The fomenting of outrage and hysteria is not helping. It would be bad enough if it were over legitimate, verified, fact-based arguments. But it’s nearing unconscionable that it is all based on innuendo, speculation and dubious conclusions not based on known facts, but merely by “connecting the conspiratorial dots”.
Stop it. Please.
I have argued similar points with just about every new “revelation” that comes out and is added to the Trump narrative that the entire Russia investigation was baseless and is a complete political witch hunt and nothing more. But for this editorial, I will focus on the latest example…the newly discovered emails that apparently prove collusion between the FBI and CNN concerning the Steele dossier.
It all seems to begin with a story at The Federalist. With a very sinister sounding headline, “BREAKING: E-mails Show FBI Brass Discussed Dossier Briefing Details With CNN”, the crux of the article is the insinuation that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe colluded with CNN to put forth the dossier story to the public,
Newly revealed e-mails show that former Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) deputy director Andrew McCabe was keenly aware of CNN’s internal understanding of a secret briefing about the infamous Steele dossier, days before CNN published any stories on the matter. The e-mails, which were obtained by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), also reveal that top officials used coded language to refer to the salacious and unverified allegations made by Steele.
So, since McCabe was “keenly aware” that CNN knew about the dossier and was working on a story about it, that obviously means McCabe was colluding with them.
Here’s how a story at The DailyWire reports it:
Headline: “Obama Admin Officials Coordinated Set Up Of Trump, New Evidence Suggests”
The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs released new emails on Monday night that allegedly show that Obama administration officials coordinated with each other to help CNN run a damaging story on President-elect Donald Trump based on salacious and unverified information contained in a politically-motivated dossier financed by Trump’s political enemies.
No, the emails do not at all show, and the evidence does not at all suggest “that Obama administration officials coordinated with each other to help CNN”. At all. Just stop. To The DailyWire’s credit, they ran another piece by Ben Shapiro that refutes this absurd headline and article, yet this one is still up and running, generating clicks, outrage, and hysteria.
TheRightScoop joins in:
Headline: “‘FLOOD IS COMING’ – New emails reveal FBI was working with CNN to publish story on unverified Trump dossier!”
New emails discovered by Senator Ron Johnson, head of the Homeland Security committee, reveal that the FBI was working with CNN to get a story published on the unverified and infamous Russian dossier on Trump.
After all, it appears that McCabe was leaking and coordinating with CNN to get this story out there. And he was excited about it!
Sorry, Scoop, but, no, the emails reveal no such thing. Not even close.
Not to be left out, RedState offers their version:
Headline: “How Close Was The Coordination Between The FBI And CNN On Dossier Reporting?”
Then the question arises of how did CNN learn what Comey talked to Trump about personally? Did Trump boast about it? Always possible. But the fact that McCabe, who was fired because of his unauthorized leaking and lying about it, is the guy bringing the news of the coming “flood,” makes it a solid bet that McCabe was the conduit to CNN. And one can’t help but note that Sally Yates was in on the shenanigans. This is a strong hint that Loretta Lynch knew and that there was White House involvement.
The problem is that the known facts about all of this do not at all lead to the conclusions they have all made. There are perfectly logical, non-nefarious explanations for the emails in question that, frankly, make a whole lot more sense.
- The FBI, including McCabe, were aware that CNN was working on a story, most likely because CNN had contacted the FBI for verification and comments before they ran it.
- The FBI used coded language to refer to the dossier because they are the FBI and that’s what they do.
- They alerted higher ups that CNN was about to run the story because they knew all hell was going to break loose when they did and they wanted everyone to be prepared.
That is the most logical explanation and there are no facts in any of this that suggest, let alone prove, anything nefarious.
So why is this being done?
It’s all an attempt to discredit the entire investigation into Trump and his campaign and further the Trump narrative that the investigation is a baseless, political witch hunt. But the problem with that is we actually do have known facts that suggest the investigation is quite warranted:
1. Most clear thinking people absolutely realize that the Russians aggressively interfered in our election in various ways. The Russian indictments, along with the pretty much unanimous concurrence from all of our intelligence agencies attest to that. There was an actual crime in the hacking of the DNC servers and stealing of information (very similar to the actual Watergate crime, in fact).
2. Trump absolutely has denied that fact at various times and in various ways.
3. During his campaign, Trump surrounded himself with shady people who are known to be willing to do shady things. Manafort, Page, Flynn, Stone, and numerous others. Each of these people coincidentally have had some connections with Russians.
4. Trump and his family also have various questionable dealings with Russians.
5. We know of at least one meeting where some of these people eagerly attended with the thought that they were going to get dirt on Hillary from the Russians.
6. Trump fired Comey and has stated the reasoning involved his refusal to end the Russia investigation.
Honestly, these are all known facts. Do you really see no concerns here and no need for the investigation to clear all of this up?
None of these facts even get into the issues that were dug up from the Steele dossier.
Maybe in the end, there really was no wrongdoing by any of these people, but surely you can see the legitimate causes of concern?
To suggest that the purpose of the investigation is a conspiracy from the Obama administration and a complete political witch hunt is absolutely ludicrous. And dangerous.
I get it. You want to win. You believe that Trump is doing a lot of great conservative things and you want that to keep happening. You sincerely believe that you are fighting for the conservative cause. You believe that putting forth these stories are helping in that effort.
Sure, we may get a few “conservative” goodies in the short term (tax cut, Supreme Court Justice, etc.) but the long-term effects are the problem. It really boils down to what conservatism is, at the root of it.
What, exactly, is it that we are working so hard to conserve?
To me, conservatism is all about conserving what makes America exceptional. And what makes America exceptional are the principles upon which the Republic was created. It’s these principles that we are (or at least, should be) doing everything we can to conserve. Because without them, our exceptionalism is gone. Our Republic is no more.
The principles that need to be conserved include that of limited government, self-government by virtuous people electing virtuous leaders, federalism, natural rights, republicanism, and knowing the dangers of democracy and the tyranny of the majority.
By pushing these intellectually dishonest narratives based solely on speculation in order to help protect a President who doesn’t know, understand, believe, or care about these principles, you are not helping the cause of conserving these principles. In fact, it’s doing just the opposite. You are teaching people the wrong lessons.
You are teaching them that virtue doesn’t really matter after all. All that matters is winning at all costs.
You are teaching them that somebody like Trump really is an ideal person for President. One of, if not the, best ever, in fact.
You are teaching them that brute force from the majority is the way to get things done.
You are teaching them that limited government isn’t really that important as long as the government is doing what “we” want it to do.
You are teaching them that the principles, the Constitution, the system of separation of powers and checks and balances all don’t really matter as long as our guy wins and the other side cries.
The result of all of these lessons is a backlash so big, that it will further degrade the principles that we are trying (needing) to conserve. When the other side gains power (and make no mistake, they will), we will have destroyed any sense of reason that was left and they will proceed to complete their destruction of what’s left of the Constitutional framework. It will take just a few steps…abolish the Electoral College, get rid of the filibuster in the Senate, increase the number of Supreme Court Justices.
That’s what all of this hyper-partisan, us vs them, win at all costs nonsense is leading to.
While you believe we are winning…we are only winning small battles, at the expense of the larger war.
Stop it. Please.