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The “Of Course We Colluded, So What?” Stage


It’s becoming pretty hard to assert that Trump is being subject to a witch hunt when he openly admits his campaign was doing what’s it’s accused of doing. The transition to “what’s the big deal about colluding with Russian ratfuckers anyway?” has been seamless:

There’s a transition point that comes in many scandals when the facts make it impossible to sustain the argument the administration’s allies had been using. Specifically, it requires them to go from saying, “These accusations are false; it never happened” to saying, “Sure, it happened, but there’s nothing wrong with it.”

That is where Republicans now find themselves, and there’s a deep irony at work. Donald Trump rode into office on the widespread belief that politics is corrupt and only an outsider like him could clean it up. Now, it looks like his all-purpose excuse for his own misdeeds and those of his family and advisers will be, “Hey, don’t blame me — we all know politics is corrupt!”


As numerous politicians and political professionals from both parties have attested since the story of the meeting between Don Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and a group of Russians who were explicitly presented to them as acting on behalf of the Kremlin, that’s not just untrue but absurd. When a hostile foreign government offers you help in your campaign, what you do is call the FBI.

I can say without hyperbole that accusing the Trump campaign of doing what it admits to having done is worse than McCarthyism and birtherism put together, although needless to say I support a full investigation. And I certainly hope we don’t lose focus on the most critical question going forward, that someone who will never be the Democratic nominee for president again sucks.



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