Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Trump, Trump Jr., and Collusion (?)

Just reporting on the trajectory of my thinking. I've got nothing of my own on this one.
   I don't know what "collusion" is, exactly...but this Trump Jr. business does not sound good. I don't share Sargent's paranoid view that Trump adding "to the best of my knowledge" is some massive "tell." Rather, that's one of the ways we soften our knowledge claims when we're no longer sure of them. Though it does seem extremely unlikely that he didn't know what happened in that meeting. Perhaps he knew, and was convinced that it didn't rise to the level of collusion. But he isn't so convinced anymore.
   And "collusion is not a crime"? Really? That's whatcha got? I mean...I'm not saying I wouldn't use it to keep my ass out of jail...but damn... That is running a white flag up the flagpole. Maybe it's even true...I'm not a lawyer. But it ain't gonna play in Peoria. And rightfully not.
   Peter J. Wallison argues that what we have been told about the meeting does not support the collusion hypothesis--in fact, that it supports a no collusion hypothesis. He makes cogent points--there's certainly not enough evidence yet to close the case. But it doesn't look what you'd call great. I'm not exactly sure what to make of his analogy between what Junior did and the Steele dossier... They are, indeed, similar under a certain description. But you've gotta be careful about such similarity judgments or you end up with "debate challenges are like catcalling."
   Again, I'm just waiting for Mueller. But my unofficial hunch is no longer no collusion, yes obstruction. If I were to put money on it now...and I wouldn't...I might just bet both. But if legal experts can't agree, then it's foolish for the rest of us to pretend that the answer is obvious. So still I wait for Mueller.
   I still think I was right to wait until actual evidence emerged, but plausibly not. Orange man bad isn't good enough for me. Neither is Trump's actin' shifty. In part because he always seems shifty to me. But also in part because I'm fed up with TDS, and with TDS clouding every issue.


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