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There They Go Again



The Wall Street Journal, I mean. There’s a direct relationship between the amount of trouble this Trump regime is in, and the distortions and outright untruths expressed in the Journal’s op-ed pages.

The worse things get for this president, the more the Journal circles the wagons, hurls baseless charges, denies obvious facts, and attempts to rile the base—a base, ironically, that probably doesn’t even read the Wall Street Journal, because they get their “news,” such as it is, from Info Wars and the Journal-owning Murdoch family’s “news” station, Fox.

Consider, for example, a couple opinion pieces from this weekend’s paper, both following the disastrous Kavanaugh hearing. Here’s one from the Trump apologist Kimberley Strassel, who has enabled Trump from the beginning by denying his awful behavior and, when that’s impossible because the facts proving it are incontrovertible, smears any Democrat she can find.

Strassel’s task over the weekend was to do her part to clean up the huge mess left by Kavanaugh’s ranting, bug-eyed testimony. That mess was, of course, twofold: not only Dr. Ford’s credible charge of attempted sexual rape, but Kavanaugh’s hysterical meltdown (the Clintons! Left-wing conspiracy!) that embarrassed and shocked the nation and demonstrated a complete absence of judicial temperament. This would seem a near-impossible task, but Strassel is always up to the challenge of calling the kettle black.

So full of deceptions is Strassel’s smear that one hardly knows where to begin. Dr. Ford is “unable to marshal any evidence for her claim of sexual assault.” Really? What about Kavanaugh’s own calendar that confirms the very men Dr. Ford said were at the house party indeed were there, and drinking “skis”—beer–at the time when Dr. Ford said the incident occurred? And how about waiting until the FBI investigation is complete before deciding whether there’s any “evidence”? No, Strassel, like the other rightwing extremists, has made up her mind, and evidence be damned. (Besides, as long as we’re talking about being “unable to marshal any evidence,” Strassel agreed with Trump for years that Obama was not a U.S. citizen, and she has yet to apologize and confess that she was utterly, shamefully wrong.)

Then Strassel wanders from the ridiculous into the senile. “To vote against Judge Kavanaugh is to reject his certain, clear and unequivocal denial that this event ever happened.” There’s Breaking News for you! A perp who’s accused of a felony denies that it ever happened! Who knew? Someone should inform Kimberley that every hour of every day, in every police station and courtroom in the country, criminals swear with “certain, clear denials” that the crime never occurred and that, if it did, they had nothing to do with it!

Well, I could go on and on. Really, one would at least want to think that Strassel has some intellectual capacity despite her politically extremist partisanship, but the vapidity of her arguments suggests otherwise. And now, it’s time to go to op-ed #2 over the weekend, this one from Strassel’s male counterpart, a gentleman named Daniel Henninger, who was raised as a house pet by the Murdoch family and has devotedly licked the hands that feed him since the 1980s.

Henninger’s hit piece is no less contrived than Strassel’s. Attempting to play the Oracle, he warns that a Kavanaugh defeat “will divide the country for a generation.” Absorb that, dear Reader. Prior to the Kavanaugh debacle (if we’re to believe Henninger), America was united, its citizens in broad political agreement, under the benign guidance of the beloved 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.


I have news for Henninger. The country is already divided, probably for more than a generation, and while the root causes of that division extend back for decades, it’s clear that the current hostilities were exacerbated by the divisiveness and strident imbecilities of Henninger’s president, Trump.

But wait, there’s more. Henninger’s funniest line is his statement that, if Kavanaugh goes down due to a Democratic plot, the long term consequence is that “Belief is sufficient. Nothing else matters.”

So stupifyingly incoherent is this statement that I had to Google “Trump’s lies” to find the latest number of demonstrable falsehoods he’s uttered: at least 3,000, and that was last May; since then, the number obviously has grown. Talk about belief being sufficient! When the history of this administration is written, Trump’s lies will remain as the most salient mementoes of his regime, while the credibility of his supporters—who still believe he had the largest Inauguration crowd in history, who still believe Donald would never molest a woman—will be shocking to the more reasoned minds of the future. “Belief is sufficient,” Mr. Henninger? Yes, for Trump, for his acolytes and for you, all of whom deny facts and claim that anything critical about this president is “fake news.”

But Henninger saves his most preposterous joke to slam Senate Democrats, whom he charges with—wait for this—their “Just win, baby” aggressiveness. Republicans don’t want to “just win, baby,” do they? When McConnell killed Merrick Garland’s nomination, it wasn’t in the Republican spirit of “Just win, baby.” When Trump asks the Russians for dirt on Hillary, it wasn’t in the Republican spirit of “Just win, baby.”  When Trump obstructs justice and tries to get rid of Sessions, of Mueller, of Rosenstein, it’s not in the Republican spirit of “Just win, baby.” When McConnell and Grassley try to steamroll through the Kavanaugh nomination and muzzle Dr. Ford, it’s not in the Republican spirit of “Just win, baby.”  No, of course not. But when beleaguered Democrats fight back again the lies and attacks, it’s an unreasonable “Just win, baby.”

And here he is, Mr. Judicial Temperament, the Trump operative himself:

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