by Conrad Black
The Democrats became so addicted to their need for President Trump to be permanently under a cloud of criminal suspicion for their media lackeys to endlessly celebrate, that their present discomfort is considerable as the weight of prosecutorial scrutiny shifts to another—that is, to their—foot.
Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ performance at the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday was the most dignified and plausible attempt yet by any serious Obama Administration official to try to maintain the fiction that its justice department and intelligence agencies didn’t go rogue and assault the Constitution.
She maintained what has become the quaint, almost twee, Democratic preoccupation with Russia—an affected paranoia that nostalgically recalls the piping days of the Cold War when the Kremlin and American leaders routinely intimated an ability to obliterate the other.
Yates warbled on in the customary manner of Democrats about the already active and implicitly extremely dangerous effort of the Russians to subvert the current election, replete with Democratic senators’ questions asserting that the president was perfectly equable about soliciting foreign interference.
Does anyone, except the Stelter-Tapper-Blitzer-Scarborough nether region of liberal cable-loopies, still pay any attention to this bunk?
Russia is a shriveled, hobbled, and pale likeness of the Soviet Union, beset by problems, run by gangsters and with a GDP smaller than Canada’s. It is true the Russians have a good defense production industry, but they have no ability to disturb the United States unless belligerent Democratic nincompoops regained the presidency and drove the Kremlin into the arms of the Chinese—just as the question of dealing with the much more serious challenge of China is finally and determinedly becoming the focus of America and its principal regional allies, led by Japan and India.
Yates, peppy and rather elegant—a welcome change from the insolence of Obama FBI chiefs James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and Peter Strzok, and the belligerent Obama intelligence palookas, John Brennan and James Clapper—was yet unable to clear President Trump of the charges of collusion with Russia, though she acquiesced in Robert Mueller’s opinion that there was an absence of sufficient evidence to charge. She clung, with the usual desperate tenacity of fanatical Democrats in ostensibly nonpolitical positions, to the possibility that the president may well have obstructed justice, and attempted to legitimize the Democratic fallback position that Attorney General William Barr is running interference for the president.
This, too, is an ironic reflection from a veteran of the Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch era of endless egregious Justice Department overreach from the persecution of conservative tea party groups to the tête-à-tête about grandchildren with Bill Clinton on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport in the midst of the soft-pointed investigation of Hillary’s destruction of subpoenaed evidence.
Sally Yates is the pleasing human face of Democratic authoritarian skullduggery: she still struts her status as a martyr for refusing to enforce the president’s “illegal” restriction of immigration from terrorism-plagued countries, for which he fired her, despite the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the president, after the preposterous Washington governor Jay Inslee shopped a Republican-appointed judge to rubber-stamp against the administration at first instance. This was the event that caused Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to manufacture tears as he claimed that the Statue of Liberty itself was weeping. Yates still clings to the villainization of the shamefully tricked and traduced General Michael Flynn, and knew nothing of the association of her immediate Justice Department colleague Bruce Orr’s and his wife’s role in the smear-job on Trump.
She came through the hearing well enough but shed no light on how it came to be that the two junior officials who advised that the Steele dossier was false were not heeded. Rather, that dossier was used as the basis for the warrant applications for authorized surveillance of junior Trump aide, Carter Page. (And not just Page—the whole Trump campaign and transition team, in fact.) A perfect cone of silence still encloses the mystery of how this utterly scurrilous farrago of salacious nonsense was taken seriously and made the basis for legalized espionage on the incoming administration under the pretense that there was reason to believe that the Russians were manipulating the election.
We will have to await the findings of Special Counsel John Durham. Yates was satisfied just to have her own protestations of innocence believed; but her inability to hazard a guess about who really was behind the attempted putsch was desperately lame. She and her successor as deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, just accepted the Steele dossier that was known in nearby offices to be a fraud, without inquiring further. They may have been so negligent and naïve as to have done that, but it is inconceivable that Comey and his deputy director, McCabe, were. Junior officials did not unleash and sustain this immense conspiracy and everyone with an IQ in at least double figures knows that.
All of these Democratic myths are fraying at the edges.
The pandemic of tearing down statues—even of Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, and Ulysses S. Grant, irreproachable champions of racial justice—has abruptly stopped, as we wish the viral pandemic would. Trump threatened 10 years’ imprisonment for violators and the whole movement that was festering and agitating in every main public square in the country collapsed like an overcooked souffle.
When the Democratic inner-circle that conveys Joe Biden around as if on Pius XII’s sedan chair figured out that solidarity with the Portland rioters trying to burn down the federal courthouse was not a vote-winner, they agreed with the administration to have the state police stop the aspirant-arsonists, while the federal officials remained inside the building and in the blocks nearby. The mob receded and de-escalated to the burning of Bibles (unlikely to be a huge popularity booster, either).
The Democratic Party’s story that the violence was caused by the government’s presence and that the protesters were “peaceful” is still maintained, po-faced, by the Democratic-supporting but Orwellian Newspeakers at CNN and MSNBC. They are unruffled by the fact that the riots had been going on for six weeks before there were any federal marshals (the “storm troopers” of Nancy Pelosi’s febrile imagination) in Portland, and by the fact that the federal agents sustained 277 injuries while they were present and essential to prevent the torching of the federal courthouse in one of the country’s great cities.
They are all still singing from the same song sheet. But they are not going to be able to wing it to election day with a campaign of COVID terror as the fatalities decline, claims that Trump has turned the country into Hooverville even as the economy rebounds, the supreme unction of innocence as the former administration is indicted, and as the true racist and terroristic character of their friends in peaceful protest emerges.
All the while, the Democrats have a candidate who is seriously challenged to utter two consecutive coherent sentences, even in answer to a monosyllabic softball question from a tame questioner like Joy Behar.
This is all a pretend campaign, a costume party, and a phony war. But sometime soon it is going to become clear that the former administration was rotten, the current administration handled the economy and immigration well, has managed terribly difficult crises fairly competently, and the Biden campaign is a papier-mâché fraud being moved around by superannuated stage-hands. That is not how great nations choose their leaders.
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Conrad Black has been one of Canada’s most prominent financiers for 40 years, and was one of the leading newspaper publishers in the world as owner of the British telegraph newspapers, the Fairfax newspapers in Australia, the Jerusalem Post, Chicago Sun-Times and scores of smaller newspapers in the U.S., and most of the daily newspapers in Canada. He is the author of authoritative biographies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, one-volume histories of the United States and Canada, and most recently of Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other. He is a member of the British House of Lords as Lord Black of Crossharbour.
Photo “Joe Biden” by Joe Biden.