November 8, 2019

The Politico headline "Who Will Betray Trump?" is not an inadvertent likening of Trump to Jesus.

Just look at the illustration over there.

Beyond the illustration — which is fascinating — the article — subtitled "Donald Trump knows there are potential traitors in his midst/His presidency could depend on keeping them at bay" — might be dull. Sample:
Venting privately about the president has become a hallowed pastime in Republican-controlled Washington, a sort of ritualistic release for those lawmakers tasked with routinely defending the indefensible....

But as summer turned to fall... [Republican Congressman Francis Rooney] was talking not in a manner that was abstract or academic, but concrete and ominous. Initially in one-on-one conversations, and then in larger group settings, Rooney cautioned his colleagues that there could be no turning a blind eye to the fact pattern emerging from Trump’s relationship with Ukraine....
Okay, so don't turn a blind eye. I don't think looking right at the Ukraine phone call is terribly "ominous."
The question, Rooney told his friends, was not whether there was clear evidence of wrongdoing, but whether the president himself was culpable—and if so, whether congressional Republicans were going to cover for him.
What? "Wrongdoing" and "culpability" are the same thing. Is the Politico essayist trying to say that Rooney doesn't care about using evidence? How else would you determine whether the President is "culpable? Sniffing the political wind?

60 comments:

rhhardin said...

It's swirling black clouds all over. It's time for a fog machine and a disco ball.

Michael K said...

Swamp creature self identifying. Does he have a Ukraine connection ? Lots of them do.

Michael K said...

His issue apparently was a ban on offshore drilling and he's stepping down. Hmmm

Skylark said...

It’s just another admission, like claiming the transcript has been bowdlerized, that they don’t have anything.

henry said...

Is the Politico essayist trying to say that Rooney doesn't care about using evidence?

The Politico essayist doesn't care about using evidence, so he forces his sources to back that through careful paraphrasing..

Rosa Marie Yoder said...

Compare away. As they like to say in churchy circles... I've read the back of the book, and I know who wins.

Drago said...

There can be no question Trump is culpable for all of his Non-Crimes and it is up to Congress to fully investigate these Non-Crimes in order to protect the Republic from all these Non-Criminals not committing crimes.

The very non-existent nature of these Non-Crimes cries out for Non-Justice!!!

And if you disagree, you are a Russian!!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Wrongdoing is a definite term. Sharp, clear and has edges. You either DID the wrong thing or you DIDN'T do the wrong thing. You ran the kid over in the street with your car while texting. Or you did not. You stole the money from the 7-11 or you didn't.

Aiding and abetting is one thing. Culpability is different.

Culpability is a middle ground type of term. Mushy and can easily be spread all over people who actual did NO wrong. Example. My neighbor is beating his wife to death. I strongly suspect this by her black eyes, broken bones, cowed attitude. I am almost certain. I don't report it to the police ....because almost is not 100%. I don't go storming into their house and try to stop him or do an intervention. When she dies.....Am I culpable? I didn't do The Wrong. (Morally I think I would be culpable but under the law?)

The mere act of owning a swimming pool that your neighbor's rotten kids trespass (wrong) into your yard to swim and one of them dies. Say, I have built a locked fence around my property, enclosed the pool. Attractive Nuisance law says that I, the owner, may be liable. I might be liable but I damned sure am not culpable in the death of the rotten kids.

How big of a fence DO I need. What lengths do I have to go to in order to not be liable or culpable.

Culpability is a mushy term and subject to being abused.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

The media is waving the "strange new respect flag."

Please, pretty please, someone, anyone, please turn on Trump and we'll lavish you with money and praise. We promise we'll be good to you for evah!!!!

They sound desperate and needy. Not one Republican in the House backed this star chamber coup attempt.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Sniffing the political wind?"

Is this related to the manure talked about in the last post?

I am Laslo.

Nichevo said...

Is inadvertent the same thing as unintended?

tim maguire said...

They still operate under the delusion (let us hope it is a delusion) that if they keep shouting "impeachment," then Trump will be impeached.

