Love it or leave it, hippies

Love it or leave it, hippies

by digby

Greg Sargent says it all about this insane clusterfuck:

This morning, “Fox and Friends” aired an interview with President Trump, in which he hailed the National Football League’s decision to herd African American players prone to kneeling during the national anthem into locker rooms, sparing NFL audiences the uncomfortable spectacle of accomplished black athletes protesting systemic racism and police brutality.

Trump said: “I don’t think people should be staying in locker rooms. But still, it’s good. You have to stand, proudly, for the National Anthem. Or you shouldn’t be playing. You shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.”

Only hours earlier, PBS aired the perfect complement to Trump’s command for unthinking nationalistic fervor — and let’s not confuse this with patriotism, which, as George Orwell told us, is “devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life” that the true patriot has “no wish to force on other people” — in the form of an interview with former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr.

In that interview, Clapper expanded on the claim made in his book that, in his judgment, Russia’s subversion of our election did, in fact, prove decisive in tipping it to Trump:

“As a private citizen, it’s what I would call my informed opinion that, given the massive effort the Russians made, and the number of citizens that they touched, and the variety and multi-dimensional aspects of what they did to influence opinion … and given the fact that it turned on less than 80,000 votes in three states, to me it exceeds logic and credulity that they didn’t affect the election. And it’s my belief they actually turned it.”

Clapper noted that the intelligence community’s formal 2017 assessment of Russian interference was not charged with assessing its impact. But this is exactly the point. It wasn’t the place of the intel community to place its imprimatur on this debate one way or the other. But now that Clapper is free to offer his own view, he believes Russia did swing the election — and he knows a lot more about the specifics of what Russia did than we do.
We probably will never know whether Russia’s interference — whose tip we only glimpsed in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s indictment of 13 Russian nationals for their sabotage plot — was sufficient to swing the election. The result had many causes. But allow me to point out that journalists regularly suggest, on an even flimsier basis, that this or that Hillary Clinton failing caused the outcome. Yet even asking whether Russian interference — or, say, James B. Comey’s 11th-hour intervention — might have been sufficient to swing a relative handful of votes is regularly greeted with knee-slapping ridicule, even though, as Brian Beutler has noted, every journalist knows that it is absolutely plausible.

But this Clapper claim has relevance well beyond whether Russian interference was decisive. It places the ongoing efforts by Trump and his allies to frustrate an accounting of what happened in a whole new light.

The key point is this. Even if you put aside whatever the Trump campaign did or didn’t do to conspire with Russian sabotage, what’s left is this obvious fact: Trump and his GOP allies don’t want to know the full story of what Russia’s operation entailed in and of itself, because it doesn’t concern them in the least, and indeed they are engaged in an active effort to keep that story suppressed.

It keeps getting lost in the discussion, but one of the charges of both Mueller’s investigation and the probes run out of Congress has been to determine the full truth about the Russian effort separate and irrespective of whether there was any Trump campaign collusion with it. Trump himself has regularly dismissed the whole thing as a hoax. The GOP-run House Intelligence Committee probe laughably airbrushed Russia’s goal of helping Trump win out of its final conclusion, putting it at odds with both the intelligence community and Senate Intelligence Committee Republicans.

And this isn’t the only way in which Trump’s Republican allies are actively working to prevent the full truth from coming out. Their push for the release of highly sensitive Justice Department documents on the FBI informant that Trump and his allies have railed about — who contacted Trump campaign officials after the FBI established questionable contacts involving Russian hopes of corrupting the election — represents direct collaboration between Trump and Republicans to subvert Mueller’s investigation. This pressure resulted in an extraordinary capitulation by DOJ, in which officials agreed to make info they believe to be compromising available only to Republicans (though now Democrats will get a briefing as well).

There's more.

Remember when Republicans used to say "love it or leave it?" "These colors don't run?"

Yeah, that was then.

And, by the way: