I have just finished reading a piece by Melanie Phillips on Donald Trump. It was good piece and she was on his side. But how many conservatives are willing to praise Trump without succumbing to the obviously overpowering urge to distance themselves from his faults. Very few and Ms Phillips is not one of them.
Where Trump is concerned almost all conservatives suffer from delusions of moral superiority. They shouldn’t. The miners whose jobs he is saving don’t care about his etiquette.
This is another kind of ‘supportive’ conservative response. I heard this kind of thing after The Washington Post reported anonymous sources claiming that Trump had recklessly shared classified information with the Russian foreign minister. “He’s not a politician and makes missteps.” “He’s not the only senior politician who has let out information he shouldn’t have.”
The problem with these kinds of excuses for his behaviour is that there is no evidence that he shared information inappropriately. His national security advisor, General McMaster, who was in the room, categorically explained on separate occasions that the sharing was appropriate. Does that not matter?
Imagine being accused of doing something you claim, with authoritative backing, that you didn’t do and your putative friends respond by making excuses for your misstep. Has intelligence plummeted in recent years? I would say that it has.
Then there is the unseen Comey note of a meeting he had with Trump in February, reported in The New York Times, courtesy of yet another anonymous source. Were the contents leaked by Comey? Would he sink so low so quickly? Who knows?
If the note exists and is a faithful recording, Trump apparently expressed a hope that Comey would let any investigation of General Flynn pass because he was a good guy. “I hope you can see your way to letting this go,” he said, according to the anonymous source.
Expressing a hope isn’t obstructing an investigation and, crucially, Comey is on the record in May as saying that there had been no attempt made by anyone to interfere with any FBI investigation. End of story, or it should be among conservative commentators.
Conservative supporters of Trump can’t afford to be only half-in. The left are one hundred percent in to destroy Trump. And the never-Trumps, like bitter and twisted John McCain and numbers of precious conservative journalists, like, say, Jonah Goldberg of National Review, chip away whenever the opportunity arises. Death by a thousand chips is in the offing.
Make no mistake; Trump presents a threat because his policies and his determination and resolution have a chance of bringing America back from the brink of entrenched tribal divisions and economic malaise. Democrats and their media pals cannot afford to let that happen. Too many voters might see the light. Destroying Trump is the way to prevent it. How to do it? Come up with a big fat lie. Invent a Russian connection.
For almost a year the FBI and other agencies have laboured over the possibility of collusion between Trump’s campaign staff and the Russians. A trumped up lurid dossier of sexual exploits in a Russian hotel underscores the fictional tabloid narrative. Not a scintilla of evidence has been found. And, in any event, what is the crime under investigation? The standard, as under Stalin, appears to be back: “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.”
If the man is Trump and you’ve looked hard and nothing’s there, the solution is to keep on looking. Now ex-FBI director Robert Mueller has been put on the case as special counsel. Some see this development benefiting Trump in the sense that it might stem the frenzy of confected outrage. They are wrong. Nothing will stem it.
I want to go back to my assertion of plummeting intelligence. Without that decline the Russian probe would have been aborted in short order. It is based around Putin, no less, interfering in the US election by orchestrating, or overseeing, or doing something (?) to facilitate a hacking attack on Clinton’s campaign.
What actually happened? Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief John Podesta had his emails uncovered. These emails were passed to WikiLeaks. They were then publicly released in a way which caused embarrassment to Clinton. This much we know. All else is speculation, and fanciful speculation so far as I can tell.
Picture a sample collusion scene as a Trump campaign operative phones a Putin apparatchik:
“Comrade,” he says, “I’ve managed to get hold of Podesta’s email password from a mole (or dimwit) inside the DNC. Look, speak to the boss and if he’s interested I’ll pass it on and you can grab the emails and give them to Assange for dastardly damaging distribution. OK?”
“Sounds very interesting, agent Deep Cover, but why don’t you just pass them to Julian yourself rather than via Moscow and back?”
“I thought Comrade Putin might like the kudos and amusing diversion of being suspected of interfering in an American election.”
“I see (guffaws evident). I’ll speak to Vladimir and get back to you on your secret number.”
Is this the type of supposed collusion they’re imagining? If it isn’t what is it? Think up your own, it will be just as likely as anybody else’s.
What is the supposed crime? Surely there has to be some concrete indications of a potential crime before costly and time-consuming investigations are launched, never mind prolonged? Not anymore, apparently; certainly not this time.
Trump is right. It is a witch-hunt. Only the daft among conservatives would believe otherwise. Unfortunately, the daft are a legion these days.