Mueller Report, Migrants, Kamala Harris, and Hillary Clinton
The Mueller report is due on Thursday, and the betting here remains that it will provide both sides with enough fodder to keep the narratives alive for quite some time.
Robert Mueller found nothing that could establish a basis for indictment on Russian collusion, and Attorney General William Barr determined that there was no basis for bringing obstruction charges. So regardless of what’s in the 400-plus pages, Donald Trump supporters will be justified in claiming total vindication.
But thanks mostly to the laundry list of unusual activities by Trump campaign members, most of whom fall into the category of self-promoters, some naïve and some professional, there will be ample examples of events where one man’s innocent communications are another man’s Russian conspiracy.
According to the “get Trump” contingent, the report will be a roadmap of inference that could be drawn together into a conspiracy narrative if only a prosecutor more skilled than the previously sainted Mueller had connected the dots better.
Ditto with the obstruction accusation. Even with the key element being absurd — namely, the firing of James Comey, which Trump is authorized to do under that pesky Constitution (and which actually made the investigation via a special prosecutor more likely) — there will be enough smoke to keep the Democrat congressional committees busy for the next 20 months.
And if you think the media will give us a fair and balanced assessment of the report, I give you several recent examples of anti-Trump/GOP media spin that set the tone.
Since Monday was tax day, The New York Times had a front-page business-section article on taxes. The general theme was that while a big majority of people will pay less in taxes this year than last, only 40% of taxpayers (and only 25% of Democrats) who actually got a tax cut believe that they really got one.
(Sidebar: Ironically, and not pointed out in the article, those that will either pay more or get the least reduction are the high earners in states where they get clobbered by the limitation on local-income and property-tax deductions.)
Not surprisingly given that stat, less than half of all taxpayers and only 21% of Democrats approve of Trump’s tax-cut plan. The power of the media, which has engaged in a relentless war against the tax cuts — Exhibit A being the total lie that 80% of the cuts went to big corporations and the one-percenters — has been on full display, and the utterly inept Republican PR campaign contributed to the spin by failing to get the truth out.
I guess the GOP thought the cuts would sell themselves, but when you find people are disappointed because their refunds weren’t as great as last year in spite of paying less tax due to withholding adjustments, you know your PR team has fallen down on the job.
For good measure, the Times included pictures in the article bathed in a red background, lest we forget that all this disappointment with the tax plan has come courtesy of the GOP. It tells you a lot when the media is comfortable enough spinning the reality of paying less tax into a bad thing by writing a full article about it.
Is anyone on Team Trump listening?
Try this one on. The media has attacked Trump for being heartless to the “migrants” who are gaming our system to gain illegal entry into the country. Part of the narrative has been that the U.S. is at fault because we have not given enough money to Latin American countries to help improve their economies.
Somehow it is out our fault that others are breaking our laws. The ante was upped in yet another New York Times article that noted climate change in Latin America due to U.S. pollution is destroying farms and forcing migrants to seek economic salvation in the U.S.
Forget that international asylum laws say zero about economic hardship or climate change. Once again, according to the media, it’s all our fault.
Sen. Kamala Harris actually admitted that she owns guns and even carries one. She attributed that to the fact that she was a prosecutor who put away some really bad dudes, so she carries for the same reason most others do — personal protection. That makes perfect sense, but it’s also an utterly disqualifying event in today’s uber-progressive, anti-gun Democrat primary. That’s why you had to search far and wide to find this little tidbit of information.
God forbid that telling the truth could get a favorite candidate bounced. So the media did its job and buried the story.
Finally, the media did report on the letter that Bernie Sanders sent to John Podesta’s PAC, blasting it for trashing progressive candidates. You can almost taste the irony.
The Clintons’ mouthpiece is taking a route different from the superdelegate book-cooking that cratered Sanders last time to keep hope alive. Now it’s trying to squash donations to progressive candidates by claiming their agenda can’t defeat Trump.
It may be the longest of long shots, but maybe the motivation is to weaken the progressive wing of the 2020 wannabes, which happens to be just about the entire Democrat field, in the hope that perhaps Hillary might be the last option standing a year from now.
To borrow a phrase from the movie “Patton”: “God help me, I love it so.”