It is the super-duper quandary of the moment: choose between the oafish, charmless, and possibly not-so-stable-genius Leader-of-the-Free-World… and a security state that will do whatever it takes to get rid of him, for instance, engineering a nationwide hysteria over Russia.
Has anyone else noticed how odd it is that the so-called “Resistance” has all along included the state security apparatus in its every sordid iteration — the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, and God knows how many others among the touted “seventeen security agencies” who supposedly ginned up the Russian Meddling story on behalf of the Democratic National Committee. Movements that affect to be revolutionary don’t usually turn to the secret police and their equivalents for aid and comfort.
The Resistance pulled out all the stops last week in its shrieking denunciation of the Nunes Memo, and the various complaints had one thing in common: a complete lack of interest in the facts of the matter, in particular the shenanigans in the upper ranks of the FBI. Give a listen, for instance, to last Thursday’s Slate’s Political Gabfest with David Plotz, John Dickerson, and Emily Bazelon, the three honey-badgers of Resistance Radio (like the fabled honey-badgers of the veldt, they don’t give a shitabout any obstacles in pursuit of their quarry: Trump). They’ve even been able to one-up Nassim Taleb’s defined category of “intellectuals-yet-idiots” to intellectuals-yet-useful-idiots.
The New York Times, with its termite-mound of casuistry artists, managed to concoct a completely inside-out “story” alleging that the disclosure in the Nunes memo of official impropriety at the FBI was in itself an “obstruction of justice,” since making the FBI look bad might impede their ability to give Trump the much wished-for bum’s rush from the White House.
There was already enough dishonesty in our national life before the Left side of the political transect decided to ally itself with the worst instincts of the permanent Washington bureaucracy: the faction devoted to ass-covering. The misconduct at the FBI and DOJ around the 2016 election is really quite startling. How is it not disturbing that Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr brokered the Steele Dossier between the Fusion GPS psy-ops company and the FBI, when Fusion GPS was employed by the Clinton campaign, and Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS? How is it okay that this janky dossier was put over on a FISA court judge to get warrants to surveil US citizens in an election campaign? How was it okay for Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s wife to accept $700,000 from the Clinton family’s long-time bag-man, Terry McAuliffe, when she ran for a Virginia State Senate seat, a few months before McCabe assumed command of the Hillary email investigation? How was it not fishy that FBI Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division, Peter Strock, and his workplace girlfriend, FBI lawyer (for Andrew McCabe), Lisa Page appeared to plot against Trump in their many cell-phone text exchanges?
These allegations look really bad, and it should be no surprise that they’ve prompted a massive ass-covering campaign by the FBI and especially their allies at the official Resistance news outlets. And, of course, lastly and most perplexingly there is the unappetizing figure at the center of this circus, President Trump himself, the avatar of wished-for return to American greatness, who is looking more and more like Melville’s awful and enigmatic White Whale pursued by single-minded mad men — and, remember, despite all the bloody ire, abuse, and harrassment heaped upon him by the vengeful Ahab, Moby Dick ended up smashing the whaling ship Pequod, and swimming away to legend.
As I have suggested previously, this whole tiresome shootin’ match of counter-allegation and propaganda about Russian Meddling will probably be superseded by upsets in the financial markets. Last week’s market action was a downer for sure. The melodrama of imploding valuations and counterparty obligations has just begun. It’s going to continue through the year, and the nation will face some truly existential dilemmas that may actually require some attention.
Hope you all enjoyed the giant Zumba class led by Justin Timberlake in last night’s Superbowl halftime show. It made me nostalgic for Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction of yesteryear.