The Russia/Trump nonsense has reached peak insanity

As you probably know, unless perhaps you have spent the last few days in a monastery, Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel to lead the investigation into the alleged collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials. This came after the latest episode in the never-ending saga of so-called “revelations” that are supposed to show that Trump was somehow in cahoots with Putin during the election. The way it works is pretty simple and by now should be well understood by anyone who is not completely brain dead. Every other week, someone in the administration leaks a “revelation” which is almost completely devoid of actual content, but is spun by the media in such a way as to make it sound as if somehow it confirmed that Trump’s campaign had been colluding with Russia during the election. Indeed, nobody really knows what it’s even supposed to mean that Trump’s campaign was colluding with Russia, but it doesn’t matter. After each “revelation”, every liberal in the country is clamoring that we finally have the proof that Trump was Putin’s creature and that it’s now only a matter of time before he is impeached, only for everyone to stop talking about after a few days, at which point another “revelation” miraculously finds its way into the New York Times or the Washington Post and the whole charade is repeated.

I have already published a 16,000 words long four-part series of posts about this nonsense several weeks ago. But the “revelations” did not stop and, if I wanted to go in details over the developments which took place since I published it, I would have to produce another effort of the same magnitude and I simply don’t have time to do so right now. It would be great if there were people who were paid to do that kind of work. We could call them “journalists” and they would write in publications called “newspapers”, but unfortunately such creatures are entirely mythical. So perhaps I will end up publishing another series of posts about this, but if I do, it won’t be until a few months from now, because I’m going to be really busy until then. However, I have continued to follow this story very closely and I can assure you that, if I did, the result would be even more devastating for the dominant narrative than what I wrote a few weeks ago. Indeed, what I wrote back then was partly about the allegations that Russia was responsible for hacking the Democratic party and releasing the stolen material, for which there is at least some evidence, although I argued that it was clearly insufficient. In the case of the accusation that Trump’s campaign somehow colluded with Russia, on the other hand, there is basically no evidence worthy of that name. It’s essentially indistinguishable from any other unfounded conspiracy theory, except for the fact that it’s taken seriously by the sophisticates and every major news organization in this country, which may show that they are imbeciles but certainly not that Trump is Putin’s creature.

Indeed, at this point, we have pretty good evidence that something nefarious indeed took place during and after the election, but it’s not what everyone is talking about. What happened should now be pretty clear to anyone who has followed this story closely. During the election, people in Obama’s administration put Trump’s campaign under investigation on the flimsiest of reasons, while rumors about this investigation and the accusations that were used to justify it were regularly fed to the press. After Trump won the election, this witch hunt continued unabated and the same people arranged for the information collected to spread throughout the government, in order to ensure that it would leak after Trump had taken office and damage his presidency. This is not a secret, you can read that in the New York Times, except that the New York Times spun that as a patriotic effort to ensure that incriminating evidence would be preserved. The problem is that, since it was leaked to the press, we know what the evidence in question was and it does absolutely nothing to support the crazy theory that Trump has been colluding with Putin to steal the election or God knows what else. But it doesn’t matter because people don’t read newspapers carefully, so they uncritically accept the way in which the leaks are being spun in the media.

This didn’t stop after Obama left office. On the contrary, since January 21, the stream of leaks has only increased. The leaks in question are evidently coming from members of the establishment in various parts of the government who, for a lot of reasons (none of which has anything to do with a patriotic duty or the desire to protect democracy), want to undermine Trump. They know they can count on the media to go along with them and spin the information they provide in a way that will embarrass Trump. If journalists were doing their job, which God forbid, this would be the scandal. But with a few exceptions, they aren’t doing their job, so everyone is only talking about the crazy theory that Trump is Putin’s creature and nobody is talking about the fact, for which there is now plenty of evidence, that people in Obama’s administration have used the powers of the state to put the opposition under surveillance. Instead, on the rare occasions when this is even brought up, we are told that it’s okay because everything was legal and the FBI didn’t break into Trump Tower with copper wires and a pair of scissors. Before someone accuses me of proposing a conspiracy theory myself, I invite them to use whatever neurons they have left and read what I have written again. They will recognize that nothing I said implies that Trump’s enemies meet in secret every week to discuss how they are going to take him down while drinking the blood of a newborn. There just needs to be enough people in government who share the goal of undermining Trump and act independently to that effect. If you want to find evidence that it’s the case, you can just randomly pick newspapers, which are full of it.

With Rosenstein’s decision to appoint Mueller as special counsel, the people who are behind that constant stream of leaks have finally reached their goal. Indeed, for the past several weeks, Washington’s establishment has been unanimously clamoring for a special counsel to be appointed. Unlike the useful idiots who believe this nonsense about Russia, they know that Mueller won’t find anything proving that Trump’s campaign had been colluding with Russia, which is because you can’t prove something that never happened. (If you wondering how I know it never happened, it’s really not difficult to understand. I know it for the same reason you know that Obama isn’t secretly a muslim who plotted with Al Qaeda to destroy the United States.) But they also know that, when a special counsel is appointed, a lot of dirt that has nothing to do with the reason why he was appointed can land on his desk and, even if he doesn’t intend to go beyond his mandate, this could be extremely damaging to Trump. Moreover, it’s also possible that Mueller will go beyond his mandate, which is exactly what happened with Ken Starr in the 1990’s but I guess nobody remembers that… This is why people in the establishment have been asking for a special counsel to be appointed. They’re hoping it will turn into a fishing expedition that will expose Trump’s dirty laundry, not that it will prove that he was in cahoots with Putin during the election. This nonsense about Russia is for the benefit of the suckers who bought that cock-and-bull story. Given what is currently known about Flynn, my guess is that even though the investigation started with Russia, it will end with Turkey. But it doesn’t matter for the people who are trying to take Trump down, since you can be certain that if I’m right, nobody will remember or care about the fact that it was originally supposed to be about Russia.

