed the Trump presidency? Could everyone who posts here just be unhappy voters in a deep red district. Don’t worry about what the rest of the nation thinks, around half of them will think the North Country has got the right idea.

      • Joseph Dash says:

        Hitler was also repeatedly re-elected lying to his country and peddling hate to funnel their eligance.

    • Vanessa Banti Vanessa says:

      Hi Richard – I am happy to see you weighing in here, and not just because I happen to agree with your views! I have been encouraged by locals speaking out to represent the NoCo in a more nuanced way than in mainstream media. Most of the district seems more “purple” than one particular political color, and deeply attuned to local affairs. How Stefanik will square this with being as partisan as she will necessarily have to be to maintain her leadership position remains to be seen. She will have a real challenge, and I do not envy that challenge but also do not have a lot of sympathy given the voracity with which she has sought the extra power she now has.

    • Steve H says:

      You do realize that this publication has a small readership that is dominated by elitist transplants from urban areas looking to save the world.

  9. Boreas says:

    She sold her soul to Trump. Whether she has a long career or short one depends on whether the GOP can find it’s way out of the wilderness. I do not see how delusional members of the GOP will function once Trump has crossed the River Styx. They have already forgotten the Constitution and the ability to speak the truth.

  10. Mike says:

    Elise Stefanik is not only embarrassing our district, she is embarrassing the entire state of NY. Great Job Peter.

  11. Joan Grabe says:

    Many voters in this country believe Donald Trump won the election despite President Biden’s election, verified by the Congress and upheld in the Courts. I don’t know why they hold to this belief any more than I can believe that anyone thinks that the events of Jan.6th were anything but seditious and instigated by the former President. Millions of us watched on our own TVs as those events unfolded.
    This is more than a mindset of conspiracy theories – somewhere, McCarthyism in the 50s, the Cold War, Vietnam, feminism, busing etc.etc., we lost faith in our elected representatives to do the right thing and to work for our benefit. Elise Stefanik has been elected 4 times by the people of this district and she had become a force in today’s Republican Party. Not an unanimous choice – she seems too liberal for some Republicans. She has the right to deviate from her previous positions and if the people who overwhelmingly supported her in the last election deviate from their enthusiasm, she will lose her seat. I don’t consider this lying at all. This is politics today.

  12. Sal says:

    Can we please keep politics off the almanack?

    • MICHAEL DUMAS says:

      I agree 100%…..they just want to divide us further…..stick to the outdoors…..this is not the place for this!!!….I come here to get away from this BS

  13. ADKresident says:

    It’s no surprise an “OPINION” piece like this is in the ADK Almanac. The author, as well as The Almanac knew when posting it that it would lead to opposing dissent. Most of the articles w/ political content here are nothing but a sounding board for left leaning ideology anyway . There is no real room for simcere dialogue here when, within the title itself, there is already an accusatory stance, leaving any differing views in a defense mode, instead of honest debate, which is now a thing of the past. How can you even agree to disagree when right off the bat, the author comes out swinging and pointing the finger? Anymore, it’s no surprise and a waste of time to even comment, because the same narrow brush has already been painted on the face of 80 million Americans, who happen to be Conservatives. And let’s be honest. No one really gives a damn anyway what anyone else thinks- as.lomg as they agree with their own narrative and can get their Kudos and badge of courage from their own side.

    So, I say, stick to ADK issues that ALL ADK residents care about (left, right & ind) because there is plenty of mudslinging to go around politically, IF you choose to participate but many of us will simply opt out. We can turn on the TV for that crap.

  14. Gary Hartwick says:

    Not big on voting, but were there ever any actual trials? You known with judges, juries, lawyers for each side, evidence, arguments, transcripts, process, witnesses, etc? Or was it just courts refusing to hear cases or declaring things moot?

    • Concerned Upstate says:

      Yes. Lawyers were allowed to present their case to dozens and dozens of courts across multiple states, up to and including the Supreme Court. This included lawyers making their arguments, transcripts, the whole deal. And every single case was dismissed or dropped due to lack of actual evidence.

      The courts that dismissed these cases included judges who were actually appointed by Trump.

      This is how the system works. If you bring a case before a court and you can’t actually produce any evidence to back up your case, you get dropped or dismissed.

  15. Balian the Cat says:

    I actually think that Tedra Cobb won the previous election. I think the voting machines were rigged and that Elise lost overwhelmingly. I believe that the Deep Swamp conspired to make this happen and that the truth will come out someday and Tedra will be ushered into office as is rightly so.

    Sounds a little silly, eh?

  16. Michael LaCroix says:

    Great Piece, and spot on…thank you.

  17. Mick Finn says:

    Unbalanced and unhinged. Very poor article.

  18. John says:

    I personally think the woman is assume. I think that if you people can’t deal with it move out of her district. Chicago is controlled by democrats. Maybe you all will be more happy there . Or new York city. Either way she won tetra the gun grabber lost get over it.

  19. Todd M. says:

    Thanks Peter for calling out the LIES of Stefanik. When someone lies, no matter who they are, they should not be trusted, especially not to be trusted to be our leader. With a chronic lier, you’ll never know what they tell you is real or not. Their credibility is shot. If you don’t call out someone who lies and make them face the consequences, then the slippery slope starts, and that person will believe they can get away with more and bigger lies. This is what is happening with Stefanik. The lying has to be stopped!

