Part 4—The text of Inkblot 30121: Did Donald Trump Junior commit a crime when he held that now-famous meeting?
As part of the criminalization of everything, tis a glory devoutly to be wished! In this morning's New York Times, Gail Collins expresses the mindset in question as she starts her column:
COLLINS (8/9/18): This is not the very best week for political sons.Yay yay yay yay yay! It isn't just Rep. Collins (presumably no relation); it's also his son! So too with President Trump's son, who may "wind up in the clink," with a Watergate reference thrown in.
First we have Cameron Collins, the 25-year-old offspring of Representative Chris Collins of New York, indicted with Dad on an insider-trading scheme. It is possible that they’re the first pair ever to be accused of conspiring during a congressional picnic.
Meanwhile Donald Trump Jr. is twisting slowly in the wind while the president denies he’s worried that his kid will wind up in the clink.
Our reflexively martial, warlike species has always played it this way. When we invaded The Others' cities, we would impale their offspring too. We would carry the women away, to cook and to clean and do such.
This same mindset obtains today. Anthropologically speaking, do you think we're getting out over our skis? Who's being naive now, Kay?
Let's return to our question. But before we try to puzzle it out, let's note one minor point:
Trump Junior and his associates didn't seem to think they were engaged in a crime when they conducted that meeting.
The meeting was held in broad daylight, right there in Trump Tower. Half the Russian diaspora was allowed to attend the affair, along with a goofy British music promoter—and three major figures from the Trump campaign.
As a general matter, this isn't the way you conduct a meeting if you think you're committing a crime. That doesn't mean that Trump Junior wasn't committing some sort of crime. It does go to "consciousness of guilt," which cable pundits are eager to cite when it tilts a tale in their favor.
Back to our basic question—was Trump Junior committing a crime? Again today, the New York Times writes on second grade level as it helps us believe—Yay yay yay!—that the answer is yes.
The low-IQ piece by Buchanan and Yourish is bannered across the top of page A11 in our hard-copy Times. For reasons we can't explain, it doesn't appear in the list of reports at the Times' "Today's Paper" site.
That said, you can read the report here. At one point, they return to the amazingly childish formulation of Shear and Schmidt:
BUCHANAN AND YOURISH (8/9/18): It is illegal for a campaign to accept help from a foreign individual or government.Borrowing from their superiors, the pair of reporters offer that childish account. Along the way, they also absurdly pretend that a Trump Senior tweet in July 2017 differs from a recent Trump Senior tweet about what happened at the meeting.
In that instance, the scribes are playing the Anderson Cooper game. We'll show you their work below.
It's illegal to accept help from a foreign individual? That's second-grade work by the Times. But this is what our species does when we start "killing the pig," as you can see, on any night, for hours on "cable news."
Second-graders of the tribe, unite! Is it really illegal for a campaign "to accept help from a foreign individual?"
Presumably, the reporters are referring to "52 U.S. Code 30121," the statute about which Brian Williams inquired, by name, earlier in the week. Cable stars have spent the week pretending to interpret its provisions, rarely saying the same thing twice as they stage their latest cable charade.
At any rate, how about it? Do the provisions of 30121 render the Trump Tower meeting illegal? When Brian inquired, Joyce Vance seemed to say that opinions differ. In his full-length analysis piece for that very same New York Times, Charlie Savage seemed to say the same thing.
If cable news was actually news, you would have seen this matter discussed a thousand times by now. More precisely, you would have seen the matter discussed in a serious manner.
Alas! "Cable news" is tribal porridge designed to entertain and affirm the prejudices of some particular target audience. For that reason, you've never seen any such discussion of Ink Blot 30121, which every pundit describes his own way but which basically tells us this:
52 U.S. Code § 30121—Contributions and donations by foreign nationalsAs the inkblot continues, it defines the term "foreign national," directing us to consult the language of 22 U.S. Code § 611, which you can peruse right here.
(a) PROHIBITION It shall be unlawful for—
(1) a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make—
(A) a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election;(2) a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) from a foreign national.
(B) a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party; or
(C) an expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication (within the meaning of section 30104(f)(3) of this title); or
Question: Does Inkblot 30121 say that Trump Junior committed a crime in connection with that meeting? Tribally speaking, tis a conclusion devoutly to be wished. But does the inkblot say that?
All through our liberal enclaves, we're being told that it does. Under terms of this inkblot, information is "a thing of value"—or so our historically martial species' latest lynch mob says.
Tomorrow: Qu'est-ce que c'est "thing of value?"
Working on second-grade level: What's it like when major reporters work on second grade level? Consider the way Buchanan and Yourish quote Trump Senior concerning the Trump Tower meeting.
First, they quote this tweet from July 17, 2017: “Most politicians would have gone to a meeting like the one Don jr attended in order to get info on an opponent. That's politics!”
Then they quote Trump Senior again, this time from August 5, 2018. In this recent tweet, Trump Senior said that Trump Junior went to the meeting "to get information on an opponent which is totally legal and done all the time in politics."
As any third-grader can see, those two tweets, separated by 13 months, say precisely the same thing. Except in this morning's New York Times, where the reporters make it sound like the second tweet represents some sort of shift in position on the part of Trump Senior.
As we noted yesterday, Anderson Cooper played this same game on his silly sardonic broadcast this past Monday night.
According to major anthropologists, this is what our species is like when we're killing the pig.