Americans might soon wish they just waited to vote their way out of the Trump era
I came across this article from another source. Based on the content of the article and the comments I decided to subscribe, which is something I rarely do. I've read a number of Matt's articles as well as the comments. The one question that I can't find an answer to is "why?" What is it about trump that has the IC and democrats so worked up that they want him removed? I understand why people don't like him, and there is a long list of reasons for this dislike. But what in the hell has he done that makes people think that this circus of impeachment is even remotely justified? I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that both the CIA and FBI need to be disbanded and replaced with something else. What need is there for agencies to protect us from external/internal threats when they themselves are this nation's worst enemies?
Matt, every Time I read one of your articles, I breathe a sigh. Yes, someone out there gets it. It’s so hard for me to understand why my liberal, and especially, my progressive friends don’t get this. Even If Ukrainegate does rise to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors”— and I’m willing to withhold judgement on that for now— any impeachment hearings are tainted by the ravenous searching for crimes that began immediately post-election. I remember Watergate. The hearings were deliberate and no one, neither Democrat nor Republican — was anxious to impeach. That, as you point out, was not our preferred way to change administrations. I also believe that we are at a critical point. If we do this now, there’s no turning back, and a president who makes it through four years will be a rarity.
We've long whispered about the Deep State, assuming that the Intelligence Community should have counter-intelligence responsibilities, out of sight, protecting the Executive branch from moles planted by foreign foes, and that our secret agents would, if necessary, quietly dispatch a Manchurian Candidate. But we assume that he deep state are protecting us from foreign foes, and that the less said beyond that, the better. And we assume they operate out of some sub-basement of the CIA in Langley.
But what we appear to have here is an alternative version in which the Deep State protects the Domestic interests of the Elite -- that group of financial powers of whom nobody went to jail for any misdeeds leading to the 2008 crisis, that group which also happen to control the media which control the boundary lines of permissible political discussion, as Matt has documented in his precious book. Let us suppose that the Washington Swamp works for that elite, serve it and profit from it. And let us suppose that the Deep State are not there to protect the constitutionally designated Executive branch, but to guard and protect the Swamp.
And so for a candidate from outside of those boundaries to be elected president, that's not merely a threat to the power of the institutional media, it's an existential threat to the security of all the swamp creatures. Alligators are usually solitary and don't usually work in teams, but we suppose they are wired to respond with the same instincts and to swarm and attack the intruder.
And since you and I understand that the alligators in the moat, or in the swamp, are there to protect against invaders, and we see them attack, we are conditioned to cheer for the alligators. They are doing their job. And if they are promoting the story that they are protecting us from Russians, all the better.
But who do the alligators serve? Who can protect us against them? That's the context in which Matt has framed the question, which is the worse choice to lead the country, Donald Trump, with all his known flaws and evils? Or the swamp gators? I heard Rudy Giuliani last week say something to the effect that Trump was elected on the promise of draining the swamp, but none of us has a clue how bad the swamp was. Say it ain't so.
It is indeed frightening. They're perfectly willing to take us all down with the Pequod for any chance to get their orange whale.
Well what's the matter Taibbi? Don't you love democracy? Don't you support the rULe oF LAw? How can you question these heroes? The only possible explanation for questioning the IC's motives must be that you are a Trump supporter. It's a very sad day for journalism Matt!
I'm kidding of course. It appears this is the new powerserving media spectacle to consume all the oxygen in the room, and marginalize issues that actually affects people's lives. The parallels between this and the trumprussia histrionics are too much to bear.
Matt, I dig the way you write. You elevate and contextualize boring, confusing news and politics into something not only digestible but exciting. But here, (and maybe I'm confused) are you saying that it’s better to ignore Trump’s crimes and leave him in office? Because why? The CIA and FBI have done illegal shit, too? Unless you’re accusing those agencies of framing Trump, you are creating more whataboutism and confusion not unlike what the mainstream media peddles. Unless he is impeached and removed, Trump proves that a US President is above the law.
Great piece. I like Matt's writing and his perspective. I think the issue here is not about whose crimes, because they are evident on both sides. The key issues are the accusations of corruption from both sides, which question the very nature of corruption, or at least, its legal status. It places the blame squarely in how money for services transactions are defined legally. And that includes political donations from business interests. Such is the conflict between business, the whole money/financial system, and politics. There needs to be a better legal framework, and much more strongly enforced separation of the two, like church and state. Politics is susceptible to money, or revolving door jobs, or other favours, the difference between the two has always been difficult to spot. But Trump has come to power through a business and media lens, using the law as a battering ram; this is how he sees relationships with others, as well as with other nations - his awfulness is quite unique. But on the plus side, the nature of this corruption is becoming more public, its effects on the social fabric more exposed to scrutiny by journalists like Matt. And laws can change.
I think you Deep State guys and Russia Hoaxers are a little bit in the weeds here. I'm not saying there isn't one, but why do you need a deep state when Trump commits and admits to crimes out in the open? Just like Col. Jessup in A Few Good Men confessing to the "Code Red", Trump is so morally bankrupt that he's incapable of seeing the crimes he commits as crimes.
