Part 1—Our team's thrilling cry: For better or worse, the liberal project has largely reduced itself to a single thrilling demand.
We've borrowed our focus from people like Flynn. Our bumper sticker now bears three words:
"Lock him up!"
Lock him up! That's our war cry, our current demand.
Forget all that collusion crap. We're now pursuing demon Trump for an obstruction of justice. This is the porridge we're served every night on our favorite "cable news" programs.
Last Friday night, our highest ranked star gave us a taste of this thrilling chase, which has now replaced all other projects:
MADDOW (6/10/17): I think there's just, there's three things to take away on that tonight, which we have just learned, OK? On the matter of what appears to be now an ongoing investigation by the special counsel into the president of the United States and whether he obstructed justice, three things to take away:Wonderfully, Maddow pretended to gulp. This chase can really be fun!
First, if the White House ultimately doesn't like what Robert Mueller, the special counsel, concludes about the president, we now know they're going to have a hard time smearing Robert Mueller the way they're, for example, right now smearing James Comey...
Second new thing to know about Bob Mueller and the possibility that he's now investigating the president for potential obstruction of justice, second thing to know about that tonight that we can report, it concerns grand juries.
That brings us to the last thing to know about this tonight. It's this guy:
In the Washington Post tonight, he's described by former solicitor general Walter Dellinger, as, quote, "the most brilliant and most knowledgeable federal criminal lawyer in America. Period."
His name is Michael Dreeben. And today, National Law Journal confirms that Michael Dreeben is now part of the Robert Mueller investigation into the Trump-Russia affair and what now increasingly seems like the presidential obstruction of justice investigation that has arisen along with it.
"Top federal criminal lawyer in America. Period."
[PRETENDS TO GULP]
Gulllp! Buckle up.
(Also this: One day after Comey slimed Loretta Lynch, our biggest star was angrily saying that someone was smearing him! Our ridiculous team has been playing this way for the past twenty-five years.)
To watch Maddow's 23-minute rumination on locking him up, you can just click here. For better or worse, this new chase—this exciting attempt to "lock him up"—is now our tribe's sole focus.
We talk about this, and about little else. And sure enough—our presentations tend to defer to a famous precedent.
On CNN and on MSNBC, the language of an earlier chase has become quite common. This helps the story-telling, which we greatly enjoy.
That earlier chase was the one after President Nixon, the chase known as "Watergate." It forced President Nixon to resign from office in August 1974.
In certain ways, though not in others, Watergate was a consequential chase. The language which emerged from that chase is now quite common on cable TV. People who took part in that chase are now frequently featured as guests on our "corporate liberal" soaps.
(We're so old that we can remeber when Chris Matthews was sliming Elizabeth Holtzman because she was telling the truth about his most dearly beloved, the ridiculous Kathleen Willey. Now, Holtzman, a player in the Watergate chase, has been welcomed back onto our tribal TV.)
Watergate was a time-consuming, consequential chase. (In real time, it was very exciting.) The current chase may turn out to be consequential too, whether it results in a resignation or in the use of a nuclear weapon by our disordered commander in chief.
(That too would be exciting. Cable ratings would soar!)
That said, the lengthy Watergate chase may offer a useful perspective. Let's think about the presidential campaigns within which that chase occurred.
The actual Watergate break-in took place during the 1972 campaign. Gruesomely, the results of that horrific campaign looked exactly like this:
1972 presidential campaignFor ourselves, we thought McGovern was one of the finest people who had ever competed on that level. He was massively crushed.
Richard Nixon (R): 60.7 percent
George McGovern (D): 37.5 percent
That said, yay yay yay! The thrilling chase called "Watergate" led to Nixon's departure. This tipped the political scales so much that we actually won the next election, by this overwhelming vote:
1976 presidential campaignEven after Nixon's resignation; even after Ford's pardon of Nixon; even after those events, we barely managed to eke out a narrow win.
Jimmy Carter (D): 50.1 percent
Gerald Ford (R): 48.0 percent
From that point on, we went straight into the political dumpster. Below, you see the grisly results of the next three White House elections:
1980 presidential campaignWe can remember those horrible outcomes. Long story short:
Ronald Reagan (R): 50.7 percent
Jimmy Carter (D): 41.0 percent
1984 presidential campaign
Ronald Reagan (R): 58.8 percent
Walter Mondale (D): 40.6 percent
1988 presidential campaign
George H. W. Bush (R): 53.4 percent
Michael Dukakis (D): 45.6 percent
The chase which booted Nixon from office took place during an era of Republican/Dixiecrat domination. Politically, the liberal team was utterly hapless during that era, completely unable to win.
(In 1992, a Democrat finally did win. Last year, before our resistance began, influential members of our own team were telling the troops not to vote for that president's wife because of decades-old political sins—political sins so trivial as to be wholly meaningless. This produced the win by Donald J. Trump, which was followed, in short order, by our heroic resistance.)
In the Watergate chase, we actually succeeded in locking them up! Politically, we also kept getting our ascots kicked in presidential elections. A successful chase did not change that. This fact may be worth considering.
If we might borrow from President Lincoln, we're now engaged in a great civil war. Excitingly, we're staging an heroic "resistance," showering silly, undeserved praise on ourselves each time we use that term.
Lock him up! We're borrowed our focus, and our cry, from the ridiculous General Flynn.
Our multimillionaire corporate stars keep selling us the joy of this chase. Ratings are soaring and profits are good.
Also, are we getting conned?
Tomorrow: An astounding array of defeats