Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, that took long enough! Since the days immediately following the election of the Clown Prince of Darkness, there have been suggestions and reports of possible questionable, unethical, and illegal contact and coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to alter the results of the election. And once again, the Republicans won the messaging war.
How many times do we have to watch this damn movie? We've seen it before, and the ending always sucks, it's worse than the shock reveal at the end of “The Crying Game.” In 2009, the Democrats were crafting the most comprehensive piece of healthcare legislation since Medicare, but they forgot to start by crafting a salable message to go along with it. Instead, they let the Republicans, led by the FOX News bullhorn, brand it as “socialized medicine,” and “Medicare for all (ignoring how popular Medicare really is),” and “government run healthcare,” complete with “death panels” for granny. The ACA finally passed, but solely as a political act, without popular support. It cost the Democrats the House in 2010, and it took somewhere around 5 years for it to finally get above water in popularity.
And now we're living the ACA debacle all over again. Right from the start, the GOP could see the mayo being spread on the Russian shit sandwich that was being made for lunch, and they immediately sprang into action to contain it. They jumped into action, once again led by loud blabbermouths like FOX and Breitbart, and started calling the alleged contact with Russia “collusion,” an act which they quickly educated people “was not a crime” under federal law. And since nobody else, especially Democrats, were rushing to call it anything else, the media went with the now familiar verbiage, and we're stuck with it.
On its face, it's a crock of shit. If I hate my neighbors, and I call my ex con brother in law to tell him that they're out of town for the weekend (nudge, nudge, wink, wink), and he goes in and robs them, we didn't collude. I aided and abetted in the commission of a felony.It doesn't matter if he gives me the surround sound system afterwards, I purposely gave him information that led to the commission of a felony. We didn't collude, we conspired.
But, like with so many other things the Republicans do, they've overplayed their hand. They've beaten the collusion drum until the skin has cracked. And, as more hard information has come out, cementing contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia, and as evidence leans ever closer to direct coordination, the GOP, led by Rudy Droolianmi, has finally shot the moon. They have started to bang the cymbal of “collusion is not a crime.”
And like Gulliver, the media has finally awoken from its snooze, and started to snap the puny lines tying it to the ground. If collusion is not a crime, but we're starting to be presented with criminal activity, then we must be talking about something else entirely. Like maybe conspiracy? I have heard that word bantered about repeatedly in the last 36 hours on both CNN and MSNBC, and unbelievably enough, even FOX is starting to hint that they may be forced by circumstances to utter it, if only to deny it's applicability to the current situation.
Legal analysts are actually starting to both fully explain the two terms, as well as bridge the gap between them. Danny Cevallos and Daniel Goldman were wonderful on MSNBC yesterday in making it simple and easy to understand. Cevallos said that in all of his years as a criminal defense attorney, he had never heard a defense lawyer stand up in court and say, “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client is totally innocent of this conspiracy charge. There was no conspiracy, they just colluded a little bit.” And Goldman nailed it to the wall when he said to Ari Melber, “Ari,if you came on every night and said, 'Tonight we're going to discuss the latest developments in the conspiracy to defraud the United States government of functioning properly', they'd all change the channel. Collusion is a simple word, and an easy to understand concept.” Even a FOX news host yesterday, after Rudy Ghouliani finished slobbering about how “collusion is not a crime,” pointedly asked him, “But Mr Giuliani, aren't you really just playing semantic word games here?”
The downside is that the damage is already done. “Collusion” is now the accepted terminology, both in the media, and in peoples minds. You can change the name from “Who framed Roger Rabbit” to “A cartoon rabbit does silly shit for an hour and a half,” but people will still think of it as “Who framed Roger Rabbit.” If the media begins to call it conspiracy instead of collusion, and links possible criminal acts to the word to make it stick, the tide of the “name game” may start to change. It won't matter to the Trumpcakes out there, but it might sway the minds of some honest people who are simply confused by all of the political double speak legal bullshit. The first example of successfully changing messaging that comes to mind is the ACA itself. To this day, large numbers of people absolutely hate Obamacare, but those same people feel that the Affordable Care Act is just ducky. It can be done.
And this really is important. Because we are approaching the time when the day will be nigh, and Robert Mueller will begin releasing reports on “collusion” as well as obstruction of justice. The more people that consider his results to be evidence of a “criminal conspiracy” instead of “acts of collusion” will make them more likely to believe that the President of the United States “obstructed justice” to conceal a crime, not out of embarrassment about “collusion.” And the more of those people there are, the more those people will put increasing pressure on their congresscritters to act. It can make all the difference in the world.
The wait is over! Volume two of the trilogy, President Evil II: A Clodwork Orange is now available. Amazon is whining about me crashing their site, but the hell with them, I ain't in this for their health. You can also find volume one, President Evil as well. And fear not, work on volume three is just beginning.
Cross posted on Politizoom.com