“Saccone, Rick Saccone” is a phrase that not even the most virulent QAnon conspiracy-believing, Trumped-up conservative would ever find themselves thinking. Equating the former special-election loser and former state Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Elizabeth) with James Bond makes absolutely no sense.
Before his defeat to U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Mount Lebanon) last year, Saccone was best known for being a far-right state representative who wanted all Pennsylvania public schools to be emblazoned with the words “in God We Trust” and thought that gun-owners should be a protected class under the state’s civil rights laws.
He was never a spy, but rather a diplomat who worked with North Korea. He also was never particularly good at charming voters, as he lost an election to a political newcomer in a district that President Donald Trump won by almost 20 points.
But Saccone’s latest venture literally begs for a James Bond comparison. It’s a blog with a URL of commentary.vertitas007.com and hosted on blogger.com.
The actual title of the website is Veritas: Truth is Freedom. In an introductory video filled with unlicensed stock images, Saccone lays out the truth-telling he hopes to accomplish:
“Tired of fake news and lying politicians? I know you are. … From this platform, I will bring you the truth about what is occurring and developing in our world. Commenting in national and international affairs. Educating and inspiring people to think deeper about current events.”
He then goes on to complain about Planned Parenthood, and “our Godly heritage,” all with the goal to “sift through the hidden agendas and falsehoods of the liberal left.”
Of course, his first two blog entries contain multiple falsehoods.
In a July 7 post titled “Cecil Richards,” about the former Planned Parenthood president, Saccone falsely claims that abortions generate 40 percent of Planned Parenthood’s revenue.
According to Planned Parenthood’s 2017-2018 annual report, revenue from non-government health services, which include abortions and other contraception services, comprised 22 percent of the organization's total revenue. According to the Washington Post, “advocates and opponents of abortion rights have calculated somewhere between 15 percent and 37 percent of the organization’s annual non-government health services revenue comes from abortion services.” Even taking the high end of that estimation would mean than abortion services provide around 8 percent of Planned Parenthood's total revenue.
Saccone then compares Richards to Adolf Hilter and Nazi chief propagandist Joseph Goebbels.
“Richards is a hero to the pro-abortionists but a Hitler to many of the pro-lifers fighting the infant holocaust she perpetuates. She is her own Joseph Goebbels Reich Minister of Propaganda for abortion.”
In a July 6 post about high rates of suicide among veterans, Saccone claims that he has not heard any Democratic presidential candidate “talk about ensuring our veterans actually receive care.”
Democratic presidential candidates Beto O'Rourke and Elizabeth Warren have recently supported proposals to ensure better health care for veterans. O’Rourke has called for the creation of the Veterans' Health Care Trust Fund, which would be funded through a tax on households without active service members or veterans. Warren, currently serving as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, has co-sponsored a bill to establish Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Tribal and Indian Affairs, with the goal of “improving the VA's outreach, health care and benefits for Native Americans.”
Before starting this blog, Saccone had been spending a lot of time on Twitter and Facebook, spewing MAGA talking points and tagging Trump incessantly. He even addressed that usage in his introductory video, letting his followers know that Veritas007.com would “expand” on those issues of interest.
Interestingly, even though Saccone has entered the video and blogger world of the right-wing media, he has initially adopted a calm and professor-like demeanor, as opposed to the more typical vein-popping delivery of conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones.
Maybe he intends to keep his far-right conservative dogma classy, just like James Bond would want.