  20. John Dehollander says:

    I sincerely wish that this great Adirondack magazine would not publish/print political oriented articles. It destroys the natural, clean character of the magazine.

  21. Tim says:

    I agree. Let’s keep this kind of politics off the Almanack. I’ve learned nothing from reading either Peter’s article or the ensuing comments. Boring.

    • Harv Sibley says:

      Completely agree. We understand and accept that most readers and writers of the AA are democratic voters, its fine, I am not but I still read this publication and thoroughly enjoy it. I wish we did not have to read these political statements that drone on and on ( Peter, you used the word lie or lying over 40 times, I counted) , we get it, we don’t need a rubber mallet pounding us into submission. Your opinion should never be denied, but this forum is not the place. Would the AA also publish an opposing position or is diversity not accepted when it comes from diversity of thought?
      Respectful to all.
      Harv Sibley

      • Of course, all are welcome to contribute. Send to [email protected]

        • ADKresident says:

          Maybe AA should then have a separate “political editorial section” altogether for political opinions because quite frankly, many of AA readers do want to read them, no matter what side of the aisle they come from! People need a break from it all, yet for some reason the AA thinks their readers care about their political views. Well, in case you dont know- many don’t care and that’s not why we subscribe to AA.. Opinion pieces like this do nothing but sow further division among ADK residents and is unnecessary. While it is a fair and noble jesture to invite all sides to “send their opinions “, you are not getting the message: We don’t read AA for personal political opinions!

          • s says:

            Thank you. It is a real turn off to read political opinion in this magazine

          • ADKresident says:

            Correction line 2..
            *many AA readers do NOT want to read them,

            • No one is forcing anyone to read an article that involves politics. Just ignore it and move on.

              Personally, I am finding the comments very interesting.

              • Walter Wouk says:


              • ADKresident says:

                Totally missing the point. Do I need to spell it out more clearly? I don’t want to see politics while I watch a ball game. I don’t want politics while I watch a movie, etc. And I enjoy reading AA- but not for partisan political Opinions! Many feel the same way. And you know what? We are free, as readers, to express the dislike for AA choosing to post political rants! I think it is poor judgement on their part. .That’s just my ‘OPINION’ and I’m sticking to it.

                • Walter Wouk says:

                  Peter Bauer’s article is topical, fact-based, and addresses serious issues facing this country — specifically, a defeated presidential candidate attempting a negate the will of more that 80-million voters, and a local Congressional representative who is actively engaged in defending his malicious behavior.

  22. What does this all mean for the Adirondacks? Have we been left behind? Or does Rep. Stefanik’s rise in GOP power have positive implications for our district? Curious to hear what people think, regardless of your political leanings.

  23. Mick Finn says:

    What would happen if the paper mills closed down? It will take someone like Stefanik to keep them open. Surely Bauer would like to see them closed and out of business.

  24. Eagleye says:

    Karma always wins. The piper is coming and will be paid.

  25. Tom Philo says:

    Spot on! Excellent commentary!!!

  26. Tom Philo says:

    Wrong ~ Republican have fine tuned lying, deceit, lack of ethics and greed!

  27. Pale Diego says:

    So what you’re saying is “…a politician lied”? How shocking, I’ve never heard of that happening before. I thought all politicians told the truth.

  28. Alan West says:

    Why don’t you tell us how you really feel about her? Your venomous attack shows your true, misguided colors. I voted for Elise Stefanik and Trump and would do it again.True patriots, not this scum now leading our nation down a very dark road.Not everyone shares your opinion Mr.Bauer.

  29. What more is there to say? Peter, you laid the whole story out in plain, straightforward language. Frankly, I do agree with you about lying Elise — not the first politician to further her career with falsehoods. I’m more concerned about the generation-long subscription to conspiracy theories and paranoia by residents of the North Country. I suspect it goes back to the first white settlers in the Adirondacks close to 200 years ago — outliers who came to a harsh land and were indeed treated badly by the powerful men who controlled the land and whose labor was exploited in the mines, in the logging camps, as guides. Not inclined to organize with others, their only resource at hand was to adopt the same behavior – harshness towards and suspicion of outsiders, the flatlanders, and keep them at bay. Which is what I experienced when my wife and I first bought a home here 20 years ago and which has continued, with some abatement, ever since.
    I’m not optimistic that suspiciousness of the “other” will undergo any dramatic change anytime soon. It lends itself to accepting any narrative that validates
    Adirondackers’ self-perception as victims of the larger, ostensibly liberal and NYC-based power structure, more acutely felt by North Country men. Stefanik and Trumpistas have learned to play that well, not only here but around the country. And it’s worked well for them, the politics of grievance.
    Why haven’t we left? The great majority of folks up here are private and respect others’ privacy. No one has ever accosted me for my left political beliefs and my wife and I in turn have sought to contribute to the well-being and improvement of Long Lake, where we live, and of the larger North Country community. It’s an accomodation that’s worked well and we have no intention of leaving except feet first. We’re distressed about Stefanik and will work to defeat her in 2022 election, but we have no intention of abandoning the home we have built or the friends we have made.

  30. Mark Walp Mark Walp says:

    Excellent comments, Peter.

    Also, it is almost laughable that many readers want to scrub politics from the Almanack, as if that were even possible. The future protection of the park, the intelligent use (or not) of natural resources, the perception and reputation of the region in the minds of tourist visitors, and even the larger world’s impression of our residents — all are influenced by politics and by the free exchange of ideas within a functional political system. Stories related to the debasement of Elise Stefanik are now trending nationally, and many people are curious about the complaisance that allows her to promote “the big lie” and still retain support within the district. Why isn’t that a topic worthy of discussion here?

