I’m not going to point out pertinent facts in this post; I’m not going to work over all of the information that is about to be massaged to death by every news outlet and blogger in the universe. What I am going to do, is step back and look at this event from the devious viewpoint of Donny and Bill Shine, Donny’s Communications Director and a former top executive of Fox News.
I believe this is an ultimate form of the staging of this reality TV presidency and most likely masterminded by Bill Shine from exactly that position. This isn’t a rush to end the Mueller probe. This is not the cliffhanger ending to season 2 of the Trump reality presidency. Nope. I believe this is the segue into season 3: The Grind.
What will happen in the House of Representatives when the new assembly is in session is clear. The Trump administration’s counter-narrative to any House investigation is already established: it’s a waste of time, it’s a waste of money, and the House isn’t spending any time legislating at all. It’s a witch hunt.
We get it.
I believe this is an attempt to force Mueller’s hand to diffuse his investigation. Spin off some pieces of his investigation to the states and immediately present some cases for indictment that Mueller would not have otherwise, because they do not follow a clear progression of cases that would have been more beneficial to the overall investigation.
Mueller and Rosenstein were certainly prepared for this eventuality. We all know that. Being prepared is not the same as creating the most desirable outcomes. Being ready for this eventuality is a reaction to foreseen circumstances that elicits the best possible outcome in a negative environment. It’s the best we can do.
There are multiple benefits for Donny from this play. The diffusion of the investigation allows Donny to play piecemeal whack-a-mole with each negative headline, one at a time. Each story that will emerge will have a created counter-narrative based, as usual, around “witch hunt,” “waste of time,” “waste of money,” “nothing is being done to further the needs of America.”
There is no loss by hurrying this ahead of the House investigations. None. It will all be seen to be threads of the same fabric. Each piece worthy of our disdain as an attempt to tarnish Trump’s make-america-great-again.
Any undermining of Rosenstein, or even firing of Rosenstein will, again, not be seen as materially different from firing Sessions. It’s one and the same. All attempts to slow down or partially defund the investigation will now be similarly alarming to reasonable people, and no different to Congressional GOP. Sure it’s just as bad as firing Sessions, but it ain’t the end of the world. The Senate will not act.
I do not believe the Trump administration will seek to quash the investigation entirely. The goal here was diffusion. The ultimate goal is to string the investigations along for 2 years with the constant counter-narratives outlined above. This is entirely palatable to the cult.
Trump and Shine believe they can win a re-election based around these circumstances and the unwavering support of the cult base. They believe the House will be strung along for 2 years unable to come to their ultimate goal quickly, due to a slow-paced, reactionary fear of the counter-narratives. Trump and Shine believe they can capitalize on their counter-narratives and retake the House and hold a majority in the Senate, thereby ensuring 4 years of unobstructed authoritarian rule.
What we do not know, is just how powerful any sure to come indictment from Bob Mueller is going to be. We do not know whom his current #1 target is, but we may be about to find out and that’s fine with Trump as long as it isn’t him. And I’m sure it isn’t. It’s totally fine whoever it is, even if it is Donny’s own son.
Trump’s reality TV presidency has just entered season 3, and Donny and Shine already have the next several seasons roughly sketched out.