Trump’s Incompetence Defense
As Rachel Maddow put it last night, hyperbole is dead as how can you overstate things like we now have learned about Trump’s giving classified information to the Russians? At this point it must be asked: is Trump a Russian agent-whether witting or unwitting as Carter Page is?
It seems that the media usualy gives him an out no matter how bad the story is and one narrative you hear implicitly gives Trump an out again. He’s too incompetent to be an authoritarian.
TRUMP IS BOTH AUTHORITARIAN AND INCOMPETENT: E.J. Dionne Jr. points out that we have been debating whether the real threat from Trump is his authoritarianism or his incompetence, and notes that the Comey firing has reminded us of the seriousness of the former:
Last week, the argument took a sharp, decisive and chilling turn. Trump proved that we can never be lulled into losing focus on the ways he could undermine the rules and principles of our democratic republic … Of course, Trump can be fairly regarded as both incompetent and authoritarian. We may be saved by the fact that the feckless Trump is often the authoritarian Trump’s worst enemy. If we’re lucky, Trump’s astonishing indiscipline will be his undoing.
“Of course, even if Trump’s incompetence and indiscipline do prove to be his undoing, they could do incalculable damage to the country in the process.”
Good point-he’s both. And arguably authoritarianism itself is an ‘incompetent’ system.
In this latest shocking news-which if it were Hillary the impeachment documents would already have been drawn up-we hear that Trump was ‘just showing off, just boasting.’
And I don’t doubt that. But he was also harming our allies and our alliances and engaging in what is arguably treason.
Like I heard David Ignatius talking about Trump’s ‘inexperience’ this morning. Sure Trump has no relevant experience and neither does anyone he hires-this by design, apparently.
But this is a lot more than just having a tough start. He’s now done things that are obstruction of justice-firing Comey? Nixon got impeached for firing Archibald Cox.
To just dismiss him as incompetent ignores the big picture. He’s being investigated for possible collusion with Russia in interfering in our election. He has so many on his team-Mike Flynn, Carter Page, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Boris Epshteyn-with these weird ties.
Really what’s unusual is Trump operatives without deep Russian ties. I again put the question out there: is Trump a Russian agent just like Carter Page is?
Remember Russian agent recruits don’t have to know they are such. If you watch Homeland-if you haven’t you should try it; Claire Danes is the best-you might remember Brody, a young Marine held as a POW by al Qaeda for four years.
When he got home to America it turned out he had been turned-he was now an al Qaeda recruit. But he himself didn’t know it. But it was like he had a split personality.
I bring up Brody because when I look at Carter Page he seems to have a very similar kind of almost manic smile. That’s what a recruit looks like.
So what about Trump? Well it’s certainly plausible to ask if he’s not a similar type recruit. How did they recruit him? First of all, through business interests and loans. Trump was no longer able to get loans from an American bank.
But Russia was there to bail him out. He build up relationships with Russian oligarchs. But in Russia, to become an oligarch you have to be friends with:
1. The Russian mafia
And indeed, Trump would make some very shady Russian friends like Felix Sater. Back in 2013, after a British journalist called him out on Sater, Trump stormed out of the interview.
Then in 2013 Trump brought the Miss Universe pageant to Russia.
Then when Trump was running for POTUS, the Russians were very friendly. Sisylak showed up at his first foreign policy speech and never looked back. Then the Russians were hacking Hillary and the DNC’s emails for him.
Then there was the Last Press Conference on July 27. After that, Trump stopped giving them for duration of the campaign and didn’t give another one until February. Yet the media continued to say that he unlike Hillary was accessible.
But what happened on July 27? That was Trump’s Russia are you listening? moment.
At what point did Trump become a Russian agent? Good question. Maybe at Miss Universe pageant, maybe after Putin flattered him during the campaign, maybe after Sisylak started showing so much interest in him. But it seems likely it happened at some point.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.