As Mueller closes in, Trump Administration desperately plays to base with Civil War rhetoric
Mueller is causing a panic in the trump administration
The Trump Administration is in complete disarray, and we do not say that casually. Not since the Nixon Administration has a Republican President been caught up in a political scandal so massive that it threatens the stability of the White House.
What began as simple allegations by the Democratic Party grew into a national security crisis as several intelligence organizations came forward with private evidence that members of the Trump campaign had colluded with officials from Russia to gain dirt on the Clinton campaign, with campaign chairman Paul Manafort being the initial target of their probes. The investigation grew, gaining the unofficial name “Russiagate,” with enough pressure building up to the point where Congress hired a special counsel to look into the matter. Lead by former FBI director and Marine Captain Robert S. Mueller, the counsel began their work almost immediately, spending months doing a thorough analysis of everything involved in the case and interviewing numerous subjects.
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The President, to his credit, refrained from firing Mueller like Nixon did with Archibald Cox, though he had terminated then-FBI director James Comey for looking into the matter. Following Mueller’s takeover of the investigation, Trump employed several tactics at derailing the probe, including drawing a red line around his business activities and pardoning racist sheriff Joe Arpaio to indicate to anyone caught up in the investigation that he would forgive them of anything convicted. Mueller was too smart for any of those to work, first dismissing any imaginary threats by crossing the red line without fear, and then going after Trump’s associates with state crimes: things that cannot be pardoned by the sitting President.
Now, in less than a year, the Special Counsel has officially begun the final part of the process: arresting the crooks. Yesterday three people were charged with crimes: Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos, the latter of whom ended up squealing on Trump.
The Trump Administration’s goal now is damage control, and that has come in two waves: one, denouncing those indicted by Mueller so far, and two, diverting attention. Trump began the former through a Tweet storm that ended up calling Papadopoulos a “liar” and asking Mueller to investigate the Democrats (which he is doing for the record). The latter, however, is much more interesting as it involves White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders bringing up an old topic: the Civil War.
Speaking up in defense of General John Kelly, who attracted controversy earlier this week for his sympathetic comments on Robert E. Lee and the Confederacy, Sanders agreed that the Civil War could have been avoided if there had been a compromise, clearly not realizing that there were attempts such as the Corwin Amendment and Crittenden Compromise that were promptly rejected by southerners. Not only that, but Sanders refused to acknowledge that Kelly’s comments may have hurt those who had ancestors that suffered during the Civil War by throwing the old fallacy that doing so would somehow erase history.
By taking this route, Sanders did do one thing successful, and that was killing two birds with one stone. She managed to both protect Kelly’s image and provide an avenue for Trump’s rabid support base to help their President in his time of need by making this about the thematic issue of protecting the Lost Cause of the Confederacy that Trump perpetuated in the aftermath of the “Unite the Right” rally.
I ask my readers to keep an eye out for any more distractions coming from this administration, and to see them for what they are.
Featured image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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