  31. JB says:

    Peter has some good points here. It is all too easy to blame all of the ugliness squarely on politicians, but they are largely reflecting the overlying society back at itself, albeit with a healthy dose of distortion. The reality that any analysis of the present political situation is inevitably so wildly unpopular is an indication that we are in fact dealing with opposing movements that are more “religious” in nature than secular–that is, if we broaden our definition of “religious”.

    It is easy to see that many conflicts elsewhere, for example, involving Islam, Zionism, Hindu Nationalism, or State Atheism, are religious in nature. But despite being quick to condemn religious conflicts in other places, it is hard for someone within the United States to gain an overview of the Republican-Democrat divide as a religious one. Maybe it is easy to see that “conservative values” are inextricably tied to Christian values. But “progressive values” are now inextricably tied to a conglomeration of ideas from academia, which I will label as “critical race theory/intersectionality”, that bear the hallmarks of a religious movement, namely, an emphasis on personal subjective narrative and lack of tolerant discourse in line with liberal values. This has been extensively discussed in academic publications and popular social commentaries, and you can call me convinced (although I know that many vehemently disagree). I think that we would be better situated as a society if we could acknowledge that the fighting that we are seeing is spillover from an ideological fight over metaphysical quasi-religious concepts. Then, at least we would be able to agree to disagree. Maybe politicians would even be able to focus more on the actual task of governing. But then again, there is a reason that Libertarians or Independents never seem to gain any traction. People want to subject others to their own beliefs more than they want to see an effectively run government.

    People should not be ashamed for their belief systems. Inevitably, given the life that each has lived, a person will have good reasons for believing what they do. Modern societies will probably never shift away from grand narratives and rigid ontological categorizations of the world, nor should they. In fact, it is my experience that such belief systems are unstoppable currents that need to play themselves out–any attempt to restrict them will backfire. I have become a fatalist in that way. But surely there is a way to preserve the autonomy of different groups while also having a society that, although not ideal, has functional systems in place to maintain basic quality of life, systems of commerce, sovereignty, etc., and we can find a way live happily ever after?

  32. Bob Meyer says:

    I think the facts of Her words and actions speak for themselves. Any logical person is going to come to the same conclusion as Mr Bauer. Countering the vitriol, ignorance and hatred of the Trump & company camp is useless and detrimental to one’s blood pressure.
    Rather, those of us who support progressive, inclusive society and government need to double down on our activism on the local, state and national level; resist anti voting legislation, speak out when you encounter
    racist and other hate speech etc.

  33. Wayno says:

    The notion that the United States of America does not hold free and fair elections is preposterous. It is unAmerican, unpatriotic and insulting to the country. We are the greatest country in the history of the world, warts and all. To have this egomaniac sore loser Trump spread his big lie is one thing but to have so many citizens of the country actually believe him is the most screwed up thing I have ever seen. I sort of liked Elise before she went all in on Trump, she is smart and seemed to be a moderate that might help the GOP find its way back from the Bush – Trump disasters. Too bad because history will judge Trump and his stooges harshly and Elise may get some short term bounce but in the long run this will stain her reputation for all time.

  34. Stephen Rose says:

    Calling out lying is not a political position. It’s a moral one.

  35. Concerned says:

    There is absolutely no hope for America to remain a Constitutional Republic if people do not see the devastating first six months of the current administration.

    • Wayno says:

      The first few months of the Biden administration have gone quite well IMO. No rampant name calling or bombastic self praise from the President. No big outrageous lies from the white house. The return of competence in the Federal government. Less drama more policy. If you see this as a threat to the constitution you ought to state your case because I don’t see it. January 6 was a true threat to the constitution, brought to us by Trump’s lies.

    • Dana says:


      Am I living in the same country as you??

    • JK says:

      Actually, Concerned, there is no hope for the United States of America to remain a constitutional republic if people who believe the election was stolen do not provide incontrovertible proof that it was, if people (on all sides) do not speak civilly with each other, and if people do not view whatever current government as legitimately elected. We are all citizens here, and, as citizens, we need to accept the election result and work with who and what we have. That goes for all sides. I was not pleased after the last election, but I certainly was not willing to believe it was stolen.

      Many factors too numerous to outline here contributed to the election of the former president. He had his chance to engage in civil discourse and bring people together. He and others chose not to do so, using two years worth of majorities in Congress to push their agenda. Eventually, people decided the agenda was not what they wished, and the former president lost the election and his party their majorities.

      As for first six months of the new administration as “devastating,” I’m not seeing that. Here we are, four months after a group of “patriots” attempted to disregard our Constitution and reverse the election results, and people are still spouting the “stolen election” mantra, with no evidence naturally. I do not agree with all the proposals from the current administration, but you still have your “tax cut” and your conservative judges are still in place. Oh, and Covid-19 is still a thing, except this time around people are actually caring about trying to mitigate or eradicate it, rather than calling it a hoax. Sure, immigration needs work, but it’s needed work for years. That Colonial pipeline bit needs attention, but so does our whole concept of infrastructure.

      Simply put, people will have to work TOGETHER to resolve each. Any devastation will occur if we do not.

      Frankly, I’m pleased the name-calling is over. We need to set examples of behavior for each other, and Twitter slams are not it.

      All the best, enjoy the Adirondacks and their beauty.


