We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The Trump conspiracy that, er, wasn’t

As a purely journalistic failure, however, WMD was a pimple compared to Russiagate. The sheer scale of the errors and exaggerations this time around dwarfs the last mess. Worse, it’s led to most journalists accepting a radical change in mission. We’ve become sides-choosers, obliterating the concept of the press as an independent institution whose primary role is sorting fact and fiction.

A part of a long article on something called “Hate Inc.”, produced by a chap called Matt Taibbi.

I recommend the entire article.

Here’s another paragraph:

We had the sense to eventually look inward a little in the WMD affair, which is the only reason we escaped that episode with any audience left. Is the press even capable of that kind of self-awareness now? WMD damaged our reputation. If we don’t turn things around, this story will destroy it.

Much of the US and indeed Western media (the BBC here, for example) has been dying to see hard evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. That has not been obtained, and the reason is that it did not exist. So much of the MSM and the liberal-left establishment has been in denial about why Mr Trump was elected to the White House, as it is in denial about the UK referendum result to leave the EU. (In the latter case, much of the media/political establishment is trying its best to stop it from happening and may succeed in the short term, at terrible cost to the UK).

I am not a Trump fan and his protectionism is something I abhor. But as some of my libertarian friends have said, the fact that he has got so many on the socialist side of the fence to go stark, raving mad, to have exposed their arrogance and sense of entitlement, is a public service by Mr Trump not just to the US, but the wider world. When I occasionally point this out to people who go into automatic “Isn’t Trump awful?” mode, I often get funny looks, or the occasional glint of awareness.

As an aside, it is pretty clear that on the basis of dodgy evidence, the former Obama presidency illegally spied on the Trump campaign. Such has been the deification of Mr Obama (he still gets warm words in the UK, for instance), that he is likely to get away with it. Or so he hopes. A lot of people in his circle will be sweating a bit if, as I hope, the Democrats fail to retake the White House in 2020. It would be amusing to see this vain, poor ex-president have his collar felt by the FBI, even if he got away with it.

At present, the Democrats remain in a state of denial, and that party’s drift to the Left makes its winning power ever less likely, although you never can tell. In my gut I just cannot see the US going for what Elizabeth Warren, AOC and the rest of them, even old Joe Biden, have to sell.

A final point I have is that these episodes remind us that it is high time the US presidency was not invested with the importance it now has, and to achieve such a happy diminished state requires a serious rollback to the size of the federal government. To have a less imperial presidency, you need smaller government. The cult of the presidency, as it were, can only be dealt with if the cult of government in general is pushed back.

20 comments to The Trump conspiracy that, er, wasn’t

  • ROBERT SYKES

    The great, historic mistake was the Constitution, itself. A return to the Articles of Confederation is impossible (unless the US collapses), but that would cure the current disaster.

  • I just cannot see the US going for what Elizabeth Warren, AOC and the rest of them, even old Joe Biden, have to sell.

    The actual voters, no, I agree, but post-polling-day ballot harvesting is a wonderful thing. By the end of polling day, you know how many votes you need to flip the seat – so no need to do more than is necessary. You also know who didn’t vote on polling day or before. So you call on some non-voters – in a group, with some illegals included – and say, “Hey, did you forget – let us take care of that for you. Just find your postal ballot and we’ll deal with it.” In some neighbourhoods, it would take courage just to say “No thanks” to such a group, let alone, “Actually, I prefer the other guy”.

    Unlike spoof voting, ‘repeating’, illegals directly voting and suchlike, all you need is a law saying that such post-hoc ‘helped’ postal voting is legal and you’re home and dry.

    If the constitution (or a federal law) mandates secret ballot, I would get going on the challenges. Or find some other way of getting the law to notice the obvious. Otherwise, expect this to be attempted.

  • bobby b

    Whenever someone says to me “isn’t Trump awful?!”, my response is a big smile and a “yep!”

  • The weird thing is the reaction of so many in the USA: palpable disappointment that the POTUS was not conspiring with Putin. I mean holy fuck, rather than relief, they actually wanted it to be true.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Niall, yes. That is a very serious worry. And I don’t see how we’re going to be able to fix the holes in the system in the next year and a half. If ever.

  • Sam Duncan

    “I mean holy fuck, rather than relief, they actually wanted it to be true.”

    Of course. Because the alternative is that Lady Muck really was beaten fair and square by a self-publicist casino manager with no prior political experience.

  • Chip

    It’s not about the media though they were willing participants and should never be trusted again.

    It’s about a Clinton campaign and Obama government that fabricated an excuse to spy on and ultimately bring down a political opponent and president.

    And no one would have known if Clinton had won.

  • Flubber

    When it hits Youtube watch last nights Hannity.

    Trump gives a telephone interview for about 30 minutes.

