I was all set to write the next post in the "Classical conservatism" series, and then...
Donald Trump Jr. is now admitting to attempted Russian collusion and is claiming the Sideshow Bob defense. He met with a Russian lawyer directly connected to the Russian government under the promise of getting dirt on Clinton. When he didn't get anything, he was disappointed. And the little fuckwit admits this is what happened.
Normally, I include a video clip here, but I can't get a sufficiently focused one, so here's the full, direct quote from Sideshow Bob: "I am presently incarcerated for a crime I did not even commit. Attempted murder. Now, honestly, did they ever give anyone a Nobel Prize for attempted chemistry?"
Donald Trump Jr. attempted to collude with the Russians. It just didn't work because they didn't give him any good dirt. You can read the full write-up over at the New York Times, but Trump himself can't even call it "fake news" because this is Jr.'s own telling. He'll still call it "fake news" because he uses the term however he sees fit, and I'll refer those who would complain to my earlier post on the fluidity of language.
What will happen? Nothing. Not one thing. There will be zero consequences. Donald Trump, and those around him will never suffer any consequences for anything they ever do. They have permanent get-out-of-jail free cards. The reason is not that the Sideshow Bob defense will work. Even if the Trump campaign had received some Clinton dirt from the Russian lawyer, and used it, and Jr. had admitted it, nothing would happen.
Why not? The same reason I keep telling you that the chances of impeachment are essentially zero. The entire Republican Party has a bomb strapped to it, and the bomb is wired to a dead-man switch monitoring Trump's political vitals. If he goes down, he takes down the entire party. Nothing else matters to anybody in the GOP. In 1974, Nixon went down, and the party lost a lot of seats in Congress. Then, we wound up with Carter. The party spent years trying to live that down, and now every political scandal has the suffix, "-gate" attached to it. Republicans never stopped seething about it, and the lesson they learned? Always defend your nominee/president, no matter what he does.
Republicans know that they can at least minimize the damage by continuing to rally around Trump at all costs. As long as the party sends a uniform signal that every scandal is a partisan attack and every story is a biased, fake news conspiracy, there will remain at least some doubt among the independent voters who aren't paying close attention, and the partisan Republicans will stay loyal. That will minimize the damage.
The President's son tried to collude with foreigners in the course of the campaign, and has admitted it. And we are now supposed to shrug because he is using the Sideshow Bob defense. If the party weren't circling the wagons the way they are, well... frankly Trump should have been thrown out of office as soon as he admitted to obstruction of justice to Lester Holt, but if they weren't circling the wagons the way they are right now, this would be presidency-ending.
How many times do we say that, though? And that's kind of my point. That dead-man trigger is doing its job.