I hope you’ve noticed that I haven’t written anything for a while. This is because I have been on vacation in England, and generally offline, for the last 11 days. So, did anything happen while I was gone?
Just kidding. I’ll have more to say about events of recent days before long, but for now just want to comment on conversations I had with Brits about politics while on vacation. These were few and unscientific, but were with well-informed people, including an MP. I pass them on for what they are worth.
Several people asked what I think about President Trump. All were surprised when I said I think he is doing a good job, and if he keeps it up will be our best president since Reagan. All said they have hardly heard anyone defend him. All the people I talked politics with were intrigued by my defense of Trump, since they had never heard it before. Trump is restoring the rule of law? Who knew?
The other thing I observed was that the level of interest in the Mueller investigation is high, but knowledge about it is nil. Everyone I talked politics with thought it was a big deal that Manafort and that other guy no one ever heard of have been arrested. One lefty I spoke with was literally rubbing his hands with glee at the prospect of another endless Watergate drama. Needless to say, he was shocked at my suggestion that Trump should appoint a second independent counsel to investigate 1) the Uranium One scandal, 2) the role of the FBI in general, and Bill Mueller and James Comey in particular, in covering up the Uranium One scandal, and 3) collusion between the Clinton campaign and Russians to influence the 2016 election.
It isn’t only the British Left that takes the Mueller investigation seriously. Relatively conservative Brits seemed to have essentially the same view, mostly (I think) because they never hear the other side of the story. They suffer from the delusion that the New York Times and the Washington Post are reliable news sources. Thus, the Telegraph, which passes for a center-right newspaper in Great Britain, published this cartoon yesterday. (It is small because I would have had to pay for a bigger image.)
So the Trump administration is a house of cards that will be brought tumbling down by the arrest of Paul Manafort for tax fraud predating his association with the Trump campaign. No doubt the cartoonist would have been stumped if asked what Manafort has been charged with and why it reflects in any way on President Trump, but the cartoon illustrates the zeitgeist.
At present, it looks as though Mueller’s investigation will end with a whimper. There is still no reason to think anyone in the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. On the other hand, it is now universally accepted, I take it, that the Clinton campaign did collude with the Russians through Fusion GPS, not just to obtain damaging information on Donald Trump, but to fabricate it. This is one instance where I feel pretty sure that the truth is powerful, and all the Post’s horses and all the Times’s men won’t be able to put the silly Trump/Russia narrative back together again.