Partisans in Nonpartisan Clothing: The Media and Trump

By | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 May 20, 2017|
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Conservative columnist Victor Lasky opened his excellent 1977 book, “It Didn’t Start With Watergate,” by observing

Watergate can be considered a media event. For without its demonstrated hostility to Nixon particularly, and right-of-center Republicans generally, Watergate would not have been blown up into hysterical proportions. The fact is that Democratic scandals of comparable, if not greater, significance were permitted to glide by without any of the overwhelming and unrelenting attention later paid Watergate by a press which, in its lust for machismo, sought to disembowel a hated President. At the very same time every effort was made to redress the American political balance leftward, after its rightist drift. The aim of these partisans in nonpartisan clothing was retroactively to ‘win’ the 1972 election, And, for the most part, they succeeded.

It’s 40 years after Lasky wrote his excellent book (and 20 years since Lasky’s death), and his words ring as true today in 2017 as they did in 1977. Listening to the talking heads and Never Trumpers throughout media and government, one can easily exchange “Trump” with “Nixon,” and one would endure the exact same unhinged rhetoric and undue level of hysteria. In fact, unlike Nixon’s Watergate caper, there is no comparable event painting Trump as a corrupt leader.

In the constant, breathless “news coverage” of the overblown Trump “scandal,” I keep hearing those timeless lyrics from “Won’t Get Fooled Again”: “Meet the new boss, the same as the old boss.” The boss here is the Leftist-controlled media.

Of course, some things have changed—for the worse. At least with Watergate there was a modicum of evidence: Nixon loyalists did burglarize and bug the Democratic National Committee’s offices in the Watergate building. There was eyewitness testimony along with evidence from the men arrested after the break-in. In other words, there was some there there. But rather than diminishing the absurd claims of the “partisans in nonpartisan clothing” who populate the legacy media, the lack of evidence in the Trump “scandal” is only intensifying their claims against the president.

Unlike as in Watergate, the media’s claims against Trump—that he and senior members of his campaign colluded with Russia to rig the 2016 election—are mostly unsubstantiated. The only thing that we have are the cultural dissimilarities between President Trump and his political adversaries (both on the Left and Right), as well as the personal (and ideological) animus that the Democratic Party (and their shills in the legacy media) have toward the president. And while it is fair to point out how Trump encouraged some of the antipathy toward him during his raucous campaign, the fact remains that the Left would have had nearly the same, unhinged, reaction that they’re having now to any Republican victory in 2016. Had Jeb Bush or Ted Cruz won the presidency, the media and the Left would have agitated against them as harshly as they have against Trump. After all, had any Republican won in 2016, all that would have mattered to the Left is that Hillary Clinton (and therefore the DNC) would have lost what they assumed was their right to power.

Trump fired the quixotic FBI Director James Comey. This prompted the media’s latest witch hunt against Trump. Following Comey’s dismissal, an unknown source made unsubstantiated claims to a New York Times reporter, about an unseen memo that Comey reportedly wrote concerning a meeting in which Trump supposedly stated, “I hope you can let this [Flynn investigation] go” (after Flynn was fired by Trump). This, coupled with the ceaseless barrage of actual lies in the press about supposedly nefarious interactions between President Trump and the Russians, all led to the naming of a special counsel.

As I noted previously, some of the strongest calls for a special prosecutor came not from the Democrats (who were doing everything they could to destroy the Trump presidency already) but rather from the spineless Republicans in Congress. They came from the very same kinds of Republicans whom Lasky castigated in his book.

What’s more, the naming of former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III was entirely the result of the Establishment sticking it to the president. While I will be the first one to stand up and applaud Mueller’s dedicated service to the country, one cannot deny the fact that both he and Comey share a very long, incestuous, professional history. It was during Comey’s torturous (for the country) time as deputy attorney general in the George W. Bush Administration that the warrantless wiretapping program became a major controversy.

Because Comey temporarily took the reins of the Department of Justice when his boss, Bush loyalist, John Ashcroft, was hospitalized due to a bout of Pancreatitis, the entire Bush Administration’s domestic counterterrorism program was called into question. While I certainly had reservations about the efficacy and constitutionality of the program, the fact remained that it was not Comey’s place as a temporary steward of his department to fundamentally upend administration policy.

Aiding and abetting Comey in this rogue behavior was none other than Robert Mueller. So when people like Kevin McCarthy or even Ron DeSantis on the Hill applaud Mueller’s appointment (after all, they reason, like Comey, he is a Republican!), we should at the very least have some trepidation.

