We May Be Blaming the Wrong Guy

We're all stuck in a maze and none of us have any idea which door gets us out. But, two things are certain. The guy who might have kept us out of this jungle didn't. The other guy likes it just where we are.

It's worth remembering that all of us knew nearly a year ago that something fishy was going on. The 2016 election stunk from the beginning. You will recall that Donald Trump raising suspicions about election rigging began long ago. Politifact reported on April 20, 2016 either Trump or his then campaign manager Corey Lewandowski were stating "As Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has led the delegate chase, he has complained that the "corrupt and crooked" elections have been "rigged" against him." Politifact went on to fact-check three claims by Trump or Lewandowski related to delegate selection or the primary voting system.

To briefly recap, the objects of their complaints were the Florida primary, the election in which Trump soundly defeated Sen. Marco Rubio, causing Rubio to suspend his campaign; the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida manipulated the delegate appointments; and April 11 after Sen. Ted Cruz swept all 34 delegates at the Colorado Republican convention, the Republican party's state caucus system was "rigged" and "crooked."

Politifact rated all three claims "false." Yet, the die was cast. Most non-partial observers of these claims would have recognized them for what they were, political hijinks to lead people to question their own belief in the American electoral process. It was a set up, plain as day, somewhere down the road for Trump to claim he had been robbed, assuming he was the loser. Because, this guy just never would admit to defeat.

Subsequently, exactly two months later, revelations about possible collusion between Trump, his campaign, and Russia emerged. News emerged the entire month of  June, 2016 right before our eyes. The timeline for the months of June/July 2016 published in Business Insider is below:

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As crucial as these revelations seem to be, and as critical as the details have become regarding investigation into Russian intervention in the 2016 election, why was the election allowed to proceed unimpeded with the only public acknowledgment of investigations touching on the potential outcome of the election the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails? I know that's a mouthful, but come on. On December 2, 2014 the House Benghazi Committee had asked Clinton for all her Benghazi related emails from her private email server. The public revelation of Clinton's email communication on her private server as secretary of state was first revealed in a New York Times front page story on March 2, 2015. Two days later, the committee issued two subpoenas to her to turn over all emails related to the Benghazi attack, and all documents requested in November 2014, but still not received.

Two years later, ten days before the critical national election, the Clinton investigation reemerged as a major story, as we all know. Yet, though the on-going counter-intelligence investigation into Trump-Moscow links began in July 2016, FBI Director Comey did not confirm the investigation until his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on March 20, 2017.

So, blame this all you want on Comey. And whether it's right or wrong for the president to fire the director in the midst of an ongoing investigation into his campaign's, or specifically his, involvement in meddling with a foreign government in an American election, I have one question: Where was President Obama? This very story was addressed by Politico April 3, 2017. You can read that story yourself, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/04/obama-russia-hacking-trump-214976, and briefly, here's my take.

First, nobody ever took Trump's candidacy seriously. Not when it was announced, not during the debates, not during the primaries, not after the convention, and hardly any of us could believe it when it became reality on election night. It's possible the Obama administration decided it would be wrong to get involved because it would be seen, not an unbelievable assertion, as political motivation and something the Trump campaign would harp on endlessly at whatever time they needed to fall back on it. And, if in fact, Trump was not going to win, why give him an excuse, he being an "unqualified candidate"?

The other plausible reason is that the Democrats always choose to take the high road, and to get into the fray of casting aspersion on the American electoral process is nearly a taboo subject. On Tuesday, October 25, 2016, on the United States Department of Justice official website, the Office of Public Affairs, for Immediate Release, published a notice with the following headline: "Justice Department Releases Information on Election Day Efforts to Protect the Right to Vote and Prosecute Ballot Fraud." Making certain the American public had confidence in the integrity of the election was the highest priority.

The bottom line is that, at least on the face, neither President Obama, his administration, the Democratic Party, nor the Justice Department, which could have been directed by the president to handle the Russian-Trump suspicions any which way, took any extraordinary measure to insulate the American public from intervention by a foreign government into its national election. Now, contrast that with the actions of Trump in firing Comey yesterday, the refusal to date of the Republican leadership to acknowledge a potential conflict of any kind, to press the president to release his tax returns to assure there is no quid pro quo, and any number of questionable and egregious actions by this president the Republican party dismisses for political advantage. It doesn't take much imagination to understand why they are so incredulous over the criticism and complaining of the Comey firing. "After all," they ask, "if we can pull this kind of stuff, why the heck didn't you?"

Finally, half the country is hoping this guy has shot himself in the foot and is waiting for the other shoe to drop on the revelation of involvement with the Russians so tight that it's grounds for impeachment. Here's my fear. The guy always thinks he's the smartest guy in the room. He thinks he knows more than the generals. Guys like that never hire anyone they think is more competent or intelligent than themselves. And just look at who he has hired for proof. Hardly any of these people are geniuses. Most have shown nothing but being bungling idiots. And, quite possibly, if there was any collusion or treason, it was one of these nincompoops, and not the nincompoop in charge.

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Filed under: America, Politics

Tags: Comey, Obama, Russia, Trump

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    Moke

    Born in Chicago on the South Side, grew up and wound up raising our three daughters on the North Shore, moved to remote Northern California for ten years, and returned to the South Loop in 2014. Apparently, I didn't get very far. Still own a packaging business that specializes in manufacturing board games; the company is more than eighty years old, founded by my grandfather in Chicago. But, I got my BA in Journalism and somehow was able to utilize that in hosting a Beatles radio show on a small market radio station in Eureka, CA for 12 years. I never switched my allegiance from Chicago sports teams, and don't think poorly of me for being a fan of both baseball teams (they are both from our town, People!!). Love the Hawks, was a season ticket holder during all the MJ years, and (gulp) pull for the Bears. I love our city's restaurants, all the great cultural opportunities, being outside, and going to the wonderful museums. I'm very proud of this city, and am absolutely thrilled to be living downtown in the city I call home. Oh, and I am pretty opinionated about news and politics. I hope you don't mind.

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