Life in America’s scorched earth SPIN hell

I didn’t watch more than a few minutes, here or there, of the legal experts testifying this past week, as Congressman, Jerry Nadler, opened his first impeachment hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.  I gave up on reading transcripts and government reports too.  Perhaps, I’ll pay closer attention as this impeachment sideshow plods on, but for now – this whole pathetic spin circus is a national embarrassment.

Byron York wrote a piece, On Trump impeachment, Democrats pivot back to Russia, yesterday, that sums up this impeachment sideshow:

But on Thursday, Pelosi said Democrats have not acted in haste at all, because the current Ukraine investigation is actually a continuation of the two-and-a-half-year Russia investigation. In fact, it’s not about Ukraine at all. It’s still about Russia.

“This isn’t about Ukraine,” Pelosi said. “It’s about Russia. Who benefited by our withholding — withholding of that military assistance? Russia. It’s about Russia. Russia invading eastern Ukraine. Over 10,000 people, now maybe 13,000, some of them in the absence of our conveying that military assistance that was voted in a bipartisan way by the Congress of the United States. So sometimes people say, ‘Well, I don’t know about Ukraine. I don’t know that much about Ukraine.’ Well, our adversary in this is Russia. All roads lead to Putin. Understand that.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/on-trump-impeachment-democrats-pivot-back-to-russia

Good citizenship should include trying to be an informed citizen, engaged in following the news and issues of the day.  The media and our political class still pretend they’re working hard to provide us with “facts” and reporting on “serious events” affecting us, but trying to navigate through the daily doses of Democrat and mainstream media Red Scare hysteria selling Trump outrage spin or the Trump and FOX News punditry circular logic defending against or feigning ignorance about Trump’s latest outrage leaves me exhausted and frankly, embarrassed by our American political scorched earth spin war.  That so many politicians and news media “professionals” actually seem to believe they’re working to “save our democracy” or on the side of the angels seeking only “the truth, ” scares me, because either these people are the most clueless nincompoops alive or they are shameless political hacks and media charlatans, willing to sell any spin lie to gain political advantage, score a few ratings points or garner some clicks online.  Increasingly, I just glance at the spin headlines, listen to a few video takes, then throw my hands up in disgust and tune out most of the political spin.

How we ended up here boils down to 2016 presidential political corruption led to Dems and the mainstream media engaging in a massive spin dirty trick promoting Trump, by giving him billions of dollars in free media, all to derail the GOP primary.  Trump gained a following.  Dems then pivoted to a massive scorched earth spin effort to slay the spin monster, Trump the GOP Insurgent, whom they worked so hard to promote.  Their spin monster creation ended up winning the election and the Clinton machine, high-level Obama peeps and Dems, plus their vast array of liberal friends in the media then launched their #Resist scorched earth spin effort, dedicated to derailing Trump’s presidency, by any means necessary.  Here we are, almost three years later, and nothing has changed, except Trump has become more battle-hardened against Dem/media spin attacks, Trump-friendly media has become as willing as the liberal media to launch corrupt spin attacks and Republicans, who once cowered and surrendered quickly under Dem/media spin attacks, now, by and large, just double down on supporting Trump and/or ignoring the Dem/media spin attacks.

Both political parties and the news media in America hunker down in enemy camps, determined to inflict as much spin damage on the opposing side as possible.

What should have been only a few months of scorched earth political spin war, from the end of our 2016 primary season/beginning of the general election season to election day, instead has turned into an entrenched, take no prisoners, three-year long political battle to destroy Trump’s presidency by any means necessary.  The Dems and mainstream media tirelessly work to report only negative-slanted news about Trump and his presidency, they’ve left no stone unturned searching for Trump dirt, and in the absence of any “new” Trump outrage to report on, well, they recycle through the same tired repertoire of Trump scorched earth spin themes… Trump the Russian asset, Trump the Sexual Abuser, Trump the Crook, Trump the Demented/Dementia case, etc. etc., etc.

Our politics and news media have devolved into competing third-rate reality TV shows, so the “plots” veer more to tired publicity stunts, absurd gimmicks, and insultingly lame spin narratives, all repetitively cycled through, as America descends into scorched earth spin hell.  Each repetitive Trump outrage media spin cycle plummets us further toward a looming information void, where the American people will no longer believe anything the news media reports and the news media becomes so mired in their own convoluted spin narratives, that they meander, hopelessly lost in the maze of, dare I use the term, “fake news,”  that they created.  It’s not just Trump spinning fake news, it’s Democrats, liberal mainstream media, Trumpy Fox News, and yes, this scorched earth spin war provides an unguarded media environment for hostile foreign disinformation operations.  Our own partisans and their respective media spin forces will believe ( and amplify) any negative story about the other side.