In fact, Comey testified to Congress in 2007 that he physically intervened in President Bush’s attempt to force John Ashcroft to sign off on the warrantless wiretapping. Comey had physically interposed himself between the ailing John Ashcroft and former Bush Chief of Staff Andrew Card and White House Chief Legal Counsel Alberto Gonzales, and refused to allow Ashcroft to sign the order to renew the domestic surveillance program. Comey acted not only against the president, but also against his boss, the attorney general. During his testimony, Comey described how his longtime friend Mueller deployed FBI agents to the hospital room with orders that the agents “not allow [Comey] to be removed from the room under any circumstances.”

The battle underway inside the Beltway today is not just for the soul of the Republican Party but for the very soul of the republic. This is a fight between the entrenched, oligarchic interests of what the great Angelo Codevilla calls the “Ruling Class,” and the “Country Class.”

Remember: the swamp creatures always stick together.

The battle underway inside the Beltway today is not just for the soul of the Republican Party but for the very soul of the republic. This is a fight between the entrenched, oligarchic interests of what the great Angelo Codevilla calls the “Ruling Class,” and the “Country Class.” It is a cultural, cold civil war (as Codevilla puts it). Much like Watergate, today’s media-produced non-scandal against Trump is a retroactive campaign being waged by the Left—as publicly championed by the “Mainstream Media”—to undo the unpleasant election results of 2016.

The real threat to America’s democracy is not the at-times boorish behavior of Donald Trump who, for all of his foibles, has already begun making America’s economy and foreign policy great again. But rather, it is those “partisans in nonpartisan clothing” in the media who threaten the republic. Sadly, short of revoking some of the media’s broadcasting licenses and smothering them in civil action, I cannot think of any way the president could effectively resist what amounts to a media-induced coup attempt.

Therefore, the only recourse the president has is to maintain his innocence and push forward as best he can in implementing his agenda. After all, the only thing that will beget success for the president is more legislative victories. And, there are plenty to be had. Concluding the healthcare reform process, cutting taxes, and possibly even introducing an infrastructure bill are all pivotal points that the President will need going into 2018 and, more importantly, 2020. These will be stopgaps to prevent the Left from totally subsuming the Trump Administration in a cauldron of conspiracy.

Just as Lasky gloomily concluded in 1977: the media is, for the most part, succeeding in their fight against the will of the American people. The “Ruling Class” is yet again crushing the “Country Class” in the cold civil war. Will We, the People, let the Ruling Class win?

 

About the Author:

Brandon J. Weichert
Brandon J. Weichert is a contributing editor to American Greatness. A former Republican Congressional staffer and national security expert, he also runs The Weichert Report, www.theweichertreport.com, an online journal of geopolitics. He holds Master's degree in Statecraft & National Security from the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C. He is also an Associate Member of New College at Oxford University and holds a B.A. in Political Science from DePaul University. He is currently completing a book on national security space policy due out next year.
  • Peter63

    All that Mr Weichert writes here is so very true.
    Two questions come to my mind, perhaps naïve and insufficiently informed questions. [1] If the AMERICAN PEOPLE primary the useless spineless self-serving GOP members of the Congress (= most of them) and start replacing them with true patriots, will that not give the President a huge amount of help in getting his agenda achieved?
    [2] Where is Wall Street, the Chamber of Commerce – and indeed the billionaire class – in all of this brouhaha? President Trump offers to stop the USA having, not least corporately, an absurdly high tax regime which is what it suffers from at present. This of itself would bring back many billions of investment into the country which currently is parked offshore to avoid the punitive taxes. It would mean vast multitudes of new real jobs and also mean the rich becoming much richer. Don’t they want that money? (Does not MUCH usually desire MORE?) Since the above-mentioned financial interests own most of the Congress (both sides of the aisle) and most of the Mainstream Media, why are not Goldman Sachs, the big banks, the leading players in the business-world, the Warren Buffets &c &c, all telling their stooges to shut it and give this president no more grief?

    • Ruckus_Tom

      Regarding [2] … Build the wall is the opposite of what Wall Street and the Chamber of Commerce wants. It stops the importation of low wage illegal and legal aliens. Salaries are the highest expense companies and small businesses have.

  • My list of suggestions:
    1) Use anti-trust laws to break up the media conglomerates and use New Deal and Fair Deal precedents of Presidential power taking on big business in favor of the common man.
    2) Stop talking to the media conglomerates, disinvite the hostile media from all White House events just as you would not invite anti-Trump protestors to a White House briefing
    3) Continue being Trump: the President has actually been very successful fighting the media – let’s not forget that he beat the media in the 2016 election.

    ps: The term “the media” should be understood to mean the organized political opposition pretending to be Journalists.

