Politics is cyclical. Republicans will not always hold the White House. Democrats will be back. If only they realized now the threats to our democracy that presently are being institutionalized. Threats that will endanger them and their future leaders terribly — and all of us.
When “progressives” had Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt in power, did they ever imagine a Reagan Revolution? During Reagan’s fabulously successful conservative presidency, could anyone have imagined a radical-left Wasted Obama Decade? When Obama was at his height, with commanding control of the House and a filibuster-proof Senate, could anyone have predicted fearlessly that America would be in deeply conservative hands by the very next cycle?
That is how politics is. As T.S. Eliot observed, there are no lost causes because there are no gained causes. It all is cyclical.
The Public Liar Harry Reid believed that, with the Democrats in power and Obama filling court vacancies, the time had come to end the Senate’s filibuster rule for approving federal judges. And so he did. But cycles come and cycles go. Soon enough, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh were being confirmed to the United States Supreme Court with fewer than 60 Senate votes.
These past two years, Trump haters have been enjoying the spectator sport of watching the Federal Bureau of Investigation top brass go after the President. New players emerge every day with all but uniform numbers: James Comey behind the plate, with Andrew McCabe up short. Peter Strzok apparently getting past third base. Lisa Page from out of left field. Rod Rosenstein, a switch hitter able to go both ways as his interests dictate, on the bench. Mueller on the sidelines sending the signals. It is a game.
But it is not a game. It is our democracy.
We Americans soon will mark the day we set aside to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Perhaps some of us will use the time to listen again to his greatest speech, “I Have a Dream.” However, there was someone who believed falsely during his lifetime that Dr. King was colluding with the Russians, was a Communist operative. It was FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Because of a confluence of historical factors, Hoover wielded inordinate power at the zenith of his career at the FBI’s helm. To compare Hoover at his height to FBI director Comey at his, would be like comparing the Empire State Building to half a leftover sour pickle. Hoover was determined to destroy the Rev. Dr. King. Towards that end, it unfolded that the FBI began monitoring King surreptitiously, recording his private moments. In time, they learned of King’s secret extramarital sexual affairs. Much too much of this information unnecessarily was released to the public.
None of that released information ultimately has changed the underlying core perceptions of the Rev. Dr. King these decades later. Moreover, there is something disgusting in a society’s need to tear down its greatest people by exposing their personal flaws and foibles. None of us knows what went on in King’s marriage, his private life, what issues may have existed between him and Coretta Scott King, his wife, another iconic hero. In like manner, none among us knows what went on in Gen. David Petraeus’s marriage, what discussions he may have had with his wife about the way she speaks to him or what she may have said about how he speaks to her, or what he or she wears, or how he or she grooms, or otherwise why he was drawn to another woman, a homecoming queen and valedictorian, who admiringly was writing his biography. Americans ultimately have no idea what went on behind closed doors between John Kennedy and Jackie because “handsome” and “lovely” and “Camelot” are not synonyms for “loving” or “compatible.” All the more so with Bill Clinton and Hillary, John Edwards and Elizabeth, Donald Trump and Ivana/Marla/Melania. In almost all those cases, Americans not only do not know, but also can spend the limited time given in this life with better things than wanting to know. It cheapens a society’s pursuit of holiness and higher foci. Perhaps the only justification for such concern by the public with a public figure’s private peccadilloes is when, as with the ever-unfolding series of Clinton affairs, a President is so busy fooling around during his presidency with every woman he safely can assault that he apparently loses focus on his job from time to time. The Monica Lewinsky escapade indeed may have contributed to Clinton missing the opportunity to eliminate Osama bin Laden years before 9/11.
Why did the FBI allow King’s extramarital affairs to be disclosed? Because the “people have a right to know”? No. Hoover did it to destroy King. Hoover believed King was colluding with the Russians through the American Communists, and he was determined to take King down. In the end, King’s name has endured. As for Hoover, by happenstance we associate his surname nowadays with a suction device that immerses into dirt. Moreover, as part of the measure-for-measure by which G-d rules the world (or, for non-believers, call it “karma”), Hoover also is recalled now for rampant rumors, all probably apocryphal, depicting him as a transvestite, a cross-dresser, and what-not. With each passing day, he is forgotten a bit more, although perhaps he yet will iconized by the transsexual community. How fascinating that a single controversial source has destroyed a significant part of his legacy, much as his FBI later would use a discredited Steele to try destroying a new FBI target, President Trump.
What Democrats and other Trump haters do not grasp is that everything the FBI top brass has done to President Trump is being tested now: Will our society tolerate such FBI behavior aimed at our freely elected national leader? Is it OK to run wildcat operations within the FBI aimed at destroying a President whom the FBI leadership detests? More than whether Strzok and Page had a “secret society” and “insurance policy” to prevent Trump from governing, more than whether Comey deserved to be fired by Trump for being the dishonest and untrustworthy snake he is, more than whether the Mueller Investigation has gone completely off the rails after two years of searching for collusion that did not exist, we face a serious and much more threatening Constitutional crisis for the future: Do we have systems in place to deter the FBI from doing yet even worse to a future President?
