A year since the election of the Trump administration, amid florid allegations, we get a few morsels of grounded accusations from courts of law, with all appropriate evidence. Mostly: Paul Manafort, the once-head of the Trump Presidential campaign, failed to pay taxes, Al Capone-like, on the lucre received in the service of Russia. Also, an indictment has been issued against Michael Flynn, President Trump’s original National Security Advisor. The charge is he had meetings with the Russian Ambassador he failed to disclose, as is his legal obligation. He seems to be cooperating with the Special Prosecutor, and the only fair thing to do at this point is wait and see what falls out of the shaking tree.

But oh, the two parties’ capers around this little evidence! Parsing the two-party versions of the scandals is like trying to follow a battle of squid, with darting evasions and ink clouds challenging clarity (as both sides intend). Calamari, though, can be had, albeit with careful cutting and ink-dissipating patience.

Let’s start by dicing and spying-out the Democrat version of things, and this includes the Democrat-leaning media. The Republicans will get theirs in Part II.

Carl Sagan said “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” The claim that Donald Trump is illegitimate because of his collusion with Russia against the Clinton campaign is extraordinary. Media and the Democratic Party calls for President Trump’s impeachment are short of meeting a standard of extraordinary evidence, based on what is known to the public so far. And after the Iraq invasion what American in their right mind would listen when the Government leaks to them, “we are sure of our secret information, trust us?” What American in his right mind will take James Clapper at his word when he holds forth on the truth of his intelligence?

So, much of this uncertainty murk is a rod of distrust the government has made for its own back.

The Democrat-leaning media, particularly CNN, has been beating an impeachment drum for this whole year, with several breakdowns of media ethics which can only be described as Democratic Party partisan advocacy. This has not occurred in a vacuum of the Trump Administration. When Donald Trump judo-reverses the charge of fake news onto CNN, he is more right than I ever wanted to admit. Incredibly, CNN leaked Hillary Clinton questions during the Presidential debate. And the ramifications? Donna Brazile is promoted high into the Democratic apparatus. And it is seamless; nobody involved bats one hair on an eyelash in shame.

Mistrust of partisan media is reasonable.

In a way, Donald Trump is the ideal modern media hair-trigger scandal outraged, distorted, attention-span-selling political figure, and this may make him truly modern and innovative. Among many ironies of his ascendency is the fact that he barely spent a dime on publicity, allowing the mainstream media to propel him to the Presidency on a gas jet of establishment disapproval (more newspapers endorsed Gary Johnson than Trump). The same tune of partisan media speculative outrage will evoke the same dance now, barring that required extraordinary evidence. Monty Python had a similar marketing strategy, where they made sure they insulted every major religious group, lacking money for publicity otherwise.

The electorate were well familiar with Candidate Trump and his problematic relationship with human decency (but among mainstream politicians, who can pass this test?). No American out of a coma cannot fail to be informed as to his hubris. The orange-faced-Tweet-gibbon aspect of his approach was always a feature of his rise, and if anything, the electorate seems to have rewarded him for it, as a sort of “plain-talking, swamp-draining candor. The man who does not sound like the usual parsing, darting, lawyerly squid-politico (another innovation, in my opinion). This was quite a contrast against the queen of the giant squids, “Clintonian” Hillary Clinton. An analogy can be had when the public knew all about Bill Clinton’s zipper-control issues, and returned him to office for a second term anyway. So, there was an aspect of the Clinton impeachment process that smacked of an attempt to usurp the will of the American electorate. Pot-Kettle-Black. There are lots of things we can say about the flaws of both of these men, but believing either to be illegitimate as President (at this juncture) are not among them.

Candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton also had an uncanny, karma of the universe-like way of ink-cloud cancelling Trumps scandals by emitting her own. Neither Party could make their misogyny mud stick in the bipartisan reciprocating ugliness (“grab by the pussy? Bill did worse”).

The Wikileaks DNC hack evidently was done a by thumb drive from a DNC computer. But the leak could just as easily have come from Russia getting secrets from HRC’s homespun server in her bathroom closet, and might have been, for all we know. Imagine the fallout if it comes out that the Democrats want new confrontation with Russia because the FSB profited from widespread Democratic Party cyber-negligence?! John Podesta’s password was “password.” This, when Candidate Hillary Clinton escaped indictment over a narrow thesaurus-parse of the difference between “negligence” and “extreme carelessness?” An unbiased observer (the half-dozen of us left) can only marvel at the chutzpah.

Recall, The Chinese hacked our Federal employee data base, and then-President Obama did nothing but emit a deafening yawn. Now, it seems like if the Democrats are “cheated” of the Presidency, new confrontation with Russia, and hearings oriented towards restraining internet freedom of expression, suddenly become imperative. Are Americans expected to be concerned with Russian espionage as it pertains to Trump’s malice, but not Clinton’s negligence?

Recall, our relations with Russia are of planetary-wide consequence in that we can, and were once close to, destroying our planet. An incoming President should be talking to them, and detente with Russia has been a school of thought with bi-partisan adherents, pursued to varying degrees of success for three quarters of a century. This approach to Russia has a rich tradition in the Democratic Party’s school of thought. Their departure from a detente posture is, to say the least, atypical. Remember then-Secretary of State’s HRC reset button? President Obama himself was caught on a hot mike intimating that he would have a freer hand in bargaining with Russia after his re-election. This is not a bad thing. A great many Americans want this peace.This author approves of peace with Russia.

But, also recall: to grab the prize of the Presidency, candidates with their ambitions have betrayed the interests of the nation to escalation, and war before.

The ink murk extends to every publicly available resource available for due diligence on this scandal. Here is an article from Brett Stephens of the New York Times on why accusations of conflicts of interests with the Special Prosecutor are unfair. But here are two articles that compellingly claim the opposite. Again, be patient, cut with logic, let the ink dissipate.

To this author’s eye, this investigation must be on the level, but it is even more crucial that it be seen to be on the level. Otherwise, it is just both parties accusing each other of being poo-flinging monkeys, the same as what the nation went through with the straight-down-party-lines Clinton impeachment fiasco. At this juncture, it must reasonably be said that this perception of legitimacy is getting stained in the ink clouds.

If this Russian election interference issue is a big fizzle the Democrats would have played a dangerous game poorly. The mainstream media (whatever that means nowadays) will be further discredited as party-beholden hacks. The Democrats will look like they lost an election by trying to stuff a poor candidate down the nation’s throat, resorting to crookedness to do it (which will radiate damage to their party for years) are sore losers, and want to take it out on Russia.

The Democratic Party’s cyber-security breakdowns were their own fault, and nobody else’s. They cannot, in the future, successfully ask for power by running on a platform of rejecting responsibility.

Eugene Darden Nicholas

About Eugene Darden Nicholas

Eugene Darden (Ed) Nicholas is from Flushing Queens, where he grew up sheltered from the hard world, learning the true things after graduating college and becoming a paramedic in Harlem. School continues to inform and entertain in all its true, Shakespearean glory. It's a lot of fun, really. In that career, dozens of people walk the earth now who would not be otherwise. (The number depends on how literally or figuratively you choose to add). He added a beloved wife to his little family, which is healthy. He is also well blessed in friends and colleagues.


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