Bricks, Fortresses, and Jigsaw Puzzles


Metaphors, Metaphors

I have recently spoken of the emerging case against Trump, referencing metaphorical puzzle pieces and building a case brick by symbolic brick.

Today, two interesting articles employ the metaphor of Mueller laying siege to Castle Trump:

Greg Sargent, Trump’s fortress of corruption is cracking. Here are the latest signs.

Mikhaila Fogel and Benjamin Wittes, Mueller Is Laying Siege to the Trump Presidency

The latter of the two, by the way, is more cautious than its headline would suggest. It allows as how, no matter how compelling the legal case, it will be politics, not law, that brings the castle walls down—if in fact, at the end of the day, they do come down at all.

When a Useful Idiot’s Idiocy Far Exceeds His Continued Utility

I think that is right. And I think it’s a little more complex, even, than Fogel and Wittes lay out.

As the siege progresses, Trump is not a steady defender of the castle, but instead becomes more unhinged by the day.

His increasing incoherence means that someone once seen as a useful idiot has lost most of his utility, and, from our plutocratic rulers’ perspective, the situation is getting worse and worse. (See, for example, my post on J.P. Morgan, Enemy of the People.)

No Sport for Dullards

Let me speak plainly. As legal cases go, the emerging legal case against Donald J. Trump is very complex. Not as complex as the come, but still, no sport for dullards.

And how do you build a legal case? You take a bunch of facts. And “facts,” by the way, means, chiefly, relevant documents and relevant witness testimony. You put these facts in a time line. You put the first thing that happened first, the second thing that happened second … the fifty-second thing that happened fifty-second, and so forth. As you discover more documents and learn of more testimony, you find that something important happened between original fact number 52 and original fact number 53. So you fill in your new information, putting it in its proper place in the timeline. (Thank heaven for word processing.)

And on you go. Your timeline gets more and more complete. The picture becomes clearer and clearer. And, as time goes on, because the picture has become clearer and clearer, it becomes increasingly difficult for someone to pull the wool over your eyes.

But some gaps will always remain, and some facts just won’t fit together. Because that’s just how it is: life has an irreducible element of surrealism.

So there will always be some opportunity to confuse the picture. But it just gets harder and harder willfully to confuse people, as more and more facts get filled in.

I have seen this movie—many, many times. I think that, in respect of what is now publicly known, as distinguished from what Mr. Mueller may know, we are about halfway toward completion of the timeline.

Let us be Patient

The day will come when several things happen, at about the same time:

  • most of the facts on the legal timeline will have been filled in,
  • the fat cats decided they have bloody well had enough, and
  • the Rational Remnant of the Republican erstwhile base waves its final goodbye to Donald J. Trump.

The empty-suited senators and congressmen will be the last to get the memo, and some of them will never get it. But some will.

And then it will be time for Trump to get on the plane.