The latest paroxysms of puerile petulance.
Rick Hasen, a professor of law at the University of California, Irvine, said Mr. Cohen’s admission could amount to an “impeachable offense,” particularly if Democrats retake the majority in the House this fall.
The Wall Street Journal, “Cohen Says President Told Him to Pay Women,” August 22, 2018
Mr. Cohen has virtually guaranteed that Democrats will not “retake the majority in the House this fall,” or the Senate either. Setting aside for a moment the legally problematic nature of making out a case for President Trump’s impeachment, is his base more or less likely to show up to the polls if the media and Trump’s legions of enemies are bandying the “I” word? The above quote, and similar quotes from other sources, are fire-em-up locker room fodder, right up there with Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” comment.
The media and political class vastly overestimate their importance to most Americans. On a stellar night a network newscast is lucky to hit 10 million viewers, or about 3 percent of the American population. Fox, the leading cable news network, gets a little over 2 million viewers, or less than 1 percent. The nation’s leading newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, has a daily average circulation of just over 1 million, or less than one-half of one percent.
It’s a good bet a majority of people in this country can’t name the vice president, a Supreme Court justice, their congressional representative or even one of their senators, their governor, or the anchors on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN or MSNBC. People pay attention to politics and the news media around presidential elections and during crises, but mostly they tune it out. Alternative media commentators fret about the mainstream media’s control of the “narrative.” Such commentary overlooks the fact that most people aren’t listening.
Commentators both mainstream and alternative deplore the “masses’” inattention to all those issues and personalities they find important, but the masses know a few things. In the days of the Soviet Union, when its government had full control of the “narrative” and most everything else, average Ivans and Natashas knew the commissars and apparatchiks were full of shit. It was reflected in the humor: “You pretend to pay us, we pretend to work.” It’s a valuable evolutionary adaptation, this ability to tell when someone’s pissing on your foot and calling it a rainstorm. They may not know who’s the vice president, but that innate mechanism, honed in the school of hard knocks, allows many Americans to separate truth from lies.
Few outside their own little circus will argue that the media and politicians aren’t full of shit. Nobody will argue that Donald Trump is the fulfillment of Diogenes’ quest, but he questioned the shit, mocked the shit-peddlers, and presented an alternative to shit gone stale. When he told Clinton during a debate that she belonged in jail, he was saying what many Americans justifiably believed but were never going to hear from the mainstream shit-peddlers. When he said build a wall, he challenged a consensus that welcomed any brand of immigration “reform” as long as it welcomed any brand of illegal immigrant.
His willingness to say things many people believe, but which never make it to the mainstream, more than his positions on the issues, propelled Trump’s candidacy. Trump’s support came not from dispassionate intellectual analysis, but because he appealed to strong emotions, the strongest of which was: stick it to those assholes in the media and government.
Trump won. So much for the power of mainstream narratives; you can’t fool all the people all the time. Neck-deep in their own manure, the shitocracy went into paroxysms of puerile petulance. Their response: shovel more shit.
Russia-Trump collusion was only meant to be a Clinton talking point, discarded the day after she won. Once she lost, it was the only story the shitocracy had. They’ve tried to run with it, but it pulled up lame when Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity pointed out that DNC servers couldn’t have been remotely hacked, they had to have been leaked via a direct download on site. There’s no Russiagate without a Russian hack.
The conviction of Paul Manafort has been painted as a huge loss for Trump. It’s probably the opposite. The average person has no idea of the ins or outs of Manafort’s case, but there’s no hiding one central fact: fifteen months after his appointment to investigate Trump-Russia collusion in the 2016 election, Robert Mueller’s big legal “victory” has nothing to do with Trump, Russia, collusion, or the 2016 election. That’s why Trump keeps calling it a witch hunt: the charge resonates.
So now the “smart” money is shifting to “Campaign Finance Violations Impeachment,” going off as a 99 to 1 long shot. As Mark Penn argued at thehill.com, even if Michael Cohen’s story is, for the sake of argument, accepted as true, it’s a huge stretch to call a payment he made to Stormy Daniels and a payment made at his behest by American Media to Karen McDougal campaign contributions. This is true even if the payments helped Trump’s campaign by keeping potential damaging stories from the public. The Federal Election rejected similar arguments in the John Edwards case in 2012.
Talented tweeter Trump immediately noted that Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign paid a $350,000 fine for accepting millions in unreported contributions, but nobody pressed for Obama’s impeachment. Trump has also claimed he didn’t know about Cohen’s payment to Daniels until after it was made, contradicting Cohen’s claim it was directed by Trump. The contradictory stories will never be tested in court under oath and subject to cross-examination, because Cohen has pleaded guilty to eight counts to avoid a trial. (And presumably win some leniency from prosecutors; he’s looking at a long prison sentence.) A sitting president cannot be indicted.
The only forum in which this all could be adjudicated would be an impeachment proceeding. Democratic “prosecutors” would be impeded by Cohen’s tattered reputation and credibility, the hearsay nature of much of his evidence, their own blatantly political motives, and the obvious double standard between the rule of law as applied to Trump and not applied to Obama or Clinton. A fair number of people know a kangaroo court when they see one.
Once a person recognizes the shitocracy for what it is, there’s no reversal. You don’t say to yourself one day: “The media and the politicians are lying sacks of filth,” and the next day: “I think I’ll go back to believing them.” Trump appealed to enough fed up voters to win the election. They won’t bat an eye at Manafort’s verdict or Cohen’s story.
Since the election, with Russiagate, the disclosures about the FBI and the intelligence agencies, the mainstream media’s obvious bias and hostility, and now this week’s “big” news, the ranks of the fed up have only grown. The more shit the shitocracy shovels, the less they’re believed. Microchip us all, put cameras everywhere, track our every electronic move, institute martial law, shut down the internet, ship us off to FEMA camps, and the word will still get out, just as it did in the Soviet Union: they’re full of shit.
Get rid of Trump and he’ll be replaced with a shitocracy turd. That prospect, plus a decent economy, no new wars, progress in a couple of hot spots, eroding support for Democrats among blacks and hispanics, rampant socialist and political correctness lunacy, and what’s undoubtedly going to be a hyperventilated but counterproductive campaign by the mainstream and social media to stoke a blue wave this fall may usher in a red wave instead. The ever-expanding ranks of the cognizant know that America would be irretrievably lost were Trump to be impeached by a kangaroo court on trumped-up charges. They won’t let that happen without a fight.