It has become clear that, for a few possible reasons, the White House is now in conflict with the Intelligence Community--sometimes referred to as The Deep State. The implications of this are significant. Firstly, Trump is facing an adversary that, in theory, works for him. Secondly, the battle is being fought not in the courts, nor in the shadows, but in the press.
Flynn is the first causality--but several more are theorized: Will Trump be taken down? Will some of his circle be forced out? Could there be a coup? Also, in question: just how bad is this behavior?
We don't know where it will go--but The Omnivore has a pretty good standard by which to address the question of whether targeted leaks by the IC are a good or a bad thing. Should liberals be cheering?
Would You? Could You? Punch a Nazi?We all remember the Nazi-Punching, don't we? Several days (it seems like months) ago, Nazi Richard Spencer got punched in the head while holding forth on the street. Immediately the hand-wringing started: was it okay to punch a Nazi? Couldn't that lead to a lot of other punching? Were liberals supposed to punch Nazis? Etc.
It turns out? There's a pretty easy answer to this.
The Ticking Terrorist Torture Time Bomb?You know the scenario: there's a ticking time-bomb on a school bus. You've got the terrorist who set it off. If you can make him talk, you can save the kids--but you don't have time to be nice about it. Should your by-laws allow you to get out the pliers? Or not? Liberals fret. Conservatives have the easy answers. What does someone who finds torture pretty abhorrent--but would like it to be legal to save the kids do?
It turns out? There's a pretty easy answer to this.
It's The Same Answer: No.No. Torture must always remain illegal. And, No. You should definitely be philosophically anti-Nazi punching. Are you surprised by The Omnivore's bleeding heart liberalness? If so, then consider:
- The Omnivore thought the Nazi-Punching was groovy. He would not convict the puncher if on the jury.
- The Omnivore would rip the terrorist's eyeballs out to save the kids.
The fact is that what your preferred position should be is this: you break the rules, you face the consequences. The consequences must always err on the side of right-and-just. You do your bit. You throw yourself on the mercy of the courts. The Omnivore suspects that if he saved the kids, no jury would convict--but even if one did--it would be worth it.
So, what about the Deep State?
Is The Trump-State Worse Than The Deep State?
If you think there's an easy answer to this, you're kidding yourself. We don't know. Not really. Firstly, Trump is a dumpster-fire. He's running his administration into the rocks on a daily basis. He's a humiliation for America.
He's also the elected President of the United States. Having him Praetorian Guarded out of office is not the outcome that any American should prefer. Even a partisan. Even with Trump.
That's right: EVEN. WITH. TRUMP.
The United State's institutions are worth more than that. The people leaking on him may or may not be giving us everything. They may have agendas (such as not liking being compared to Nazis) that are simply not leak-to-kill worthy. We don't know.
If they have film of him committing treason--literal treason--why not just release that? What exactly do they have? We don't know. We also don't know what he did, exactly. Telling the Russians that Trump might well drop sanctions if elected and having them go all-in for him might not be actual treason (just like him saying in a debate that he'd like it if they turned over Hillary's emails wasn't actual treason).
This is doubly true if Flynn did it and you can't prove it was Trump's will (remember, everyone not a Liberal thinks Obama okayed the IRS to go after the Tea Party and there wasn't a smoking gun--so no conviction).
So, no. You don't get to think it's cool for the Deep State to depose Trump.
Ah--But . . .
On the other hand? It's happening. It's happening right now. And from The Omnivore's perspective the Trump-State might turn out to be just kind of philosophically evil (White Supremacists)--but more basically incompetent--and we might muddle through.
But that's just the base-line. Trump could also be catastrophically disastrous. In fact, there are, to The Omnivore, some indications in that direction: Russia and North Korea seem to have decided to test him. He's making noises like he could 100% back Israel (probably not 100%--but who knows?). In the face of these events, it is possible that he could seriously destabilize things in a way, say, Pence (or Hillary) would not.
Also: We don't know what the Deep State knows. Maybe the do know he's done something really wrong--but won't release it because it'll compromise sources? We don't know.
So right now, in the real world, this is playing out.
The Nazi got punched--and might get punched again. The ticking-time-bomb scenario, never actually having happened outside of a movie, is ticking down now. The Deep State is opening fire. We get to see where it goes--and we get to be the "jury" on this.
What the Deep State is doing is wrong in general. It may well be wrong here. But we all get to watch and then, when the dust settles, however it settles, make up our minds.
That's a simple position--but it might not be all that straight-forward after all.