Saturday, May 13, 2017

Adventures in Tr*mpland

Despite the past week's avalanche of insanity; despite all the claims, counterclaims, and contradictions; despite a truly extraordinary display of administrative disorganization and incompetence; it's not that hard to understand what's happening in Tr*mpland.

The Russian Connection
It is impossible to say just how much impact Russia had on November's election, but one thing is certain: nothing Russia did required collusion with the Trump campaign.  Neither Paul Manafort, nor Roger Stone, nor Erik Prince, nor Michael Flynn, nor Jeff Sessions, nor any other Tr*mpista had anything to contribute to the hack of the DNC's email or the flood of damaging fake news.  Russia needed no assistance from Tr*mp associates.

This is not to say Russia had nothing to gain by arranging meetings with individuals close to Tr*mp.  Any less-than-public contact with people close to the campaign made those individuals susceptible to blackmail, and gave Putin a tool to pressure the new American administration if Tr*mp happened to win.

Tr*mp happened to win.  Did he even know some of his minions were canoodling with the Russkis?  It doesn't matter, nor does it matter that nothing that happened in their meetings could have had any impact on the election.  In politics, appearances are everything.

The Comey Firing
Everything in Rod Rosenstein's memo criticizing the FBI director was true, and largely echoed Democratic critiques.  Comey probably deserved to be fired — three months ago — but not even Tr*mp's loyal base is gullible enough to believe that the Clinton email fiasco had anything to do with Comey's sudden departure.

More revelations about the Russia connection are sure to emerge, no matter who is confirmed to lead the FBI.  Comey was fired not to prevent more revelations, but to better control how they are made public.  Tr*mp wants a loyalist as director, someone who will minimize the ensuing damage.  (Rosenstein should start updating his résumé ASAP.)

Lock him up?
It is very unlikely that Tr*mp's dismissal of Comey will constitute obstruction of justice.  Proving obstruction of justice would require demonstrating Our President's state of mind when he made his decision, and Tr*mp's mind, to date, has proven so disjointed as to be unfathomable.

At the rate he's going, though, Tr*mp may achieve lame duck status faster than any president in history — possibly even before the 2018 Congressional elections.

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