  36. Ethan says:

    Thank you for this.
    “The rewards for lying are simply too good.”

  37. Hugh Karraker says:

    Bravo, Peter.
    Takes courage to call a spade a spade in the land of ultra conservatism.
    Keep safe and healthy.
    Hugh Karraker

  38. ginny wickersham says:

    This kind of political ranting has no place in the Adirondack Alamanack!

    • Bert says:

      Agreed Ginny , I’ll be sure to take note of what businesses advertise with this publication and spend my money elsewhere.

  39. Mr J. Kapstein says:

    Good for you, Peter. Thank you for your perceptive comments about the ever-ambitious and opportunistic Ms Stefanik. We are sure you will receive a lot of hate mail and even threats but those who love the nation and its institutions appreciate your well-written analysis of an elected official without moral judgement or worse.
    Before I am targeted with angry comments myself, let me say I am a veteran, a volunteer first responder, and a forest owner in Essex County where we voted for 45 years.

  40. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Vanessa says: “at the end of the day, most of us do have an agreed set of mutual values, even if we’d never articulate that we do. The pursuit of truth and refraining from lying is a really, really big one.”

    This is laughable Vanessa! There’s a large flock out there that can give two hoots about you or me or anything relative to real values. Lies! Evidently there are some that wouldn’t know one were it placed on their foreheads as a pulsing, burning glob of viscid goo!

    I still cannot get over how gullible so many people are in this country, but it doesn’t surprise me. There’s a reason why the republicans take away from public education you know! It is by design. Intelligence scares them! The whole world knows what America stands for more than at least 70 million voters do in this country. “Make America Great!” What the truck do they mean by this? Has anybody asked? Has an answer been given? It seems to me just another convenient slogan which goes along with pack mentality small thinking!

    There’s a lot of good people out there scratching their heads wondering how the heck Donald Trump has so much support. The guy is an outright idiot which is as plain as day to see! He’s worse than that….by far! The past four years were the most dysfunctional Federal government in my lifetime, if not ever! There’s still a good chunk of federal employees still getting over the shock! None of what I say is being partisan whatsoever but that’s exactly how some people will take it because some people (too many) need a major enlightenment fix. I hope it happens soon else I fear we’ll be dwindled down to a Forrest Gump megalopolis in another generation or two.


    Sleasy Elise must feel totally uncomfortable (or not) with DTs hand up her back moving her puppet mouth. I can agree that some career politicians are bad but what is worse are amateur politicians! Would you go to an amateur surgeon to replace a heart valve? The worst of the worse of the amateur politicians are those with no ethics, no morals and will lie just to forward their own interest. We just experienced amateurism in the oval office resulting in a nightmare clown show. Sleasy Elise is a woman with little conviction to represent her constituency but should be convicted of lying to the people as a government official. I have faith that the good practical people of our North Country will Vote Her Out when she is up for re-election. Until then we must be vigilant in protecting our very sensitive environment and let the politicians know that climate change, infrastructure, employment and internet access are an Up North priority.

  42. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Steve B says: “Zero morals or ethics as is the case with too many Republican politicians these days.”

    Surely there will be pushback to these words Steve! The truth just doesn’t sit over too well with some people evidently. Just look at what ‘they’ did with those little boys and girls at the Mexican border! To cite one mere example! Deplorable! ‘They’ call themselves Christians which is really just a way of saying ‘I cannot think for myself!”
    It’s no wonder people are moving away from religion and finding their own paths! It’s about time! There’s hope for us yet!

  43. Joseph Dash says:

    Thank you again Peter for your sanguine observations. The US today is in the same posture Germany was in before Hitler took over. Hitler peddled lies and conspiracy theories to the German people just like the Republican party is doing today to working Americans. Hitler’s lies lead to take over of Germany by the Nazi party and the end of democracy in that country. What can we do to prevent this? In the book “How Democracies Die” the authors say that opposing parties must unit, no matter how hard that might be, and endorse one candidate thereby shutting out the fringe elements. The Republican party must split and shut out its extreme factions, unite with Democrats and endorse moderate candidates. The alternative is a path to fascism. Sadly, the people of the Adirondacks do not realize that they are being manipulated in the same way Germans were by Hitler. If only they could come to their senses. Alas, temperatures are warming rapidly worldwide. This year we hardly had a winter. I fear crop loss and starvation is just a summer away. We may never get the to turn things around.

  44. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Pat Smith says: “Zero morals and ethics on both sides of the aisle.”

    Yes but there’s a major difference between the two Pat. It don’t take much to see this but you know us partisans…..we stick to our guns come hell or high water, truth be damned or not.

    • Pat Smith says:

      Again, a fault both sides are guilty of.

      • Pat Smith’s Conscience says:

        Today’s Republican Party is Anti-Truth. Keep watching Fox News, that’s what they want you to do!

        • Pat Smith says:

          Again both sides are guilty. If you believe everything Chuck, Nancy and Kamala, Maxine, AOC, Don Lemon, Gov. Cuomo, Gov. Newsome, Barrack ( you can keep your insurance) Obama and lets not leave out the blast from the past and possibly the biggest liar in the bunch Hillary good luck.

          • Dana says:

            Who is the only President to be impeached twice?

            • Howard says:

              SO what! He was Impeached twice. But not convicted in either case! If you’re trying to imply that somehow affects the Republican party, then your party is guilty of the same thing, only difference was your President (Clinton) was actually under oath in a deposition when he lied!

