Monday, March 25, 2019


So, the investigator’s report was sent to a longtime Republican flunky, who says “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” and that he has no plans to release the full report which might tell us what that means. The president says this in fact does exonerate him, and his followers agree.

Anyone with two brain cells to rub together can see what's going on. But a lot of people are not thus equipped, so I’m not surprised conservatives are playing it this way. And since these guys are always on offense, I'm not surprised that they’re trying to turn it around by demanding investigations of their own (or endlessly-extended Two Minute Hates of “The Media,” which they’ll probably settle for because it's easier to get away with). As I reported at the Village Voice, this was their MO when Mueller announced his first indictments, and there is no reason for them to change it now.

Witness Michael Goodwin at the New York Post, with "How to end our national nightmare — probe Hillary Clinton again." It's front-loaded with wish-fulfillment, telling readers "it is tempting to breathe a sigh of relief and assume that our long national nightmare is over" -- as if Mr. & Mrs. America have been straining under the yoke of Mueller coverage -- then spooling out a fantasy in which "this is an enormous vindication for Trump," whose "supporters were understandably in a celebratory mood, with some saying on Twitter that it felt like 2016 election night all over again," while for Democrats "too, Friday night was like a repeat of Trump’s election victory." (This is meant to stir memories of crying Democrats, which is MAGA Viagra.) Not only that, the Dems "ruined their own credibility, and their continuing efforts to destroy him by innuendo and investigation" -- that is, asking to actually see the report -- "can only add to their disgrace."

Then, for Trumpkins who have yet to nut, Goodwin spins tales of a Day of Wrath counter-investigation of James Comey, Rod Rosenstein, "the reprehensible John Brennan," James Clapper, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and yes, Hillary Clinton, Loretta Lynch, and Barack Obama ("what did President Barack Obama and his administration do, and why did they do it?").

I'm not sure whether the idea of a vengeance mission led by Lindsey Graham will actually fire anyone's imagination, but it will keep the scared kittens of the press too pinned back to ask relevant questions.

These events can be dispiriting to noobs, as I can tell from all the bothered liberal posts. But to those of us who've seen it many times before it's just a nuisance and maybe even, in historical perspective, a fleeting one. No one's going to change their mind based on this, because everyone knows who and what Trump is and who and what Republicans are, which will only become more obvious in the days to come. In fact, the one good thing about the information pile-up of our times is that no one lacks the data to see through these scams -- it's mainly a question of willingness to look. It wasn't always that way. The run-up to the Iraq War and the Clarence Thomas hearings, respectively, each led to a general manufactured consensus that foreign wars of liberation were back, baby, and that once Senators decided a woman was a lying slut that was an end to it. Those messages have sustained some damage in the intervening years; it hasn't ended jingoism or institutional sexism, quite, but the trend is in the right direction. Hell, even Young Republicans aren't as hypnotized as they once were. So press on regardless.

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