Thursday, July 13, 2017

How to understand the news about The Donald

The CNN Chipmunk.
The basic formula for every breaking Trump/Russia story, Michael Tracy writes, is essentially as follows. He wrote this in March. As your read it, think about the recent excitement over Donald Trump Jr.
  1. The New York Times or Washington Post releases an article that at first blush appears extremely damning.
  2. Anti-Trump pundits and Democrats react reflexively to the news, express shrieking outrage, and proclaim that this finally proves untoward collusion between Trump and Russia — a smoking gun, at last.
  3. Aggrieved former Clinton apparatchiks *connect the dots* in a manner eerily reminiscent of right-wing Glenn Beck-esque prognostication circa 2009.
  4. Self-proclaimed legal experts rashly opine as to whether the new revelation entails some kind of criminally actionable offense. 
  5. The notion of Russian “collusion” being key to toppling Trump becomes further implanted in the minds of the most energized Democratic activists.
  6. Pointing out these glaring flaws in the latest anti-Russia frenzy is immediately construed by cynics as “defending Trump” or “defending Sessions” when it most assuredly is not. 
  7. People who’d spent the past 12 hours frothing at the mouth gradually come to realize that their initial furor was probably overblown.
  8. Democrats who sought to capitalize on the uproar end up looking extremely foolish.
  9. It becomes “normalized” (that new favorite buzzword!) to cast any meetings or contacts with Russian officials as inherently sinister. 
  10. Political ineptitude and clumsiness gets interpreted as something more calculated than it really is. 
  11. A Trump official’s least egregious quality ends up being portrayed as his most egregious quality.
  12. The overall political climate gets further degraded and warped without any commensurate upside.
  13. Repeat.
Who did you immediately picture when you read No. 10?

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