              • Walter Wouk says:

                197 Republicans voted against Trump’s second impeachment and, by doing so, gave their tacit approval of his attempted coup. For all intents and purposes they gave the seditious Donald Trump a pat on the back for trying to negate the votes of more than 80-million voters.

  45. Rick Becker says:

    Sadly, the American Psychiatric Association has been officially silent on the mental health of our former president. A quick scanning of Narcissistic Personality Disorder in their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) will have you checking off nearly every box.

    Even worse, Trump’s four years in office has been a huge diversion from the critical struggles we face with climate change, a global pandemic of epic proportions, religious war and an escalating struggle democracy against autocracies. Not only is Donald Trump all (and only) about himself, he has dragged our nation into his narcissistic pursuits at a time when the global economy has been severely disrupted.

    Focusing our attention on Trump’s fantasies has blinded us to the fact that a tiny percent of Americans has dramatically increased their wealth during the Covid 19 pandemic while so many have died and far greater numbers have suffered personal and economic loss. America needs to shut down its tabloid mentality around Trump and his opportunistic pawns and direct our strength, intelligence, creativity and resolve to the real issues of our times.

  46. Ben says:

    Thank you, Peter Bauer. And thank you Adirondack Almanac. Life consists of political transactions in one’s personal life and public life. These discussions belong in the Almanac.

  47. Mark says:

    Articles of this tone are the reason I stopped reading the ADE. Such a shame,
    I’ve enjoyed most articles the last few years.

    I have been an Independent since returning from Nam. Always decided for myself whom I was going to vote for. Highly educated, with a medical degree. Since returning to the world I’ve never believed a word that came out of any politician’s mouth. Why would anyone?

    Life is much too short to harbor such hostilities.

  48. JBF says:

    Very disappointed to that this was published in Adirondack Almanac. Perhaps an equally vicious piece could be published on Gov. Cuomo.

  49. Lee Keet says:

    I am frankly surprised that many of these comments want to attack the messenger rather than the message. Elise is the ONLY representative in Washington for most of the Adirondacks and this is, after all, the Adirondack Almanack, so Peter’s essay surely belongs here.

    Peter’s simple message, if I got it right, is that Elise is a liar. Not the typical shading of the truth that happens in political campaigns but a flat-out vicious and dangerous liar. For a well-educated smart lady, she fails the test that excludes people who spout falsehoods out of ignorance from the definition of lying: she knows what she is doing and knows that what she is saying is false.

    So, if any of you feel that the election was stolen in multiple states and voting districts that were under strict observation by volunteer poll watchers from both parties and when challenged in court unanimously confirmed by judges across the county, please provide some evidence.

    Elise knows that Trump’s own Director of the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency, Christopher Krebs, and the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council said, “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history”. Trump fired Krebs so that he could use The Big Lie to try to hold onto and now regain power. Elise jumped on that bandwagon repeating the anti-democratic tropes.

    This is not about party, it is about us having a politically greedy liar representing herself, not us.

  50. louis curth says:

    “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”

    ― Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    Politicians telling lies is an old story. But when voters believe the politicians lies, and call them facts, and vote for them anyway, then we are in very dangerous territory indeed.
    If the American people choose this path, I fear for the future of our democracy…

  51. Mick Finn says:

    Stefanik is questioning the accuracy of ballot counts in several jurisdictions and she expressed concerns publicly. Bauer claims this makes her a “liar”.

    Ballot audits are being conducted in some states now and dozens of improprieties have been discovered.

    If Stefanik is correct with her assertions, what will everyone think of her then? What will everyone think of Bauer?

    • Wayno says:

      The Trump crew had their day in court… 60 times and lost every time. There was no corruption, all the evidence is that every ballot was legal. Trump had due process, Republican and Democrat judges, election officials and poll watchers all performed as solid citizens of a democracy and once again made our 2020 election free, fair and completely legitimate. Trump lost by 7 MILLION votes. He is simply a sore loser but it seems his disciples are somehow under his spell so hard that they are in denial. Trump lost, it was fair, get over it already.

      • Pat Smith says:

        Recoginizng state populations vary, do the math. 7 million ÷ 50= an average margin of 140,000 per state, hardly a landslide

      • Mick Finn says:

        It’s not a question of popular votes, after all, Bill Clinton didn’t win by popular vote, he won by electoral vote.
        The question is, should the electors have certified the votes since there were so many irregularities.
        Your answer will demonstrate your knowledge of the situation.

        • Walter Wouk says:

          Mick Finn: Enlighten the readers, how many irregularities were there? And what’s the evidence to support your claim? Is it fact-based or an opinion?

        • Pat Smith says:

          There is no Constitutional provision or Federal law requiring electors to vote in accordance with the popular vote in their state.

        • DPC says:

          Mike Finn….others have pointed out logical fallacies in your thinking. But here’s a problem with your factual understanding. Bill Clinton won the popular vote over Bush in 1992 and over Dole for re-election in 1996. Al Gore lost the electoral vote in 2000 despite winning the popular vote.

    • JK says:

      Mick Finn:
      Can you please tell us one of the “improprieties” found in any audit? The only “audit” occurring is the one in the Arizona, the one initiated by a partisan state senate and conducted by a company whose president believed the election was stolen. Can you inform us of improprieties elsewhere in this or any other “audit”? I put “audit” in quotation marks because the Arizona one is not really an audit, and no one should think it is. A real audit would be conducted by a nonpartisan and experienced company. Cyber Ninjas is neither.

