The hot news all weekend, and likely for the next few days at least, is that on Saturday, President Donald Trump alleged in a series of tweets that then-President Barack Obama had then-candidate Trump and his campaign and associates “wiretapped” during the Presidential election.
It is a pretty major allegation, and a pretty major mess, with a lot of angles and we have a lot of news posted about it on our front page.
There are several major players in this debacle and they are, to a man, just the complete worst. Let’s rap about it.
Take, for example, Ben Rhodes, former National Security Advisor in the Obama White House, who tweetstormed in with a typically snide and self-superior denial.
No President can order a wiretap. Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you. https://t.co/lEVscjkzSw
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) March 4, 2017
Ben Rhodes, you may recall, proudly asserts that he misled congress and the American people in order to get the Iran deal, on the grounds that he is smart and you are dumb so shut up. Rhodes once complained that the press didn’t sit on the story about Iran capturing 10 American sailors until after Obama’s State of the Union because the news was a real bummer. Rhodes routinely expresses contempt for the American people, their institutions, the press, and well … everything. You name it, he’s pretty sure he’s smarter than it. Americans are just too benighted to appreciate his and President Obama’s divine wisdom.
Ben Rhodes lied in order to manipulate, and he brags about it. You may be forgiven, then, for printing out his denial and using it to clean up after your dog.
Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis also chimed in on Saturday. He got a lot more press and much more widespread coverage and repetition for his denial:
“A cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”
When I say that this denial is laughable, you should understand I only chose that word because of how much I laughed and laughed when I read it. The language is, of course, deliberately misleading, as Andrew McCarthy exposes at National Review. But that is not what really gets your chuckle on. It’s the Moral Outrage font. You see, our next rogue …
Former President Barack Obama used the government against Americans all the time. It was practically his calling card. The Obama administration spied on reporters. They spied on Congress. His IRS targeted conservative groups. As McCarthy writes at NRO, he even killed Americans in drone strikes.
Do we even need to go into James Comey and the case of the mysteriously disappearing Clinton indictment?
And Kevin Lewis is breathing heavily and fanning himself about cardinal rules and the Obama administration’s pristine impartiality? My word I never, why the very thought, the vapors!
With Lewis we got two rogues for the price of one furious fit of retching. Forget I said laughable. It’s tragicomedy.
Don’t let’s forget, though, that the source of all this angst and getting tapped is Trump’s pen pal Vladimir Putin. (Hey, if anyone knows a thing or two about tapping Trump’s ass …)
Russia, and their newfound devoted fanbois in the Trumpublican ecosystem get just as top-button-popping mortally offended at the suggestion that Russia might have been up to no good in the 2016 election. They’re appalled at the notion they’d hack American targets, leak their emails, cause disruption or even [gasp] try to get in good with Trump. They’re morally taken aback that you’d suggest Russia has dirty hands.
I mean, I *guess* you could say that poisoning people doesn’t really leave your hands dirty, because you wear those sweet plastic gloves. But come on. We aren’t talking about Pollyanna here. Unless I missed the one where she murdered dissidents and invaded Ukraine.
The only plausible explanation for Trump’s love of Russia is that Putin flattered him and he’s a sucker for sweet talk. And the only reason Trump minions and megafans are suddenly sober skeptics of “conspiracy theories” where Russia is involved is because they would wear Trump’s urine as perfume if he told them it made them smell good. Oh God how they want Trump to think they smell good.
Oh right, the rogues.
Donald Trump. It was his tweets that kicked off this latest crazy news cycle. He made an allegation on Twitter about a conspiracy. To say this isn’t his first time at bat in this sport would be an understatement. Trump has more conspiracy theories than the X-Files fan wiki. He tells more lies than a fortune cookie factory. He’s a literal rogue, and a proud one to boot. From Ted Cruz’s dad to Ted Cruz sex to truthering, birthering, and virtually anything else that happens to catch his hummingbird attention span, he’s a veritable font of crackpot ideas.
There was this temporary delusion going around that he’d be different, tempered even, once he was in office, but that preposterously sunny hope went out weeks ago and we’re now at the point where, in between leveling humongous accusations of presidential misconduct he’s taking petty jabs at Arnold Schwarzenegger about the ratings for “The Apprentice”. So yeah, it’s not a huge stretch to think he’s talking out of his butt.
That’s the problem with the news cycles these days. There aren’t any good guys to root for. Just bad people with bad track records. And that includes the people reporting the news.
It’s pretty clear, given that it’s a matter of public record and we’ve all been talking about it for months, that at the very least people in the Trump solar system have been in the lens of government telescopes for some time in relation to their contact with Russians. Was it “wiretapping”? Was it at Trump tower? Were they in his closet with a stenographer and a caricaturist? Who knows? (Although I don’t think it’s un-American to hope it’s the last one and we get to see the drawings.) As Marco Rubio said, we’ll probably know soon enough.
What we know right now is that a bunch of villains are taking potshots at each other. What’s that you say? Obamacare? No I think we all just do this tweet war thing now. Sorry.