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Sunday, March 12, 2017

The ragged few still clinging to reality

by digby

I'm not one to give Bush administration officials credit since they were among those who laid the groundwork for Trumpism, but I do think it's important to note when some of them are still living in reality, which isn't saying much for most Republicans:

MICHAEL GERSON: I think there are lots of ties that are being discovered between the Trump inner circle and Russia.

And, in fact, the attorney general had to recuse himself because of unreported contact. And we have learned that Flynn, the former national security adviser, was doing work on behalf of individuals associated with the Turkish government.

So, you’re creating the impression of a foreign policy bought and sold by dictators. This is quite serious. This is an unfolding, ongoing ethics disaster at the highest levels, I think we’re seeing.

JUDY WOODRUFF: But, again — Mark.

MARK SHIELDS: Just one thing I want to point out, Judy.

At the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the world stood at the brink, Soviets and America, over the Cuban missiles in Cuba, President Kennedy sent Dean Acheson, a former secretary of state, to see General Charles de Gaulle to tell him exactly, brief him personally, as the president’s emissary, on what was going on.

At the end of that talk, he said to General de Gaulle, I have been authorized by the president to show you the photographic evidence we have, and for your eyes only. And General de Gaulle said, no, no, no, that’s not necessary. All I need is the word of the president of the United States.

There comes a time in every administration when you need the president to be credible, the president to have the trust and confidence of leaders around the world in a time of crisis.

And I can see no reason that anybody would ever say this about Donald Trump: All I need is the word of the president of the United States.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Michael, how does this administration get beyond this? Are we looking now at something that is just going to go on for months and months, if not years?

MICHAEL GERSON: Well, I think we’re seeing that self-investigation through the attorney general is not going to be useful in this case.

Someone is going to have to have a real inquiry here. You could do a select committee. You could do a special prosecutor. You do some other voice of authority here. The FBI doesn’t have a huge amount of credibility, particularly given what Comey did in the election, which may have helped Trump more than the Russians did.

I think the administration, whenever you hear the phrase “Sean Spicer says,” it makes the statement more incredible, not more credible.

And I think that we have a Congress that’s quite politicized on this set of issues. We’re going to need some type of independent voice to determine what’s happening in this case.

Gerson has a lot to answer for on Iraq. He helped make the propaganda case for it. But leaders have been lying their way into war since the advent of war. Trump and his people aren't just liars, they're attacking the very notion that there's such a thing as truth. You could see it coming during he Bush years, but this is a whole new level.

Gerson is right about the need for a special prosecutor. Even those who believe that there was no collusion and that Russia hasn't also been involving itself in Europe on behalf of right wing authoritarians all over Europe, you should want to take the investigation out of the partisan atmosphere as much as possible. Sadly, I think most Republicans are all too happy to see their ignorant madman of a president get away with mammoth corruption and a nationalist crackdown, as well as the almost certainty of war, as long as they get their pet policies. Indeed, those ARE their pet policies.