In an abrupt about-face, the newspaper's editorial board is softening, if not abandoning, its campaign to destroy his presidency.
Just because the man is impaired is no reason for him to be impeached. Especially not while he is doing the business of the military-industrial complex overseas and selling weapons and American infrastructure deals to the highest foreign bidders. Whenever Donald Trump adopts the traditions of neoconservatism and neoliberalism, the corporate media declare a truce. They euphemise the hypocrisy by using the hackneyed term "reset."
Whenever Donald Trump bombs a country or holds tempting dollar signs out to his critics, he magically becomes Presidential. Reset early, reset often.
So within days of being castigated for insanely spilling state secrets and calling James Comey a nutcase, Trump is at least temporarily seen as rehabilitating himself in the eyes of the ruling establishment. He's maturely forgoing his Tweets and resetting his agenda to more sober goals. Trump has rid himself of extreme anti-Muslim sentiment by abandoning the odious phrase "radical Islamic extremism" and resetting his rhetoric to a more modest "Islamic extremism." Although his anti-Muslim travel ban elicited universal outrage from the whole free world, his sale of billions of dollars in weaponry to the autocratic Saudis has only elicited a yawn here, a moue of fake concern there.
Trump hasn't quite reached the level of Watergate egregiousness, so let's give the psychopath a chance, moralizes the Times. Be patient, everybody. As long as the market hasn't crashed and rich are still growing richer under his regime, no state of emergency need be declared.
The media-political complex seems to have reached its next stage of Hillary loss grief. It has overcome depression and denial, and is now straddling the fence between bargaining and acceptance. What I've called the "Deep State" interregnum in the form of an official investigation by a trusted member of the plutocracy (Robert Mueller) is having the desired calming effect on The Times.
As its editorialists pontificate:
The national interest and the integrity of the democratic process are undeniably at stake in the investigation. And it may turn out that the president and his associates have engaged in an attempt to obstruct justice; really bad stuff could turn up. But Watergate? We’re not there yet. That’s a word that summons obstruction on a monumental scale, with evidence to prove overt criminal acts — not least the White House conspiracy to burglarize the Democratic Party headquarters. Scores of administration officials were indicted or jailed when President Nixon had to flee from office on the eve of certain impeachment.It seems to me that the Gray Lady is confusing peaches with pears. The Trumpian graft and corruption being conducted right under our very noses ( awarding ownership and control of American infrastructure to a regime which cuts people's heads off and bombs Yemen into a state of famine and disease) is not quite as bad as Nixon giving cash bribes to burglars and then lying about it. That's because both sides of the Uniparty have long been selling this country out to the highest bidders, both foreign and domestic. If they make too big a deal out of Trump doing it too, it might endanger their own future profits.
They want American voters to get riled up and resistant, but not to get too riled up and too resistant. Their objective is to eventually replace Trump with a more refined, slimy politician - not to blow up the whole de facto oligarchy.
Plus, it is so much more convenient to just blame the Republicans and paint the Democrats as the virtuous, but powerless, opposition party. And look at what happened the last time the House impeached a president. Their hounding of Bill Clinton destroyed the dignity of the whole impeachment process. We can't make the mistake of impeaching over partisan pretenses ever again!
The Times editorial smarmily concludes,
For Democrats, too much indulgence of impeachment notions could prove a distraction from the more workaday and politically achievable challenge at hand. Their main job is to rouse the public to use Mr. Trump’s unimpressive polling numbers as leverage on Republicans, who already are citing the Mueller investigation as reason to slow down congressional inquiries into the Trump and Russia affair. Beyond that, they and other critics should be working hard to win back a majority next year in at least one house of Congress. This would secure them the subpoena power to shed far better light for the nation on Mr. Trump’s and his enablers’ sorry deeds.It's not about justice and the greater good at all. That would be so self-indulgent. It's definitely not about campaigning on a platform of Medicare for All, student debt forgiveness, affordable housing, a guaranteed job, and a guaranteed income. It's all about the Democratic Party winning back power by fomenting fear and loathing of Trump while still keeping him around long enough to gin up optimum fear and loathing-- and tons of campaign cash.
One person's "workaday challenge" might entail coming up with next month's rent check or insurance co-pay. What the plutocracy, represented by its Times mouthpiece, views as a workaday challenge is maintaining the status quo of its own unfettered wealth and power.
As far as the New York Times is concerned, the only thing we need is to see the light. Food, shelter and medical care can wait for another day, another year, another decade. It's Democratic incrementalism you should believe in.
They want us to delay justice for Trump until the Democrats can be the stars of the show. Even if it risks electing him to a second term, it will be so worth it.
Trump is certainly not the only sociopath for whom winning is everything and for whom the daily struggles of ordinary desperate people are just a pesky afterthought.