Obfuscation, Echo Chambers
In a brilliant move of obfuscation, the Wheeler-Dealer-in-Chief released an early morning Twitter attack on Barack Obama Saturday that the morning news shows are all abuzz about this Monday morning. The left and right wing echo chambers are crackling with stories about whether Obama, in fact, “tapped” the phones of candidate Trump in October. The left wing news silo (The NY Times, Washington Post, MSNBC, CNN) is leading with stories about how the F.B.I. is asking the Justice Department to refute the President’s claims and the right wing silo (NY Post, Brietbart, Talk Radio, etc.) is playing up the need for an investigation into whether the Obama administration actually tapped the phones at Trump Tower. The absurdity of all this --- Trump has clearly invented this “fact” the same way he did the “birther” myth --- is ultimately dangerous because it takes our eye off the ball. While the media is buzzing about this ridiculous ruse, the Trump/Russia connection, with Jeff Sessions and a cast of thousands, is now off the front page and (even though it made the NYTimes front page) regulations curtailing Wall St., gun sellers, and businesses are dropping like flies!
While the President, like the old Three-Card Monte dealers along 42nd Street, is fast-talking the audience while taking their money, pockets are being picked by his confederates in the House and the Executive Branch. Items that are not being discussed in the public square (or the media) are as follows:
And, of course, the Russian Connection story has all but disappeared!
Do not, for a minute, think that Steve Bannon is not manipulating the media as he “deconstructs the administrative state.” Gary Kasperov, the former chess champion and now a Russian Democracy advocate, on MSNBC this morning, pointed out how Trump/Bannon use the authoritarian playbook that the Soviets perfected from 1917 to 1989. #1 – Play the Victim. “Obama tapped my phones.” #2. Blame your predecessor. “I inherited a mess. Obama tapped my phones. #3. Crank up the propaganda machine. Breitbart and Right Wing Talk Radio are screaming for an investigation of the Obama Administration. No more talk of Trump/Russia, no more concern about North Korea (a real threat), no awareness of the de-regulation of rules & laws that protect citizens/consumers.
Don’t be distracted. Don’t get fooled.
This is a Constitutional crisis in the making. For those of us who remember the first (real) Watergate (so many “-gates” have followed) it is important to note that the crimes there were about a President who abused his power and lied to the American public. In six short weeks we have watched a pathological liar ascend to the Presidency and we are now seeing an abuse of power in which the sitting President has accused the former President of a felony. Former CIA Director Leon Panetta said that he believes Trump is, in fact, using the same tactics of “diversion and obfuscation” that all President’s use when beset with scandals (Sunday news programs). That some Republican Congressman and Senators are already on the Trump bandwagon, acting as shills and calling for an investigation of the Obama administration, reflects the effectiveness of Bannon’s strategy and the “party over conscience” mentality that afflicts our elected officials (of both parties, btw).
Like the witches in Macbeth, oracles (Republicans, Democrats, editorial boards, and pundits) warned us about Trump being unfit for office --- experientially, temperamentally, and intellectually. In only six weeks their predictions have been borne out and it may really be time use Section 4 of the 25th Amendment (“Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President".) Trump is clearly proving himself “unable” (and unfit) to be President of the United States and the longer he is there, the more he will bear that out.