Take down the pres­i­dent

Starkville Daily News - - FORUM -

‘Ok ev­ery­body!

Re­mem­ber, the ul­ti­mate goal here is to take down the pres­i­dent!' Amer­ica crossed the line of po­lit­i­cal de­bate Novem­ber 9, 2016, when po­lit­i­cal rhetoric be­came 100 per­cent about one per­son: Don­ald Trump.

Since then we have ceased to de­bate po­si­tions, poli­cies, and party pol­i­tics. All de­bate be­came and con­tin­ues to be for or against Pres­i­dent Trump per­son­ally.

Any news, real or fake, au­to­mat­i­cally be­comes a lit­mus test tar­get­ing Trump's crit­ics and sup­port­ers. Any news worth re­port­ing or de­bat­ing is al­ways about Trump. And, the goal of all news, ap­par­ently, is to take Trump out of the White House.

Take April Ryan's ques­tion at a daily White House brief­ing last week for ex­am­ple. Ryan, who cov­ers the White House for Amer­i­can Ur­ban Ra­dio and is a CNN con­trib­u­tor, asked Sarah San­ders, White House Press Sec­re­tary, “With all of this tur­moil, par­tic­u­larly this last week, has the pres­i­dent at any time thought about step­ping down be­fore or now?” Ryan merely ar­tic­u­lated what “re­porters,” and I use that term very loosely, nu­ance ev­ery­day in those White House brief­ings. Re­porters rou­tinely couch their ques­tions in in­nu­endo with words like “chaos,” “no plan,” and “tur­moil.” They use false premises to ask er­ro­neous ques­tions.

This week news out­lets will ven­er­ate James Comey, dis­graced and for­mer Di­rec­tor of the FBI, who is fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Michael Wolff, for­got­ten au­thor of a 2018 best seller, “Fire and Fury: In­side The Trump White House.” How soon we for­get. Comey's book, “A Higher Loy­alty,” is be­ing re­leased this week atop sev­eral best­seller lists. Comey's book may last longer in the pub­lic eye than Wolff's book, though that's not re­ally say­ing much.

Pre-re­leased ex­cerpts of Comey's book in­clude such po­lit­i­cally as­tute ob­ser­va­tions as, “(Trump's) face ap­peared slightly orange with bright white half-moons un­der his eyes where I as­sumed he placed small tan­ning gog­gles, and im­pres­sively coiffed, bright blonde hair, which upon close in­spec­tion looked to be all his….” This is mild com­pared with other ex­cerpts about com­pletely un­sub­stan­ti­ated al­le­ga­tions re­gard­ing Trump in Rus­sia.

In a mo­ment of self-re­flec­tion, Comey per­haps re­veals some of his rea­son­ing that ut­terly tor­pe­does any claim his sup­port­ers may have made about his prow­ess as a lawyer. You may re­mem­ber when, a scant eleven days be­fore the elec­tion, Comey uni­lat­er­ally dis­closed the FBI was re­view­ing more of Hil­lary Clinton's emails. Oops! That dis­clo­sure be­came one of the top 100 rea­sons Clinton claims she lost the elec­tion!

Try­ing to jus­tify this dis­clo­sure, Comey writes, “It is en­tirely pos­si­ble that, be­cause I was mak­ing de­ci­sions in an en­vi­ron­ment where Hil­lary Clinton was sure to be the next pres­i­dent, my con­cern about mak­ing her an il­le­git­i­mate pres­i­dent by con­ceal­ing the restarted in­ves­ti­ga­tion bore greater weight than it would have if the elec­tion ap­peared closer or if Don­ald Trump were ahead in all polls. But I don't know.”

Yes, ‘po­lit­i­cal polling' played a ma­jor role in Comey's judg­ment.

In the 17 months since the elec­tion, news out­lets have hashed and re­hashed scan­dal af­ter scan­dal in Obama's law en­force­ment and in­tel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ties. Take your pick: no­body knew or no­body did any­thing about Rus­sia's at­tempts to in­flu­ence the 2016 elec­tion. It doesn't re­ally mat­ter who knew, or didn't know, since all the blame has been placed on Trump and the Rus­sians. Re­mem­ber the goal: “Take down the pres­i­dent!”

Daniel L. Gard­ner is a syn­di­cated colum­nist who lives in Starkville, MS. You may con­tact him at PJandMe2@gmail.com, or in­ter­act with him on the Clar­ion-Ledger web site http:// www.clar­i­on­ledger.com/story/opin­ion/

DANIEL GARD­NER

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