by Roger Kimball
How stupid does the anti-Trump fraternity think the American people are? By “anti-Trump fraternity” I mean not only the increasingly frantic Democrats who, like Belshazzar at that memorable dinner party many years back, can see the writing ever more clearly on the wall for 2020, but also the NeverTrump sorority who just cannot get over the fact that someone was elected president of the United States without their permission, indeed, over their explicit objections. How dare they!
I ask how stupid they think the American people are because it has long seemed to me that they must have a very low opinion of our intelligence given the preposterous anti-Trump narrative they keep trying to foist off on us.
At the same time, it must be said that they have a touching trust in our patience. Fans of P.G. Wodehouse may recall that in the preface to Summer Lightning old Plum adduced the “nasty remark” of one critic who complained that a previous novel contained “all the old Wodehouse characters under different names.” Ever looking on the bright side, Wodehouse mused that that critic had probably by then been eaten by bears “like the children who made mock of the prophet Elisha.” But if, he noted, said scribe was still among us he would not have been able to make the same objection to Wodehouse’s new novel because this time he put in all the old Wodehouse characters “under the same names. Pretty silly it will make him feel, I rather fancy.”
So it is with the anti-Trump/NeverTrump confederation. Since the wee hours of November 9, 2016, we have repeatedly, over and over, unremittingly been assured that Donald Trump faced a tipping point, that “the walls were closing in,” that some new revelation was the “bombshell” that at last, finally, would force his resignation and possibly his arrest, incarceration, and (if the winds were just right) his summary execution. Really, take a look if you don’t believe it.
An Obvious Smear
A moderately intelligent six-year-old could see that the whole “Trump-colluded-with-Russia-to-steal-the-election” wheeze was just silly. It did, however, illustrate the power of inertia. For once that narrative was set in motion, once the bureaucracy got behind it and the resources of the federal government—lubricated by a complicit media—were mobilized, it just kept rolling along, getting bigger and bigger like some monstrous snowball thundering down an infernal snowclad mountain slope. It crashed into nothingness only because of the dogged work of a handful of public spirited sleuths, primus inter pares being Rep. Devin Nunes (R.-Calif.), whose work as head of the House Intelligence Committee first brought some of the scandalous details of the plot to rig an election and destroy a presidency to light.
The more we learn about that plot, the more difficult it is to believe that anyone ever could have taken it seriously. Remember when “the dossier” first surfaced? That was supposed to be one of those “bombshells” that was going to precipitate a tipping point and start the walls closing in. But then it turned out that the dossier was just lurid gossip without any foundation. It also turned out that it was opposition gossip (I won’t say “research”), commissioned and paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign. But we were still being asked to take it seriously, just as we were asked to take Peter Strzok and Lisa Page seriously as impartial investigators even though they entertained themselves by larding their love-texts to each other with wild anti-Trump imprecations and fantasies about an “insurance policy” that either would prevent his election or assure his removal in case the worst happened.
The thing to remember is that we were never meant to hear about Strzok or Page. Neither were we meant to know about the FISA warrants against Carter Page and others. The whole machinery of the government’s attempted coup was supposed to have proceeded invisibly and, like those tapes left for Jim Phelps at the beginning of episodes of “Mission Impossible,” self-destructed without leaving a trace. It would have, too, had only the inevitable happened and Hillary Clinton won the election.
But she didn’t, and bit by bit the curtain has been drawn back from the Greatest Show on Earth. It’s a dance of 7, or maybe 700, veils however, notwithstanding the fact that one is much like the next. For a couple of years it was collusion with Russia and the investigation by Robert Mueller, who started off like a Canadian Mountie (they always get their man) and ended up like Chauncey Gardiner in “Being There.”
A Sad Re-Run
They played essentially the same drama with Brett Kavanaugh—totally fabricated allegations, vicious, round-the-clock hysteria in an effort to destroy a target, and sudden and total deflation when the ploy was exposed. But note that exposure and refutation are never final. Just a few weeks ago, the wretched New York Times wheeled out essentially the same accusation against Kavanaugh, betting, or at least hoping, that no one would notice.
And so it goes on. The fabricated, make-believe scandal of Donald Trump’s telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky began unravelling before the ink was dry on the newspapers reporting it. But that didn’t stop the New York Times, reprising their gambit with Brett Kavanaugh, from shouting that a second anonymous “whistleblower” had been found who was just about to come forward and spew more malign anti-Trump gossip into the cloaca maxima of the effort to rid the world of Donald Trump.