They use language like a magical incantation--it does not reflect real-world events, it is an appeal to the spirit world for intervention.

Michael K said...

The Ukrainian connection was an integral part of the Deep State.

Well, against the backdrop of Ambassador Yovanovitch in 2017 and 2018 “monitoring” American persons in/around her Ukraine interests; and considering all of these database search queries identified by Boasberg in 2017 and 2018 “incidentally” captured Americans; perhaps this explains how the Yovanovitch “monitoring” was taking place.

Burisma Leadership Meeting With Ambassador Yovanovitch in October 2018 – Link

We know what the FBI and “contractors” were doing in 2016; and given how invested the intelligence community is within the current stop-trump operations (writ large); and given the political stakes for the intelligence community, well, would there be a reason they would just stop electronic surveillance in January 2017 when President Trump was inaugurated?

I suspect this NSA database is being continually data-mined by ongoing institutional operatives and contractors who are working against the Trump administration. I suspect the surveillance of their political opposition is ongoing….


Ukraine and Burisma were more than a honey pot for Democrat politicians. They were integral in the FISA abuse.

My strong hunch is that behind this process we would find the reason why the ‘Steele Dossier” was so relevant to Mueller. You see, investigating the dossier made the 2017 Mueller investigation an extension of a 2016 counterintelligence investigation and not a criminal investigation (later, those were spun off).

By maintaining the counterintelligence process for Mueller, the FBI was able to continue exploiting the NSA database as a FISA(702) tool for their investigation. The foreign actors played a key role in this process. So long as the Mueller investigation was targeting foreign actors they could collect downstream evidence on the “702” (American persons) returns.

In essence, the “small group” could stretch the NSA database rules to conduct electronic warrantless searches and massive electronic surveillance on targets direct (“to/from”) and indirect (downstream).


One can hope Durham will uncover all this.

rehajm said...

Shorter Politico: ohpleaseohpleaseohplease!!

...and just WTF is a fact pattern? A Scott Adams laundry list persuasion fail?

Temujin said...

He's guilty. Of wrongthink (not to mentioned being an unrepentant white male). He's guilty. We'll find the crime. Even if we have to keep creating them, one after another, we'll find the crime. But have no doubt. He's guilty.

dbp said...

Would it have killed Politico to find another two people for the illustration? Then they could have made 4 groupings of 3.

Otto said...

Journalism is dying in its TDS puke.

SeanF said...

"The question, Rooney told his friends, was not whether there was clear evidence of wrongdoing, but whether the president himself was culpable."

I think the key words here are "the president himself". He's saying it's not good enough to prove that something bad was done if you can't prove that Trump, specifically, was the one who did it.

Which, to me, doesn't seem particularly "ominous".

Leland said...

I guess Rooney is doing well against his opponent, so WaPo is putting out a fake news story about how he is a squishy Republican. Bonus, he's in Florida, and they need Florida to flip against Trump. In short, it is WaPo and thus regular propaganda.

Bruce Hayden said...

I am ever more amazed at the insanity here. Somehow, it was just fine for the Obama Administration to condition aid to the Ukraine on firing the prosecutor who was investigating the gas company that was bribing the VP’s son, but it is somehow reprehensible and impeachable that would not actually engage in quid pro quo in regards to cleaning up Ukrainian corruption.

What amazes me is that they are so fervent in their beliefs here, in view of the ever more evidence that the whole thing was a setup from Day 1 to justify impeaching Trump (and whitewashing the Dems interactions with Ukrainian corruption, esp in regards to SpyGate). We now have the “whistleblower’s” attorney having announced years ago that the coup had started. “Coup” is right, and any Republican in Congress buying into it deserves to be run out of their district on a rail, after a proper tar and feathering. Most of the Dems can be excused, because, being Democrats, we don’t expect them to have morals, just enlightened self interest. But enlightened self interest for Republican politicians would counsel skepticism.