      With so many people believing in the legitimacy of this audit and hanging on every pronouncement to come out of it (factual or not), if even one vote had been mishandled, we all would have heard “Told you!” reverberating over the airwaves. Instead, those poor volunteers are reduced to checking for bamboo in the paper, watermarks the previous president may have put on the ballots, and folds to prove pre-printed ballots were included with the real ones.

      Are we going to allow this type of nonsense by every side in every election in the future? This absurdity is setting a dangerous precedent.

      Before the election, the former president and his acolytes rallied and frothed up an “army” to identify cheating by Democrats, because you know the only way the Democrats could possibly beat him was by cheating. And that army of both legitimate poll watchers and ones who answered the call to root out the cheating produced NO evidence. A lot of innuendo, supposition and conspiracy theory, but NO evidence. Is this any way to run a country?

      Ms Stefanik is not questioning any ballot counts. Recounts were already complete or ongoing in many states when she and others asserted the election was “stolen.” The votes were counted and recounted, and still the former president did not have enough of them to win the election. As a concerned citizen, I am not sure about her motive. If she is correct, then that will be a dark day for our country. That would mean many of us were hoodwinked and she would be owed an apology.

      If she is incorrect and still espouses the “stolen election” bit, that will be an even darker day. It would mean she is willfully not telling the truth. If she turns out to be wrong about the “steal” and admits it, the author of this piece would do well to acknowledge that. As things stand now, we’re in dark days for the country precisely because a large number of people are living in an evidence-free world and making things up as they go.

      She and others need their evidence. Sorry, but they do not get to just say whatever they want as often and as loudly as they do. Kind of ironic when people working without evidence refer to certain news outlets as “Fake News,” isn’t it?

      All the best,

  52. Beth Stalker says:

    This article by Peter Bauer will lead to mass exodus of readership from your publication. Enough is enough. You are spewing the same drivel as our mainstream media. As Truths continue to spill out I look forward to watching your publication implode!!

  53. Dave Pike says:

    Pat Smith is a real joke! Your Republican Party cares about Fox News air time, racism, and pedophiles. You have a problem with Liz Cheney, who stands up for the truth. However, your poster boy Matt Gaetz is a drug using pedophile, and you worship him by watching Hannity every day. Good luck with that.

    • Pat Smith says:

      Yup because CNN and Joy Behar and the like never say anything derogatory about Republicans. Your poster boy Eric Swalwell was sleeping with a Chinese spy and our vice president was a pot smoker. We’ll see how many of the Clinton-Epstien connections end up on that list of pedophiles

  54. Walter Wouk says:

    For the record, Trump’s claims of election fraud were rejected by the courts because his legal team never alleged fraud. Lawyers have a professional ethics obligation “not to abuse legal procedure” by filing “frivolous” claims. Violating this requirement could expose the lawyer to sanctions from the state bar, which could range from a reprimand to a fine to a license suspension.

    Hence, Trump’s legal team didn’t allege fraud because they knew there wasn’t any evidence to substantiate his claim. They knew he was lying, and so do representatives of the Republican Party, such as Elise Stefanik, who has often supported Trump’s bogus claim.


  55. M.P. Heller says:

    Almost as offensive as this publication stooping to the level of political mud slinging (presumably to drive traffic and generate revenue) is the cognitive dissonance in the comments section.

    About 2/3 of you went right down the rabbit hole of blindly defending whatever your political ideology is and attacking “the other”. It’s really disturbing to see how many folks are caught up in this type of fake “politics” that pits neighbors and friends against one another for no real outcome. It’s a zero sum game and evidently lots of you love playing it.

    I think to provide a little bit of context it should be noted that Stefanik defeated Cobb twice and it was not really close either time. Perhaps instead of the childish posturing and virtue signaling it would be a better use of time to find a new candidate for 2022. Perhaps Rep. Stefanik enjoys the support she receives not because her opposition has a bad message, but maybe because her opposition can’t find the right messenger.

    • DPC says:

      Agree. The North Country may be more moderate and independent than the last 6 years would suggest. Dig a little deeper, we find Owens, McHugh, and Martin…and the district went for Obama twice. Stefanik looks increasingly like a nut case to those in the middle…easily beatable by the right candidate.

      • JB says:

        This is reminding me of an opinion piece that was published the other day in the Times from David Brooks entitled “How Wokeness Ends”. I know that he is not necessarily the most reliable narrator, a classic example of the Dostoevskian Marxist-turned-conservative, but he has had some pertinent things to say over the years. In the article, he predicts that the current left-wing movement will inevitably be pulled towards the center by some kind of vaguely described inescapable forces of American capitalism, a fate similar to that of the more extreme movements of the 1960s.

        I think that mass psychology is impossible to understand or predict. Maybe we will see a public shift back towards the moderate with less polarization, or maybe not. There may be forces at work here that are different than what we have seen in the past, forces which will take us into uncharted territory. If anything were to dramatically change the landscape of the 21st century, I would place my bets on the fundamental changes that we have seen in the global economy post-2008.

  56. Mark says:

    Such vitriol! Not what I care to see when I open The Adirondack Almanac.

    That click you just heard was me deleting The Adirondack Almanac webpage from my browser bookmarks.

    Play nice everyone.

  57. Kathleen Downs says:

    Shame on you for making this a political rag. This is not the place.

