Watergate, the War of 2020 and Our Worst Brand of Politics

Comparisons between the current scandal over purported ‘Russian collusion’ and the mother of all modern political scandals, Watergate, have become profligate, likening President Trump’s current situation to obstructions of justice that occurred over the Watergate break-in. Such analysis often overlooks a significant distinction. With Watergate, there was an actual crime, a break-in of the Democrat party’s campaign headquarters; with the Trump/Russia narrative, no evidence of underlying criminal activity has surfaced, giving strong indication that none exists.

A salient analogy, however, does exist between current events and those of the Watergate era. It concerns the madness and hysteria that take hold when reason and self-awareness wane in the pursuit of sheer partisan advantage. We see this in a sociopolitical climate generated by America’s political left, whose current Trump/Russia hysteria disregards truth, consistency and introspection.

Machinations of the so-called ‘deep state’ are ongoing and geared toward ending, abruptly, the Trump presidency; they are better calibrated and less conspicuous than the left’s more common methods and tendencies. Dishonesty, demagoguery, hypocrisy, ruthlessness, hatred, even violence, as we’ve seen recently, are tolerated when directed at President Trump and his supporters. To establishment liberals, it matters not how they get there, only that they succeed in achieving their goal — the personal and political destruction of the President.

I halt shy of the word ‘evil’ but there is something decidedly dark in all of this. A darkness manifest in the image of a blood-drenched, severed head of the President of the United States held up by a comedian, whose expression is determinedly deadpan, open to interpretation: Is this a joke? … a threat? … an incitement? … a directive? … all of the above?

Not long thereafter, a gunman, clearly mad, clearly emboldened by the cacophony of rage and hatred coursing through our media culture, targets a group of lawmakers, specifically Republicans, for assassination. Miraculously, that madman’s effort was thwarted by Capital Hill police, else his swath of carnage would have been considerably more horrific.

Each time the level of vitriol, hatred and violence increases and the resulting condemnation is less than universal, the stakes rise that much more. Vile and violent rhetoric morph increasingly into vile and violent acts. Were President Trump to run for and win re-election in 2020, one could anticipate a full-throated call from Democrats and the Liberal Media Complex for their so-called ‘resistance’ to take it to the streets. If you think things are ugly now, wait until that happens.

Watergate was about politics, ultimately, and the liberal establishment, in all their rabid intensity, won the day, forcing Richard Nixon’s resignation of the presidency, securing a political windfall in the 1974 congressional elections and six subsequent years of largely unrestrained liberal dominance. If establishment liberals fail to win this time … if Mr. Trump somehow, miraculously, survives his first term and wins re-election in 2020, the moment and the fallout will be transcendent … heaven help us.

America Lurches Toward Fascism

Among the characteristics of fascism is a virulent demonization of the voices of opposition. Those who deviate from establishment norms are first discouraged, then no longer tolerated. They become ostracized, shunned, and eventually neutralized — figuratively, if not literally.

We see this type of behavior increasingly encouraged among America’s media and other liberal elite. A perceived vulgarian comes along, into the White House no less, and establishmentarians who resent and despise President Trump rage against him, what he stands for, and anyone associated with his administration. The establishment’s self-labeled ‘resistance’ has become increasingly caustic, approaching militancy. Illustrations abound. Let us consider just three.

First, a production of “Julius Caesar” in New York’s Central Park, featuring a title character who is cast to resemble President Trump, and who, during the course of the play, is graphically and brutally assassinated on stage.The play has reportedly received standing ovations from New York City’s enlightened. One can only imagine the reaction had such a production been staged during the Obama administration, depicting his assassination … yeah, right.

Second, an appellate decision, in a liberally dominated, federal district court, based not on President Trump’s immigration policy, but on presidential candidate Trump’s campaign rhetoric; whereby the court ruled to invalidate an immigration policy that, standing on its own, admittedly passes constitutional muster. These judges are, in effect, monitoring, shunning and censoring, via judicial fiat, that which they consider unacceptable political speech — as disconcerting as it is unconstitutional.

Third, the Liberal Media Complex’s ongoing, ever intensifying cacophony of rage and hatred toward the President. It began as Mr. Trump secured the Republican nomination in 2016; intensified upon his winning (fair and square, without ‘Russian collusion’) last year’s presidential election; and grows increasingly vicious and irresponsible the more the President deflects the media’s invective and barrels ahead toward his policy objectives. Democrats and the liberal media are promoting, selling to America, the impeachment of President Trump. Make no mistake, they are quite serious about this. Playing the long game, their aim is to normalize not just the concept, but the very process of impeachment — something heretofore considered a political extremity.

How does this end if the forces of political nihilism prevail? What would stop them from finding the next target or targets, and waging a renewed, reinvigorated war of political annihilation? How far would that take us down the road toward fascism, and away from democracy?

Worth considering, because that is what’s at stake.

