:04 left to go on the clock. The ball on their own 42 yard line. 5 Wide receivers. The quarterback takes the snap, fades back, steps up into the pocket, hurls the ball downfield, and…..INTERCEPTED! Game Over!
Full disclosure. I haven’t had a chance to actually read the entire memo yet, haven’t been able to find it. But from what snippets I’ve heard discussed so far on CNN and MSNBC, it’s starting to sound like, to borrow a phrase from Reince Priebus, “A big nothingburger.” There already appear to be several problems with the contents, and at least two problems with Trump himself.
For starters, the memo doesn’t quite seem to know what it wants to say. It hacks away at James Comey (fired), Sally Yates (fired), and Rod Rosenstein. It implies that they acted improperly in obtaining the warrant, but doesn’t appear to document any actual misconduct. It claims that the FBI improperly targeted Carter Page based on the Steele dossier in October of 2015, not noting that the investigation started back in July of 2016, and ignores the fact that Page was already on the FBI’s radar as far back as 2013 for his interactions with Russian agents, and in fact was interviewed by the FBI at that time, and admitted his sins. It also omits that Page traveled to Moscow in December of 2016 to give a pro Putin, anti US sanctions speech. It faults the FISA court for issuing the warrant, and renewing it, but doesn’t actually accuse the court of any impropriety. The whole thing seems to have been written for the National Inquirer, heavy on winks and innuendo, but disregarding facts and common sense. The main crux is that the FISA warrant did not disclose an assumed but unproven bias of Christopher Steele because the Clinton forces were paying him, but neglects to mention the multitude of other sources and information that would have been necessary to obtain the warrant.
And while the release of this memo may give Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh nocturnal emissions for weeks to come, in the reality based world, the Trump cabal has already lost the messaging war on this one. The Democrats piled on early, slamming the Nunes memo as a blivet of lies, and demanding that their own memo, three times as long as the Nunes memo be re;eased simultaneously, to provide balance and context, something Nunes and the GOP blocked. Anybody with kids knows that telling a child to not look in the closet will automatically mean that the door will be gaping, and the clothes on the floor in thirty seconds. Public transparency my ass, anybody who doesn’t breathe Cluster FOX air is going to spend more time wondering what’s in the forbidden Democratic memo than paying any attention to what’s in the Nunes memo, and why we can’t see it. There is nothing more tempting than the forbidden fruit. And if Trump refuses to release the Democratic memo next week, “transparency” goes out the window for anybody who doesn’t have a shrine to Roger Ailes on their bedroom dresser, he’s denying the public right to pertinent information.
Then there are the problems that Trump himself creates. When asked about the release of the memo today, Trump said that some people in the FBI should “be ashamed.” That’s rich, since if you look up the word shame in the dictionary, the definition is Trump’s picture. Trump has to be the only man in history who pays a porn star to keep her mouth closed! When it comes to the subject of shame, Trump is the original poster boy for “glass houses.” But beyond that, there is the larger issue of Trump’s insistence of referring to every issue in over the top hyperbole. There is no simple good or bad with Trump, everything is either the “greatest of all time,” or the “worst thing in history.” Trumpaholics may believe that every word he says is a new gospel book in the bible, but everydoby automatically dumbs down their expectations of what he’s talking about due to his past history. The original “boy who cried wolf” if you will.
So, as Walter Cronkite used to say, “That’s the way it is.” The memo has been out for almost two hours now, and the world is still spinning on it’s axis, and no civil defense sirens are blaring out a warning about an impending meteor strike to the earth. But what happens next week, when Trump struggles with the decision as to whether or not to release the Democrat memo that both Nunes and Paul Ryan have said should be released could well be even more newsworthy. Don’t touch that dial.