So, are y’all sick to death of the Mueller report yet? Yeah, I know, me too. Despite its pre scheduled timing, in many ways I found the coverage on Thursday eerily similar to coverage of a disaster, like a mass shooting, or a plane crash. Due to its size, the report was too large and intricate to effectively report on immediately, so they handed everybody chunks of it, which they scanned and threw the highlights of on the table, with no coherence and nothing to tie them together. By Friday, sufficient time had passed for a more thorough perusing, and connections and conclusions started to be made.
But with the passage of a couple of days, and with the widely disparate parts of the report having begun to be put in order, and more comprehensible, there are already a few things that I’ve noticed that bear keeping in mind as we move forwad.
Barr is the perfect AG for Trump. A moron – William Barr, Snow White’s missing 8th dwarf, Dumpy, couldn’t have botched the roll out of the Mueller report more if he had taken night classes for it. And I’m not even talking about the craven, sycophantic, Kim Dung Pil style love sonnet that Barr composed for Trump, absolving Trump of all responsibility for anything, that had ever occurred, ever. Barr’s handling of the timing of the release of the report alone was sufficient reason to have shim shipped back up to the workhouse of defective toys for an upgrade.
Basically, Barr had the Mueller report for a month, under wraps. He knew that congress had a two week recess for spring break coming up. There were two intelligent ways that Barr could have handled the release.
One, release the damn thing late on Wednesday morning of congress’ last week in the capitol. Let the various congress critters squeal in outrage over something they hadn’t even read yet until noon on Thursday, when they would all scatter like roaches when the kitchen lights come on for their home districts. They get some remote appearances on camera, and some call ins on Friday and Saturday, abd then, like everyone else, they become obsessed with their families, and plane for the upcoming holiday. The hews can only keep the story going for so long, especially when everybody’s attention is on the upcoming holiday, and by the second week of recess, people are sick of the story, having just lived through 22 long months of Mueller.
Or alternately, you sit on the report until the second week of the spring break. Let everybody in the media scream bloody murder, nobody is paying attention. Release it on Thursday, create the same circus, let people scramble to decipher and comment on it, and by Tuesday, everybody is back in DC, where current congressional issues will compete with the fallout from the release of the report. Sure there will still be loud calls for investigations and impeachment, but there will be background noise, like healthcare and taxes to provide clutter.
But what you do not, not, not do, ever, is to release the goddamn thing on the Thursday of the first week of spring recess.This allows congress critters to relax and absorb the report, without travel intruding, scream on Friday and Saturday, take Sunday off, and then spend the next week issuing explicit threats of all of the medieval shit they’re going to throe down once they get back in Washington. And all to a captive audience, since many parents will be tied to the house with the kids on break, with the TV on for background noise. And then on Tuesday, congress picks up right where they left off on Friday, solemnly vowing the Trump apocalypse from the capitol rotunda. Shortly followed by now highly anticipated congressional hearings and testimony. What an incredible dumbass!
Live by the sword, die by the sword – Since the day Trump took his first breath, Trump has been obsessive about media attention. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that at some point he had tried to doctor his birth announcement in the newspapers, putting in something like, “On this day, which future generations will celebrate like Christmas, future real estate legend, and the greatest President in history, Donald Trump, was born to the luckiest parents on earth.”
Trump’s obsession with the media is fueled by his narcissism and eg. Seriously, who else would even think to invent a nom de plume, pretend to be his own PR flack, and then call the tabloid newspapers to brag about “Mr Trump’s” marital infidelities? Not for building a building, or curing cancer, but for screwing around on his wife!
A salient feature of his life is that Trump has always left a very small paid for PR footprint. That’s because, in his own intellectually stunted mind, Trump alway has been, currently is, and will always be his own best mouthpiece. Hence his addiction to Twitter.
In his role as his own greatest spokesman, Trump has minimized the size and effectiveness of his White House communications shop. Not trusting his people to say the right thing, Trump decrees and scripts everything they say, and then watches on TV to ensure compliance. And this is going to be a very serious problem for Trump going forward.
Because right now, Trump desperately needs a couple of calm, respected, beievable surrogates to hit the airwaves and clean up his mess. But as Sarah Huckabee Sanders graphically shows, there is nobody to step up to the mic, and resent a cogent, coherent alternate explanation. Which leaves Trump hysterically defending himself, and insulting all and sundry. And the more hysterical Trump gets, the worse it will get, as his excuses and delusional excuses worsen.
Trump is not devolving, he’s always been this way – A frequent explanation for Trump’s wild behavior when under pressure is that his mental state of personality is devolving. But, at least some people who know him very well say that this is not the case.
Earlier today on MSNBC, Alex Witt interviewed Barbara Rss, a longtime Trump employee, and for several years the highest ranking woman in the Trump organization. She directed several early, high profile projects, at a time when a woman directing a project on site was almost unheard of.
Witt asked Re if it was hard for Trump to admit when he was wrong, to which Res replied, “No, not at all. Simply because the word ‘wrong” was not in Trumps vocabulary when it was being used in reference to him. ” “Did you ever just come right out and tell him that he was wrong?” “A few times, yes.” And how did that go” Not very well.”
To which Witt followed up with, “Well, how did you get him to change his mind when he was wrong?” “There were a few ways. You could say, ‘Earlier you mentioned,’ and provide the right answer, letting Trump think that he had proposed it himself, and push for that option. You could also distract him with another issue for a few minutes, and then come back to the original issue, couching the issue in such a way that led him to the correct conclusion. On some non critical things, you could just ignore his order, and wait for him to forget about it. And a few times, when he was dug in, you just had to execute his decision, and wait to clean up the mess, while he blamed everybody else.”
All of which should be hauntingly familiar, in light of the way the Mueller report shows that aides close to Trump in the White Hose, such as John Kelly and Don McGahn dealt with their interactions with the highly unstable Trump. Not only has Trump not changed in 45 years, neither have the most effective ways of dealing with his instability, which other people seem to almost instinctively understand and employ.
So, there you have it. And while this is by no means a comprehensive or exhaustive review, it is a few things that jumped out at me from the report, that we may have suspected, but didn’t know for sure before. Sadly, I fear that we are far from having heard the words Yhe Mueller Report” for the last time. Ta-ta ’til then.