Friday, August 31, 2018

When "Will" Becomes "Should"

On their crossover Thursday night, Lawrence O'Donnell explained to Rachel Maddow

Let me try a theory about the President's lawyers and when this is going to end.- that all of their communication- whether it is on television or privately to the President.

But all of it is really for the evidence of one whenever they're speaking. So when they're saying these things on television, when John Dowd was giving the information that it was going to be over in a certain period of time, when Ty Cobb was saying, arguing the President to- you know- let's comply with these requests for documents because it will be over faster, that they all knew that these things don't even end in the kinds of timetable that they were talking about. 

But they knew if they ever told the President a realistic estimate of how long it might go that he might just fire everybody insight and get himself impeached on a much faster schedule.

Maddow understood. However, she then responded

I mean, but Chicken Little, all right? How many times can you do it before he starts to know that you're doing it?   It may placate him momentarily. You can persuade him to not do things he might otherwise do because you're telling him it's about to be over. For a while he kept proclaiming it's about to be over, remember? But when you tell him it's going to be Thanksgiving and then December and then January and then May and then September- I mean, presumably he remembers these things. He's going to stop being susceptible to this kind of suggestion, won't he?

Why should he stop being susceptible?

A CNN poll conducted August 9- August 12, 2018, revealed that most respondents believe the President should testify for the Special Counsel and that they disapprove of Trump’s handling of the investigation with and a plurality approving of Mueller’s handling of the matter. Moreover, most agreed the probe is a “serious matter that should be fully investigated.”

Yet,  66%- nearly two-thirds- believed “Mueller should try to complete his investigation before this November’s congressional elections.”

When Trump and Giuliani pretend that the investigation will end soon, it builds an expectation that it will end soon and with it, the belief that it should end soon. People are impatient; it’s a common human trait and when something is unpleasant and difficult to comprehend without a scorecard, voters become impatient. When the President suggests an investigation will end soon, they are more inclined to believe it will. When it does not, they will not blame the individual who sold them on the idea- he is on their side in hoping it will end soon.

And so it is with another tactic of Donald J. Trump to de-legitimize a legitimate and justified probe, one tactic in a strategy which only appears reckless.

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