To me, it is somewhat akin to belief in the global climate change scam. I just spent the last half hour reading articles on https://wattsupwiththat.com/, which I hadn’t done for awhile, and as the evidence gets more and more certain that The whole edifice of the fraud is collapsing, the claims get ever more fanciful and extreme. Democrats can almost be excused for buying into the fraud because of their enlightened self interest of using the hoax to sell giving them more power and more avenues to enrich themselves. But Republicans? They are supposed to oppose using the government for personal gain in that way.

Ann Althouse said...

"Culpability is a middle ground type of term. Mushy and can easily be spread all over people who actual did NO wrong. Example. My neighbor is beating his wife to death. I strongly suspect this by her black eyes, broken bones, cowed attitude. I am almost certain. I don't report it to the police ....because almost is not 100%. I don't go storming into their house and try to stop him or do an intervention. When she dies.....Am I culpable? I didn't do The Wrong. (Morally I think I would be culpable but under the law?)"

I don't see this distinction. You are asking: Did I do anything wrong? Is it wrong to fail to report when you have knowledge of a crime? It's a question of what is wrong? Just because something else is more clearly wrong doesn't mean that the thing that you did isn't also wrong. It's certainly a crime to be an accessory after the fact to a murder, but the statutes will define that crime and what the punishment is. If you did what's defined in the statute, you committed a crime and you are *culpable* of that crime.

Sometimes a law defines something to be a crime that isn't even wrong, except to the extent that there's a law against it. But violating the law is itself wrong, and if you do that wrong, then you are culpable of it.

Culpable means blameworthy. You are worthy of blame if you DO something WRONG. If what you are responsible for isn't wrong, then we don't blame you. We credit you. Or we don't have any opinion about your behavior.

In short, I'm not seeing these degrees of mushiness you talk about, and if I wanted to say one was more mushy than the other, it would be mushy to me which one was.

rehajm said...

They still operate under the delusion (let us hope it is a delusion) that if they keep shouting "impeachment," then Trump will be impeached.

It seems, given all the preparation, all the man hours, all the king's horses and men, they were woefully unprepared for their plan to fail.

gilbar said...

The question, Rooney told his friends, was not whether there was clear evidence of wrongdoing, but whether the president himself was culpable

I'm Assuming that he means;
it's no big deal that there was clear evidence of wrongdoing ... By Jo Biden
but that the President had tried to do something about it

iowan2 said...

This so tedious.

There is no crime. Can we settle on that? If not, the circular logic follows, and it becomes meaningless

Howard said...

Trump is literally Jesus Christ to his followers. Have you seen pictures of his mother? No human male could possibly boink that.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

What? "Wrongdoing" and "culpability" are the same thing. Is the Politico essayist trying to say that Rooney doesn't care about using evidence? How else would you determine whether the President is "culpable?

Occam's razor suggests that it's more a case of the writer being a typical journalist - that is, a dullard. He wasn't hired to put out careful writing that makes any sense, he was hired to throw together word salads of suggestive (ominous!) vocabulary.

If his usage accurately reproduces what Rooney said, then he should thank Rooney for doing his homework for him.

Ann Althouse said...

"Is this related to the manure talked about in the last post?"

Yes, and thanks for noticing.

There's all kinds of thematic resonance throughout this blog!

Wince said...

The media will save their final charges of "betrayal" for the likes of Susan Collins and Mitt Romney when they vote against impeachment.

Fernandistein said...

Didn't Jesus get reelected three days after he was impeached?

gilbar said...

Michael K pointed out, that...
His issue apparently was a ban on offshore drilling and he's stepping down.


So, he was a deep state Rino, and the politico thinks that Jesus Christ would have had someone Like That, as an Apostle and had him for supper?

Huh?

tcrosse said...

Mea culpa.

stevew said...

The better analogy would be Caesar and Brutus.

gilbar said...

I believe that Fernandistein just won the web

Fernandistein said... Didn't Jesus get reelected three days after he was impeached?

Michael K said...