They Who Cry “Russian Collusion!” Must Look in the Mirror

Democrats and sundry leftists in the media are showing their hand when they complain about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. In fact, they damn themselves.

There is no evidence whatsoever, not even a reputable claim, that Russia affected America’s voting machines or vote tallying processes. Rather, the charge from Democrats and the Liberal Media Complex is that Russia impacted public awareness and opinion regarding America’s election and our presidential candidates, and that Russia’s impact was to candidate Clinton’s detriment.

In other words … It’s the messaging, stupid!

What liberals thereby admit — wittingly or not — is that the information put into the public square, and how it gets put there, can be determinative. That’s a huge admission on their part. What liberals accuse the Russians of doing is what the Liberal Media Complex have done every election cycle for decades, and continue to do even when an election is over.

Case in point. One recalls the months between Barack Obama’s 2008 election victory and his inauguration in January 2009. Many in the liberal media queried with breathless enthusiasm … Must we wait until January to have this brilliant man and his team of geniuses take the reins of power? Forget what the U.S. Constitution says. Can we not just inaugurate Obama in November or December of 2008? Just do it!

Contrast that with the atmosphere of foreboding after Donald Trump’s recent victory … We must prevent Trump from taking the reins of power. We beg those of you in the Electoral College to ignore your constitutional duty. Deny this awful man and his team of intellectual delinquents any access to the White House. Just do it!

Nothing upsets the liberal establishment more than getting beat at their own game. In 2016, Donald Trump beat them, indeed humiliated them, at their ‘messaging’ game. So, they hate the man and still want to undo him somehow. Their parade of animus and negativity continues unabated.

As for the Liberal Media Complex, they’ve shown their hand. Claiming a mantle of journalistic integrity, they brazenly attempt to impact our political discourse in favor of chosen candidates and causes. That’s not journalism. It’s political advocacy. They damn themselves.

How the Media Rob Us of Hope

It has taken a long time, decades in fact. But the Liberal Media Complex accomplished what they set out to do. They trained Democrats and Republicans how to behave. Perhaps the liberal media are to be congratulated on a job well done. Then again, maybe they ought to be condemned for having degraded political discourse and weakened our democracy.

The liberal media have trained Democrats to stand tall and say whatever they want, with little to no fear of negative repercussion. That is why Democrat presidents, and their surrogates, routinely deny requests for special counsels to investigate their scandals — something Barack Obama did repeatedly. And they do so without pushback from our vaunted media hounds. You know, the ones charged with ‘speaking truth to power’ … blah, blah, blah.

The same liberal media have trained Republicans to cower with their tails between their legs, waiting to be beaten. This is why Republicans break ranks and turn on a President of their own party, under relentless attack, until they cave and appoint special counsels or establish congressional investigative committees or special commissions; to their own detriment and the detriment of whatever agenda the voters duly elected them to pursue.

This is how it works in Washington, DC. Democrats boldly storm about the place, as though they are in charge, even when they are out of the White House and a congressional minority. Republicans, on the other hand, even when they control the White House and both houses of Congress, cower when the liberal media raise a threatening hand.

Folks … this has got to stop.

One held hope, as President Trump came into office, that perhaps it would stop, that Republicans … finally … would find a voice and some self-respect. But with all the momentum currently against them, and the liberal media breathlessly, relentlessly in attack mode, that hope teeters on the brink.

Why Comey Had to Go … And How the Fallout Fits a Pattern

Let us begin with the obvious. Former FBI Director James Comey needed to be fired. President Trump did this nation and the FBI a favor by sacking Mr. Comey earlier this week. One regret is that it did not occur sooner.

Last year, in a July press conference, Mr. Comey  detailed elements of criminal behavior in Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified material, making a criminal prosecution seem imminent; then, in the same press conference, he stunned by declaring that no such prosecution would occur. Merely holding that press conference was inappropriate, since the FBI, as a matter of long-standing policy, does not publicly announce that criminal investigations are taking place, much less completed; and the Attorney General and Justice Department, not the FBI Director, determine whether to pursue criminal prosecution.

Details emerged about what a sham Mr. Comey’s purported investigation of Mrs. Clinton had been — conducted without a grand jury, subpoenas or search warrants, and cutting inappropriate immunity deals. In a matter where America’s national security was gravely compromised by Mrs. Clinton, her staff, and perhaps others within the Obama Administration, Mr. Comey botched it, in a manner both unprofessional and reeking of political influence.

Matters got worse for James Comey. He continued to act in bizarre and inappropriate ways regarding Hillary Clinton’s email imbroglio. He provided recurring  congressional testimony that cast doubt on his judgement. He upset Democrats, Republicans and career FBI employees — constituencies that he needed. He showed himself to be incompetent and compromised in his ability to lead such an important institution as the FBI.

