It’s coming. You know it’s coming. Hell, it’s already on its way. The avalanche is careening down Bullshit Mountain – as Jon Stewart used to refer to it – at breakneck speed. And just like all avalanches, it will bury everything in its path, unless Democrats are smart enough to get out of its way.
This particular avalanche contains three essential strategies. The first should be obvious: to deny that Trump did anything wrong. He was only talking about corruption within Ukraine. That one doesn’t appear to be working. Most people believe that Trump’s phone call was inappropriate.
The second strategy is to go after the whistleblower, as Trump is already doing, by first calling him or her a traitor and then by demanding that he have the opportunity to confront his “accuser.” Republicans are already referring to the complaint as “hearsay,” despite the fact that the account of the call contained in the complaint is almost verbatim to what the White House’s own transcript says and what Trump himself has publicly stated. So guess what? That strategy isn’t likely to work, especially after the whistleblower testifies in front of Congress next week.
But the third strategy is what could be most problematic for Democrats. And that is to make the story not about Trump’s malfeasance, but about Joe Biden’s corruption. In the alternate universe that is Trump World, which includes Fox News and, sadly, the vast majority of the Republican Party, the reason Trump called Ukrainian president Zelensky is because Joe Biden got a prosecutor fired who was investigating his son, Hunter. That was also the reason Trump sent his personal “lawyer” Rudy Giuliani to meet with Zelensky. For the record, Biden did no such thing. The prosecutor that was eventually fired was corrupt and, as it turns out, wasn’t even investigating his son. Think about it: if you’re trying to get your son off, why would you remove the one prosecutor who WASN’T investigating him? Ukraine has already conducted an exhaustive investigation on this matter and there is nothing to this fantasy that Republicans are peddling. Still, that won’t stop them from trying.
And that’s why it is so imperative that Democrats and, more importantly, the media, push back hard against it every time it comes up during an interview. The Biden campaign even sent out a letter to all the major news outlets imploring them not to book Giuliani on their networks. Just having him on would allow a false narrative to get the oxygen it needs to spread like wildfire. This is what the letter said in pertinent part:
While you often fact check his statements in real time during your discussions, that is no longer enough. By giving him your air time, you are allowing him to introduce increasingly unhinged, unfounded and desperate lies into the national conversation.
I have been saying something similar ever since Trump announced he was running for president four years ago. For some strange reason, the main-stream media in this country has, for the last couple of decades, operated under the mistaken impression that someone’s opinion is equal to another person’s facts. In the days of Murrow and Cronkite that would not have been the case. Cranks and kooks would never have been given the time of day, much less made it to the evening news. But then back in those days, the idea of a 24-hour news cycle seemed farcical. CNN changed all that when they launched their network. And ever since Ted Turner’s love child made its debut, the entire industry has been under pressure to fill time, if not with news, then with the kind of shit that wouldn’t have made its way onto TMZ.
Trump is many things, but the one thing he’s very good at is manipulating the media. He’s done it his whole life. He managed to get almost a billion dollars of free advertising from them during the 2016 campaign. And now that he has stepped in it knee deep, his one remaining get out of jail free card is to change the narrative from him to his political opponent. In his warped brain, everything in this world is relative. And in a world where everything is relative, he’s no better or worse than anyone else. He’s crooked, Hillary’s crooked, Biden’s crooked, we’re all crooked. It worked four years ago; if it works again in 2020, there may be no stopping him from completely taking over the country.
Funny thing about avalanches: they all start out slow and harmless enough; then, before you know it, they quickly pick up speed and overwhelm you. Trump’s avalanche is already on its way, and it’s traveling at warp nine.