Monday, April 23, 2018

Acknowledging Witches

There have been numerous instances in which President Trump has labeled as a "witch hunt" the investigation by the Special Counsel into possible conspiracy by him and/or his presidential campaign with Russians and related matters.  Application of the term has been- as Vox's Dylan Scott and Tara Isabella Burton explain- misplaced, disingenuous, and inaccurate. (Video immediately below is from the Huffington Post on 4/11/18.)

Most recently (as of this morning), Trump employed the smear on Saturday, April 21 when he

attacked The New York Times for its reporting on his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, and expressed confidence Cohen will remain loyal to him while under federal investigation. 

“The New York Times and a third rate reporter named Maggie Haberman, known as a Crooked H flunkie who I don’t speak to and have nothing to do with, are going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will ‘flip,’ ” Trump tweeted. 

Stephanie Clifford attorney Mark Avenatti and many others have speculated that Donald Trump doesn't have effective legal representation. Certainly, his lawyers have been unable to keep him and his director of social media from implicating the President.

That has given us a window into Trump's thinking and motivation(s). So consider a hypothetical scenario in which

Although no body has been recovered, police are convinced that your next-door neighbor, who was your insurance carrier, has been the victim of murder. The deceased was known as friendly and he entertained many residents of the neighborhood at his home, where police suspect he was killed, notwithstanding no evidence of forced entry

Your ex-wife, with whom you have been close but whom you are known to have ridiculed in private, knows that you recently had a big blow-up with the neighbor- and that you committed the murder, with her support. Unfortunately (for you), she herself is being investigated by the Police Department for having allegedly conspired with you a few years earlier in committing insurance fraud.

This is a perilous situation, and now her house and current place of business have been raided and the Prosecutor's Office has seized a treasure trove of documents and electronic communications.  The media has reported that the authorities believe this material may contain evidence that you committed the murder.  Possessed of righteous indignation, you issue a statement arguing "reporters are going out of their way to destroy my wife and her relationship with me in the hope that she will flip."

Obviously, the remark "reporters are going out of their way to destroy" my ex-wife is hostile to the press. Additionally, it is a statement of support for her.

But it is something additional. You have just denied "that she will flip." Two closely related questions thus arise: what flip- and how could she "flip" if there is nothing to "flip" about?

President Trump now complains that The New York Times and one of its Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters are hoping that Michael Cohen will flip. But one cannot flip if there is nothing to flip to.

Candidate Donald Trump referred to "Two Corinthians," "my little wine (and) my little cracker" in referring to communion (which he misrepresented), and admitted- at a gathering of evangelicals- he never asked God for forgiveness. President Trump attacked Dreamers on Easter Sunday.

You can take a horse to water but you can't make him drink. It's not Donald Trump's fault that white Christian evangelicals haven't yet realized- no matter how clear he has made it- that he has only contempt for them and what they believe. Similarly, he now has told us, at least implicitly, that Michael Cohen has the goods on him.

We know Michael Cohen is being investigated for bank fraud, wire fraud,and campaign finance violations. We know also that Donald Trump is implicated, and he has recently admitted it to us.

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