In his recent testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz showed himself to be a smooth operator. He executed a con with skill and supreme confidence, certain the punditocracy would fall for the con—which they did.
If you spotted the con, give yourself a win. You, too, can have confidence—confidence in your ability not to be taken in by Horowitz or any of the deep state’s other masters of illusion.
If you failed to spot the con, don’t be discouraged. Study his performance carefully because you can be certain some other deep state swamp-dweller like Horowitz will be trying this same con on you soon enough. Prepare yourself—and be ready for next time.
To get started, let’s turn to someone who did spot the con, Andrew McCarthy. Although we’ll be seeing him in a video, he is not just another talking head; he is the real deal. He provides a refreshing dose of common sense that stands out from the endlessly recycled sameness of what passes for the news.
In order for us to understand the con together, note especially McCarthy’s comments beginning at the 2:03 mark in the video linked here.
Do you understand the con now? Horowitz’s claim is that he cannot conclude that there was improper motivation because he did not find documentary or testimonial evidence in which the parties to the plot stated, “We are acting with improper motivation.” But then, of course, no one who is guilty of that ever says so openly.
To paraphrase McCarthy: Horowitz is saying, “it looks like a duck, it walks like a duck, it quacks like a duck, but we were unable to determine that it is a duck because we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that it is a duck.”
What Horowitz did was momentous. He dispensed with common sense. As McCarthy noted, he refused to draw “the common-sense inference” that “a common-sense jury” would reach when presented with such overwhelming evidence. Reaching, by means of common sense, a conclusion about the meaning of the evidence is the whole point of presenting evidence.
As McCarthy so correctly says, the standards Horowitz uses would mean that “no one would ever be convicted.”
And McCarthy’s reminder about how officialdom handles the question of what motivates Islamic terrorists helps us understand what Horowitz is doing. It is politically incorrect to admit that jihadis are committing jihad. Years of denying the obvious motivation of Islamic terrorists paved the way for Horowitz to deny the obvious motivation of the deep state coup plotters.
Perhaps the most useful aspect of the video—and the main reason I wanted you to watch it instead of simply reading my transcription of McCarthy’s words—is for you to register how shocked McCarthy is. Shock is the appropriate response to the enormity Horowitz committed.
Why “No Bias” Prevailed
And yet, you must admit, it worked like a charm. My local talk radio station has news, weather, and traffic on the hour and half-hour. Consequently, the news readers have been saying twice an hour for days now that Horowitz found no evidence of bias—when, of course, he actually found overwhelming evidence of bias, and simply declined to conclude that the evidence showed what it showed.
That message of “no bias” is all that reached the vast numbers of Americans who have better things to do than stay abreast of the goings-on in the swamp and only hear the news when they check on the weather or the traffic. But tragically Horowitz’s con also worked on those who make a real effort to understand what is happening there. It even worked on Michael Goodwin, and he is one of the good guys:
Although the probe found no direct evidence that anti-Trump bias was a factor, it did reveal that all the omissions, failures and mistakes worked against Trump, with even exculpatory evidence against Page intentionally withheld.
In fact, the probe found ample direct evidence of anti-Trump bias, but Horowitz’s smooth presentation worked on Goodwin, as it did on many others. Please understand that I take no pleasure in picking out Goodwin from the many. On the contrary. My point is that it even worked on someone of his distinction.
There are two points that need to be made about Horowitz’s con. First, it is part of the war on common sense that is going on all around us. Second, it marks a significant milestone in that war. There was a time not so long ago when even someone with Horowitz’s skill and aplomb would not have dared to try this con on the American public. Not so long ago, when common sense was still the coin of the realm in American discourse, Horowitz could not have gotten away with it.