Friday, December 4, 2020

Another Example Of Why Some WSJ Readers Are Incapable Of Critical Thinking

 "Democracy’s throw-the-bums-out feedback mechanism gets gummed up when the electorate disagrees about the identity of the bums, what did and didn’t occur on their watch and who deserves what share of the credit or blame.

When party affiliation becomes a central source of meaning and self-definition, reality itself becomes contested and verifiable facts turn into hot-button controversies"  - Will Wilkinson, NY Times, 'Why Did So Many Americans Vote For Trump?'

Clearly,  the Trumpie readers of the WSJ detest having their orange clown prince of darkness dragged through the mud of harsh criticism.  Especially in his graceless, spineless unwillingness to concede his election loss over the past 4 weeks.  Enter then a trio  of WSJ letter writers taking Peggy Noonan to task ('Noonan Focuses On Wrong Bogus Dispute', Nov. 28-29, p. A12)  for her (finally!) honest account of the damage from Dotard's unwillingness to end his bogus campaign to overturn the 2020 election and remain in autocratic power.  

Now, to be sure, in many ways Noonan is like a broken clock: always right at least twice each day.  For Noonan it seems more like twice each year and I have skewered a number of her columns in previous posts, e.g.

But in this case, Noonan was spot on correct in pointing out the irreparable damage to our democracy and electoral system from Trump's nutso conspiracy claims.  As I already pointed out these rival any damage done by Russian bots or even GRU agents trying to sow division and distrust of voting, i.e.

But the Trumptard WSJ letter writers appear oblivious to all that opting to use false analogies (e.g. the treatment of Trump from the time he entered office) to try to discredit Peggy's accurate take on what he and his allies are doing now. 

 Letter writer Martin Gibson, for example, fulminates that Noonan "has it exactly backward."    Insisting the real damage came after "four years of consistent cries of illegitimacy regarding a duly elected president,  accompanied by overwhelmingly negative mainstream media 'coverage'"  etc.   

But of course this is disingenuous tommyrot.  Trump came out of the gate illegitimate because he was. Catapulted into the presidency by barely 77,000 votes in 3 swing states thanks to Russian interference and the conspiracy of his own campaign honchos (like Mike Flynn) with Russian GRU agents.  As former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah made clear on a segment of 'All In'  a year ago:

"There's just so many facts in this indictment about the coordination of the Trump campaign with Wikileaks, through Roger Stone. Remember that GRU indictment - if you go back to that- one of the objects of the conspiracy is not just hacking but hacking and disseminating.  You can't look at them alone, you have to go back to everything we know, the Trump Tower meeting, the calling out by Trump to Russia (to grab Hillary's emails)...there's just so many other things."

Rocah, in other words, has put her former federal prosecutor's finger on exactly why the reactionary Right media was able to peddle this balderdash there's "nothing there".  National Security specialist and counterinsurgency expert Malcolm Nance also reaffirmed at the same time how Roger Stone was the "bridge and link for that information" passed from the Trump campaign to Russian intelligence. Adding: "This is a critical,  critical indictment. They're saying they've identified the link.", i.e. in showing the bridge and coordination between Stone,  the Trump campaign, and the Russians.  


"This indictment is based not just on the hearsay or the testimony of others. Robert Mueller brings documentation to the table....And believe me there's also other information in the special counsel's office we don't know about especially from other members of the Trump team including Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn and others."

 Let's recall here it was Trump's hired Toady Bill Barr who spewed out the claptrap that Mueller's report had basically exonerated Trump.  But if one reads Volume 1, the evidence is clear this is total misdirection and propaganda.

Mueller not only defined a conspiracy in the case of his indictment filed against 12 GRU agents in 2018, but made it public, E.g.   

Mueller  also - if you read part one of his report-  makes it clear Trump was involved in this  conspiracy.  As Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Tribe elegantly summed it up:

"What we have here is a situation where the Mueller report shows without any doubt that a hostile foreign power attacked the United States in this (2016) election.  That Donald Trump welcomed that attack, benefited from it and then - the last couple of years - tried to cover it up every possible way. "

So Gibson and the other WSJ letter writers can bleat all they want about Trump being "persecuted" through his 4 years, but he deserved to be. Indeed the media had a solemn obligation to report every vile aspect of the Trump-Russian conspiracy and its effects.    Mueller, as special prosecutor, also had a duty to spell out the charges in public as opposed to punting and  letting  Barr put words in his mouth to twist the meaning of the investigation.  (Which then led to a bogus investigation of the investigators.)

Nonetheless, over some 182 pages of his report, Mueller laid out in detail the conduct, witnesses and legal arguments that would underpin a possible prosecution of Trump after he leaves office. It referenced instances where the president allegedly asked subordinates and associates to shut down the Mueller probe, and where he used the potential for pardons as a way to influence witnesses to remain on his side.

Those who still dispute there was such a conspiracy need to read the Mueller Report, Volume I, and ponder what it really says.  Also, that a prime sewer rat that Trump pardoned - Michael Flynn - has now been openly doing Putin's bidding by proposing a direct attack on our democratic system, e.g.

by Heather Cox Richardson | December 4, 2020 - 7:44am | permalink

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Yesterday evening, Trump’s disgraced former National Security Advisor, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn– whom Trump recently pardoned after he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak before Trump took office– retweeted a news release from a right-wing Ohio group called “We the People Convention.” That release contained a petition asking Trump to declare martial law, suspend the Constitution, silence the media, and have the military “oversee a national re-vote.”

The petition ends with a threat of violence, calling on Trump “to boldly act to save our nation…. We will also have no other choice but to take matters into our own hands, and defend our rights on our own, if you do not act within your powers to defend us.”

University of Texas School of Law Professor Steve Vladeck pointed out that “The Uniform Code of Military Justice defines as ‘sedition’ one who, ‘with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of lawful civil authority, creates, in concert with any other person, revolt, violence, or other disturbance against that authority.’…”

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley today pointedly distanced the military from talk of a coup. “Our military is very very capable… we are determined to defend the US Constitution,” he said. “No one should doubt that.” A defense official told Military Times that the idea of Trump declaring martial law and having the military re-do the election is “insane in a year that we didn’t think could get anymore insane.”

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