    He names them all. The spying, the email, the tarmac meeting. If he is serious about being the storm, he knows exactly where it needs to go.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Flubber, thanks for the link!

  • Paul Marks

    Yes the left and the “main stream media” (but I repeat myself) have spent more than two years viciously lying about President Donald Trump – their claims of “treason” and so on have been LIES (they knew it was all false as they said it) and was designed to help the Democrats in elections.

    Yet CNN will continue to be play at American airports and so on – to captive audiences. It will continue to broadcast to the UNITED KINGDOM – and Fox News (which told THE TRUTH) will continue to be de facto banned here.

    Think about that – a lying television station, CNN (endless lies, disinformation and agitprop – for YEARS) will continue to be in the United Kingdom (no action by the subhuman scum who make up “Ofcom”), but people will (de facto) not be allowed to see Fox News – because it committed the “crime” of TELLING THE TRUTH.

    That tells me all I need to know about the modern United Kingdom.

    Meanwhile the BBC and even the Spectator magazine keep telling us that “all options” have been voted on in relation to the European Union – when was the “Canada Option” (free trade WITHOUT being ruled-by the European Union) voted on?

    It was not voted on yesterday – so when was the “Canada Option” voted on?

    Perhaps the editor of the Spectator magazine, Mr Fraser Nelson. can tell us when the “Canada Option” (a free trade agreement without being RULED BY the European Union) was voted on by the House of Commons.

    The Canada Option (what President DONALD TRUMP of the United States would have got if he had been Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) was on offer – but Mrs Theresa May actively undermined it, as has been confirmed by David Davis (who was the minister at the time).

  • llamas

    Told the other day at the water cooler:

    Liberal Democrat dies and rocks up at the Pearly Gates for the traditional interview with St Peter. After the formalities are done, the Saint says ‘Now, my son, before you go to your eternal reward, do you have any questions for me?’

    ‘Yes’, says our protagonist ‘now that I’m here, I wish you would tell me the true extent of the collusion between the Trump dictatorship and the Russians. I know it happened, I just want to know how bad it really was.’

    ‘My son’, says the Saint ‘there was none. The reason the Mueller report found nothing was that there was nothing to find. It never happened. Now, the Obama administration, and the Clinton campaign, there’s some things there that need another look . . . . .’

    ‘Wow’ says our protagonist. ‘I’d no idea that the conspiracy had spread this far.’

    The Democrats have been reduced to a single, simple principle – Orange Man Bad. You have to admire the way that President Trump, even with his many and various personal flaws, has managed to so completely take up residence – rent free – in their collective minds, and to completely dominate their thinking to the exclusion of everything else. The longer they beat this particular drum, and the more-and-more outrageous things they say and do, the better the chances that Trump will be re-elected in 2020. They have already managed to bankrupt whatever remaining credibility the media may have had with the populace, yet they don’t seem to realize that a media and commentariat that’s 100% supportive of their side counts for little when the public has stopped taking anything they say seriously. The Democrat-media bubble is shrinking ever-smaller and becoming ever-more self-referential, to the point where an event horizon is approaching and the whole thing will collapse in on itself. Bring it on.

    Meanwhile, the voters can see what is happening with wages, and employment, and economic growth and all those other good things. Compared to those things, tired and repetitive talking heads on the TV bloviating away about unsubstantiated conspiracy theories and the ever-more-bizarre parsing of ever-more-irrelevant intersectionalities are simply working themselves out of the consciousness of the great majority. Chickens, roosts.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Confused Od Misfit

    with his many and various personal flaws

    I would like to see a list of these together with a list of those of Hillary Clinton.
    I would also like to see similar lists drawn up for all of the current Democrat presidential candidates.

  • Confused Old Misfit (March 28, 2019 at 11:10 am), I’d agree that there’s a lot of “He has the manners of France, not of Versailles!” about the suggestion that he is somehow far below the Democrats’ past and would-be presidents.

    In a politician, the most basic form of deceit is promising the voters and then doing the other thing. Perhaps thanks to his focus on the deal, Trump seems less prone to this than his critics.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Not sure that the comparison to the run-up to the Iraq War is appropriate: i do not remember anybody saying that the media disgraced themselves in that case.
    I remember the media relaying what Bush+Blair were saying, and while we might debate whether Bush+Blair were being honest, it is hard to blame the media for relaying what they said.

    the fact that [Trump] has got so many on the socialist side of the fence to go stark, raving mad, to have exposed their arrogance and sense of entitlement, is a public service by Mr Trump not just to the US, but the wider world.

    Trump could be compared to the child screaming that the Emperor has no clothes; except that it is strange indeed to compare POTUS to a child, rather than to the Emperor.

    Speaking of which:

    A final point I have is that these episodes remind us that it is high time the US presidency was not invested with the importance it now has

    But it has nowhere the same practical relevance as the premiership has in the UK, as demonstrated by recent disastrous actions by the latter.

