Investigations – folding up and unfolding?
Unless you have just come out of a two-year coma, you undoubtedly aware of two investigations that are defining our political life. Both center on the 2016 presidential election. One was in response to accusations that the Trump campaign conspired to criminally collude with the Russians to affect the election. The second rose from accusations that the Obama administration, the FBI and others were tilting the scales of justice in an attempt to throw the election to Hillary – and failing that, to bring down the man who beat her.
There are a number of other investigations orbiting around these polarized inquiries. There is the issue of obstruction of justice. Money laundering by the Trump Organization. The Russian uranium deal and all those BIG contributions to the Clinton Foundation (which seem to have stopped now that is no longer any pro quo for the quid).
After more than a year of intense investigation into the central issue of collusion, there have been no announced results. Even more exculpating for the President is the fact that there have not been any leaks alluding collusion. It is difficult to imagine that those bureaucratic Trump haters, who leak every conceivable bit of information that puts Trump in a bad light, would skip over evidence of collusion. Recognizing this reality, many of the never Trumpers have abandoned collusion for obstruction of justice or some unrelated business misconduct. In short, the central accusation of collusion appears to be folding like a bust poker hand.
On the other hand, the question of improper political involvement by Democrats including the Clinton campaign, Obama administrations officials (and perhaps Obama, himself), senior officials at the FBI and other top-level bureaucrats seems to be unfolding like a dandelion on a warm day. While some of the initial evidence was speculative and subject to partisan interpretation, each new bit of information lends credibility to the claim that everything from the creation of the Dossier, the warrants obtained from the FISA court, the unmasking of innocent Americans, the bugging of phone conversations and all those leaks were coordinated by individuals who were not only unhappy with the results of the election but determined to undo it.
It appears the Republicans may be outsmarting the opposition party by dropping a few crumbs that will lead Democrats into the pit. No sooner did the Democrats blow away the initial Strzok text messages to his FBI colleague and paramour then additional and more damning texts come out – ones that suggest the collusion against Trump may reach the Oval Office.
However these investigations may end, at this moment in time it seems like the Trump investigations are folding and the Democrat investigations are just beginning. This does not mean that either side is in the clear. We will have to wait and see what James Mueller comes up with and what the Inspector General finds. Everything else is Kabuki Theater.
McCain and Coons wasting time
Republican Senator John McCain and Democrat Senator Chris Coons introduced an immigration bill. Even in Congress, where political posturing often takes precedence over accomplishment, the McCain/Coons bill is an inexplicable exercise in futility. It proves that even bipartisanship can result in nothing.
One can understand Coons interest in the bill. He is one of the more strident partisans in the Senate, and his bill establishes all the Democrats talking points and concedes nothing to Republicans. There is no funding for a wall, making the bill dead on arrival. It also does not eliminate chain immigration or the lottery visa system – two provisions widely approved by the American public.
Since it is purely political public relations for Democrats, one must wonder how McCain could be suckered into this meaningless maneuver. Perhaps he just wants to polish his counterproductive maverick image and maintain his high regard among the political left – and his access to CNN and MSNBC. McCain has always led with his ego and this is just true to form.
Cheap shot from CNN
I have been the constant critic of two factors in our public political dialogue – the bias of the media and the ineptitude of Republicans in knowing how to message. Both came to play in a report by CNN’s Alisyn Camerota. In an effort to play gotcha reporting, CNN produced snippets of Republicans not applauding during previous State of the Union speeches. The Republican congressman she was interviewing just said there is a difference without further explanation. Not a very credible defense. In fact, Camerota -smugly questioned how there could be a difference.
Okay Alisyn, I will tell you why it was a cheap shot.
Having sat through almost every State of the Union speech over the course of decades, what CNN did was unconscionable. It was the work of a prosecutor or a propagandist even though Camerota described herself as a journalist in the interview.
Of course, there were occasions when Republicans withheld applause or remained seated based on the point being made by the President. However, if you review those same speeches in totality, you will also find times when the loyal opposition did applaud and take to their feet.
What was different about this time was the scoop of the Democrat protest – from wearing black or Afrocentric accessories and the sheer number of times that the Democrats refused to stand or applaud – even for comments seemingly favorable to their political viewpoint or philosophy. Unlike times past, the opposition party was not basing their response on specific issues but out of adherence to the never-Trump policy of total resistance.
Then there was Congressman Luis Gutiérrez walking out. His claim to fame is standing silently on the sidelines when President Obama failed to deal with immigration and the $300,000 he paid his wife with taxpayer money before announcing his retirement from Congress.
In taking an out of context clip to compare to the totality of the events is, by definition, a cheap shot designed to influence the public rather than inform.
I love a parade
The latest bit of tinsel catching the eyes of the liberal media is President Trump’s suggestion for a national parade in honor of all those men and women serving on active duty. As can be expected, Democrats and the hardcore political left (but I repeat myself) are outraged. Of course, one would not expect them to ever feel celebratory about anything that smacks of patriotism – too many soldiers and flags.
According to the talking heads on television, such events are the currency of despots because they see them as flexing our military muscle to the world. That is not the purpose of the parade. We do not have to display our weaponry to let the world know that despite the best efforts of the left, we still have the most formidable and powerful military on earth. It is second-rate nations like Russia and North Korea that have to express their importance through military threats.
Parades have long been an integral part of our civic and patriotic celebration. Community Independence Day parades are ubiquitous. We honor those who have served in our armed forces in the past on Veterans Day. We remember those who have fallen on Memorial Day. We have smaller parades celebrating our victories in World Wars I and II. But we do not have a major event to celebrate all those men and women who are actively defending our nation at this moment. Seems like a good reason for a parade.
Whether the political left is caterwauling because it suggests patriotism or love of country – a concept alien to their philosophy – or because it is based on a myopic resistance movement that declares that anything associated with President Trump is bad.
Nothing like a John Philip Sousa march to get the heart of every true American beating in unison.