Thursday, May 18, 2017

Fox News struggles to defend Trump

As you've no-doubt heard, former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been appointed as special counsel investigating the Trump campaign's ties to Russia.

He was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who then notified Donald Trump one-half hour before it was announced in the news media. Trump doesn't seem very happy about any of this.

The whole thing's a mess, and it's still critically important that Congress investigate publicly. After all, the criminal investigation by Mueller will be secretive by necessity. And there's a lot we citizens need to know that might not reach the level of an actual crime (or, at least, a crime with enough evidence to prosecute).

But, as I noted Tuesday, it's just been one scandal after another. Every day, there's something new. And I thought it was funny - though not at all surprising - how Fox News has been desperate to defend this Republican president.

I wanted to point out this article in The Atlantic, too. It's another list of the past ten days of scandals - similar to, but slightly different from, the list I posted Tuesday.

The whole thing is worth a read, it really is. But what's it all mean? Here are a few widely-scattered excerpts:
It is difficult to assess the relative danger of each of these stories, because in any normal administration any of them could consume weeks if not months of attention as the press and politicians ferreted out each loose end. In this case, each seems to be supplanted by a new self-inflicted casualty within hours. ...

Time and again, Trump’s errors have been dismissed—even, incredibly, by his own aides and defenders—as the work of a man who simply has no idea what he’s doing. He doesn’t understand the gravity of Flynn’s duplicity. He didn’t think firing James Comey would be a big deal. He didn’t intend to make a liar of his vice president; it just slipped out! Even in the case of the classified information, National-Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, while refusing to state that what Trump shared was classified, said the president wouldn’t have known its status either way. These repeated lapses, taken together, create a case that Trump is simply not up to the job of the presidency. ...

The president does not help his own case. While it is fashionable to compare Trump to Nixon—a comparison Trump recently seems to be courting, from his hobnobbing with Henry Kissinger to his “tapes” threat—Nixon was a far more careful, strategic operator. His lies took time, and secret tapes, to unspool. Trump, however, keeps confirming his critics’ suspicions to the entire world. When the White House insisted Trump had not fired Comey over the Russia probe, Trump said he had. When the White House rebutted the classified-info disclosure, Trump implicitly admitted it, tweeting that he had an “absolute right” to do so. Where Nixon insisted he was not a crook, Trump boasts of his crookedness 140 characters at a time. ...

In part, Trump benefits from a double standard. Because he is not a career politician and because his reputation for crassness was well-established before he ran, he received a pass for some of his actions. This is true even now. While Hillary Clinton’s careless handling of classified information was perhaps the decisive factor in her November loss, Donald Trump appears to have handled far more sensitive information far more carelessly, even if, as he says, he was within his legal rights to do so. Yet although his position is precarious he is not finished. It is much harder to remove an elected president than it is to defeat a candidate, for reasons both legal and cultural.

Again, I recommend that you read the whole article.

But the crazy thing is, none of this has stopped. Even today, TPM talks about "a small landslide of new news this morning." Yes, this morning. It's nearly impossible to keep up, isn't it?

Well, we Americans did this to ourselves, voting for an ignorant clown with a narcissistic personality disorder for president (or not bothering to vote at all, which is almost worse). And we gave control of Congress to the Republican Party, too - as we did most states (not to mention the Supreme Court).

This is a nightmare. No, it's much worse than a nightmare. At least you can wake up to escape a nightmare. We'll be living with the results of the November election for a long, long time.


jeff725 said...


While we're on the subject of Faux "news;" I will say the same thing about Roger Ailes' death that I did with Andrew Breitbart: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, it used to be bad form to talk ill of the dead.........that's as far as I need to go. :)

Sadly, those two did an enormous amount of damage to this country.

Bill Garthright said...

Yes, indeed, Jeff. They certainly did.