So what the heck is really going on with all the Russian stuff? If Andrew McCarthy is correct, less than you think, but maybe more:
Given the abundance of indications that the Obama Justice Department scrutinized his campaign, or at least his associates, it was odd that the president chose to tweet the one allegation in the whole mess that appears insupportable — viz., that President Obama had had candidate Trump wiretapped. To my knowledge, no such suggestion has ever been publicly reported. At most, it has been reported (but not proved) that there was a FISA application in June that “named Trump” – but, as I’ve pointed out, saying someone was named in an application does not mean that person was targeted for eavesdropping. And, in any event, the reporting tells us that if there was such an application, the FISA court denied it. Thus, I know of no basis to believe that Trump himself was wiretapped; and if the president’s objective was to sensationalize the story, it would surely have been enough to tweet out a colorable fear that surveillance of him — as a Russian agent — had been proposed.But there's another angle:
Here’s the most interesting part: Now that they’ve been called on it, the media and Democrats are gradually retreating from the investigation they’ve been touting for months as the glue for their conspiracy theory. It’s actually quite amusing to watch: How dare you suggest President Obama would ever order surveillance! Who said anything about FISA orders? What evidence do you lunatic conservatives have — uh, other than what we media professionals been reporting — that there was any investigation of the Trump campaign?If there wasn't an investigation, what has been leaking all this time?
Another angle, this time from Richard Fernandez:
The most singular thing about Donald Trump's wiretap accusation against Barack Obama is how he's refusing to play the game of extremities — losing a Flynn here and getting a Sessions paralyzed there — and getting right into lethal range. Trump's gone right past Schumer, ignored the surrogates and gone straight for the former president himself.And the implications are huge:
This escalation represents a real threat to Obama. Suddenly everything is out of control. Nobody would have minded much if Trump had gone after one of Obama's henchmen — which is probably what was expected — but none can foresee how an exchange of blades between principals will end. It is safe to say, however, that unless the combatants disengage, someone will get hurt. It will be a terrible moment for American political civility when a king lies on the political floor. The whole point of a peaceful transition of power is to prevent a clash between kings. Yet the very tragedy the electoral process is intended to prevent is happening before our eyes.You can't have a peaceful transition of power unless both sides are committed to the idea. We've seen this game before, six years ago in Madison. And at this point, the same forces are at play. And how we respond will make all the difference. We have our first indication on the local level:
The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office Monday declined to file charges against six counter-protesters arrested Saturday at a pro-Trump rally at the State Capitol.These folks were pepper spraying the Trump supporters. They were throwing punches. They set off a smoke bomb in the Capitol. But they'll probably get by with it, just as the mob that attacked Charles Murray at Middlebury College will, as will the goons at Berkeley. And that's a real problem, as the Ace of Spades reminds us:
Anton Bueckert was arrested on disorderly conduct charges. Jonathan Adams, Linwood Kaine, Glenn Kimball, Isabell Kimball and Haley Ryan were arrested on felony rioting charges.
Monday, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office said there were insufficient facts to prove felony-level riot. The attorney’s office said State Patrol has presented the case to the St. Paul City Attorney’s Office for consideration of misdemeanor charges.
Do you really think there will be any legal consequences for the mob?The black-clad mob can call themselves anarchists, and some do. But they don't want anarchy in the classic sense. They want control for their side. There's no liberty involved. It's getting serious.
Or do you think the Political-Media state will tacitly bless their assaults as "understandable" and hence not punishable?''
Does it not seem to be an inside-outside game going on? Community-organized violent demonstrators who are then protected, if not outright blessed, by official government institutions and all of the media to go even further than they've gone already?
A mob that gets cracked down on by government agents is a one-day crime story.
A mob that gets protected by government agents is a serious political story.
That there is political violence is not itself alarming. That government actors, rich institutions, and the putative Fourth Branch of Government support political violence is gravely alarming.
Do you think there will be more of this, or less of this, in the year to come? And if you say less -- well, what would cause there to be less of it?
Strongly worded columns?