  58. Zephyr says:

    Stefanik is just one symptom of the disease known as Trump. At the most basic level he was incompetent as President, appointing people unqualified to many positions who then proceeded to do terrible jobs. His signature tax cut sent more money to the wealthiest and almost nothing to those in the Adirondack region who voted for him. He was lazy, often sitting around watching TV or Tweeting while important things were happening, like a bunch of traitors attacking the US Capitol and trying to block a legitimate election. On a personal level he is just disgusting. A serial assaulter or women, a criminal, a tax cheat, and someone who has utter disgust for the ordinary hard working people who voted for him. Trump wouldn’t know one end of an ax from the other, yet North Country people vote for him? Trumpism is a weird personality cult utterly divorced from reality. Apparently Stefanik has joined the delusional.

  59. Mick Finn says:

    I can’t wait for Trump to be placed into the Office of President this August. Audits will be completed by July .

  60. Ed says:

    What’s really unnerving is how blind people are to the actual truth . This article and comment section are perfect examples , and I don’t care which side of the fence you’re on . Step back, listen , learn , and pay attention to the manipulation that is being played out by politicians and the media .

  61. JBF says:

    The editors need to recognize the difference between OPINION and HATE speech.

  62. AdkAck81 says:

    These articles are exactly why I navigate the Adirondack Explorer much much more than the Almanack these days.

  63. MOFYC says:

    Elise claimed to have flipped an overwhelming Democratic district (which has had one Democratic Congress member since the Civil War).

    She voted against the rescue plan and then took credit for the funds doled out from that plan she bashed.

    At this point, she’s not even pretending to be honest.

    The question is whether NNYers will continue to be her accomplices.

  64. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Rick Becker says: “Trump’s four years in office has been a huge diversion from the critical struggles we face with climate change”

    “America needs to shut down its tabloid mentality around Trump and his opportunistic pawns and direct our strength, intelligence, creativity and resolve to the real issues of our times.”

    > Yes sir. A non-science kinda fool! You wonder what’s in their koolaide…..those who wear MAGA hats. Which is not to say Biden is the answer to our woes, or that they don’t dig us a few holes neither, but geez….. To think of another four more years of the former idiot-in-chief! This country would have gone bankrupt, there’d be more homeless, more poor, more extinction of species, more of our National Parks given away to oil and gas giants, more right wing extremism, more hate, more division, more women’s rights taken away, more trailer park residents left out in the cold, more distrust of America from other regions around the world (GW Bush & Cheney got that going), more rich people getting richer, more mental health issues going unchallenged, more and more dysfunction in the Federal government, which would have extended to state governments………… 70 million Americans supported this!

    “Tabloid mentality!” > They’re reducing us to that!
    “… strength, intelligence, creativity…” > These were sorely lacking these past four years!

  65. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Beth Stalker says: “This article by Peter Bauer will lead to mass exodus of readership from your publication”

    Just like there was a mass exodus from Donald Trump after all of his garbage! I have my doubts Beth.

  66. Charlie Stehlin says:

    M.P. Heller says: “About 2/3 of you went right down the rabbit hole of blindly defending whatever your political ideology is and attacking “the other”.”

    We’re not perfect beings M.P.! Politics is the great divider and becoming moreso as time goes by. What shall we do, not speak our minds imperfect that we are? This country is ‘going down a rabbit hole’ and most people you talk to will agree on this. Just as recently as ten years ago you could go to many places in Vermont and New York State, and not hear a peep from others in their communities, regards politics…. people kept their politics to themselves, even if you knew what their political persuasion was by what they said or did not say. Things are changing rather rapidly, and hopefully we can get to the point where we are more civil and understanding, maybe see how most of us have more of a common bond than one party (generally) or the other would have us somehow believe. I mean gosh…there’s walls and there’s bridges and we know outright who proposes the one or the other! We need to start building bridges! Walls divide. They say, “I’m better than you are!” Surely you would agree on at least this!

    It’s very peculiar to me how so many people actually go against themselves, or the planet (our only home), or future generations, in their political choices. The only thing I can figure is that it must have something to do with religion, ignorance, narcissism, or values, or all four, or a mix thereof. I just don’t know! I do know these most certainly apply to some and I’ll be darned if I’m wrong on this!

  67. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Vanessa says: “Aww Charlie, I think the (mostly Bernie loving, incidentally) kids are alright ?”

    I’m all for positivity Vanessa, even if I disagree on matters.

  68. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Mark says: “Such vitriol! Not what I care to see when I open The Adirondack Almanac.”

    Kathleen Downs says:”Shame on you for making this a political rag. This is not the place.”

    > The truth sure does have a polarizing effect do it not?

  69. Luke says:

    Hmmm…Did Ms Stefanik question the legitimacy or any inconsistencies in her own election, or was that one perfect because she won? Asking for a friend…..

  70. Zephyr says:

    “While Ms. Stefanik espouses anti-democratic politics in Washington, her constituents are left fearing not only for the strength of their democracy but their loss of representation in Washington, which is critical to our future.”

    From here: The law or the mob? It is not certain if Stefanik favors democracy or anarchy

  71. Edward Martin says:

    This is all good banter regardless of anyone’s politics. As a proud independent I appreciate everyone’s opinions and would never be a part of just one party nor would I vote straight ticket. Want to know what else I wouldnt do? Mix my politics with my business or professional endeavors in an open forum like this where all it takes is for someone to Google a name. Allowing political opinions to taint your business is a bad decision. Good luck everyone. Peace. Out.