To me, it is somewhat akin to belief in the global climate change scam.

There are billions and maybe trillions of dollars involved. The donors don't give a shit about Syria or the border. They are making money as fast as they can on the "green" scam. When it collapses, and it will, they will still have their money.

mccullough said...

Rooney is a W guy. Big donor to the Bush family.

He’s still sad Jeb didn’t lose to Hillary.

narayanan said...

gilbar said...

I believe that Fernandistein just won the web

Fernandistein said... Didn't Jesus get reelected three days after he was impeached?
___________________
I raise you : he had one all powerful super delegate

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

gilbar: I believe that Fernandistein just won the web. [For "Didn't Jesus get reelected three days after he was impeached?"]

Second that.

Birches said...

The irony of quoting Mark Sanford when talking about Trump destroying norms. Ha!

Isn't it obvious DC Republicans? Voters think you're all just as bad as Trump. Your righteous indignation is what pisses us off because it is phony.

CWJ said...

"Is this related to the manure talked about in the last post?"

Laslo,

Yes. It's Althouse's theme today. Dead people, and stiffing your wife and kids. Manure. Political winds. Harris's campaign. They all stink.

Sally327 said...

I don't get the impression that Trump has ever handled things believing he can rely on other people's loyalty. The Bushes and the Clintons, yes but not Trump (Obama just assumed fealty was his due).

It's the only thing that makes sense to me given the kinds of people Trump has chosen for various roles, people it seems obvious didn't necessarily have Trump's best interests at heart. He either considers treachery a given or he finds that betrayal can actually be a helpful development as it reinforces the narrative, Trump is the one righteous man.

CWJ said...

Oh, I forgot the colon-shaped sunrise cloud.

Birches said...

These guys go around to each other and badmouth Trump all day, but secretly, most realize they're no different. Occasionally, a guy like Rooney gets carried away and starts believing the Dem PR.

Unknown said...

Just more fake news.

Begonia said...

Althouse is confused about this sentence:

"...was not whether there was clear evidence of wrongdoing, but whether the president himself was culpable"

I read that as saying, the question Rooney had wasn't whether it was WRONG. The question Rooney had is whether the President was himself responsible for the wrongdoing.

hombre said...

Cowardly Republican cannibalism. A time honored tradition. Dog bites man.

Meanwhile, evidence emerges continuously about Democrat swamprats, e.g., Hillary, McCabe, the Bidens, Clapper, etc., violating actual criminal statutes and The Uniparty remains silent.

Interesting that Roger Stone has his home invaded by armed feds and is on trial for lying to Congress about Wikileaks while Clapper, who lied to Congress in front of the whole country about something actually important, has apparently skated.

rcocean said...

Francis Rooney is a wacko Bird. He won his seat by spending zillions and is Bush RINO Type. He's a two term congressman who's already said he won't run in 2020. He's like Amash - a RINO who's looking forward to the private sector.

rcocean said...

Its always astounding how all the Democrat "Moderates" will vote in lockstep with Schumer and Pelosi. People forget the D's only have about a 20 seat lead in the House. But they don't lose ONE vote. Absolutely ZERO mavericks. Meanwhile, you ALWAYS have 20 R squish Congressmen who are ALWAYS looking for a chance to go "Maverick" and be a big media star by "reaching across the aisle".

Rooney knows nothing, he's just shooting his mouth off because he hates Trump and isn't running again. Just like justin Amash from Michagan.

rcocean said...

I've been waiting for the big betrayal ever since Trump got into office. Another John Dean. I was fully expecting Dan Coats for example to turn on Trump or Bolton. You cannot trust the DC Establishment, and Trump put too many swamp creatures in his inner circle. But so far, we're OK.

Howard said...

Blogger hombre said...

Cowardly Republican


You're repeating yourself mi amigo

wholelottasplainin' said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Is this related to the manure talked about in the last post?"

Yes, and thanks for noticing.

There's all kinds of thematic resonance throughout this blog!
************

...and thematic redolence as well.

