"The Resistance will have to show whether it has any backbone, and not just an ability to orchestrate the bigotry of the media and the stunned, dethroned solidarity of the OBushinton joint-incumbency under which the political confidence of the country largely eroded."
5/1/18, "State of the Resistance," Conrad Black, NRO
"The disgraceful White House Correspondents Dinner, and other problems."
"The house of cards of the Trump Resistance is collapsing with accelerating speed, as anything propelled by the force of gravity does. The “comedy” act at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday and the groans from the audience must have caused even some of the more militant Democrats to wonder what the whole White House press beat had become. It was a vicious, unfunny replication of the late-night television laughing hyenas, while the president whipped up his supporters at a large rally in Washington, Mich. (televised nationally). Nothing to do with the White House, and especially not the correspondents, amounts to anything without the president. This was always a good-natured back and forth between the president and the reporters who follow him every day and was a pleasant, if fairly predictable, Washington event, like Alfalfa and Gridiron.
It is now just mudslinging in absentia, revealing the White House media as essentially the partisan pack of defamers and myth-makers that they have made of themselves, and that their employers have tolerated. The country doesn’t trust them and doesn’t much listen anymore. It is potentially dangerous when a free press had made itself so dispensable.
The evidence continues to accumulate that not just former FBI deputy
director Andrew McCabe, but his boss James Comey, and the partisan
intelligence directors James Clapper and John Brennan will all be facing
perjury charges, and that those responsible for the phony surveillance
warrant on Carter Page (including the former attorney general, Loretta
Lynch, and her chief collaborators) and ultimately a considerable swath
of the Clinton campaign and the Obama administration will all be
responding to serious allegations.
It is at that point that the Resistance will have to show whether it has any backbone, and not
just an ability to orchestrate the bigotry of the media and the
stunned, dethroned solidarity of the OBushinton joint-incumbency under which the political confidence of the country largely eroded. Like officers on a
sinking vessel directing passengers toward an insufficient number of
lifeboats, Rahm Emanuel and Nancy Pelosi are now urging Democrats to be
more subtle and restrained in calling for the impeachment of the
president. As some of the leaders of the Resistance are arraigned for
serious misdeeds, the impeachment of a president whose only misdemeanors
are in areas of style and etiquette (though those are sometimes
jarring) will increasingly seem esoteric.
It is a reasonable inference, though not one that can be made with
much confidence, that Rudolph W. Giuliani, former mayor and U.S.
attorney of New York, has joined the president’s legal team to negotiate
with Robert Mueller a series of written questions for the president to
be answered in writing, and a conclusion, at least of the Russian aspect
of this inquiry, which will then have to show cause why its mandate
should be extended to other fields.
Failing some such agreement, the
president could well ask a Supreme Court review of the validity of
Mueller’s proceedings, given that they were launched by Deputy Attorney
General Rod Rosenstein at the instance of Comey’s leaked and partially
classified documents (that were probably wrongly removed government
property), because he wanted a special investigation into the Russian
issue, despite the fact that Rosenstein had recommended the firing of
Comey, who himself confirmed that Trump was not a target of the Russian
investigation and had made no effort to interfere with the Russian
investigation. There has never been any excuse for any of it, and it has
accomplished nothing except to drag Trump’s accusers into a quagmire of
their own making....
I declare the opening
front-runners for next year’s Pulitzer Prizes: Tucker Carlson, Mollie
Hemingway, and Mark Penn. The first three have declared cogently and
forcefully that Comey’s briefing of the president-elect on the Steele
dossier was a “set-up,” so that Clapper, the director of the National
Intelligence Agency, could leak it to CNN (his future employer), lie to
Congress about it as he had about other things, and smear the incoming
president with all the spurious defamations that Comey had himself told
Trump were “salacious and unverifiable.” (It is puzzling how Comey could
so complacently record his assurance to Trump that he, Comey, was
honest, discreet, and made no “weasel moves,” even as he failed to add
in his report to the president that the Clinton campaign had paid for
this defamatory onslaught. Yet he asked and expected to retain his job.)
Alan Dershowitz also deserves much credit because, with the great
weight of his legal eminence, he has joined Victor Davis Hanson and me
in seeking an investigation of Mueller’s role in the horrible
Deegan-Bulger scandal of the FBI in Boston in the Sixties to Eighties,
when innocent men were knowingly prosecuted and condemned for murder,
while the real killers were sheltered because of their assistance in
attacking the Patriarca crime family in New England. Mueller’s
performance in the Anthrax murder tragedy (where an apparently innocent
man committed suicide), and in the Uranium One affair (and deputy
director Rosenstein’s as well), would be worth a thorough look too....
never long accountable for the drivel they say; if his perceptions
return, no one will goad David Brooks for saying of Senator Obama, “I
was looking at his pant leg and his perfectly creased pant...and I’m
thinking...he’ll be a very good president,” and of President-elect
Trump, “He will resign or be impeached within a year.”
Americans who don’t look at the foreign media should not imagine that
it does not almost uniformly parrot the same malicious falsehoods as
the rollicking group of after-dinner jokesters at the White House
Correspondents Association. The Economist, for most of the
lifetimes of people who regularly consult the upper-brow international
English-language media, has been an intelligent and perceptive and
usually pretty fair magazine of news and comment. It is globalist and
diehard in its euro-fanaticism, but has always been free of the
condescension toward the United States that so taints most of the
British media, especially the BBC and the Guardian (not to mention the French). The Economist was solidly for Reagan in 1980, long before other serious European (or most American) media outlets. But it too raves with the fever of Trumpophobia. The caravans from Central America were an invention of Fox News. Robert Mueller, after nearly 20 indictments (most of them empty
gestures at absentee Russians), is on course to discover the extent of
collusion with Russia and the identity of the colluders. Even now (issue
of April 21), Republicans should “know that Mr. Trump is bad for
America and the world.” The Republicans must rally to the bill “to
protect Mr. Mueller’s investigation from sabotage.” It was implied that
Mike Pompeo would be defeated as nominee for secretary of state, and
that Sean Hannity might be the succeeding candidate.
The Economist built a big circulation in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s, and played a useful role in emasculating Time and driving Newsweek
out of business, but it has become as stupid and clichéd in its
political views as they did, if not quite such a paragon of bourgeois