    • Walter Wouk says:

      Speaking out against an attempted coup encouraged by an egotistical sociopath, and defended by his aspiring toady is not a political opinion — it’s called patriotism!

  72. Charlie Stehlin says:

    M.P. Heller says: “I think to provide a little bit of context it should be noted that Stefanik defeated Cobb twice and it was not really close either time.”

    > It’s called partisan politics M.P.! Come hell or high water or flames, or outright lying through their teeth….. it’s party over reality at whatever cost! Stefanik knows, as does Trump, that whatever falsehoods come forth from their lips their base will fall for it, like cows being led to the slaughterhouse….else why would they continue on such a course! It is a given that the more a politician lies to his or her unenlightened base the more they are believed. And you can say, “sure, they all lie!” but some lies do far more damage and it is very clear which party is for the common man, which party is for “good” all around…… Clear as day! Some people are drawn towards darkness M.P., and there’s just no way to snap them out of it…come hell or high water, flames…….

  73. Charlie Stehlin says:

    Edward Martin says: “Want to know what else I wouldnt do? Mix my politics with my business or professional endeavors in an open forum like this where all it takes is for someone to Google a name. Allowing political opinions to taint your business is a bad decision.”

    > Yeah but the truth Edward! Does not that matter? Should we be discouraged from speaking our minds in response to things that have a very large effect on us, (including in the Adirondacks) as a whole just because you are uncozy with the truth. When I don’t like a medium, or a voice on the radio, or wherever…. I tune out and whatever anybody else wants to do with it that’s their thing not mine. I say nothing! Simple as that!

  74. Susan says:

    Let me put this respectfully. Mr. Bauer’s representation of Ms. Stefanik is all fabrication and false representation of her character and intentions.

    • Walter Wouk says:

      Do you have anything approximating factual evidence to support that statement — or is that just your opinion?

    • Balian the Cat says:

      Susan – With all due respect and with a complete understanding that there is good in the worst of us and bad in the best – the representation is not ALL fabrication and unless you are Elise, you can’t claim to represent her intentions. As for the construct of character that’s a judgement at best regardless of how it is described.

  75. I have to admit some bemusement at the number of people that were shocked…SHOCKED! that this was an political opinion published in the Adirondack Almanack, even though it was clearly titled and involves a representative that supposedly represents the citizens living in this area.

    In spite of the shock and horror, they plowed through the entire article and over 160 comments. Even people who said they stopped reading the Almanack years ago because of articles like this. Must be a deep state conspiracy that led them here against their will.

    If you have no interest in an article, or are even enraged by it, why not just skip it and check back tomorrow for an article about owls or bugs? I like those too.

  76. Joan Grabe says:

    Melissa, I think this comment string has outlasted it’s reason for being. I am sure that you will publish some other guest opinion or news story that will bring us out braying from our ideological lairs. At least I would hope that you would. But on this particular Stefanik piece – please no more !

  77. Todd Miller says:

    I agree. We’ve gone past diminishing returns to nothing more meaningful to say. Please (mercifully) take down this comment string.

  78. Eric says:

    Most people don’t read the Almanac for this kind of garbage , anymore than they’d want to go through the forest listening to a hiking partner who talks politics the whole time.

  79. David Paler says:

    To the publisher:

    If we were at least once united in our love and respect for the Adirondacks, now this fuming fit of pique has driven a felling wedge even deeper into the dangerous split so evident in the rest of the nation.

    This isn’t he first time that you’ve posted such divisive content either, and that post earlier this year generated the most comments that I’ve seen on date. But, look to how those comment-and-reply threads frayed our cohesion as a group, the reason we all read this magazine.

    WHY would you publish this? As you all can see, it has sewn great division among us. Look at the largest amount of comments I’ve ever seen. Did you do this for clicks?

    I believe you took a page from the Facebook algorithm, “enrage to engage”, where you can lob a stick of dynamite into placid waters and see what comes up. Well, you got your wish.

    I for one think it’s just SO irresponsible, and we should all take a step back and realize we’ve been played.

    • JB says:

      At the risk of “disagreeing about disagreeing”, I will voice my opinion in favor of the Almanack posting a wide variety of content, even if divisive. I actually think that the leadership is doing a great public service by renting server space in order to provide us with this type of “watering hole” where free-speech and fair representation of a diverse group of viewpoints is evidently allowed and respected. That is more than can be said of other blogs of this type. Sure, it can and does get ugly (and maybe people sometimes wish there was a delete button), but I’d prefer that to a sanitized version of things any day. That being said, as individuals maybe it could be argued that we have a personal responsibility to try to resist the urges that drive people towards chaos, blood lust, morbid fascinations, schadenfreude, etc. But then again, thriving on chaos seems to be part of the job description for anyone who works at an organization like Protect!.

  80. Walter Wouk says:

    You can’t use the term ““enrage to engage”, and give Elise Stefanik a pass. It is her support from Trump’s lies and his divisive conduct that seeks to drive a wedge into the Adirondack community — and elsewhere in New York and beyond. WHY would she do that?

  81. Big Moose E says:

    David, You should have ended your post with “mic dropped”. Best post in the thread.

  82. Zephyr says:

    Seems to me and many others it’s a pretty big deal that the Congressional rep for the region is advocating for treason and overthrowing a legitimate election, while also trying to block an investigation into the attack on the Capitol in aid of that treason. Thank goodness some news sites are airing these issues.

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