My big picture take can be summed up with it’s most disturbing watching retired foreign policy experts, top military leaders and former intelligence officials get caught up in various “spin narratives.” become agitated and or sound hysterical based on the latest scorched earth spin narrative blazing across the media.  When I  start listening to these people or read their angry op-ed screeds (mostly anti-Trump ones), what strikes me most is how quickly I can discern which spin narratives, along this scorched earth spin trail, they’ve meandered down.  It’s easy to navigate from their present hysterical outraged take and backtrack to which media they “trust” and “believe” report “facts” and which bubble of “cohorts” in this spin war they’re aligned with.  Yes, these former apolitical national security people sound more and more like rabid partisan spin warriors than leaders committed to America writ large.  That scares me.

So, now my little picture take on this impeachment sideshow:  It’s a train wreck, on both sides.  Dems launched a major scorched earth spin war offensive, but can’t even seem to get their spin straight on what grave crime or high crimes and misdemeanors Trump’s committed.  Dems started with dramatic allegations of Trump committed a quid pro quo in a phone call with President Zelensky of Ukraine, back in July, by demanding investigations into the Bidens and withholding military aid to Ukraine to pressure Zelensky.  On this allegation, after reading through some of the released transcripts from Schiff’s private hearings, I leaned toward supporting impeachment and yes, I believe Trump was pressuring Zelensky to open investigations into a list of matters, from 2016 corruption to Burisma to the Bidens to some unfathomable allegation about Crowdstrike and some secret DNC server.  I still believe Trump mainly wanted these investigations opened to inflict political damage on Joe Biden, yet Trump insists that July call was a “perfect call.”

Trump’s Republican mouthpieces have meandered far and wide, from saying his call was “inappropriate, but not impeachable” all the way to going full-Trumpian adopting the “perfect call” spin.  With Trump, who on earth even knows what he believes about Ukraine and assuredly, watching Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, wildly tweet allegations, assert he has a RICO chart ready, hint at ominous revelations to come, as he gallivants around Ukraine gathering “evidence,” this seems more like a bad script for another movie about grumpy old men run amok.

There’s been so much underhanded Adam Schiff and Dem efforts to craft that one phone call into “an impeachable offense,” that in the real world would likely rise to gross prosecutorial misconduct, that I think this impeachment effort, at this point, lacks legitimacy and has been so poorly managed by Dems that it’s more a scorched earth media spin event than anything remotely about saving our republic from a corrupt president.  Dems appear to have spent more time plotting their spin theatrics than on investigating the allegations.  They appear to be working on a tight partisan timeline rather than trying to take the time to secure witness testimony and run a fair process, but most telling that this is all just spin sideshow is Dems went from quid pro quo as the reason Trump had to be impeached immediately, to extortion, to bribery and lo’ and behold the reason has now pivoted back to “Russia”…

Since Dems rolled out Fiona Hill, The Non-Partisan, national security expert, to testify, I became disillusioned and disgusted with the Dem/media spin sideshow masquerading as a serious impeachment effort. Their impeachment spin narrative made a dramatic pivot back to Trump=Russia spin theme.  Hill set that pivot in motion hyping the Dem spin line that she wants no part in advancing Republican spin that promotes dastardly Russian disinformation, which frames Ukraine as the culprit in 2016 attacks against our election. Russia did massively interfere in our election, but there were mainstream news media reports about much smaller Ukraine interference too. Now to even mention Ukraine interfered has been spun as promoting Russian disinformation…

So, not only is Trump a Russian asset, but in this latest Dem/media scorched earth spin attack… Republicans who dare even mention Ukraine interfered in our 2016 are now Russian assets too…

Here are a few mainstream media news reports on Ukraine interference:

1/11/17, Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire,  and David Stern by Kenneth Vogel at Politico

7/13,2017, Did Ukraine try to interfere in the 2016 election on Clinton’s behalf, CBS News

12/12/18, Ukraine Court Rules Manafort Disclosures Caused “meddling” in U.S. Election, NY Times by Andrew E. Kramer

12/12/16, a Daily Beast article on the Manafort ledger

As for me, I’m devoting my energy to reading more books that interest me and way less time to this idiotic scorched earth spin information war.

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Filed under General Interest, Information War, Trump Impeachment Saga, Uncategorized

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