I guess the Optics Police—a vital part of Punditstan’s enforcement division—had the holiday off, or they were geared up elsewhere in anticipation of the Second Civil War, in which they would be tasked with keeping it more, well, civil than the first one was.
You remember the Optics Police, right? They’re the folks that made sure that Hillary Rodham Clinton was constantly reminded of the phantom corruption in her family’s charitable foundation, corruption that existed only in the bank accounts of professional right-wing ratfckers in league with the elite political media. They sat on all those panels on the electric teevee machine, holding forth on HRC’s “trust” factor, and about how the “appearance” of impropriety is the most important thing. Their motto is, “Re vera sensus est.” Perception is reality.
So now consider the “optics,” and “appearance” and “perception” of (Shred of Freedom) Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, and chairman of the Senate’s Homeland Security committee.from the electric Twitter machine account of Senator Ron
Pretty standard holiday bunting-draped bunkum, no? That’s only if you ignore that:
a) when this entry was posted, Johnson was in Russia as part of a GOP-only delegation trying to make sure the road is smoothed for the president*’s annual performance review in Helsinki;
b) that it was posted while Johnson was in Russia not three days after the Senate Intelligence Committee joined with the entire U.S. intelligence community in concluding that Russia had ratfcked the 2016 election on behalf of the current president*;
c) that it was posted while Johnson was in Russia the same day in which two more Britons were felled by the same nerve agent that had nearly killed a Russian defector and his daughter;
and, finally, d) that it was posted while Johnson was in Russia on the Fourth of Freaking July, aka Independence Day.
I mean, honestly, the attack on liberal Western democracies—for which Russia at the very least is cheering—is becoming a wildfire in Europe. This ought to be the trigger for a thousand hilarious TV spots when Johnson runs for re-election in 2020, and those spots ought to be blanketing the airwaves now. In fact, incumbent Democrat Tammy Baldwin ought to be hanging Johnson around the neck of her opponent, no matter who that turns out to be. The entire Wisconsin Republican Party should be made to drag Johnson around as a deadweight around its ankles., especially now that it’s clear that
The same should be true of all the Republican senators who made this little junket to visit the Volga Bagmen on this country’s 242nd birthday, and that especially includes Richard Shelby (R-Easy Mark), Republican of Alabama. From the WaPo:
Dude, we are adversaries. You become an adversary when you ratfck our elections. You become an adversary when you ship nerve agents overseas to kill someone living in peace under the protection of one of our allies. We are adversaries because Vladimir Putin stands in proud opposition to everything we were supposed to be celebrating here while you passel of hopeless marks were going to the ballet in St. Petersburg and having your geopolitical pockets picked.
(And, yes, hold all calls. I am well aware that this country has not lived up to its founding creed in many different ways. But, at the moment, this country is being led by a two-bit thug quite possibly in thrall to a very successful foreign thug, and the president*’s political party is equally subservient. If it’s all the same to everybody, I’d rather not see Russian-style kleptocracy spread generally across the world.)
However, the only way any political price for this incredible blundering ever will be paid is if the Optics Police do their jobs as enthusiastically as we’ve seen them do it in other contexts. Early signs are not promising. While the Republicans were toasting autocrats and jabberwocks in Russia, on the Fourth of July, the Optics Police were very busy checking out how liberals on Martha’s Vineyard for refusing to give Alan Dershowitz a cookie.
New York Times, A1.
Boston Globe, top of A1.