Politicians, especially presidents, spend much of their time defending their power to govern, rather than governing. President Trump, perhaps among the most unlikely and in some ways weakest of presidents, “has brawled his way to victory over the most concerted delegitimization campaign any president has ever faced,” writes Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. in the WSJ.
He (Trump) was under attack from day one from partisan and media enemies who promoted the Russia collusion theory without especially caring whether it was true. He had every reason to wonder (and still does) whether he was getting a fair shake from the FBI and intelligence agencies.
He has good reason to wonder, especially after Mr. Mueller revealed himself this week to be largely a figurehead in his own inquiry, whether the investigation was dragged out for two years in hopes of inducing him to commit obstruction crimes in place of the nonexistent collusion crimes.
Much of Rep. Adam Schiff’s opening statement during last Wednesday’s hearing was true:
- Donald Trump did launch his campaign as an infomercial to promote his personal brand.
- Trump didn’t expect to be president.
- Paul Manafort and others signed up to advance their business interests.
- Trump, expecting he would soon return to private life, kept trying to parlay his newly stratospheric celebrity into a Trump Tower deal in Moscow well into the 2016 campaign.
As Mr. Jenkins notes, however, “nobody needed to instruct Vladimir Putin’s trolls to promote the Trump boomlet once it emerged in 2015. It was exactly the kind of democratic unseemliness the Kremlin’s troublemakers exist to exploit. Whatever Russia’s effect, it was trivial in the end. It did not conjure 63 million votes for Mr. Trump …”
The real lesson is the one many continue to ignore: A large part of the electorate so thoroughly defected from the authority of the established media and related elites that it thought anybody with Mr. Trump’s enemies couldn’t be all bad.
FBI Director James Comey himself indicated that the information is of such sensitivity that it will likely remain hidden “decades from now.”
So here’s one reason to support Mr. Trump’s re-election no matter how much nose-holding it requires: It may be the only way to reach the truth of 2016.
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