Friday, June 9, 2017

Calling Doctor Freud

My biggest "takeaway" (I do hate that word) from James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee is that Donald Trump equates being president with being the CEO of the biggest corporation in the world.  Either that, or his demand for "loyalty" from the FBI director shows that he equates being president with being the godfather of the global mafia.

And in a perverse sort of way, Trump would be absolutely right about both job descriptions. His problem is that he doesn't stay in his proper place. Presidents have heretofore acted as super-salesmen and propagandists for the plutocracy, dutifully using their private armies (the CIA and Special Ops) without bragging and Tweeting about them. Previous presidents have carefully kept their individual psychopathies away from public view, for the most part.

In some Freudian-slipped remarks at a pre-inauguration press conference on Jan. 11th, Trump bragged to the whole world:
"As president, I could run the Trump organization, great, great company, and I could run the company—the country. I’d do a very good job [at both], but I don’t want to do that."
He doesn't want to do a good job at both, because he views the country and his company as one and the same thing: a mega-merger for the ages, if not the greatest hostile takeover the world has ever seen.

Two months into his presidency, Trump was still persisting in his job description. He again called the United States a "company" during a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel before, again, belatedly correcting himself.

As far as James Comey is concerned, has there ever been a more slippery character in the canon of Washington political theater? Now seemingly forgiven for having helped destroy Hillary Clinton right before voters went to the polls, he has morphed from villain to All-American hero, a multimillionaire golly gee willikers Boy Scout in a six foot seven frame. He pulled off the awesome stunt of forcing the Democrats and Republicans to act in the lockstep bipartisan manner so beloved of the Washington neoliberal establishment. 

He openly admitted having head-faked Trump by waving the discredited "urinating prostitutes" dossier in front of his face during the transition period as a subtle way of telling the president-elect that the Intelligence Community (another loathsome phrase if there ever was one) has what Chuck Schumer called six ways from Sunday of getting him to behave. He openly admitted to carefully transcribing every Trump conversation - a practice he never bothered with under his previous bosses, Messrs. Bush II and Obama. He openly admitted leaking these transcripts to the New York Times and other outlets - even though they are now so "classified" that he simply could not in good conscience share all the salacious contents with the American public on national TV.

Even so, Comey humble-bragged about the exhilarating freedom he now enjoys as a private citizen to destroy Trump by calling him a liar on national TV. This career prosecutor, steeped in the intricacies of criminal law, lays out a prima facie case for obstruction of justice and then sanctimoniously demurs from calling Trump's behavior criminally offensive. He is not enough of an expert.

And speaking of the subconscious, Comey's dramatic bodice-ripper account of his fraught private dinner with the Groper-in-Chief - he later told colleagues he never wanted to be alone with Trump, ever again - gains new meaning with revelations that he was once accosted as a teenager in his own suburban home by the infamous Ramsey Rapist. So Comey is apparently very sensitive to the vibes put out by serial predators.

His narrative has garnered for him empathy, if not admiration, from every woman who has ever felt intimidated by her boss.  It has also deprived Hillary Clinton of one of the main scapegoats for her election loss.

And just one more speculation before I quit: would there even be a #RussiaGate had Hillary prevailed?

I think not. After all, James Comey also unhelpfully mentioned that Vladimir Putin is an ecumenical abuser. Vlad wasn't just gunning for Hillary; he can't stand either side of the American Uniparty. He's not out to destroy the Democrats, who are already doing a pretty good job of destroying themselves.

The appeal of a liberal 21st Century Inquisition does have its limits, especially in the wake of the punishing bipartisan Age of Austerity. Voters will be apt to stay home when their only choice is between Donald "Berlusconi" Trump and the neoliberal McCarthyites of the Surveillance State.


stranger in a strange land said...

Is Bernie busy planting seeds for an independent/third(second) party movement in 2020? Better four years late than never.

Jamie said...

“The FBI director has no credibility,”

- Maxine Waters

Zee said...

I didn’t spend any precious time watching Comey’s testimony live.

I have, however, spent a little time comparing and contrasting the conclusions of left- and right-wing spinmeisters regarding said testimony.

My conclusion, based on an admittedly limited sampling of that crap (one can only take so much of this, after all):

Comey left a few marks on Trump, mostly in the form of accusations of lying (or potential lying), but which still require additional corroboration.

Nevertheless, Trump wins the match on points as Comey corroborated a lot of what Trump had already claimed, e.g. that he had confirmed several times that Trump was not “under investigation” for collusion with the Rooshians.

The BIG losers, who weren’t even in the ring? The major liberal news outlets ( e.g, The New York Times, CNN, Politico etc., all of who have been gleefully predicting for some weeks that Comey’s testimony would send Trump straight down the water-slide to the impeachment docket.

These outlets are still peddling that face-saving bull, as in Politico’s headline claim that Comey’s testimony was “devastating:”

But a few paragraphs into this “devastating” account we learn that: “Comey’s testimony may or may not go down in the annals of great Washington scandals.”

So where’s the great “devastation” in that?

The rest of the article merely relates the “he said, she said” back-and-forth accusations about [potential] lying, and Comey’s admissions of “cowardice” and lack of strength when he really needed to confront Trump. Not exactly the stuff that great heroic tales are made of, I think.

The article closes with a grandiose, patriotic spin statement by Comey as to the the importance of Russian “meddling” in our 2016 election:

“The reason this is such a big deal,” [Comey] said. “We have this big messy wonderful country where we fight with each other all the time. But nobody tells us what to think, what to fight about, what to vote for except other Americans. And that's wonderful and often painful. But we're talking about a foreign government that using technical intrusion, lots of other methods tried to shape the way we think, we vote, we act. That is a big deal. And people need to recognize it. It's not about Republicans or Democrats. They're coming after America, which I hope we all love equally.”

But none of this flag-waving ties any of the Russian “meddling” to Trump.

This despite all of the “information” from “highly-placed anonymous sources” on which the NYT, WaPo, CNN and other “liberal” news outlets relied in order to tar Trump in the run-up to Comey’s testimony.

Liberal faithfuls will continue to believe the anti-Trump hype-tripe served up by their favorite news outlets, but by my scoring:

Trump, 0; Comey, -1; Mainstream Liberal News Outlets, -4

And in response to your final question, Karen, "[W]ould there even be a #RussiaGate had Hillary prevailed?" the answer is, of course, a resounding "No!" According to Alan Dershowitz, the President has complete control over--among other things within the Executive Branch--exactly who gets investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by the DOJ:

Once Hillary got the affirmative answer she wanted from the 2016 electorate, questions about Rooshian interference would have vanished into thin air.

Nonni Muss said...

You shall hereinafter be dubbed "Karen Carpenter" for your outstanding skill in hitting the nail on the head, time after time, year after year.