If you are anti-Trump you may well believe it is Showtime: time has finally run out on the Orange Man, and Mueller will crater the bastard real soon now.
If you are pro-Trump, or at least anti-swamp, anti-Clinton or anti-Obama, you may also believe it is Showtime: Spygate will break real soon now.
At the furthest fever dream reaches of the latter set of impulses you have Q-thinking. In that eschatological reading this week may finally open the eyes of the public to the nefarious misdeeds of the Democrats, with Armageddon materializing in short order. A sequence of events this week, including most notably the appearance on Capitol Hill of John Huber, suggest this reading of the things to come.
For the record, I find the Spygate argument far more persuasive than the Russiagate argument. It has been quite clear for some time that the former gestalt has multiple advantages over the latter. It is based on a theory that has heft to it. It sets up a credible hypothesis that can be tested with evidence. And it has real evidence. So I think things will break in the direction of Spygate/Trump more than Russiagate/Mueller.
There are however many ways this can happen, some more dramatic than others. The Q version is for sure the most dramatic.
I don’t buy all of Q. Even its believers believe it to be a creative and sophisticated intelligence operation, probably of military origin. As such it is replete with both information and disinformation, the better to keep the opponent unbalanced and to maximize the chance of victory.
Under this view you don’t have to take every word of Q as gospel to be a believer. You mostly have to believe it represents the standard anti-swamp view on steroids. Q believers may not hang on every word literally but they for sure see a storm coming, and soon.
For the record I find a lot of Q plausible. Conventional anti-swampers like Hannity, Dan Bongino, Conservative Treehouse, Andrew McCarthy, Kim Strassel, Sara Carter, and John Solomon have not gone off Q’s deep end. Yet It is hard to avoid noting that as time has gone by conventional anti-swamp thinking–much emanating from right-leaning mainstream sources like the Wall Street Journal and the National Review– increasingly resembles Q-thought. So if one takes the anti-swamp view more seriously than the Russiagate view–and I do, given the evidence–one has to at least acknowledge the possibility that things will break in a dramatic fashion as foretold by Q, even if every jot and tittle of his “drops” do not pan out.
So here we are on the Monday of the week of Huber, Comey and Lynch testimony, the week that Q followers seem to believe will tell the tale. Will it?
The argument for the less dramatic unfolding of events has been mounted well by Dan Bongino. He has been saying for some time that while the swamp is real and that while lots of indictments ought to come down we can probably expect no such thing.
Bongino presents his more subdued analysis of the situation in his most recent podcast.
His underlying point: there will be no bloodbath.
The Department of Justice or the FBI cannot have 50 or 60 people a day brought out in handcuffs and political players locked (up). There would be a popular revolt on the Left side. . . . there is a horse trade going on somewhere between players on both sides—the Trump anti-swamp effort and the Swamp Protection Team.
Under this view the recent raid on the Clinton Foundation whistle blower was not a good thing. It was probably, in Bongino’s estimation, an effort by the anti-swampers to control the highly damaging information in the whistle blower’s house. But why would they want to raid the house to secure a copy of information they already had, and that had been handed over voluntarily under whistle blower protection?
To protect the horse trade process.
Fenster speculated things might turn out this way back in February:
The deal is pretty simple: in return for not sending people to prison and blowing up the legacies of Obama and Clinton the previous actions of the Obama Administration are swept under a rug and mostly forgotten. And in return for agreeing to portray bad behavior a matter of innocent mistakes and noble intentions the financial misdeeds of a future president–damaging but irrelevant to the collusion issue–are put to bed.
That is how I would write the last episode anyway. As a . . . . business deal . . . a negotiation.
Bongino goes on to say that the Huber appearance in the Senate on December 5 will not be the beginning of the end for the Clinton and Obama forces. Sorry Qanons! Under his view it may be that Mark Meadows is honestly trying to push to find out what the heck Huber is up to. And that what Huber is up to is helping arrange a highly controlled horse trade rather than setting the stage for a fiery Armageddon.
Bongino’s analysis seems very credible though even he acknowledges that he could be wrong. The whistle blower raid could be an attempt to control all the documents in anticipation of a Q-style Judgment Day. We may not have the answer to that question this week but we may have more to go on.
So we shall wait and see.
BUT . . . one last set of thoughts, continuing Fenster’s speculation from last February. Here is something that seems not to add up.
Bongino seems to contradict himself. First, he asserts that Trump holds all the cards and that Mueller, whose role has been to keep the pressure on to stop disclosure of Spygate deeds, has nothing. That in turn leads to the point made above: that the demolition of the other side must take place slowly so as not to lead to a massive pushback by the Left, a revolt that could create political problems capable of derailing the process.
That concept is in keeping with the notion “Trump has it all; Mueller has nothing.” It is in fact the Q analysis, with the added fillip that demolition of the other side will not occur in a massive conflagration but slowly and steadily.
But then he seems to contradict that view. For the most part he does not argue that a controlled demolition is taking place but rather a horse trade. As he puts it “they give you one of them we give them one of us.”
But why would a horse trade like this be necessary if, as he says, Trump has it all and Mueller has nothing?
I think Mueller could well have something. Fenster wrote in that February post:
(T)he way Mueller has framed this suggests that the next shoe dropping will probably not be about collusion. It will be about something else.
But what would that be? Could be obstruction of justice, though (Andrew) McCarthy has done a good job in the past of decimating that argument. Even if some strained argument can be made that a President can obstruct justice as head of his own executive department it hardly seems likely that a flawed and weak case for obstruction would be enough to bring the President down. Recall that Obama went on TV at the height of the email crisis to explain to the American people that he saw no reason to find Clinton’s motivation suspect.
So if not obstruction of justice what might the next shoe consist of? It could well have to do with Trump’s financial dealings in Russia (or elsewhere–what the hell!) before he was a candidate for president. All great fortunes begin with a crime. Business–especially business conducted in faraway places with different rules for business behavior–is always occasion for dubious behavior, possibly illegal by U.S. standards.
Bongino acknowledges that Mueller is going far afield in his work but keeps returning to the theme that all of the detours are related to putting pressure on Trump with respect to Russian collusion. But isn’t it more sensible to conclude that the detours are there for a simpler reason: to find dirt on Trump that is not related to Russian collusion but that is toxic politically nonetheless?
If that is true then while the horse trade concept can make sense as a general matter it will take on a different tone than “you give me one of yours I give you one of mine”. It would be a different kind of horse trade, one which takes on the flavor of “you don’t do this to me I don’t do this to you.”
That is not a controlled demolition. It is a set of mutual concessions made to protect interests and to keep the peace.
That’s kind of what Fenster suggested might happen.
But maybe Fenster was wrong.
There are still some good arguments that serious conflict is about to happen.
For one there’s Trump. Yes on the one hand he is a businessman and he looks for a deal. On the other he is well-known for holding grudges, getting even and applying scorched earth with glee when necessary.
Second, there are the Clintons. If it is true that the Clintons, even more than the Obama people, committed the biggest misdeeds and hold events in check via political power and possibly blackmail how is it possible to finesse the matter? Isn’t the only feasible path to go all the way? And in the current climate might not most Democrats, including the Obama faction, be happy to see the Clintons finally go under? Spare Obama and lock her up?
So let me now make my position, in Nixon’s phrase, perfectly clear.
If the whole thing gets buried in a deep horse trade you heard it here first, back in February.
If the swamp gets drained you heard it here today.
Fenster knows how to talk political, out of both sides of his mouth.