Oh No, Not Politics!

Chuck Todd, giving the garden weasel a run for its money as the most famous tool there is:

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?

GG: I don’t know what you mean.

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.



8 thoughts on “Oh No, Not Politics!

  1. So let me see if I understand Chuck: if a case has political implications, or might be construed to be politically motivated in any way, we shouldn’t investigate?
    Getting to be an elected official does not get you a “Get Out Of Jail Free” pass, dude. And the only way we can determine whether a crime was committed is if we have an investigation.
    It’s that bloody simple.

  2. This is pretty breathtaking:
    GG: And isn’t the best thing to do to immunize that question from political considerations is to say to a prosecutor, the way that we do with every other accusation of crime: take a look at the pure legal issues here, ask: “were crimes committed; is this the kind of case that indictments are appropriate for, where people should be put on trial,” and then just have this be treated like every other accusation of crime, which is the prosecutor taking a look?
    CT: I agree, in a perfect world – Glenn, in a perfect world, yes. And if you could also guarantee me, that this wouldn’t become a show trial, and wouldn’t be put, and created so that we had nightly debates about it, that is the ideal way to handle this.
    GG: Why not? What’s wrong with nightly debate about whether our government committed crimes?
    CT: Because then it becomes, then you do politicize the issue, to the point of where you won’t – the fact is, public opinion was on the opposite side of the argument as you. That doesn’t mean public opinion should…
    GG: That’s not really true. The polls are very mixed and lots of polls show more than 50% of the people want investigations–
    CT: It depends on how you ask the question.
    GG: Exactly. But obviously–
    CT: It depends on how you ask the question because–
    GG: The question of whether you prosecute crimes isn’t dependent in any way on whether or not public opinion thinks that you ought to.
    CT: Public opinion has been, the way I think I’ve been able to interpret this is that the public is against torture, the public doesn’t want the US reputation shattered around the world, and they also want to sweep it under the rug.

    Public opinion, Politics, and U.S. Law.
    Like on Sesame Street: One of these things is different, one of these things just doesn’t belong. Apparently Chuck Todd doesn’t know which one.

  3. Most stomach turning Todd quote: In response to Greewald’s assertion that, “the Attorney General, the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, he makes decisions based on legal factors”, Todd says, “Of course, on the 30,000 feet level, it is supposed to work that way”
    Yet 100 prisoners died in US custody here on the ground, not at the 30,000 feet level. More evidence of the media’s evil liberal bias.

  4. Hi A. I had two questions after reading the transcript:
    1. What would it take for Todd to consider an investigation of the president to not be political?
    2. Since he never addressed question #1, may we safely assume that the Chuck Todd and Friends statute of limitations for executive criminality is the end of the president’s term in office?

  5. To tie into Buggy: And I suppose the Bush administration totally removed politics from the DOJ? And didn’t try to influence the cases they took on?
    Additionally, if the repubs had made an innocent lapse because they didn’t understand, the courts should consider a slap on the wrist.
    However, if the “lapses” were so egregious that a 5th grader could see their unconstitutionality, and there was evidence that they were committed knowingly and with malice, and they had implications on established international law, we must investigate to show this behavior is not tolerated.

  6. Exactly MapleStreet–the absence of an investigation can be just as political as the presence of one. Something Todd seems blissfully unaware of…

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