Thursday, June 08, 2017

The Next Watergate?

Former FBI Director, James Comey
The word ‘Watergate’ is increasingly coming up in punditry about the Trump Presidency. I find this both funny and sad at the same time. I also find it ironic that I have to keep ‘defending’ a man that does not deserve to be defended.  I can think of very few people that have been more embarrassing to this country than Donald J. Trump.  And yet because he is so reviled by the media, Democrats, liberal Republicans (like Susan Collins) and even a few mainstream Repubilcans (Like John McCain), the reportage about this man’s Presidency is among the most obviously biased reporting I have ever seen. I understand why he is so disliked. But that does not translate into ‘Watergate’.

I have defended the media against bias many times. That’s because most of the time I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I often felt that accusations of bias were based on the bias of the accuser. But in the case of Donald Trump, media bias is very obvious. It is dripping with sarcasm. The presumption of Trump’s guilt is evident in the way they present every story about him. The not so subtle ridicule... the occasional smirks… the rolling eyes...– all dead giveaways of the bias.

That Democrats are biased is not surprising. They are political animals that will use any advantage to make their political opponents look bad while they make themselves look righteous. 

The media pretending to be objective cannot help themselves from appearing to salivate at the prospect of a new ‘Watergate’. Every reporter wants to be the next ‘Woodward and Bernstein’. They each want to have that kind of legacy. They care less about the facts than what this story will do for their careers if it turns out the way they hope it does.

One may ask, What about the Republicans? Are they not the same political animals? Do they not have the same agenda – to get reelected and perhaps one day run as a credible candidate for President? Sure they do. They are no different than the Democrats in that respect. 

The difference is that the media bias is on the side of the sensationalism that a Watergate type of event would bring them. So they bolster the Democrat argument while hardly noting the more restrained view that most Republicans are taking.

I don’t even think that most  members of the media are aware they are doing it. I am convinced that they think are being objective. If only they could see themselves through a truly objective lens.

Watching the media is like watching birds of prey ready to pounce on its victims. They are salivating at the possibility that Comey will somehow show that Trump obstructed Justice. For which he (Trump) could be impeached and possibly removed from office.

James Comey will testify before Congress today. A lot of people are pinning their hopes on his testimony. But he has already stated that he does not believe that Trump tried to obstruct justice. He is not going to change his views during testimony under oath. If anyone has a reason to be anti Trump it’s James Comey. But he has basically already vindicated Trump. There will be no Comey bombshell. It will not happen.Watergate - which can make the careers of both the politicians and the media - it is not. 

Here is what I believe to be the facts based on my own observations. Trump did not collude with the Russia to sway the election in his favor. Whether members of his campaign did or not is immaterial if Trump was not aware they were doing it at the time or is trying to cover it up now. And I’m not at all convinced that any Trump surrogate colluded with the Russians.

Did Russia try to interfere in the election? That seems to be the consensus of the entire intelligence community. But neither Trump nor any of his surrogates had anything to do with it.

Nor did Trump  try to obstruct justice in a conversation he had with Comey about former National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn. Comey has already made that very clear. He said he was never directed by the President to stop the investigation of Flynn or the investigation of Russia’s tampering with the election. And that Trump was never personally a subject of that investigation.

Former FBI director Comey is surely knowledgeable about what is and isn’t obstruction.  If he - as the man in the center of this investigation  is to be believed  (as I believe he should be) that should end all the talk about obstruction of justice. This is no more ‘Watergate’ than Hillary Clinton hiding her emails was.

That doesn’t absolve Trump of unethical behavior.  Asking Comey for loyalty; firing him shortly after that; attacking his enemies on twitter, tweeting insults and lies about people he dislikes  including world leaders is stupid and disgusting behavior that is counterproductive to the well being of this country. It disturbs me and should disturb anyone with any sense of humanity. Which is in large part why I believe he continues to be an embarrassment. But none of that rises to being an obstruction of justice. Or an impeachable offense.

That will not stop most of the punditry from spinning it that way. They may characterize Comey’s testimony as a bombshell. But I don’t think it is anywhere near that. Much as Democrats, the media, and the ‘Not my President’ liberals  are trying to make it be.

One final word for all the politically liberal Trump haters. Be careful what you wish for. If you hate Trump because of his policies, you will come to regret his removal from office if it ever gets that far. His his successor, Mike Pence, will make Trump look like a liberal.