March 6, 2023 | Reading Time: 4 minutes
For Jim Jordan, this is probably as good as it gets
The subcommittee to investigate the weaponization of the federal government has nothing, has had nothing and will have nothing.
The House Democrats released a 316-page report last week showing Jim Jordan has nothing, has had nothing and will have nothing, if things go on like this, to justify the creation of special subcommittee to investigate “the weaponization” of the federal government against Donald Trump, Republican illiberals and other “real Americans.”
This is not to say the Ohio congressman and other subpanel goons won’t fabricate buzzy newsbits bent on apologizing for Trump’s one calamitous term. They will do that. So let’s not overestimate the report’s political value. Yeah, it makes the GOP look like clowns but that never stopped the GOP from making clowns look like heroes.
Instead, we should see the report by the House Democrats who sit on the subcommittee, and who were present for private testimony by its first three witnesses, as less “gotcha!” and more “that’s it wut?”
Jordan could have lined up serious and credible sources prepared to come forward with serious and credible allegations – whistleblowers – to expose the presence of The Deep State that secretly conspired with the criminal former president’s enemies, foreign and domestic.
They were busy, I guess.
Instead, Jordan brought in three former FBI officials, two of whom were paid by Trump Toady Kash Patel, to regale the subcommittee with “an alarming series of conspiracy theories related to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Covid vaccines and the validity of the 2020 elections,” the Times said. (Panel Democrats leaked their report to the Times.)
The report said that, “One has called repeatedly for the dismantling of the FBI. Another suggested that it would be better for Americans to die than to have any kind of domestic intelligence program.”
That’s par for men in Kash Patel’s orbit. Before he served in Trump’s National Security Council and Defense Department, he was the author of “the Nunes report,” named after former Congressman Devin Nunes.
It alleged “political bias” in the FBI’s decision to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. On the strength of that decision was based Robert Mueller’s inquiry, which confirmed the Kremlin’s sabotage of the Hillary Clinton campaign for the benefit of Trump’s.
Since then, Patel has reemerged periodically to provide timely lies for Trump, the most recent being that, before leaving the White House, Trump declassified the government secrets found at his private club.
From the Times:
Based on this evidence, committee Democrats conclude that there is a strong likelihood that Kash Patel is encouraging the witnesses to continue pursuing their meritless claims, and in fact is using them to help propel his vendetta against the FBI, Justice Department and Biden administration on behalf of himself and President Trump.
I won’t and neither should you dismiss Jim Jordan’s gambit, which is to find as much filth and slime as he can on the GOP’s enemies. But I think it’s reasonable to say that, for Jordan, this is probably as good as it gets.
Bill Barr was booked, I guess. So was Karl Rove. Both are the Old Masters at making weighty things look trivial (Barr) and trivial things look weighty (Rove). Their style of strategic thinking, and their depth of strategic knowledge, are conspicuous for their absence from Jordan’s smear-hoping. He’s single-A baseball compared to their big leagues.
And it shows.
One more observation
The Deep State is real to the extent that highly trained, highly educated and highly paid government agents can and do succumb to believing conspiracy theories that claim to explain what seems to them to be a conspiracy against what they believe these United States should be.
If you believe these United States should be a nation in which rich white men (as symbolized by Trump) are good even when they’re bad, you’re going to find ways of proving these United States are a nation where rich white men (eg, Trump) are good even when they’re bad.
If you believe, as the subcommittee’s trio of witnesses apparently believes, that Trump is a hero even when he is the villain in causing more than a million deaths in America by the covid, you’re going to find ways of proving he’s a hero, even if that means proving that he’s a victim of an international conspiracy spearheaded by the Chinese Communist Party to destroy his presidency with a “lab leak.”
The US government has working for it people who believe totally that white men are good even when they’re bad. Last month, for instance, the US Department of Energy said – with low confidence – that the covid-19 virus spread after a Chinese lab accident. “Low confidence” means not based on quality evidence. But if you believe a white man like Trump is good even when he’s bad, evidence isn’t evidence.
It’s pointing to something saying what you said, while pretending it never heard what you said, so it looks like it’s not just you saying it.
If agency officials in the US government release a report doubling down on a conspiracy theory – in order give said conspiracy theory the authoritative imprint of the US government, which in turn affirms their belief, which is also shared by millions of Americans, that white men are good even when they’re bad – and if the White House overseeing said agency says OK fine, have it your way, that’s The Deep State.
And it shows.
John Stoehr is the editor of the Editorial Board. He writes the daily edition. Find him @johnastoehr.