That Brain is a real pain in the ass. He’s always sniffing around, like a dog. Escape From New York
I chose that quote for a very specific reason, In Escape From New York, the character Brain is a third rate crook with some science knowledge, who keeps trying to leverage that scant knowledge for a position of power. But the hardened cons of The Duke of New York treated him for what he really was, a loser.
With The Brain, John Carpenter came up with the perfect capsule characterization of Roger Stone. As a lifelong political junkie, I have occasionally rubbed rhetorical shoulders with Roger Stone. Stone has spent his entire adult life selling himself as a master political dirty trickster. There’s just one small problem with that persona. In order to be proficient as a political dirty trickster, you have to live and operate in the shadows. Your reputation grows and spreads through innuendo and word of mouth. But Roger Stone craved the spotlight, and the public connection to power. As a result, he took credit for everything, some shit he did, and some he didn’t. In other words, he was unreliable and attracted too much attention.
This is important because Donald Trump thinks that he is the Duke of New York, and he has always thought of Roger Stone as his Brain. If there’s one thing a bullshit artist can spot a mile away, it’s another bullshit artist. Trump has known Stone for decades, and knew all about him. Stone was a kind of court jester, someone to be winked and smirked at behind his back. And now Roger Stone is in deep shit.
Roger Stone was scheduled to report to federal prison to begin serving his sentence no later than June 30th. His defense team filed a motion with Judge Amy Berman Jackson, asking to delay his report date until September. Rather, or should I say, not so surprisingly, the Barr DOJ had no problem with that delay. But Judge Jackson did. She demanded a legally defensible reason for their agreement from the DOJ, which they provided at the last moment. Judge Jackson, whom I believe has had quite enough of one Roger Stone, rejected the DOJ’s position, and ordered Stone to report to prison by June 14th. All of which led Rachel Maddow to speculate that Roger Stone might be the recipient of a pardon from El Pendejo Presidente some time between now and July 14th.
I love Rachel Maddow to death, but this time I disagree with her analysis. And for a very good reason. Because Donald Trump thinks that Roger Stone is a clown, and has no more loyalty to him than he would for a falafel, especially when he is under such intense scrutiny for the corrupt operation of his DOJ right now. But at the same time, Trump feels a little sentimental twinge for Stone, so, unfortunately for Stone, Trump already shot his wad.
Remember this. Even before Tubby the Ewok went batshit crazy over Michael Flynn, making a national media splash, he stuck his fat, furry fingers directly into the Stone case. Realizing that it would be more difficult for the DOJ to try to drop charges against someone who was actually convicted of multiple charges, instead of having pled guilty, Barr went right in and rewrote the sentencing guidelines that the career prosecutors in charge of the case had presented to the judge. This also led to a massive media stink, including all four of the career prosecutors withdrawing from the case in protest, and Judge Jackson dressing down Barr from the bench during her sentencing dialogue.
But here’s where a little common sense and logic must intrude. Rachel supposes that Trump may go ahead and just pardon Stone before his report to prison date. If that is true, then I have a simple question. If you’re going to pardon Stone, regardless of how much time the judge gives him, then why forcibly insert yourself into the sentencing guidelines debacle? Why create an overpowering stench of obstruction and corruption when you’re just going to give Stone a pass when it comes down to crunch time. It defies logic, and brings on unnecessary and unwanted media and public heat and pressure.
Here’s how I see it. Trump felt a little residual loyalty to Stone, not only for years of cruel amusement, but also for Stone doing everything in his power to draw attention away from Trump and onto himself. Trump ordered Barr to get in there and minimize the amount of time that poor Roger would do. But that was it. And considering how not only Barr;s interference with the Stone sentencing crashed and burned, but how his interference with the Flynn sentencing has crashed and burned, as well as his attempt to ditch SDNY US Attorney Geoffrey Berman, there is far too much heat and attention on Trump, Barr, and the disgustingly corrupt DOJ. Trump can’t afford to raise another world class stink in pardoning Stone when he has to at least try to maintain some integrity for the pardons he plans on issuing for himself and his kids some time after election day. Stone is the odd man out.
Roger Stone has been a comical figure for most of his adult life. But in 17 days, I think he’s going to have a chance to extend his horizons and play the part of the sad faced clown. But one nice thing, with that life sized Richard Nixon tattoo on his back, Stone should be a Grade A, #1 bad ass in the federal pen. Buh-buh-buh-bye Roger!
To know the future, look to the past.before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch up before the upcoming release of the third book in the trilogy, President Evil III: All The Presidents Fen
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