As I crawled through construction on my way to work today, WILK talk radio host and diehard Donald Trump apologist Sue Henry invited listeners to play a game of make-believe.
“Pretend that it was Chelsea Clinton in that meeting, and ask yourself if anyone would care, because nobody would,” she said, referring to the blockbuster revelation that Donald Trump Jr., Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort met with a Russian government lawyer who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton and Kremlin help getting Donald Trump Sr. elected.
I share this with you for three reasons:
First, it documents yet again that Trump’s most stubborn supporters have been reduced to posing pretend scenarios to defend bad acts that actually happened, and they are willing to do so until the sun burns out.
Second, it highlights the breathtaking hypocrisy of “patriots” who insist that Trump Jr.’s incriminating emails are “not newsworthy” but chanted “Lock Her Up!” over Hillary Clinton’s missing emails, no matter what those emails contained.
NOTE: This is not a defense of Hillary, but of objective reality. These things happened. For the sake of argument, I offer the angry line of Trumpers who will line up to blast this blog a deal. I will stipulate that Hillary Clinton is the source of all evil. In return, you concede that she did not use her demonic powers to push Trump Jr., Kushner and Manafort into the meeting with the Russians at Trump Tower. They made that choice for themselves. Party of personal responsibility, anyone?
My third reason for sharing is the opportunity to once again trot out my favorite quote from NBC‘s “The Office,” which of course was set in Scranton. Responding to a nonsensical “what-if” comparison made by a colleague, Andy Bernard responds:
“And what if the moon was your car and Jupiter was your hairbrush?”
In other words, belief is a choice. Objective reality doesn’t give a damn what you believe. Still, when you’re stuck in construction traffic, any distraction is welcome.
So I pretended that it was Chelsea Clinton who sat down with Russians ready to sell out to the Kremlin for dirt on Donald Trump. Also in this alternate reality, President Hillary Clinton won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote by a massive margin, which Trump and his supporters said made her presidency illegitimate from Day One.
Turns out people did care about Chelsea’s secret meeting. Especially Sue Henry and her cohorts in the talk-radio echo chamber, whose listeners agreed in lockstep that the meeting represents the “greatest act of treason in American history.” Chelsea’s Russian scandal was so newsworthy that Fox “News” suspended all other programming to cover it. Meanwhile, the Republican-controlled Congress immediately began impeachment hearings and moved to abolish the Electoral College.
And then the guy in the hardhat with the orange flag waved me on. I snapped back to the reality we all live and make choices in. The moon was not my car, but the road resembled a lunar surface. And it wasn’t Chelsea Clinton who sat down with Russians ready to sell out to the Kremlin as it worked to subvert American democracy.
Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort did that, and lied about it innumerable times as the truth trickled out.
Sue Henry was right about one thing. She said there was a lot of “wishful thinking” tied to the ever-widening Trump-Russia scandal. That’s true, but she attributed it all to Trump’s detractors. My guess is there’s way more wishful thinking among Trump apologists who desperately want to believe such a meeting only happened once.