By Beau Elliot
Well, that last week, two weeks, was some kind of chaos theory. Except that it didn’t happen in theory, it happened right in front of us. Behind us, too. Crafty old chaos.
If you’re like most of us and had your druthers (don’t ever lose your druthers; the line to replace them beats the line at the DMV every day), you’d prefer to visit chaos in a museum, where it’s safely still in theory. Not to mention behind glass.
Let’s see. Way back in ancient history (by this era’s reckonings). on Jan. 30 in his State of the Union Address, normally Grumpy Trumpy made all nicey-nicey. At least some of the time. For instance, he said:
“Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve.”
Well, that sounds good. Who knew it was actually a chaos trigger? I mean, outside of the skeptics among us, whose numbers appear to be growing the longer this era goes on.
Almost immediately, we were privy to the dueling-memos imbroglio. This occurs actually less often than a blue moon, if you can believe that. Or even if you can’t believe that.
In this case, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released an intel memo containing then-classified information that completely vindicated Trumpy in the to-Russia-with-love affair. At least in Trumpy’s words.
The Nunes Memo, as it’s known, is based on the notion that the FBI relied entirely on something called the Steele Dossier in order to get a FISA warrant from the FISA court to conduct surveillance on Trump campaign honcho Carter Page. And because the Steele Dossier is utter junk, the Republicans say, the whole Russia investigation is junk, too. And if you believe all that, you also must also believe in the tooth fairy.
The FBI FISA warrant A) wasn’t based on the dossier, B) it was based on other intel sources the FBI had. When Steele showed up (July 2016) with his tales of Russian subterfuge and the Trumpy campaign, the FBI was already investigating that. In fact, the Nunes Memo shoots itself and the GOP argument in the foot by noting (on its last page) that the Russia probe began with Trumpy campaign aide George Papadopoulos blabbing about getting Russian info for the campaign to an Australian diplomat in a London bar. Nothing like a little alcohol to toss some grist (or grits) in the mill.
But naturally, the Trumpster, in his West Wing role, declassified the Nunes Memo and unleashed on an unsuspecting public. Or words to that effect.
But the Democrats on the Intel Committee had a memo of their own that, reportedly, demonstrated the Repubicans’ cherry-picking of data and shored up the tonnage of info that Nunes had ignored. Of course, the Dems’ memo was also classified, and Trumpy, in his Grumpy role, refused to declassify it.
Well, so much for setting “aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need …” And blah, blah, blah.
So we’ve got a bit of chaos going here; we might as well go for the real chaos. The Democrats should find a way to leak their memo.
That should cause some kind of brouhaha, chaos’ close cousin, and probably spark a federal investigation or two. I think chaos’ motto is something along the lines of you can never have too many federal investigations.
Meanwhile, two White House aides resigned because of allegations of past domestic violence, which brought up questions of how much did White House Chief of Staff John Kelly know and when did he know it. Kelly, you might remember, was supposed to be the one adult in the room.
Of course, we all got to see how well the adults in the metaphorical room managed to protect the young U.S. gymnasts.
So, happy Mardi Gras. Now, there’s some chaos.