If the FBI had hated Obama the way their inner circle detested Trump, how hard would it have been for them to obtain Obama’s college application to Columbia University, his application to Harvard Law School, his transcripts — and then to have leaked them to the media, as Comey leaked to the New York Times? Did Obama engage in sexual improprieties in college, in law school, or since? Has he cheated on Michelle? Has he done drugs? Did he collude with the Iranians to allow them to develop nuclear weapons, while secretly sending them $1.7 billion in cold cash? Was he an Iranian operative colluding with the Mullahs to repress the “Green Movement” that he would not endorse, or to refuse to veto a Security Council resolution condemning Israel? Are these conspiratorial questions any less believable than those suggesting, with far less evidence, the kinds of Trump collusion fantasies that have launched secret FBI probes? Had the FBI leadership hated Obama the way they hate Trump, they could have launched a “Mullah Investigation” and leaked that to interested media. If the New York Times and WaPo would have embargoed it, other sources gladly would have bannered it. Today those kinds of stories of FBI secret dossiers and investigations cannot be suppressed by the Left media, not when there are Matt Drudge, Rush, and all the other serious alternative outlets on talk radio, online publications, even on television.
If John Kennedy could stumble, and Ted Kennedy and Gary Hart and Clinton and Edwards and Trump and Petraeus and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and Jesse Jackson and so very many others — not to mention Kamala Harris and the married Willie Brown, and Cory Booker and so many others in government, where the mix of power, money, and constant business travel away from the spouse leads to problems — so it can be that a future American President on the Democrat side of the aisle can stumble and potentially can be destroyed by an FBI under different leadership.
We are learning that our system does not really have a mechanism for deterring FBI misbehavior on the highest levels. Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Jim Comey all may be out of the FBI today, but none has been indicted for crimes. Our system does not punish FBI directors who leak secrets from internal FBI notes to the New York Times, nor other FBI top heads who leak to the Washington Post, nor others who plant stories and pursue “insurance plans” within “secret societies” to sabotage political leaders they despise.
One day it may be a Democrat who is toppled. What if the FBI next time, when the cycle changes, has photos of a naked Kamala Harris in bed with Willie Brown? What if, on the eve of a Presidential race in which she is a candidate, they leak such hypothetical photos and audio recordings to the media? Perhaps the New York Times and WaPo will not run with those stories, but the National Enquirer and TMZ may. And once that stuff hits the internet, it will get more hits than Pete Rose and Ty Cobb. Nor will CNN be able to resist the advertising revenue it can garner by making such video and recorded bedroom moans part of their nightly programming, now that they no longer have a missing Malaysian airliner or Anthony Bourdain to occupy the minds of their average viewer who otherwise must watch Ana Navarro pseudo-filing her nails while a person describes the tragic murder of an innocent American by an illegal alien in the United States.
Does the FBI have nothing salacious and defamatory on Booker? On Gillibrand? On Sanders? And if they have nothing on them today, what happens when the FBI top brass no longer are James Comey, McCabe, Strzok — oh wait, they no longer are there. Cycles. One day Trump haters in the driver’s seat, the next day Dem haters.
If today’s outrages against Trump are accepted by the Left, it all will be done again — only not to Trump next time. From the day that the Democrats destroyed Richard Nixon, Republicans waited for their day to impeach and destroy a Democrat President. Clinton just made it easier. From the day the Democrats destroyed Robert Bork and tried doing so to Clarence Thomas, the Republicans waited to sabotage a Merrick Garland nomination they could not even have anticipated. And, as sure as the sun rises each morning, you can bet the family farm that, even if it takes waiting a decade or two, the Republicans never will allow another Democrat nominee for the Supreme Court to get the respectful treatment they accorded Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor until they have had a chance to settle scores over the Kavanaugh hearings.
That is how it works. No lost causes, no won causes. Just cycles. And so it will be when the FBI turns.
If Democrats and Trump haters do not wake up now to the deeper ramifications of what the FBI has done to Donald Trump these past two years, they will pay even worse than Trump has paid because Trump not only was defamed by Steele, but Trump also is made of steel. By contrast, most politicians are made of plastic or clay, little dreidels relying purely on spin. One of these days the FBI will set about to destroy a President across the aisle. Josef Stalin, when he was head of Soviet secret intelligence, had files on his enemies as he rose to the top of the USSR. Recep Erdogan came to tighten his grip on power in 2011 after surreptitiously taped video revealed a sex scandal that forced the resignation of ten members of a leading party that opposed him. It works that way in societies where protections from secret police encroachments are not enforced.
If the Steele Dossier fabrication and far-fetched FBI investigations into Donald Trump’s American loyalties could proceed without a single FBI leader paying a penalty so severe that it would deter others, other FBI top brass can and will do it again another time, during another cycle, to another President. That will be perilous for all, regardless of party.