The basic formula for every breaking Trump/Russia story is essentially as follows:
- The New York Times or Washington Post releases an article that at first blush appears extremely damning.
- Anti-Trump pundits and Democrats react reflexively to the news, express shrieking outrage, and proclaim that this finally proves untoward collusion between Trump and Russia — a smoking gun, at last.
- Aggrieved former Clinton apparatchiks *connect the dots* in a manner eerily reminiscent of right-wing Glenn Beck-esque prognostication circa 2009.
- Self-proclaimed legal experts rashly opine as to whether the new revelation entails some kind of criminally actionable offense. (Recall the now-laughable certitude that felled National Security Advisor Mike Flynnviolated the 200+ year old Logan Act.) This latest version is the certitude that Jeff Sessions committed perjury, when that at the very least is highly questionable.
(Probably best to at least read the relevant statute first).
- The notion of Russian “collusion” being key to toppling Trump becomes further implanted in the minds of the most energized Democratic activists, as evidenced this time around by a troupe of protesters who showed up to the Department of Justice headquarters brandishing trademarked “Resist” placards, chanting “Lock Him Up,” and (as usual) hyperventilating about Putin. As I’ve written before, Trump/Putin theories are increasingly the top concern that plugged-in “Resistance” types bring up at the highly-charged town hall meetings that have received so much attention of late.
- Pointing out these glaring flaws in the latest anti-Russia frenzy is immediately construed by cynics as “defending Trump” or “defending Sessions” when it most assuredly is not. At least in my own case, it’s a defense of not getting enraptured by irrational hysterics to further short-term political aims.
- People who’d spent the past 12 hours frothing at the mouth gradually come to realize that their initial furor was probably overblown, and that a more sober look at the actual facts at hand reveal that the anti-Trump chorus probably got ahead of itself…again.