Saturday, January 7, 2017

Discrediting campaign

Yesterday I said I was intentionally ignoring a lot of news, especially the blogs I had been reading. Even so, I still have several articles in browser tabs to share with you.

The nasty guy had his big meeting with the intelligence agencies to explain to him that Russia was behind the hacks on the Democratic National Committee and used what it found to defeat Hillary Clinton. I understand the nasty guy finally said, well perhaps Russia was behind the hacks, but that has absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election. Perhaps his ego won’t allow him to admit the win wasn’t because of his own fabulousness.

Melissa McEwen of Shareblue sees something more in the whole episode. Senior advisor Kellyanne Conway said in an aside about the intelligence community:
He absolutely respects the intelligence community. He’s made very clear he’s going to put his own people in there as well.
McEwen responds:
Trump’s plan is simply to replace the intelligence community with yes-men. That is fundamentally incompatible with the role the intelligence community is meant to play.
So if the nasty guy can’t overturn the intelligence community – he wants to because it’s politicized, don’tcha know – he will discredit it by refusing to believe what they tell him, recounting old failures, claiming they are unprofessional, or putting deeper trust in people like Julian Assange.

And why would he want to do that? McEwen wrote:
It is one play in a long game that ends with Trump turning the intelligence community into an extension of the White House — which itself is part of a comprehensive strategy to erode public trust in every institution, to wholly eradicate checks and balances on his power.

He has waged similar discrediting campaigns against military leadership, against career bureaucrats, against the press, and against the integrity of our elections. The objective is clear: The decimation of public trust.

That is a strategy of authoritarian leaders throughout history, who then proffer themselves as saviors from the very chaos they created.

And why is Congress putting up with that? Some members aren’t. There is pushback. My answer: Many, especially the leadership, are ignoring these dangerous antics because they want one thing from the nasty guy: his signature on every extremely conservative bill they can come up with. To get that they’ll put up with a lot. Of course, they don’t consider how the nasty guy is sacrificing the integrity of the country because they are also sacrificing the integrity of the country.

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