Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Where's the Beef?

Readers of a certain age will recall that back in the 1980s the Wendy's hamburger chain ran a television ad in which they challenged their competitors to compare the amount of beef in their burgers to the amount in Wendy's. Their question to their competitors, "Where's the beef?" became a pop culture slogan for implying that something lacked any real substance.

David Brooks at the New York Times has implicitly raised that question of the Democrats in a recent column in which he called attention to a fact that a lot of people have been wondering about for some time. Despite all the talk about President Trump having colluded with the Russians to swing last November's election his way there's been almost zero evidence adduced by anyone to substantiate that any such collusion has taken place.

It's interesting that Brooks would highlight this little detail since it runs counter to his employer's (i.e. the NYT) obsessions, and it's never a good thing to challenge one's employers nor their obsessions.

In any case, Jack Crowe at The Daily Caller quotes from Brooks' column:
New York Times columnist David Brooks challenged the paper’s dominant narrative in a Tuesday op-ed in which he cautioned critics of President Donald Trump to show restraint in light of the absence of evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

“There may be a giant revelation still to come. But as the Trump-Russia story has evolved, it is striking how little evidence there is that any underlying crime occurred — that there was any actual collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and the Russians,” Brooks wrote.

Brooks’ explicit admission that there is no evidence to suggest the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials to interfere in the 2016 presidential election represents a significant departure from what has been the New York Times editorial position since the multiple ongoing investigations began.

Brooks examines one of the central arguments that Trump’s critics, his own New York Times colleagues among them, have introduced in an effort to implicate him in nefarious activity and quickly dismisses it.

“There were some meetings between Trump officials and some Russians,” Brooks wrote. “But so far no more than you’d expect from a campaign that was publicly and proudly pro-Putin. And so far nothing we know of these meetings proves or even indicates collusion.”

He goes on to admit Trump has made a number of missteps, including firing former FBI director James Comey and subsequently crafting an ill advised tweet hinting at the existence of recordings of his conversations with Comey.

While he says firing Comey was a mistake, he pushes back against the claim that the firing is evidence of obstruction on Trump’s part, pointing out that if a “democratically unsupervised, infinitely financed team of prosecutors” was unleashed on “a paragon of modern presidents,” like Abraham Lincoln, even he might be tempted to fight back.
The Democrats' reasoning seems to be that Hillary couldn't possibly have lost the election unless it were rigged. Trump is a despicable character and must therefore have rigged the election. Thus, the fact that there's no evidence of collusion means we just have to dig deeper because it must be there since Trump must have rigged the election.

So, like Ahab insanely pursuing Moby Dick to the detriment of all aboard The Pequod the Democrats refuse to be diverted from their monomaniacal pursuit of Donald Trump despite what that pursuit does to the credibility of their party or to the well-being of the nation.

Trump tweeted that "They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice"
“Unless there is some new revelation, that may turn out to be pretty accurate commentary,” Brooks wrote referring to Trump’s tweet.
One wonders what the Democrats will come up with if and when the obstruction of justice investigation also comes up empty. At some point the Democrats have to choose between the good of the country and their manic pursuit of Moby Trump.