If you go to my About Page, you will find my short list of some of the required tenets of the official Manhattan Groupthink. These are the things that you must believe if you want to be part of the in crowd. My list includes things like:
[T]he government has infinite capacity to tax and spend and does not need to make any choices about spending priorities; the government has an infinite ability to borrow; an appropriate function of government is to take on all down-side risk of life so that no individual ever needs to worry about loss of anything . . . .
And so forth. And then, of course, there's the tenet that anyone who disagrees on any of the other tenets is not just wrong, but evil.
I wrote that back in 2012. Since that time, several new tenets have been added. For example, a tenet that has been added is that the Trump campaign conspired with a foreign adversary (Russia) to influence the 2016 election, and that the FBI and now Robert Mueller and his team have been engaged in a righteous effort to protect national security and the integrity of our elections. Another new tenet is that anyone who disagrees with this latest tenet is not merely wrong, and not merely evil, but also "insane."
How do I know these things? Because I have read the lead editorial in today's New York Times. The headline is "Fox News v. Robert Mueller." The editorial focuses in part on recent commentary from a Fox News anchor named Jeanine Pirro. In what the Times calls Ms. Pirro's "most unhinged rant yet," aired on Saturday December 9, the Times quotes her as saying that the FBI and Justice Department "need to be cleansed of individuals who should not just be fired but who need to be taken out in handcuffs," and that Mr. Mueller "can't come up with one piece of evidence." Then this:
To put it mildly, this is insane. The primary purpose of Mr. Mueller's investigation is not to take down Mr. Trump. It's to protect America's national security and the integrity of its elections by determining whether a presidential campaign conspired with a foreign adversary to influence the 2016 election . . . .
See, it's like I said.
Unfortunately for Pravda, they chose to publish this as a lead editorial on the same day that the text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and his mistress and also FBI agent Lisa Page finally got released. So here at MC, let's not engage in "unhinged rants," but rather, let's just quote some of the Strzok/Page texts to see which is the more reasonable inference: either (1) they were in good faith trying to "protect national security and the integrity of our elections," or (2) they hate Trump and want him taken down.
- From Fox News, today: Text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page in 2016 that were obtained by Fox News on Tuesday refer to then-candidate Donald Trump as a "loathsome human" and "an idiot."
- Page to Strzok, March 4, 2016: "God, Trump is a loathsome human."
- Strzok to Page, July 19 (at the Republican convention, referring to Trump and his family): "Oooh, TURN IT ON, TURN IT ON!!! THE DO*CHEBAGS ARE ABOUT TO COME OUT."
- From the Wall Street Journal today, Page to Strzok, also July 2016 during the Republican convention: “Wow, Donald Trump is an enormous d*uche.” Strzok response: “How was Trump, other than a d*uche?”
- Page to Strzok, August 6: "Jesus. You should read this. And Trump should go f himself."
OK, those things make a strong showing of general animus. But are there any of the texts that go beyond general animus, and give rise to an inference of specific intent to take Trump down? As a matter of fact, there are:
- Again from the Wall Street Journal today, Page to Strzok, August 2016: “Maybe you’re meant to stay where you are because you’re meant to protect the country from that menace.”
- And from the Daily Caller, today, Page to Strzok, August 15, 2016: “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.” The Caller identifies "Andy" as Andrew McCabe, Deputy Director of the FBI.
Let's turn to a calm, cool head -- John Hinderaker of PowerLine -- for a reasonable conclusion:
Actually, I don’t think President Trump has been as critical of the CIA and the FBI as he should be. The leaders of those agencies have disgraced themselves and let down the American people by putting loyalty to the Democratic Party above all else. Way, way more bureaucrats need to be fired.
One side of this debate likely is insane. Which one?