You sit down at the table for dinner, but your dog keeps loudly whimpering and yelping, begging for food.
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You could yell at him to shut up in a commanding alpha dog tone, but he’s old and deaf and can’t hear you.
You could hit him on the nose with a rolled up newspaper, but you gave up the print edition for digital years ago and don’t believe in corporal punishment anyway.
So just for peace of mind and to stop hearing the incessant whining, you give the dog the meat he’s been craving, only to have him start the whimpering again once he’s finished with the reward for bad behavior he’s already wolfed down.
This is the parable that is playing out between the yelping Donald Trump and the Department of Justice right now.
As Trump tries to misdirect the public’s eyes away from his own multiple instances of campaign misdeeds, he has been crying wolf over the supposed infiltration of his campaign by an FBI informant.
What the FBI has characterized as an appropriate response to credible (and now proven) evidence of contacts between members of his campaign and the Russian government (not to mention the Saudi and Emirati contacts revealed this week), Trump paranoiacally sees as a spy implanted by Obama to undermine his electoral chances and delegitimize the presidency that no one actually believed he would win at the time.
Now, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is acquiescing to Trump’s whimpering and foot stomping and is hoping that by ordering an investigation into the president’s fantasies of a “Donnie Brasco”-type infiltration of his campaign by the FBI, he can get Trump to shut up long enough for Mueller to finish his investigation, according to an article on The Hill.
Thus, Rosenstein dutifully ordered the Inspector General of the Justice Department, to determine whether the FBI had any “inappropriate purposes” in its surveillance of the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian agents.
Yes, we know that the actual purpose of the FBI is to investigate potentially criminal activity that is brought to their attention, but that sort of real-world logic has been abandoned in the Trump era.
“If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action,” Rosenstein said in a statement.
Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores expanded on Rosenstein’s comments on the matter in her own statement.
“The Inspector General will consult with the appropriate U.S. Attorney if there is any evidence of potential criminal conduct,” Flores said.
The new inquiry, she said, will “include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election.”
This is how low the traditionally law and order-centric Republicans have sunk. A president with credible accusations of treasonous behavior yelps about how he will demand that the DOJ investigate the political motivations behind the investigations into that behavior and the formerly independent agency hops to do his bidding.
Never mind that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has already garnered 19 indictments and 5 guilty pleas from his continuation of the original FBI investigation. If Trump says it’s an unjustified “Witch Hunt,” then who are we going to believe, him or our own eyes?
We can only hope that this level of appeasement by the DOJ and the FBI works better than it did for British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlin in the months before World War II.
Otherwise, we are simply laying the foundations for World War III. Place your bets now. Did anyone say Iran? Did anyone say North Korea? Did anyone say “Mueller, you’re fired!”? Those are the dogs of war barking away loudly.
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