I agree the media irresponsibly created an "espionage or bust" narrative around the Mueller investigation. It wasn't sexy, but Mueller delivered a bunch of arrests and 10 examples of boring old obstruction of justice. Not a hoax.
Furthermore, Trump caused his own investigation when he admitted to firing James Comey for not "dropping the whole Russia thing". He also spoon fed Don Jr. the lie about the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians. How can he NOT be investigated at this point, even if nothing turned up? For our nation's safety, we had to at least make sure that Trump was truly the unfit idiot we suspected. Although, I would've been tickled to see this news conference:
Newscaster: "We interrupt this program to take you to Washington DC where Special Investigator Robert Mueller is making a statement."
Mueller: "We have decided to stop investigating Donald Trump's ties to Russia. It's obvious that he's a moron and and even though he is clearly corrupt, he is simply too stupid to do real espionage. Thank you."
Trump is a life long grifter. He will continue to commit crimes because that's what criminals do. He's too corrupt to stop and too dumb to cover it up.
With William Barr attending Opus Dei conclaves and meeting with Rupert Murdoch while Gina Haspel takes over the CIA,I think the coup has already happened.Add to this list the greedy billionaires in his cabinet...Betsy DeVoss,Wilbur Ross etc.Trump is the perfect stooge to front the NEW deep state.I agree with your views on the old intelligence guys but that is the past.Under Trump we are already becoming a "show me your papers" country.Ask any Hispanic.I can see him carting liberal SCOTUS members away in vans to work in the countryside and undergo reeducation programs.I know Eric Swalwell is a hack but c-mon....Lindsey Graham?We are in a "which is worse" situation.I pick Trump...the "Insane Clown President". Remember what you wrote about him? Hollywood has already shown us how dangerous clowns can be and this isn't a movie.
I think what is said in this article would resonate more if all of the leaks were not revealing such concerning details about how Trump and the White House have been operating. I just don’t see how leaking concerning details about Trump’s abuses and incompetence somehow lessens the legitimate need to follow up and act on evidence of wrongdoing. Yes, having an intel community leaking info isn’t good, but neither is having a president who commits felonies. Did his lawyer and all of those campaign people go to jail because of a hoax? No. They went to jail because they broke the law. Did Mueller say that the Trump campaign did not coordinate with Russian actors? No. He said that what occurred was deeply troubling. Did he say that there were not at least 8 instances of probable instruction? No, he saId Congress needed to handle that because he can’t charge a president with a crime. And just because there are hardcore partisans who want Trump out by any means necessary does not change the fact that there are lots of Americans who care about the rule of law much more than they do politics right now. We can discuss how our democracy reins in the intel community while also acknowledging the serious corruption in the current executive.
Taibbi, Jimmy Dore, Michael Tracey, Aaron Mate and the like have formed a new little clique who deal mainly in whataboutism. They interview each other and prop each other up. The problem is they seem to mainly be spinning their wheels in rhetorical mud. And this substack thing that Taibbi was supposed to be the figurehead of hasn't gone too well. The posts have slowed to a crawl, and most of them are public, so what is the point of having a paid subscription? Now that Taibbi has his show with Katie Halper, most of his energy seems to be going into that project. If Matt has lost interest in this substack project, he should let the paying customers know....
I have read a number of Taibbi’s articles over the years. Like any of us, he is biased, but he comes across to me as about as honest a broker there is on the left. I have decided to subscribe so that I get a more regular read from the other side—without being induced to blow my own brains out (as might happen were I to follow most of the liberal media). I know people don’t subscribe here to read my commentary, so I will keep it brief when I comment. I think it may liven things up a bit for this audience to hear from someone who doesn’t hate Trump. You’re welcome.
Thank you for your very revealing and informative research and readable style. I’m happy to be part of the focus group. I would just say in reading these articles that so well take us to a deeper level behind the superficial and dysinformative headlines, I hope you will at some point in your book discuss the relationship of IC to global corporations and banking. I don’t believe the IC is just a headless chicken jumping around, they too have their superiors. I would love to see you wrap your research around that aspect “behind the headlines.” There is yet another Russian doll inside the IC doll. I’m ashamed to admit that at the time after 9/11 I fell for a Frontline report on PBS that gave a “behind the scenes” report on Iraq “exposing” their hidden WMD. Do you not find it credible that the invasion of Iraq was motivated by Cheney’s relationship with Halliburton?
So, I think HRC’s recent comments re: unnamed Tulsi Gabbard shine a new light on Matt’s argument. Are we going back to the days of McCarthyism when a person can be destroyed for holding views with which certain party elites disagree? And why would HRC be privy to any of this? I have commented before that progressives should not be smug about a Trump take down.
It blows my mind that people can read anything relating to this topic and STILL come in here chanting tropes about Orange Man Bad. The programming is SO deep.
Note how the corporate newsmedia revises the history of Ukraine turning it all into aggression from Russia with no mention of Victoria Nuland and Hillary Clinton's coup in overturning leadership. Also, no mention that Obama refused sending arms to the new neocon lead leaders while they blow up the fact that Trump for a brief time refused to send US weapons there. No mention of the fact that the newly elected Ukrainian leader by 70% had a platform of making some peace with Russia. Obama's administration gave us the overturn of the Smith/Mundt Act which forbid propaganda going into the US news.