The Diversion Game

I admit at first I fell for it; the “it” being Putin’s two pocketed poodle (a/k/a Donald Trump) launching a media diversion to get the Helsinki Disaster/security discussion off the front burner. Let’s explore.  

The biggest breaking news Friday was the existence of a taped conversation between Trump and Michael Cohen discussing a payoff to one of Trump’s mistresses. In this case a Playboy Playmate who he had an affair with. (No reports of any spankings involved – at this point anyway.) As the hours progressed it became reasonable to assume that the Trump camp was the source of the leak to the press.

That begs the initial question, why would Trump leak information that made him look bad? The primary answer is that it, at least to some degree, buries a worse story. This is a takeoff on my Broad Street Bullies Theory; get “called” on the minor penalty while the major and several other minors go ignored. Infidelity, even when it includes payoffs, isn’t anywhere as near as damaging as treason with Trump’s base. Remember, politically all Trump cares about is his base. It may well not be enough to win reelection in 2020 but for the moment it is large enough and concentrated enough in the Republican primary electorate for Trump to keep the Congressional Republicans in line. In fact, especially with the male portion of his base, the bimbo problems actually score points for him. Bubba secretly envies Trump for the women he is having sex with and wishes that he was in Trump’s place. What Bubba is doing to America is harmful but in his mind it is not and he still views himself as a patriot; a patriot who secretly wishes he was having sex with Playmates and porn stars.

Vladimir Putin controlling the President of the United States is a threat to America; who Trump has sex with is irrelevant to national security. When the media shifted the tape story to the top slot it (as Trump intended) took the American public’s collective eye off the ball. Adding to that the Manhattan Madam story entered the scene almost simultaneously. That was not a Trump leak but sometimes even bad guys get lucky (without paying six figures). The media jumped on both (no pun intended) because sex sells. Note the sex aspect of the Mariia Butrina case got plenty of airtime and ink.

Besides electoral concerns another reason the Congressional Republicans are going along with Trump is because he provides a great smoke screen for their antics. In conference committee (which the Republicans control since they control both chambers of Congress) they removed strong sanctions against Chinese telecom giant ZTE which our intelligence agencies label a threat and who has been caught selling to Iran and North Korea in violation of existing sanctions.

Late last Thursday morning (July 19th) the House voted down a Democratic proposal to increase spending on election security. Roll call vote 364 on HR 6147 was 232-182 and strictly along party lines. Remember last week was a week where the Russian attack on our 2016 election was the lead news item most of the week.

As to the two pocketed poodle remark: I (and I’m far from alone) envision Trump as Putin’s poodle. We can speculate as to the reason(s), but the perception based on Trump’s actions remains. The “two pocketed” is my own vision. In one pocket is Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch who literally would not be on the Supreme Court if it were not for Trump. I assert that Trump is trying to add Brett Kavanaugh to the second pocket. Does any reasonable person capable of critical thinking put a loyalty pledge extraction beyond Trump? There are several scenarios where the Court may have to rule on issues of Presidential powers and exemptions in the course of the Mueller probe. Is it really a stretch to assume Trump will have these two (out of five needed votes) in his pocket?

Trump is scared. We don’t know what Mueller knows. We certainly don’t know what he will discover. Trump knows everything he did, therefore he knows what Mueller might know and that has to be terrifying to him.

I’m stealing the words of others but don’t get distracted by the shiny objects!

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