Up is down, black is white and Republicans who used to revere the FBI have declared war on the agency.
What in the world has become of us, of our political dynamic and of the natural order of things?
The conservative media are sounding the battle cry against the FBI, referring to something called a “secret society,” not to mention the “deep state.”
Here’s the genesis, as I understand it.
Conservative media personalities are so enamored of Donald J. Trump that they simply cannot tolerate the idea that the FBI and other agencies would be examining such things as “collusion with Russians,” or “money laundering” or any conduct that might be construed as “treasonous.”
So, to protect the president’s flank, these media types are attacking the FBI, a once-sacred agency in the eyes of the Republican Party.
The command and control of this attack appears to be inside the Fox News Channel, with its bevy of conservative media personalities. The New York Times reported this week that Trump actually ordered the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller, but backed off when White House counsel Donald McGahn threatened to quit; other media outlets have corroborated the Times’ account.
Fox News blowhard Sean Hannity is dismissing the report out of hand. He just won’t accept what reputable professional journalists are reporting.
Politico reports that there’s something even wider going on: But Hannity’s coverage was just part of a wider trend, observers say. For the past week, Fox News opinion hosts have seized on claims by some Republican lawmakers about a “secret society” at the FBI and “deep state actors” to fashion unproven narratives designed to protect Trump and delegitimize Mueller.
Secret society and deep state actors? What in the world is that all about?
I am afraid to admit that even some of my very own Republican friends have bought into that “deep state” crap. One of them told me this week that the FBI has been “crooked” for far longer than anyone has known.
I am happy to tell you that not all GOP operatives have swallowed the Fox News swill. Again, according to Politico: “The network is increasingly engaged in a misinformation campaign aimed directly at the American people for the purposes of sowing confusing and spinning a web of protective armor around the president, who is being investigated,” said Steve Schmidt, the Republican political strategist who ran John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign.
What is normal has become abnormal in just about any context imaginable.
I’ll just posit the notion that this is a consequence of electing Donald Trump as president of the United States. A man who thrives on chaos and who revels in being the center of controversy — if not outright scandal — is fomenting this hysteria among his most fervent supporters.
He isn’t “telling it like it is.” He is stoking, in the words of conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, a “whole new level of crazy.”