Irrational world

In a rational world, the brazenness of Trump’s actions — using the threat of withholding aid to a foreign country to get its government to announce the opening of a (baseless) criminal investigation against the American president’s political rival — would provoke thoroughgoing disgust in public spirited and patriotic Americans of every political stripe. In a rational world, the haplessness of Trump’s self-defense would make him a national laughingstock.

But this is not a rational world. Instead, it’s a world in which conservative so-called journalists spend their days pretending the identity and supposed nefarious agenda of the whistleblower who first alerted congressional Democrats to possible presidential malfeasance is somehow significant — as if his or her claims haven’t been verified by numerous other witnesses.

It’s a world in which the ranking Republican member of the House intelligence committee used his entire time questioning Sondland to discuss the Steele dossier — which played the identical red-herring role during the Mueller investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

It’s a world in which a Republican senator announces that he will deliberately avoid reading transcripts of testimony from witnesses in the matter — because he’s decided, for no clear reason at all, that they are unreliable.

And it’s a world in which Trump is guaranteed to continue demanding that loyalists defend him unconditionally, no matter how many admirable, trustworthy people testify that he abused the power of his office in acting like a penny-ante mob boss out to shake down a needy member of the neighborhood for protection money.

Damon Linker

The journalist he called out is Mollie Hemingway. I’m sorry it needed to be done, because I used to like her writing. Much as Ann Coulter snapped on 9/11 (when her friend Barbara Olson died in one of the planes), Mollie Hemingway seems to have snapped on 11/9/16.

November 7, 2019

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