Nothing angers the ruling class more than Donald Trump’s utter indifference to its sham conventions and proprieties. This has produced a culture of pauseless fury, which grows louder with each passing day, even as ordinary Americans increasingly tune it out.
The American people are already shrugging at Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey. Yet from the hysterics of the ruling class, one would think that America stands on the edge of a political apocalypse.
Most Americans look at the firing and say: Who cares? To them, Comey is just one more self-serving pol in D.C. The elite’s hyperventilating predictions about his firing as a permanent blot on the Trump presidency is a joke. By next week, most Americans won’t even remember the details of this controversy.
In its clawing fury over Trump, the ruling class reveals nothing but its own impotence and insularity. They are just a collection of unconvincing bores talking to themselves. One can only laugh at the delusional quality of their mutterings. Take this whopper in the New York Times’s editorial on the Comey firing: “Mr. Comey was fired because he was leading an active investigation that could bring down a president.”
Wow, sounds ominous. But what is that investigation again? How does it implicate Trump? The Times can’t tell us. We are just supposed to accept on its say-so that it is all pretty bad. George Orwell would have laughed at the propagandistic question-begging and misdirection in this paragraph of the editorial:
With congressional Republicans continuing to resist any serious investigation, Mr. Comey’s inquiry was the only aggressive effort to get to the bottom of Russia’s ties to the Trump campaign. So far, the scandal has engulfed Paul Manafort, one of Mr. Trump’s campaign managers; Roger Stone, a longtime confidant; Carter Page, one of the campaign’s early foreign-policy advisers; Michael Flynn, who was forced out as national security adviser; and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself in March from the Russia inquiry after failing to disclose during his confirmation hearings that he had met twice during the campaign with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
Let’s break down the dishonesty here. Comey wasn’t getting to the “bottom of Russia’s ties to the Trump campaign”; he had launched a wobbly investigation into whether or not such ties even existed. As Obama appointees Jim Clapper and Mike Morrell acknowledge (not to mention Comey himself), no evidence so far has emerged to establish any collusion, even on the part of lowly campaign volunteer Carter Page. So it is just a rhetorical head-fake to say that the investigation has “engulfed” members of Trump’s team. In the absence of any indictments, the Times has to rely on such weasel words to try and smear Trump.
The Times establishes nothing, yet tells us the underlying matter of the investigation is all very, very grave. In that ludicrous vein, it intones:
This is a tense and uncertain time in the nation’s history. The president of the United States, who is no more above the law than any other citizen, has now decisively crippled the F.B.I.’s ability to carry out an investigation of him and his associates. There is no guarantee that Mr. Comey’s replacement, who will be chosen by Mr. Trump, will continue that investigation; in fact, there are already hints to the contrary.
The obvious historical parallel to Mr. Trump’s action was the so-called Saturday Night Massacre in October 1973, when President Richard Nixon ordered the firing of the special prosecutor investigating Watergate, prompting the principled resignations of the attorney general and his deputy. But now, there is no special prosecutor in place to determine whether the public trust has been violated, and whether the presidency was effectively stolen by a hostile foreign power. For that reason, the country has reached an even more perilous moment.
If the propagandistic heavy-breathing over the Trump-Russia fable points to any historical parallel, it is to the show trials of the old Soviet Union. Trump is the victim of bullying members of a ruling class who operate in the mode of “verdict first, trial later” — a partisan witchhunt that hasn’t indicted his credibility but theirs.