6 thoughts

  1. Let’s assume that you’re right about the lack of ties between Russia and Trump’s being elected, it seems to me that almost any investigation (I said “almost any” because I’m sure that you can find examples of types of investigations which would be ethically repulsive in this case) which might lead to Trump’s impeachment or to his being defeated in a re-election bid in 2020 would be worthwhile, since Trump as president is dangerous. You yourself posted on how he bombed Syria on the false pretext of Syria using chemical weapons.

    Sometimes in politics you have to get your hands dirty and it seems that in this case
    getting rid of Trump is “our” priority.

    1. you’re overlooking two or three salient facts.

      1. The people who are trying to hobble or remove trump likely don’t have good motives, even if removing trump, in the abstract, sounds like a good thing. After all, they are mostly in the intelligence community, the security community, and the FBI. These are the people who love overthrowing other governments, torture, running fake labs that lie under oath so people go to death row, reading your emails, hunting decent people like Chelsea manning and Edward snowden to the ends of the earth or locking them up in solitary confinement etc. They are not worried about your health insurance coverage or your reproductive rights. (Neither of which, by the way, strike me as being in danger so long as someone as incompetent as trump is in the whitehouse.
      2. Process is sometimes more important than outcome. “you have to get your hands dirty” sounds like the kind of thing that people who liberals are supposed to hate say. fundamental dangers to democratic values might be more important than the risks of having this idiot in the whitehouse for a few years.

      3. Like it or not, people voted for this guy, and they aren’t buying this nonsense. This isn’t going to be like Nixon where everyone could see that their guy was deplorable, and in a way they did not expect. Trump voters knew what they were paying for, and they still wanted it. If they think their guy is being removed from office *for having the very characteristics they wanted him to have* things will get ugly in unforeseeable ways.

    2. As an American guy on the proverbial “left” of the political spectrum, I completely agree that the Russian hysteria is (a) incredibly dangerous and (b) completely lacking in evidence. Thank god for those like Glenn Greenwald who still adhere to the old fashion idea that journalism needs to be grounded in evidence. I have no doubt that the is no collusion between Russia and Trump. Moreoever, 98% of the stories coming out of WaPo and NYTimes (not to mention Vogue/Vox/New Yorker/etc) are rumor mills and hypocrisy run amok. Half the time you will read through a nytimes story that undermines its own entire premiss in a paragraph buried half way through the article. Most of the time Trump has done something that is completely consistent with past American presidential actions. The problem is that he’s Trump, so he doesn’t always choose his words carefully (or he chooses his words fine and the media still erupts).

      As opposed to you, Wallerstein, I believe that impeaching Trump (or a Trump resignation) would be one of the worst possible thing for Americans on the left/progressives. First, it would undermine institutions (in both government and the press) that democracy depends on. There is no evidence that Trump has done anything illegal, save for certain instances where Trump and his family promoted their brand/influence for business opportunities. Second, Trump would certainly be replaced by Pence (or someone worse) who would undoubtedly do more to undermine progressive causes than Trump ever could. Part of problem with Trump is that he shoots himself in the foot with every “plan” he has. People dislike Trump, so are immediately skeptical of any of his policies, regardless of precedent. If someone else got into power, that skepticism would fade quickly. Likely they would get a free press for not being trump. Whoever replaces Trump would know what they were doing and would likely have political savviness, which would mean that they would have a high chance of passing republican policy without major incident. Americans have never paid more attention to politics in the last 50 years than they have now, which has made republican/Trump efforts to change political policy incredibly difficult. Third, as far as Syria goes, that was clearly an action as empty as most of Trump’s policies. He didn’t pursue the initial aggression further. The attack itself was most likely supposed to send a message to China (about North Korea) than it was to Assad. It was also supposed to quash the Russia hysteria, but it failed to do that. The attack was relatively harmless in the end. It didn’t even cripple the airbase that it struck. Since then, Trump has (mostly) played by the rules in Syria. As for Trump’s aggression elsewhere in the world, it seems entirely to be words and not actions. Sure, there is always the possibility that something will be misinterpreted or that an accident will occur, but it is certainly better than most neo-con/neo-liberal foreign policy. I was worried for a while about Trump’s aggression, but now I think it is just overly-hysterical journalists reporting on their own delusions. However, a Pence or another republican favorite could do a lot of damage to the mideast and Asia, like Obama, Bush, and Clinton all did.

      Therefore, I personally hope Trump stays through until America can re-align itself politically. The democratic party is a disaster though, so I don’t have a lot of hope for it. What heartens me is that for once, most Americans actually care about what its government is doing, which is a welcome change that only happens when someone who is as polarizing as Trump is in office.

    1. I finally read it and it’s indeed very good. But I’m not surprised at all, since Taibbi has been very good on this story from the beginning. It may have something to do that he lived in Russia for a while, so unlike most American journalists, he is aware that the Russians don’t have horns…

  2. Mueller’s going to drain the swamp. It’s​ going to be the greatest political intrigue story. Trump’s plays the fool, but he’s a ruthless business man. Same with Bannon. Obama kept birth certificate story going on for years, when I he could have quelled it in a week. If you’re clean, what’s the problem with keeping the story alive. Be careful what you wish for. I imagine there will a lot of lost clearances and disbarrements.

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