Tuesday, June 20, 2017

David Stockman defends Trump from what he calls "a Deep State/Dem/Neocon/MSM prosecution (?!)

David Stockman is best known as the Budget Director for St. Reagan 1981-85. Stockman now describes himself as "the ultimate Washington insider turned iconoclast." "Iconoclast" these days basically means "crank."

Crankery is often a feature of financial tipsheets produced by rightwingers. Stockman's version is the online David Stockman Contra Corner.

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who is normally a careful analyst, for some reason decided to reproduce the text of a Stockman rant at Contra Corner, "The Little Putsch That Could ... Beget a Great Big Coup" 06/16/2017; McGovern's post is The “soft coup” under way in Washington 06/19/2017.

I've written before about my reluctance to talk about a possible of impeachments as a "soft coup." There are both left and right versions of this notion, neither of which is persuasive. Stockman's clearly falls into the rightwing category. He starts off by giving Trump advice in the Nixon-should-have-burned-the-tapes variety:

Bull’s eye!

“They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice … You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history – led by some very bad and conflicted people!”

The Donald has never spoken truer words but also has never sunken lower into abject victimhood. Indeed, what is he waiting for­– handcuffs and a perp walk?

Just to be clear, “he” doesn’t need to be the passive object of a “WITCH HUNT” by “they”.

If Donald Trump had any kind of presidential strategy and propensity to take command, he would have had all the intercepts of Russian chatter gathered up weeks ago. He would then have had them declassified and made public, even as he launched a criminal prosecution against Obama’s hit squad­-John Brennan, Susan Rice and Valerie Jarrett for illegally unmasking and leaking classified information.

Such a course of action would have crushed the Russian interference hysteria in the bud.
I suppose McGovern found it attractive that Stockman notes recognizes that some of the opposition to Trump comes from anti-Russian hawks who fear Trump, for whatever reason, may back off from the New Cold War policy that has been developing. But Stockman doesn't actually get beyond reflexive rightwing conspiracy talk, e.g., "Given that he is up against a Deep State/Dem/Neocon/ mainstream media prosecution [sic], the Donald has no chance of survival short of an aggressive offensive of the type described above."

That kind of cynicism always needs to be tempered by remembering the old saying, "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you." The case against Trump is overdetermined in the sense of involving a variety of motives, some more honorable than less. But Trump's obstruction of justice looks very real. And there are substantial, serious reasons for a real investigation of the Trump campaign's involved in the Russian hacking operations connected to the Presidential campaign in 2016, and certainly investigating his business ties and the potential for pressure against Trump as well as conscious self-dealing on his family's part. It would be irresponsible to not investigate it seriously. It is irresponsible on the part of those who are actively trying to block such investigations.

Being careful with the facts is important for opponents of Trump. On the other hand, the Democrats suffer from chronic bouts of timidity: David Sirota, Al Franken Says Mike Pence Is A ‘Zealot’ Who ‘Would Be Worse’ Than Trump On Domestic Policy International Business Times 06/19/2017.

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