“The official,” intoned our fishwrap of record, “has more direct information about the events than the first whistle-blower, whose complaint that Mr. Trump was using his power to get Ukraine to investigate his political rivals touched off an impeachment inquiry.” And just in case the anti-Trump bias of that was not sufficiently patent, the Times helpfully provided this caption to a photo of the President: “President Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. during a phone call.”
Oh really? In addition to assuming our stupidity and presuming on our patience, the Times apparently believes that we cannot read. That call in July between Donald Trump and the Ukrainian President was about efforts to influence the 2016 election, not the 2020 election. How do we know? President Trump said so in his call. Let me quote from the transcript. “I would like you to do us a favor,” the President said. Smoking gun? No.
I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike… I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it.
The favor is not to investigate Joe Biden and his corrupt coke-head son, but to look into the activities of the private, Ukraine-based cyber security firm CrowdStrike. Who they? Julie Kelly explained:
CrowdStrike is a cybersecurity firm with strong ties to the Democratic Party. After the DNC server was hacked in early 2016, Perkins Coie, a politically connected law firm, hired CrowdStrike on behalf of the DNC to find out who was behind the intrusion. (Perkins Coie is the same law firm that hired Fusion GPS on behalf of the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign to dig up Russia-related dirt on Team Trump before the election.)
That isn’t the extent of CrowdStrike’s dubious political ties. Its co-founder, Moscow-born Dmitri Alperovitch, is associated with the Clinton Foundation; in 2015, CrowdStrike received $100 million in funding from Google whose chairman, Eric Schmidt, was a generous supporter of Hillary Clinton. CrowdStrike’s president is Shawn Henry, who headed up the FBI’s cybercrimes division during the Obama Administration when Robert Mueller was director.
Remember the meme that it was the Russians who hacked the DNC server? CrowdStrike is the sole, the only source of that contention. The FBI apparently asked to examine the server but the DNC refused, turning it over to their own their own people who told them and the world exactly what they wanted to hear.
Earlier that month, British officials had frozen the London bank accounts of Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, and soon after, Ukrainian officials opened their own corruption investigation into Burisma, the Kyiv Post in Ukraine reported.
Hunter Biden helped to recruit a legal team for Burisma, including former Obama administration Justice Department official John Buretta and several American consulting firms, the New York Times reported.
The younger Biden was well compensated for his efforts. Records obtained by the Government Accountability Institute show he was paid as much as $83,333 per month for his work at Burisma.
You see what Trump meant by “horrible.”
I have no idea whose bright idea it was to float the Ukrainian scam. Possibly Pinocchio Schiff, since he has been smack dab in the middle of the drama. The ostensible purpose, of course, is to destroy Donald Trump (isn’t everything?). But as I have said previously, one of the certain results will be the destruction of Joe Biden’s candidacy and possibly his son’s career.
Of course, we can’t turn on the television or look at a news report without hearing the word “impeachment.” Multiple House committees have fallen over one another to shout that they are opening a “formal impeachment inquiry.” But as Andy McCarthy just pointed out, there is no formal impeachment inquiry. “What is portrayed as an ‘impeachment inquiry’ is actually just a made-for-cable-TV political soap opera. The House of Representatives is not conducting a formal impeachment inquiry. To the contrary, congressional Democrats are conducting the 2020 political campaign.”
That is exactly right. The dispiriting thing is that even now, even at this late date, they cannot acknowledge the obvious: Donald Trump won the 2016 election fair and square. He looks likely to win the 2020 election, too, something the Democrats also know but cannot countenance. Hence their round-the-clock effort to repeal the 2016 election, besmirch the president, and achieve “by any means necessary” the destruction of their political rival.
It used to be that politics involved compromise and accommodation. The Democrats have radicalized the process, declaring illegitimate anyone who is not themselves. It is profoundly anti-American as well as profoundly anti-democratic. We should all hope that they fail again in their effort to effect an anti-Trump coup, not because it is about Trump but because it is about the survival of our republic and “we the people” who are supposed to be sovereign.
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Roger Kimball is editor and publisher of The New Criterion and the president and publisher of Encounter Books.