  • Fraser Orr

    @llamas
    Meanwhile, the voters can see what is happening with wages, and employment, and economic growth and all those other good things.

    And the flip side is that the democrats seem to be determined to make themselves un-electable. Remember that today Bernie Sanders is considered their most MODERATE candidate. I mean that is shocking when you think just two years ago he was considered a far left loon. The only one more moderate than him is the ridiculous Biden, and he has his pedal to the metal heading left, deeply into identity politics. (Which is both funny and sad to see since he is basically a representative of the other half of the democrat party — the union big labor half who now seem to be abandoned. Which is funny because they are exactly the people that will re-elect Trump.)

    Plus if the DOJ takes seriously a post Muller investigation there is a fair chance that Biden will be caught up in the utter corruption that evidently took place there.

    The 2020 election will be about the so called “blue dog democrats”, the big labor, union guys in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio. The democrats are completely abandoning these people and headed in to their Green New Deal style fantasy that is utterly eschewed by such people.

    And in regards to the press? It is shocking really. This is undoubtedly the biggest scandal in American politics since Watergate, and arguably it is way bigger than Watergate. The incurious press with few exceptions ignored it, and instead focused on both their profitability due to scandal driven ratings, their ideology, and their social standing. An utter dereliction of their responsibility, making it laughable when they bang on about the importance of the press in a democracy, and how Trump is undermining our democracy by having the temerity to criticize them.

    (BTW the fact that the criticism horrifies them show how little these supposed defenders of free speech understand it. As if free speech is for the press only, and not bilateral. The bargain in free speech is “you let me say what I want even if you find it horrifying and I will tolerate you saying things I find utterly horrifying.”)

    If you want to know how bad it is, here it is encapsulated. The biggest political scandal in perhaps 100 years and the only two Pulitzer prizes awarded were for breaking stories that were completely incorrect, possibly maliciously so.

  • Gavin Longmuir

    Paul Marks: “Yet CNN will continue to be play at American airports and so on – to captive audiences.”

    For my sins, I have to spend more time in US airports than I would like. One of the ways of passing the time is counting the number of the hundreds of us “captive audience” who are paying any attention of the omnipresent CNN screens. This game has yet to require the assistance of the fingers on my other hand.

    The media are talking to themselves. They are Dead Men (actually, mostly women) Walking; but since they pay no attention to their audience, they don’t realize it yet.

  • DP

    Dear Mr Pearce

    When it comes to interference in other countries’ political affairs, didn’t then Pres. Obama promise we British would be at ‘the back of the queue’ if we voted to leave the EU?

    No threat there then.

    He did rather assume there would be a Democrat Pres. to implement his promise. Happily it turned out otherwise.

    Pity our leader doesn’t have the honesty and integrity of President Trump.

    Or even care about what damage she is doing to Britain. Perhaps she is punishing us on behalf of the EU for daring to want to be free.

    DP

  • Sonny Wayze

    “The weird thing is the reaction of so many in the USA: palpable disappointment that the POTUS was not conspiring with Putin. I mean holy fuck, rather than relief, they actually wanted it to be true.”

    Exactly parallels the reaction of rape crisis activists to the news that rape reports have dropped: OMG, we need to find some way to keep the panic going.

  • Lloyd Martin Hendaye

    “Cult of the Presidency”? Prerogatives Constitutionally granted the U.S. Chief Executive reflect the 6-year failure to 1787 of the post-Yorktown Confederation, followed by very considered checks-and-balances –excluding the administrative/regulatory State’s Fourth Branch– instituted and ratified in 1788.

    No Divine Monarchical pretensions here, but indirect democracy under an enumerated powers Federal Republic respecting consent-of-the-governed under Rule of Law. However honored in the breach, this Greco-Roman, Judaeo-Christian construct, formulated with Henry I’s AD 1100 Coronation Charter followed by that of 1215 governed 18th Century Enlightenment tenets from Milton and Locke to French philosophes and Adam Smith’s “common sense” Scots’ school.

    Though secondary types play personalities in compensation for their own inadequacies (Cassius to Brutus), Great Captains do form true constituencies: So let it be with Trump, whose economic policy is not some foolish mercantilist “protectionism” but a long-overdue drive to remove mendacious dirigistes’ NAFTA/TPP thrall from Main Street America’s insufferably exploited middle class.

    As a recent BBC program found, from BC 2000 to AD 1000, global nation-States typically succumbed to sclerotic in-house clerisies within 336 years. At age 232 from 1787 (69%), that leaves the Great Republic some three 36-year socio-cultural/political epochs to c. AD 2124… but our guess is that radical transformations –extra-solar colonies, self-aware robotics/AI, the cyclical 102-kiloyear Pleistocene Ice Age gathering force from AD 1350– will make nonsense of premedieval historical patterns from c. AD 2040 on.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>