CT: The political conversation is this: What
message does that send if we have this political trial, and how do you
know this won’t turn into a political trial? In fact, we know it’s
going to turn into a political trial. I’ll take that back – we don’tknow
whether it’s going to turn into a political trial. That is the
experience of how these things have worked in the past, that end up
getting turned into a political trial. And then…
GG: What do you mean by that? What is a political trial?
CT: Let’s take this a step further. I
want to ask you – I do respect your legal mind on this – what happens
when there is a – ’cause one of the reasonings that I hear about going
through with these prosecutions is that you need to send a message to
the world, and to the future administrations, that this is not the way
that the American government should conduct itself.
If you have this trial, and there is, inevitably, some
appeals and some, where we have a back-and-forth, where there is some
sort of, where it becomes a legal debate about whether so-and-so can go
on trial, or not go on trial, what was allowed – they were, they
thought that they were following the law, that they, you know, what
message does that end up sending? Does that end up harming us down the
road? Do you worry about that, if it’s not a clean cut as it feels to
you right now?
It goes on like that for a while, in which Chuck Todd continues to say, basically, that Republicans will say Democrats are mean, and that will bea major problem for everybody. Which … “I don’t know what you mean” is a lot kinder than what I would have said. Which is why Glenn makes the big bucks and I make cat macros.
Seriously, though, what Todd is saying is that unlike in the past eight years — when Democrats’ complaints about Republicans’ penny-candy fascism were treated like the rantings of the homeless dude on the corner who thinks Elvis lives in his head — Republicans’ complaints about Democrats being mean to prosecute lawbreakers will be enough to stop discussion in this country while we all hold hands in a town forum on what punishment would be appropriate for those big meanie Democrats: scalding, or flaying, do you think? Maybe the rack. Nobody hauls out the rack anymore.
They’d HAVE to take Republicans seriously, which means the trial would become infected by some disease Chuck Todd calls “political” but which I would rather describe for our purposes here as “stupid.” Republicans would claim this is a political trial. Sure. Sure they would. It’s what I would do if I was in their place. Oh, WAIT, I was in their place ten years ago and you know what? Democrats claimed Clinton’s impeachment was a political trial and they were RIGHT, and yet all day long on Chuck’s favorite networks they were autowittering on about how to talk to your children about presidential blowjobs, so. Somebody saying something does not dictate you should take that utterance seriously, right? I mean, you made editorial choices before. I fucking swear to God, I have never seen a group more eager to declare their own helplessness in the face of Republicans than the Washington press corps, and the Blue Dogs have been giving them a run of it lately.
Moreover, I find the idea that Chuck Todd wouldn’t want a political trial, wouldn’t salivate over a political trial, wouldn’t walk over his best friend in golf spikes for a political trial, a little wearying. You’re a political reporter, Chuckles. You’re supposed to get us excited about politics, not tell us that anything political is boring and bad and should be dismissed out of hand.