Paul Waldman, The latest filings show that nobody can save Trump now
Sean Illing Interviews Craig Under, Trump’s ties to the Russian mafia go back 3 decades
The interviewer asks the muckraker a number of pointed questions. And, as far as I can tell, gets some pretty good answers.
David Atkins, It’s Not Looking Good for Individual-1
Friday, December 6th will mark the day that Donald Trump, aka “Individual-1,” was officially implicated as a criminal felon by American law enforcement. …
[M]uch as the entire GOP and the conservative media establishment have been preparing to brazen out the Mueller report, excuse away Trump’s crimes and call it all a witch hunt, one gets the sense that even they may have a breaking point. It’s one thing to visualize ignoring a festering pile of garbage next to you and just soldiering on regardless, but it’s another thing to actually do it when the stench comes wafting in. There have been signs, for instance, that Fox News may be cagily stepping back from Trump so as not to get sucked into the vortex with him.
Aardvark’s Morning Thoughts
Well, yes, there is the stench. And the stench factor—if you will, the aesthetic factor—is relevant and material.
But let’s put this in its larger context. The midterms demonstrate that Trump continues to do a wonderful job separating his hard core cultish base from everybody else, including the minority of remaining self-identified Republicans who are the cult’s erstwhile fellow travelers, not its core members.
That midterm numbers show that process is well under way, but it has some ways to go yet. Indictments will push it along.
When the point comes where there are only enough cultists to get you elected in the remoter parts of Montana or Mississippi, the empty-suited politicians’ calculus of interest will change.
And speaking of the calculus of interest, let’s look at a person like William P. Barr, our once, and perhaps future, attorney general. Folks who have successfully navigated the heights of the corporate and legal world understand that their main job is to assess the odds correctly, and to play the odds shrewdly.
It is very safe to assume that William P. Barr, Esquire, and his ilk know many things. And one of the things that will be foremost in his mind is the 19-month stretch in the hoosegow by his predecessor John Mitchell. The charges were conspiracy, perjury, and obstruction of justice.
Right now, Barr has a really nice office at Kirkland & Ellis. He won’t have any wish to spend time in his predecessor’s cell.
The place where John Mitchell spent his 19 months was pretty comfortable, given that it was a prison. But it was still the hoosegaw.
A bottom feeder like Matthew Whitaker, the acting attorney general, might possibly have some difficulty figuring out that his number one job is to protect his own rear end. Barr will have no such problem. He won’t go down with the ship. Or, to be more precise—since he’s the type of person who plays the odds—he won’t act in such a way as to place himself in significant jeopardy of going down with the ship.
If Barr has to choose between himself and Trump, then I’m pretty sure the choice will be Barr over Trump. At least that’s how I would play the odds.