Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Jennifer Rubin asks, “Have you no sense of decency, Mr. Spicer, at long last?” (Answer seems to be “No, he does not.”)

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Rubin writes in the Washington Post:

On Tuesday, in the pre-James-Comey-firing world, Sean Spicer was asked why the president didn’t fire Michael T. Flynn as soon as then-acting attorney general Sally Yates provided evidence that he had lied to the vice president and therefore compromised himself with the Russians. Spicer declared at his daily press briefing: “The president does not want to smear a good man. Let’s look at, again, how this came down. Someone who is not exactly a supporter of the president’s agenda, who, a couple of days after this first conversation took place, refused to uphold a lawful order of the president’s. Who is not exactly someone who was excited about President Trump taking office or his agenda.”

Let’s count the things that are wrong with this:

1. Yates was not attempting to “smear” Flynn. She delivered a factual report of easily verified wrongdoing. She did not recommend Flynn’s firing. It was the administration that sat on stunning evidence of Flynn’s misdeeds. Apparently no one in the Trump team thought it important to find out whether what she was saying was true and then act on it in a timely manner.

2. A “good man”? A “good man” does not conceal payments from foreign governments and lie to the vice president about his contacts with Russian officials.

3. Trump’s excessive deference toward Flynn doesn’t occur in a vacuum. The public learned on Tuesday (and the president almost certainly before that) of a grand jury’s subpoena directed at associates of Flynn. This may well explain — what else does? — why he continues to defend the “honor” of a man who sparked the conflagration now consuming the presidency.

4. The smear of Yates. Spicer concocted a wholly baseless allegation that Yates was a political opponent of Trump, someone who was acting as a political operative, not as a 27-year veteran of the Justice Department. Her warning, of course, was on point — as we know, since Trump finally fired Flynn. So on what basis can Spicer still claim she was an unprincipled partisan?

5. Partisan paranoia prevented removal of a compromised national security adviser. That’s what Spicer is saying. No matter what an independent voice says, the Trump White House doesn’t believe it. This is putting loyalty above all other considerations. If you are with Trump, you cannot be wrong; if you are questioning his actions or choices, you cannot be right. That is the description of someone intellectually and temperamentally unfit to defend the United States. He believes only what and who he wants to believe. It sure does make him — and the country — vulnerable to threats and scandals, especially since the people with him are inexperienced, knowledgeable and unwilling to deliver bad news.

Spicer here exemplifies the compulsive dishonesty of an administration whose first instinct is to impugn others’ motives when their own are so obviously suspect. They practice the art of character assassination casually, without concern for their own credibility, let alone of those whom they slander. The term “McCarthyism” is vastly overused, but in watching the grotesque distortion of facts and cavalier indifference to preserving the standards of the offices these Trump underlings hold, one cannot help but recall this: . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 May 2017 at 10:55 am

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