Monday, November 19, 2018

Presidential Failure

Asked on the Overtime segment on Bill Maher's Real Time, "so, Van, Steve, do you think the media should change the way it covers President Trump, Van Jones responded

I think there's actually a lot of amazing good stuff that happens in the country we don't get a chance to talk about because he just wakes up in the morning, tweets out some crazy stuff. And most of us wake up in the morning, pick up our phone, and then freak out for the next eighteen hours and then go to bed. So I think if we could just give him a little less of the oxygen we give real people dong real stuff more time, it would be better.

That was on November 16, 2018.  Two days earlier, this is how Van Jones decided to "give him a little less of the oxygen":

Give the man his due. Bootlicking may be the only way Jones can relate to the President of the United States. During the main portion of "Real Time," Gary Kasparov stated

We have to also mention that Obama Administration knew about these attacks. Congressman Adam Schiff had been crying in September 2016 but everybody thought Hilllary would have won anyway so why should we interfere?

A reliable sycophant of the former President, Jones responded

No, that's not true. Obama wanted to move forward on a bi-partisan basis. He tried to reach out to Mitch McConnell and here' the deal: think about the instability that would have been created if Obama had gone out on his own....

Hey, listen, if you don't elect Trump; you wind up with an armed Tea Party response....

Jones' argument that the President of the USA failed to speak out, in support of the findings of the intelligence community of foreign interference in elections is a fairly eccentric one. Obama has not claimed that fear of blowback from far-right activists, many of whom never even acknowledged that he is not foreign-born, was a factor in his inaction, either because it is inaccurate or it would expose himself as a weak, indecisive leader afraid of his own shadow.

He did "reach out" to Speaker McConnell. Rebuffed, he kept his mouth shut, probably because he was intimidated by McConnell and figured Clinton's victory was likely, anyway.

The Obama administration feared that acknowledging Russian meddling in the 2016 election would reveal too much about intelligence gathering and be interpreted as “taking sides” in the race, the former secretary of homeland security said Wednesday.

“One of the candidates, as you recall, was predicting that the election was going to be ‘rigged’ in some way,” said Jeh Johnson, the former secretary, referring to President Trump’s unsubstantiated accusation before Election Day. “We were concerned that by making the statement we might, in and of itself, be challenging the integrity of the election process itself.”

One of the candidates, as you recall, was predicting that the election was going to be 'rigged' in some way. So as not to encourage the myth that the election was going to be rigged for the benefit of Obama's party, the President chose not to inform the American public that the election was being rigged on behalf of the other Party.

Johnson was asked by ranking committee member Adam Schiff  “Why wasn’t it more important to tell the American people the length and breadth of what the Russians were doing to interfere in an election than any risk that it might be seen as putting your hand on the scale? Didn’t the public have a compelling need to know?”

Johnson replied "We were very concerned that we not be perceived as taking sides in the election, injecting ourselves into a very heated campaign or taking steps to delegitimize the election process and undermine the integrity of the election process." It was a terrible lapse in judgement, an example of what Dan Savage has noted (in another context) is the notion "that Democrats must always set a good example for Republicans."

It should have been about the public's need to know, as Schiff pointed out, or as Kasparov recognizes, "defending government and the Constitution." Instead, it was about a President who was intimidated- by Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, or both- who shut up when he should have stood up.

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