Monday, December 19, 2016

Donald Trump's Flying Circus, 12/19/16

So, basically, everyone agrees that the Russians were behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee server.  All 17 of our intelligence agencies agree.  At least two private security firms agree.  They have released enough information to the public to make their reasoning understandable. Hell, even Donald Trump's surrogates appear to agree.  There is room for disagreement on Russian motives, but not on who is behind the hack.  Yet Donald Trump refuses to recognize it.

I see two possibilities.  One:  He can't accept it.  He simply rejects all evidence contrary to his preconceptions.  Needless to say, this is an extremely dangerous trait in a President.  Bush and Cheney were notoriously determined to have Saddam Hussein involved in 9-11 to give us an excuse to invade Iraq.  They spent a lot of time trying to chase down a non-existent meeting between Al-Qaeda and Iraqi operatives in Prague.  But in the end, unable to find the evidence they wanted, they limited themselves to insinuating at such a link and giving speeches that implied it without quite saying so.  This allowed them to deny making such a link when called on it.  It never occurred to Bush or Cheney just to send out a non-stop stream of blatant lies saying that there was such a link in the absence of all evidence.  This degree of reality denial is unpresidented unprecedented.  (I expect to be using that/those word(s) a lot).

The other alternative is that he knows perfectly well that the Russians are behind the hack.  He is just lying through his teeth about it.  Let's hope that he is knowingly lying.  At least we can hope then that he can at least tell reality from delusion and won't act on delusion.

In further news, Trump's sons are auctioning off visits to our new President or hunting trips with his sons for million dollar donations to their foundation.  Newt Gingrich is proposing that he deal with any conflicts of interest by preemptively pardoning any offenders.  The Kuwaiti government has been pressured to send its delegates to the Trump Hotel instead of the Four Seasons.  And he will have his own Praetorian Guard of private bodyguards in addition to the Secret Service.

But let's focus on what is important.  At least he never sent State Department e-mails on a private server.  (I am going to have to end every Flying Circus post with that).

PS:  I love this post by David Frum in which he explains why so many Jews (and non-Jews) disliked Sarah Palin.  In particular:
Jews do think that knowledge is important to a president. They do think a president should be able to think clearly and to distinguish between true information and wishful delusions. I feel sure most Americans of all faiths would agree. Does Jennifer Rubin seriously suggest that this opinion is mistaken?
If the Trump election has made anything clear, it is that large numbers of people are opposed to thinking clearly and distinguishing between true information and wishful delusions.  Thinking clearly and distinguishing between true information and wishful delusions are the marks of elitism.  We want a President who refrains from any thought at all and ignores information in favor of wishful delusions.

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