Monday, March 6, 2017

Did Donald Trump just pull a Gary Hart?

OK, raise your virtual hand if you know/remember who Gary Hart was?

For the 1988 campaign, he was going to be a top-contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.  He was also dogged by rumors that he was... clutch those pearls... adulterous!  So, the story goes, (in oversimplified form), he dared reporters to follow him around, claiming that they'd just be bored.  So, they did.  And, somebody caught him on a boat called... "Monkey Business," (seriously) with Donna Rice.  This was back in the days when a plain vanilla, consensual affair was enough to end a political career.  No airport bathroom hook-ups with gay prostitutes, like former Senator Larry "wide stance" Craig.  No dick-pics, like former Representative Anthony "self-fulfilling prophecy" Weiner.  Just a regular, old affair.  It was enough, though, to end Hart's presidential ambitions.  Now, he's just a punchline to a joke too dated to be funny anymore.

Trump is now calling for congressional investigations into Obama supposedly wiretapping him.  What are the odds that Obama actually did it?  If I had to put money down, I'd put them at no higher than the odds of any wild Trump statement being true.  PolitiFact currently scores 16% of Trump's statements as either "mostly true" or "true."  Wanna add in "half true?"  That only brings you up to 30%.  So, if you go by PolitiFact, figure a baseline 70% chance that Trump is at least half full of shit, with only a 16% that he is on the level, going by PolitiFact as a baseline prior probability.

Now, factor in the observation that Comey, the FBI director who intervened in the election to hand the Presidency to Trump, is calling bullshit on Trump's claims, and what are the odds that Trump is just making shit up again?  Higher than the baseline.  So, if there is a baseline 16% chance that Trump is on the level, Comey's statement indicates that on this matter, the chance that Trump is on the level is significantly lower than 16%

On the other hand...

What is the probability that there is something fishy between Trump and Russia that an invited/dared investigation would uncover?  If Congress really did investigate, wouldn't they have to look into whatever was going on with those Russian banks that were supposedly communicating with some computer in Trump Tower?  Wouldn't that lead to further investigations into Trump and Russia?  If there really is more to Trump and Russia, would an investigation uncover it?  Chaffetz and the rest have done their level best to prevent any such investigation, and Trump is now demanding something that might force what Chaffetz has been trying to prevent, for Trump's benefit.

So, Trump could have nothing to hide, and he could be demanding an investigation, like an innocent person who feels threatened and attacked.

Or, he could be pulling a Gary Hart.  The difference, of course, is that consensual affairs aren't treasonous.

No comments:

Post a Comment