Is Trump a genius?
Lessig
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Yesterday, I wrote a response to the above piece. In answer, I presented a negative prospectus for Trump. But I didn’t specifically address the optimism in Mr. Lessig’s piece. He is not alone in hoping for a silver lining in this cloud. A writer in The Nation, Patrick Lawrence, also voiced some optimism on Trump— specifically regarding normalization w/ Russia.

I disagreed with that well-known journalist to an audience of approximately 2 here:

And I raised the notion of a mass Stockholm Syndrome gripping some factions of liberalism.

Lessig’s and Lawrence’s optimism is one approach to dealing with the absolutely weird psychodynamics of our current national political drama. I will be blunt and define this approach as giving our assailant the benefit of the doubt. It is reminiscent of the defenders of colonization; Britain subjected Ireland, India, and numerous regions to its brutal rule (brutal only if one contested that rule). There once was a contingent of scholars who found a virtue in these aggressions, claiming the British brought organization and badly needed political institutions to these regions.

I am not necessarily saying Lessig’s and Lawrence’s optimism is misplaced — though it may be misspent (only time will tell). I am however perceiving an attempt by the vanquished to forgive and legitimize the vanquisher. It is essentially the “making a virtue of necessity” or the “lemonade from lemons” approach.

We have to recall that Trump occupies his office under a legal cloud about which there seems to be little legal standing to do anything. Aided by Russia, and it seems the FBI, his election was as crooked as anything in American history. There is probable cause to suspect complicity in the tilting of the election — e.g., the much maligned Trump Dossier.

I see Lessig’s approach as one of intellectual accommodation. And I am mystified why he has used his intellectual energy to provide such a benign prospectus for someone ushered into office on a cheat and who seems to be beholden to the Kremlin and whose decisions so far are a lurch in the direction of environmental catastrophe and military escalation.

Health care? My forecast is that insurance companies will be very grateful to Trump. And I think that is the main issue here for T.: the health of the insurance business — and the financial sector as a whole.

Alternatively, on education Trump has not said one word. Why would he? Education is the most important weapon against leaders like Trump.

I ask all liberals to please stop trying to find virtues in Trump. The return on that investment will be very small.

The majority of people in this country are opposed to Trump. That itself is a mandate. I ask Mr. Lessig to use his considerable legal knowledge and skill and his network to help the nation maintain focus on what is important in this matter: justice. We can’t let go of justice so lightly. More specifically, Congress’s investigative committees must be monitored.

The attitude of the majority in Congress was (and still is really) that there is no urgency about this. “Why hurry?” But the Trump-Russia nexus as an object cannot and never could wait. Wasn’t it always in the best interest of the country to settle that matter as soon as possible? Yet the issue only became an object for the Sen. Select Intel Committee recently (R. Burr, chair) — and that committee is not a true select committee (i.e., one with a single mandate). And there is now talk of a sub-committee whose purview is Russian cyber, but linkage between Russia and political campaigns has not been mentioned:

But when will it be formed? And how proscribed will it be? And the proposed chair is a non-competent (Sen. Mike Rounds R-S.D.), a tough guy who will take the heat for incompetence, earning merit from Republican leadership — after all he won his Senate race with a total of 140,000 votes. For constraining (foot dragging, monkey wrenching) the investigation he will be rewarded with exorbitant funding in 5 years to attract another 140,000 South Dakota votes. Obviously, I’m suspicious.

Republicans play hard ball, and not by the rules; even when they write the rules, which they are doing.

Let me put it this way, in the committee process, the people (US residents) who are btw paying for all of this deserve competence (disinterestedness is an impossibility). In the private sector a committee would be chaired by someone with the requisite skills. This is about the future of the country, not the future of Boeing (well, maybe it is about that too). The point is the proceedings of the committees will determine so much.

The delays so far have resulted in a) facts on the ground, which are beginning to be legitimized and b) the implicit legitimation of the president.

The Constitution provides for the people to petition the government over grievances. Mr. Lessig, we need to petition government to expedite the investigation into the Trump-Russia nexus. It is — regardless of what Republican leadership says — the issue of the moment, but it is being smothered by delays and organizational inefficiencies — also by an increasingly accelerated and oblivious news cycle.

The fair-minded legal and political thinkers of this nation must deliberate then act to legally challenge the dubious legitimation of Trump.