Still have TDS. Still don’t have RDS and DDS.27th March 2019
If I quote Attorney General Barr, who said the report does not “exonerate” Trump, I’ll be accused of having TDS. That’s right, even quoting top Trump officials is now a sign that you are a hater. But then his own top officials call Trump a “terrible human being”, an idiot, a moron, and much worse. I’ll take the high road today.
Seriously, the report is obviously good news for Trump. If anything it came way too early, which perhaps explains the unusually small bump in his election odds in the betting market. (Why did his advisers keep encouraging an early release–did they assume Trump was guilty?) If I had to guess, I’d say the betting markets (at around 37%) are still underestimating Trump’s chances, but after 2016 I’ve given up predicting politics. And it’s bad news for CNN and MSNBC, who overhyped the investigation.
You may want to search through my previous posts and look for me saying “My hatred of Trump is unrelated to the things he does publicly every day, and instead is based on the assumption that Mueller will find things about Trump that are not public information.” If you don’t find a sentence like that, you can safely assume that my views on Trump have not changed.
I do recall saying that the GOP was never going to impeach Trump, no matter what they found. (Although I wish they would.) I also argued that the Russia collusion and obstruction of justice were out there in plain sight. During the campaign, Trump publicly encouraged Russia to put out dirt on Hillary, and he told a TV reporter that he fired Comey to stop the Russia investigation. But Mueller’s job was not to look for Russia collusion or obstruction of justice in the everyday sense of the terms, but rather to look for evidence of crimes. And the two specific examples I cited are probably not crimes, at least technically.
That doesn’t mean Trump committed no crimes, but I suspect he didn’t commit many major crimes. Cohen said Trump was careful not to directly tell him to lie, but rather merely hinted at his preferences. Trump does seem careful not to cross any obvious red lines. But if Trump were not President, then aggressive prosecutors could certainly accuse him of conspiring with Cohen to violate election laws, and probably other things as well. To me, that’s not a big deal—my contempt for Trump is not really related to minor legal issues, it’s about his attempt to turn American into a banana republic, with politics like the Philippines, Venezuela or Italy. A clown show. I don’t like banana republic politics. Period. End of story.
Some Republicans tell me that it doesn’t matter that Trump’s a jerk, because he’s doing a good job on policy. Back in the 1990s, Democrats pointed to the booming economy as evidence that Clinton was doing a good job on policy, despite Monica. Republicans were rightly dismissive of those claims, as they understood that Presidents have very little impact on the business cycle. Now these same Republicans cite the booming economy as evidence that Trump is doing a good job. Yes, I still suffer from TDS, but at least I’m not tribal, I dislike both major parties and don’t suffer from Republican derangement syndrome of Democrat derangement syndrome. I’d vote for Sanders over Trump, and Pence over Sanders.
I see the same mistakes being made about Steve Moore–people forming views based on his current policy stance. (Ahem, Ben). Moore thought money should be much tighter when unemployment was 10%—do you really want him on the Fed? Apparently the answer is “yes” if he favors lower rates at the moment. Look, if you ask a 5-year old whether rates should go up or down, they have a 50-50 chance of answering in a way that will look “correct” a year from now. Sorry, but that’s not enough for me. Process matters. Competence matters. Being unbiased matters. Maybe not on every occasion, but the banana republicization of America will eventually be corrosive, if allowed to go on indefinitely. Let’s hope this is just a “phase” we are going through, like the Jackson era.
Fortunately, Moore’s statement that Trump should consider firing Powell will not go unnoticed at the Fed, and he’ll be perhaps the least influential board member in history. Why would you even want to work for an organization where from the very first day you walk in the door you know that everyone, and I mean everyone, is laughing at you behind your back and making sure that you have no impact?
Yes, lots of commenters laugh at me, but I don’t have to walk by them in the hall every day.
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