  • Panope Vreeland

    The article is naive in one point. Saying this all would be happening to *any* Republican that might have been elected is wrong. Trump is the *only* Republican that threatens to expose the pedophile culture in D.C., along with the extortion and corruption of that culture. This is why there has been this hysterical freakout since the late summer of ’15. The mainstream media has been silent on the massive roundup of pedophiles across the country Trump’s justice dept. has been engaged in from day one of his presidency. Nevertrumpers and the Washington establishment in general are scared and freaking out. They want to kill him, but short of that they want him ousted. Good luck. And good luck surviving the aftermath of such an act.

    • frankstclair

      Please refer me to more information.

  • MumuBobby

    There’s an old Dick Cavett episode that shows up on an ‘oldies’ channel from time to time that has a youthful Howard Baker on. Cavett and his audience (judging from what now seems wildly inappropriate laughter) mocked Baker’s claims that he was going after Nixon fairly. Cavett gave no quarter in challenging Baker’s claims, even though later we found out that Baker’s version was largely how it played out.

    The media would know this but they’re busy building glorious prog roads to a future of leaders with 100% approval and astonishing ‘beginner’s luck’ in golf.

  • Arrest-George_Soros

    “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”

    H.L. Mencken, Prejudices: First Series

    Are we there, yet?

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  • jack dobson

    While you touch on it, this is considerably more sinister than Watergate, which did have some basis. This is nothing short of a coup d’état. The federal government almost has been rendered illegitimate already.

    Mueller has one job: to protect Obama, Clinton, the ruling class and the Keystone Gestapo he once headed. If there were anything to the man, he would have refused to participate in this treasonous charade. As you noted, Mueller has a gaping conflict of interest, and despite all the hosannas from the corrupt administrative state, his history is troubled although not as disgraceful as Comey’s.

    If the propaganda organs and Deep State think they can overturn this election under a fraudulent patina of law and not produce massive bloodshed, they are as delusional as they are insular. Someone had better get a grip.

    • Nuther G. Mule

      Agree this is nothing short of a coup d’etat. The Left has Watergate to bolster their confidence that a coup is possible. They will not let up. Even if Pence steps in, the long game will be to discredit him and any non-leftist that comes after inpertuity.

      • jack dobson

        If this coup works or comes close, and arguably it has in the policy sense already (Russia, DACA), expect the use of brute force to become a regular feature in the United States for the rest of its days. The question will be whether the republic survives this first one, which would be unlikely.

  • Derek Pandamonium

    The dems will continue to be dems, but it will be the backstabbers in the repub establishment who will impeach President Trump. We’re in the midst of a second Civil war, with the same cast of characters and many of the same causes. Back then the dems and the whigs made up the unibrow party. They put their own interests ahead of the Country. Today, we see the same dynamic. The demarcation back then was North/South, today it’s Red county/Blue county with the D.C. swamp in the blue column. Back then the abolitionists were the precursor to the party of Lincoln. Today it was the Tea party that was the forerunner of the party of Trump. Today it’s the globalist against the American firsters. The globalist want to eliminate nation states. They’re not interested in putting America first or making her great again. It’s more profitable for the plutocracy to redistribute our wealth to other countries while they take their cut. The GOPe wants to Delay, Obstruct, and Sabotage Trump’s MAGA agenda. Ryan and McConnell are leading the opposition inside the government. We can only hope Trump prevails.

  • allangen

    As I read this excellent article, which, for the most part, is right on the money, I had a slightly different take on one thing. While the media would have been hostile to any Republican (“Bush lied, people died”) Trump represents an existential threat to the left and the Republican establishment that other candidates did not.

    We’ve heard talk for decades about smaller government, less spending and more personal freedom coming from Republicans who get elected and then govern like big spending, big government democrats. Trump signals that he wants to reduce the size, staff, and budgets of Federal agencies, and is actually for the first time in my life, trying to do just that. I could give countless other examples: drill baby drill, increase military spending, devolve more power back to the states, school choice, for each new regulation you must eliminate two etc. and I could still go on.

    This is not lost on the media and they are literally insane and in a mad frenzy to remove legitimacy from and overthrow Trump. It is indeed a coup attempt and it is both treacherous and treasonous. If we can’t stand up effectively to this the left and the vile media will have claimed another scalp. We should, at the very least, judge our friends by their willingness to take on and attack the legitimacy and credibility of the media.