Right Opinion

More Winning Evidence

Bill Wagner · Sep. 1, 2018

Earlier this week I suggested that evidence we are winning could be found in the increasingly unhinged nature of the anti-Donald Trump, Democrat-entry-fee rhetoric coming from folks considered to have entrenched positions in the Democrat Party and media hierarchies. First prize went to Robert Reich for his creative, but loony, proposal to have the Trump presidency annulled. Maybe he just got tired of roaming a college campus in California and decided to go on a search for relevance. Or perhaps he was trying to put in a bid for better seating at the Georgetown dinner parties when he ventures east. Or maybe he was playing the latest “differentiate me from the pack” game.

That would be the one where someone makes a unique and absolutely outlandish anti-Trump proposal or prediction that has almost zero chance of happening. If by some miracle it comes true, that person is accorded “smartest guy in the room” status. But if not, well, no one expected it anyway, so no harm, no foul. No one is ever held accountable, so why not throw the Hail Mary pass?

But I am still puzzled by Lanny Davis, whom I consider rational, a good lawyer, a skilled advocate for his clients, and media savvy. Why in the world would he risk his law license by not only lying in his representation of his client, Michael Cohen, but doing so in a way that could put his client in legal jeopardy? The GoFundMe pitch was embarrassing, but perhaps that’s become the new standard for lawyers representing high-profile clients these days, when the lines between attorney and PR flack are really blurred.

Spinning public perception has been a tried-and-true tactic forever, but soliciting money on the basis of flat-out lies whose only redeeming feature is that it attacks Trump seems a bit over the top. Even Peter Strzok’s lawyer only tried to tug at the heartstrings by asking for money to defray the massive legal expenses that “Pete” was enduring at the hands of politically motivated scoundrels for simply doing his job and serving his country as he had for decades.

So the only logical explanation for Davis acting as he did is that he was doing the bidding of more clients (another dubious feat that might draw the scrutiny of the review board). It might be a long shot, but it’s consistent with the Hail Mary theory above. If he contributed to proving the election was stolen by a Trump/Vladimir Putin conspiracy, he would have created even more Hillary Clinton IOUs. If not, he would probably have little to lose since there is scant evidence of Washington, DC, power lawyers being held to account for stuff like this.

You could add others in the same vein. Why is CNN sticking to its obviously false story fed to it by Davis? Maybe it doesn’t want to embarrass the guy Davis duped, since he is a CNN star and a Watergate icon, but it’s more likely CNN doesn’t want to give up on the anti-Trump theme, since it would be a no-brainer to come up with an explanation that gave Carl Bernstein a soft landing.

And then there’s Omarosa Manigault (when is the last time you heard that name?). She was the latest in a long line of people guaranteed to bring Trump down. But her info turned out either to be insignificant or, worse, a flat-out lie, and the media fawning disappeared faster than you can say, “You’re fired.” The hype helped her sell about 30,000 books in the first two weeks, but sales have fallen off a cliff since, and for good reason — it was the definition of all hat, no cattle.

Now we can add two more entries over the last couple days into the “can you top this?” sweepstakes. First, Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York and 2020 presidential wannabe, engaged in an hour-long debate with his Democrat primary challenger for governor, actress Cynthia Nixon. One might have thought that Cuomo had set unbeatable new world records for anti-Trump pandering a week ago when he stated that “America never was that great.” But he made every effort to double down in the debate.

Everything was as over-the-top anti-Trump as you can get, including accusing Trump of ripping babies out of immigrant mothers’ arms and calling ICE a bunch of thugs — perfect résumé enhancers for 2020. He’s ahead by 25 points, and neither candidate landed a knockout blow, so he will likely coast home. But he also said (in a very carefully worded response to a question) that only death would keep him from “serving out” his four years as New York governor. He didn’t actually say he wouldn’t be a candidate for president in 2020, which is a virtual certainty, so I guess he’s either prepared to lie through his teeth once again or is acknowledging that even if he gets the nomination, he can’t beat Trump.

The second addition to the roster is a real disappointment for me. It involves an op-ed written by Thomas Friedman, whom I have always considered a rational guy. He has penned thought-provoking articles and books on complex economic issues, like globalization. I may not always agree with his conclusions, but his positions are usually well researched and well argued. But this week’s New York Times article was so idiotic and chock-full of illogical anti-Trump overkill that at first I suspected that someone else had stolen his byline. I read it three times because I thought it might be a tongue-in-cheek exercise that I was just not getting, but his wrap-up paragraphs dispelled that possibility. He was being serious.

It started out with a hypothetical scenario wherein Trump shoots someone on Fifth Avenue in New York City. The supposed reactions from Trump supporters are parodied as neglect, excusable, or denial — anything but responsibility. And Friedman’s biggest challenge? “Worrying that readers wouldn’t realize it was made up.”

Now, every Trump attempt at humor doesn’t hit a home run. Trump actually said during his campaign that his supporters were so loyal that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and it wouldn’t change their opinion of him. That maybe is an accurate portrayal of how loyal his voters are, but it wasn’t exactly his finest hour as a stand-up comedian, and it was obviously in jest. But Friedman took it seriously and is concerned because, to him, everyone views Trump as being perfectly capable of shooting dissenters, so people would be prone to believe his story.

It’s amazing how little sense of humor Democrats have. Just look at the continued insistence that Trump’s joke about hoping the Russians can find Hillary’s 30,000 missing emails is clear evidence of collusion with Putin. I guess that’s what you default to when you can’t find any real evidence.

Friedman goes on the expand this character assessment to include the risk that because Trump is such a bad guy, the U.S. is in danger of losing the post-Cold War values contest. Trump is moving us toward the “Russiafication” of America, allowing Putin to prevail in the post-Cold War world. Say what?

As evidence, Friedman cites the fact that Trump has refused to release his tax returns, which everyone knows leads directly to a takeover of America by Kremlin values. Further evidence is that Trump’s campaign manager for about six minutes, Paul Manafort, is a convicted tax cheat who 15 years ago worked with a Putin crony who was trying to remain president of Ukraine. And if that weren’t enough to convince you, Friedman also points out that Trump’s lawyer pleaded guilty to tax and bank fraud. Dots connected — clear now?

But he goes on. It’s not just about Trump’s collusion (of which there is zero evidence), corruption (not sure what he means since he provides no examples), and money laundering. No, it’s about his “behavior.” That would be his “crass language,” his simplistic slogans “reminiscent of Soviet rhetoric,” and his insistence on personal loyalty over loyalty to the Constitution (that statement made with the grand total of zero examples as well).

Friedman closes with a conclusion that if this “Russiafication” continues for a few more years, the “rot” will be everywhere, Russia will have won the post-Cold War battle, and the “fictional story at the top of his column will become nonfiction, just like that.”

That would be the one in which Trump shoots someone on Fifth Avenue and gets away with it. His encouragement for voters is to remember this when going to the midterm polls. I guess you too could be the one shot. The country could use a vibrant and reasoned two-party debate of ideas, but fortunately for our side, this is what the Democrat and media election platform has become. Blue wave indeed.

Don't miss Bill Wagner and other great columnists. Subscribe today!

Click here to show comments

It's Right. It's Free.