Bruce Hayden said...

Interesting article: CODENAME “CHARLIE”: The So-Called Whistleblower. Don’t know how well sourced it is, but if true is pretty scary. Charlie is Presumably the code name for one Eric Ciaramella, aged 33, a low-level CIA, GS-13 analyst, who appears to have close ties to Joe Biden, Crooked Hillary, Sydney Blumenthal, Susan Rice, John Brennan, Alexandra Chalupa (Ukrainian American who did opposition research against Trump), etc. And interestingly, “Ciaramella is called “Charlie” because he is prominently mentioned in emails and text messages between FBI agents and lovers, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page as “C”, where he appeared to be leaking them information related to General Michael Flynn and his alleged connection and conversations with the Russian ambassador.”. Wonder why the Dems (including their MSM contingent) are so apoplectic about the Impeachment Hoax “whistleblower” being identified? The reason might very well be that if it is, indeed, Ciaramella, who is Schifty’s “whistleblower”, he apparently worked closely with the above list of miscreants over the last several years, even to the extent of having worked with at least Strzok and Page on their entrapment of Gen Flynn. And, yes, two of his close colleagues were hired by Schifty for his bogus impeachment “inquiry”. With millions of federal employees, what are the odds, that the Ukrainian operation “whistleblower” would have worked closely with those two on their part of trying to take out Flynn? (Whose major sin apparently wasn’t in his support of a fired FBI employee, but rather with his plans as NSA to audit the entire Intelligence Community, starting with the CIA, and working down).

Michael K said...

With millions of federal employees, what are the odds, that the Ukrainian operation “whistleblower” would have worked closely with those two on their part of trying to take out Flynn? (Whose major sin apparently wasn’t in his support of a fired FBI employee, but rather with his plans as NSA to audit the entire Intelligence Community, starting with the CIA, and working down).

CiTH has more on the Ukraine connection which is a big deal, not just the Bidens.

Remember all of the State Department “unmaskings” that were taking place? Hundreds of unmaskings assigned to U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, and yet no-one could identify who was doing them?

One of the significant changes between the Collyer report (covering 2016) and the Boasberg report (covering 2017) was an institutional inability to track who was doing the actual database searches. Some internal process was modified to create IC anonymity.

Well, against the backdrop of Ambassador Yovanovitch in 2017 and 2018 “monitoring” American persons in/around her Ukraine interests; and considering all of these database search queries identified by Boasberg in 2017 and 2018 “incidentally” captured Americans; perhaps this explains how the Yovanovitch “monitoring” was taking place.


Yovanovitch was a major player.

Michael K said...

Interesting that Roger Stone has his home invaded by armed feds and is on trial for lying to Congress about Wikileaks while Clapper, who lied to Congress in front of the whole country about something actually important, has apparently skated.

Roger Stone is a clown type, like Dick Tuck.

I'm not sure Clapper has skated yet. He's lawyered up.

Char Char Binks said...

“Wrongdoing” isn’t the same as “culpability”, but it is a prerequisite for it.

Char Char Binks said...

I get ya, Begonia, but if Rooney decided that SOMEONE is culpable of the wrong that was done in the phone cal, who else could it be but DJT? Zelensky? Ciaramella?

Ken B said...

Talk about potential betrayers reveals
1 they don’t have a case right now
2 they believe in spite of evidence anyway

Gabriel said...

"The Politico headline "Who Will Betray Trump?" is not an inadvertent likening of Trump to Jesus."

I didn't click to see the picture, so my thoughts went to "Who will rid me of this turbulent priest"?

Clyde said...

There's no Judas, only Pharisees all the way down.

TheThinMan said...

Ann, our fearless destroyer of weasel words and sneaky rhetorical devices, writes a double negative in her headline?

Nichevo said...


Howard said...
Trump is literally Jesus Christ to his followers. Have you seen pictures of his mother? No human male could possibly boink that.

By that logic, your mom must have been the hottest piece of ass ever. Come to think of it, can confirm.