THE POLITICS OF SCANDAL
“Let’s not get carried away,” advises New York Times columnist David Brooks in a surprising new op-ed which cites how little evidence of “underlying crime” has surfaced regarding the possible relationship between President Trump and Russia.
“In the politics of scandal, at least since Watergate, you don’t have to engage in persuasion or even talk about issues. Political victories are won when you destroy your political opponents by catching them in some wrongdoing. You get seduced by the delightful possibility that your opponent will be eliminated. Politics is simply about moral superiority and personal destruction,” writes Mr. Brooks.
“The politics of scandal is delightful for cable news. It’s hard to build ratings arguing about health insurance legislation. But it’s easy to build ratings if you are a glorified Court TV, if each whiff of scandal smoke generates hours of ‘Breaking News’ intensity and a deluge of speculation from good-looking former prosecutors,” he continues.
“The politics is great for those forces responsible for the lawyerization of American life. It takes power out of the hands of voters and elected officials and puts power in the hands of prosecutors and defense attorneys. The politics of scandal drives a wedge through society. Political elites get swept up in the scandals. Most voters don’t really care,” he writes.
Mr. Brooks later concludes, “Things are so bad that I’m going to have to give Trump the last word. On June 15 he tweeted, ‘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.’ Unless there is some new revelation, that may turn out to be pretty accurate commentary.”