CSotD: Delta in the Dock

Dean Wormer may have been a humorless bureaucrat, but the man had a point, and, by the way, Animal House hasn’t really aged very well. Perhaps we’ve become — horrors! — woke to the racist, sexist humor at its core, or maybe we’ve simply outgrown identifying with rich preppies who can afford to spend four years in college goofing off.

Then again, maybe we haven’t, judging from the split response to the indictment of a rich preppie who glided through college on his old man’s donations rather than his own efforts, unlike the strait-laced boys who took ROTC scholarships and put some efforts into their classwork.

The weird part being that, as Jack Perticone reports, it’s the conservatives who are the slackers, taking pride in not having read the indictment or bothering to digest the material being discussed.

“I haven’t read it at all. I’m not a legal analyst. I’m gonna leave that to the professionals to tell us about it. I’ve read everything I can of secondary sources of it, but not the original.” — Chuck Grassley, R-Ia

For those, like Ann Telnaes, who have taken the time to find out what all the fuss is about, the detailed indictment is damning and, even honoring the principle of innocence until proven guilty, Jack Smith’s painstaking enumeration of facts leaves very little room for doubt.

Which may be why, as RJ Matson notes, Trump found his attorneys resigning from the case and had to scramble to find new representation, though it might also be because of his history of non-payment and of ignoring their advice.

It may be funny when Bluto starts shouting about the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor, but when your client won’t shut up and when his public statements bear no resemblance to the facts of the case, it doesn’t improve your odds of getting him off.

Though it does rally his fraternity brothers.

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Gary Varvel — Creators)

(Mike Lester — AMS)

(Chip Bok — Creators)

The party line among those who have apparently not read the document is that not only do “they all do it” but that Democrats have been let off the hook for having done things just as bad.

And, just as Bluto cannot forgive the Germans for bombing Pearl Harbor, the premise includes equating the wholesale theft of documents, and stubborn, extended refusal to give them back, with inadvertent sloppy handling and immediate correction of the problem.

A couple of housekeeping matters:

First, those stacks and stacks of boxes are not, as has been implied, full of classified materials. Rather, they are a hodge-podge of random souvenirs and personal papers, plus material that should never have been left in the Oval Office, much less taken to Mar A Lago.

The issue seems to be a total of 140 documents, which may be of various numbers of pages but, even gathered together, would not likely fill an entire bankers box. The photos of boxes do not suggest the number of purloined secrets but merely the lack of concern for their safe and legal storage.

Though he was aware enough about what was in the boxes that he dug out some classified materials to take to Bedminster and show off.

Still, there is little surprise that Trump’s papers would be in such glorious disorder. Nearly from the start of his administration, there were reports about his cavalier treatment of documents and his lack of focus on the work at hand. Even before we heard of him tearing up documents, flushing them down the toilet or even eating them, it was well-known that he rarely read them and paid little attention to their proper disposition.

But, finally, as many observers have noted, all he had to do was — as Biden and Pence had done — offer to let the intelligence community sort through the boxes and remove and return any documents that had filtered into them.

The comparisons therefore utterly fail, and are as transparently nonsensical as Kevin McCarthy’s explanation that bathroom doors lock (yes, but only from the inside) and that expensive restored vintage sportscars at majestic homes are kept behind average garage doors (which, even so, would lock far more securely than average bathrooms).

Machs nix. As Bill Bramhall points out, the GOP is wedded to their own reality and has little intention of absorbing the actual evidence around them.

While, as Rob Rogers notes, even those few Republicans who step up to criticize Trump’s actions do so with an odd lack of intensity. Mike Pence, who surely had plenty of opportunities to observe the man in action, launched his campaign by saying “I believe that anyone who puts themselves over the Constitution should never be president of the United States, and anyone who asks someone else to put them over the Constitution should never be president of the United States again.”

Then, in an interview, he acknowledged that, if Trump gained the nomination, he would support him.

It’s not simply illogical; it’s disloyal.

Granted, Michael Ramirez may have drawn this cartoon, which appeared this morning, before Trump made his defiant, delusional speech last night.

And the cartoon is not about what Trump may say or may believe but, rather, about the impact of the indictment on his chances in the 2024 elections.

But if nobody bothers to read the indictment, and if they are getting their news from Fox, it may not matter what he is accused of or what he did.

I wish I could say I agreed with Ramirez rather than with Scott Stantis (Counterpoint), but I can’t.

Stantis accurately demonstrates Trump’s ability to assault Justice and not simply get away with it but prosper for having “taken a stand,” even one that threatens the nation’s safety and interests.

The problem, assuming anyone believes it is a problem, is that, as Jeff Stahler (AMS) suggests, Trump relies not on courts and laws but on public acclaim.

He has a history that includes a succession of business failures, and whether they were deliberate scams or simply ambitious ideas that didn’t pan out, they were based what he thought people wanted and would pay for.

And when he crossed the line from bad ideas into dubious legality, he paid people off and tried something else, at first with financial aid from an indulgent father and, later, with seemingly unsecured loans from Deutsche Bank.

So far, it’s worked pretty well.

6 thoughts on “CSotD: Delta in the Dock

  1. Right-wing cartoonists, like Fox, have to lie. If they ever told the truth, their audience would disappear.

  2. I couldn’t read yesterday’s post because I couldn’t scroll down on my iPad. I have to think the cause was the horrible ads.

  3. I’ve not seen “Animal House,” but I think the first word should be “Dean.”

  4. The longer it takes to hire new attorneys, the longer the new attorneys can be granted a continuance to delay the trial. “Sorry, I haven’t had time to get briefed on the case, your honor. How about ninety days to learn what this case is all about?” (Because lawyers don’t read the papers or watch TV. ) “Granted.” (Because neither do conservative judges.)

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