Monday, September 17, 2018

No Evidence [Narrator: There is some evidence]

Pablo Picasso, Nous Autres Musiciens, 1921, via Wikipedia.

I love the galloping rhythm of these jaunty couplets composed in a moment of adversity:

Song of the Illegal Witch Hunt
By Donald J. Trump

The illegal Mueller Witch Hunt
continues in search of a crime.
There was never Collusion with Russia,
except by the Clinton campaign,
so the 17 Angry Democrats are looking
at anything they can find.
Very unfair and BAD for the country. ALSO,
not allowed under the LAW!
I'm sorry, Donald? There was a dog not barking, and it was so loud I couldn't hear what you were saying!

The dog I mean being, of course, Paul Manafort's guilty plea on Friday and agreement to cooperate
fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly with the Government and other law enforcement authorities identified by the Government in any and all matters to which the Government deems the cooperation relevant.
Rodolfo Giuliani came out posthaste with a covfefe denial that there was anything serious here, so instantly and easily falsified that none of the commentators even bothered to make fun of his drunk-typing:

(Please don't ask what I was doing on Russian Twitter, or OK, ask Dr. Google. I was looking for an exchange with Dinesh from last April, and that's where Google found it, and I was just using the open tab to find this one.) It is self-evident that

  • Rudy is describing himself as "sources close to [the] Manafort defense" to give some kind of weight to the spin he's producing on the spur of the moment, in exactly the way that has given the use of anonymous sources such an otherwise undeserved bad reputation, and that
  • the "coooeration agree" involves whatever Mueller wishes it to involve, which unquestionably includes the Trump campaign, during which Manafort witnessed efforts by Papadopoulos and Page to bring Russian government agents into the loop, oversaw the workings of a scheme to get some "very sensitive and high-level information" damaging Hillary Clinton as part of "Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump", presided over the convention in Cleveland in which the campaign strong-armed a platform change designed to benefit "Russia and its government", and worked throughout to make sure Putin knew what he was up to, through the old patron, Oleg Deripaska, to whom he owed $17 million, apparently partway successfully, since the Russians started publishing their "dirt" more or less immediately at that point.

That's what's really inrteresting, anyway, how intently certain people are not talking about it. Not a word in the National Review, a tiny news story from the Weekly Standard, nothing from Monsignor Ross Douthat (he's got a new hypothesis that the "secularization of conservatism" is responsible for Trump, that is when some conservatives stopped going to church at least once a week Ol' Devil Trump was empowered to get his claws on more or less all of them, including the ones that did go to church) or Mr. Bret Stephens (who's concerned with the Chinese government's mistreatment of its Uyghur minority, and I'm not going to even consider criticizing him for that, because I want people to know about this), nada from Megan McArdle.

Most fascinating take is from Emptywheel, who has looked very hard at the plea agreement and attached exhibits and heard the voice of Robert Mueller telling a story, not for everybody: the story of how Paul Manafort launched an international conspiracy on behalf of his patrons Viktor Yanukovych and Vladimir Putin in 2012, sliming Yanukovych's rival Yuliya Tymoshenko as a Nazi sympathizer as he worked to get her jailed on possibly bogus corruption charges. The most fun part for us is how our own young friend Ben Shapiro, then news editor for Breitbart, got roped into the program, by Israel's fascist foreign minister Avidgor Lieberman; Ben's task was to produce editorial about how secretary of state Hillary Clinton was a Nazi too.

Flashing forward, we see how valuable the experience must have been for them after the Orange Revolution liberated Ukraine from Russian-backed proconsuls, in 2014, with the Russian conquest of Crimea and invasion of the eastern Ukrainian Donbass region, when they began to argue that the whole (revolutionary) Ukrainian government was dominated by Nazi thugs. And in 2016, when they started attacking Hillary Clinton on impenetrable charges of corruption and hanging out with the world's rootless cosmopolitan banker community. There was a real program in both cases, of campaigning from the illiberal, anti-immigrant, elitist right and doing dirty tricks from the anti-fascist left and this way of looking at it brings the whole thing together.

Oh, and no, the Mueller investigation is not illegal. If Sessions could have thought up a halfway plausible case against it he would have come up with it by now.

No comments:

Post a Comment