A parallel and compelling aspect of this drama is the politicized response to Mr. Comey’s dismissal. Democrats and their lib-media allies are going bonkers; Republicans and those on the right seem generally, though not universally, pleased. The Liberal Media Complex openly thirsts for a special prosecutor to investigate the Comey firing and Russia’s purported ‘collusion’ in the 2016 elections, as a whisper campaign of impeachment bubbles up from the DC swamp.

Mr. Comey’s ouster was long overdue. Under new leadership (assuming congressional Democrats don’t block Mr. Trump’s pending nominee) the FBI may soon re-establish its tarnished credibility. But the liberal establishment — lib-media, Democrat party and assorted DC swamp-dwellers — may never recover from the withering defeat and utter humiliation they suffered in 2016, at the hands of Donald Trump. They’re out to vindicate themselves and to restore their own warped sense of honor and entitlement. They have ridden their ‘Russian collusion’ narrative so long and hard it has become a dead horse … yet, one they will not stop beating.

If It Can Happen at Fox News …

What is happening at Fox News has happened to most of so-called journalism in America. It is what happened to the Republican party. It is what gave rise to President Donald J. Trump.

The establishment does not appreciate this because they are the heart of the problem. As Rupert Murdoch’s two sons, James and Lachlan, consolidate control of their father’s media empire, their establishment tendencies increasingly take root within the news network their father began, as a firebrand operation, just over twenty years ago.

Fox News deviated from the faux-journalism of the New York Times, the three major networks and their minions; and Fox thereby developed a following both loyal and determined. If that following determines that Fox is no longer loyal to them, they will increasingly look elsewhere for their news and information.

The targeting of non-establishment voices at Fox is well underway. Glenn Beck got the hook several years ago. In recent months, Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly (aside from Brit Hume, the two most significant figures in Fox News’ history) have been ushered from the network they helped establish and led into the stratosphere. Some say that Sean Hannity, a sometimes strident voice on the political right, is the new target of establishment house-cleaners, though he appears determined to fight back with every fiber. Good for him … and he had better.

The trend at Fox is not within a vacuum. Establishment consolidation is underway across the spectrum of U.S. media, and that includes so-called journalism. Consider this story from Politico, regarding the intense isolation of the media from the rest of the country, and a relevant excerpt, as relates to the 2016 presidential election: Nearly 90 percent of all internet publishing employees work in a county where Clinton won, and 75 percent of them work in a county that she won by more than 30 percentage points. When you add in the shrinking number of newspaper jobs, 72 percent of all internet publishing or newspaper employees work in a county that Clinton won. By this measure, of course, Clinton was the national media’s candidate.

The liberal establishment has long known their greatest political advantage is a vastly dominant influence over the mass dissemination of news and information. The most significant outlier to that dominance is Fox News. Thus, a new strategy — If you can’t beat Fox, get Fox to join you.

A Narrative of Which They Are Certain

One recalls rhetoric from the days of Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court case born of the heavily contested presidential election of 2000. Democrats claimed they were certain — absolutely certain! — that once the votes in certain Florida counties were re-counted, Al Gore would emerge the winner of Florida’s electoral votes, and the U.S. Presidency. They were … of course … wrong.

Those votes ultimately were re-counted, and Mr. Bush still emerged the winner; such news was less than a footnote to the Liberal Media Complex, who continued to tout their preferred narrative that the Supreme Court, not the voters, improperly gave Mr. Bush a presidency actually won by Mr. Gore.

There was the feckless Dan Rather, of CBS News fame, and his certainty — absolute certainty! — of a narrative whereby George W. Bush had used family connections to avoid the Vietnam draft. However, the foundation for Mr. Rather’s purported journalistic scoop, intended to swing the 2004 presidential election in Democrat John Kerry’s favor, rested on forged documents. And a shamed Dan Rather left his anchor desk at CBS in disgrace.

Will those on the left ever learn?

Now, we have the Liberal Media Complex and their scandal du jour of ‘collusion’ (whatever that means) between the Donald Trump Campaign and the Russian government, and how said ‘collusion’ resulted in Hillary Clinton’s rejection by American voters in 2016. Let’s face it, Hillary and the Democrats had every imaginable advantage, including oodles and gobs of money (considered the ‘mother’s milk’ of presidential politics, until Donald Trump came along), the unbridled and fawning support of establishment media and the Hollywood set, and, lest we forget, a sitting U.S. president with a known penchant for deploying instruments of the federal government against his political opponents.

And Hillary still lost … a reality the political left simply will not accept.

They have chosen a narrative upon which to rest their delusion, the aforementioned, of ‘collusion’ between the Trump Campaign and the Russian government, to deny Hillary a victory rightfully hers. The none too minor detail missing from their narrative, however, is … any evidence that it’s true … for none has come to light. But that doesn’t stop determined Democrats and their allies on the left from continuing to tout a narrative of which they are certain — absolutely certain!