Friday, September 20, 2019

It's the Narrative, Stupid

This past week, Kimberly Strassel reports, two committees of the House of Representatives held two public hearings. In the one Jerry Nadler's Judiciary Committee put on its usual empty spectacle, this time with Corey Lewandowski. As you know, Lewandowski refused to play along with the mock heroic theatre and embarrassed many of the empty-headed Congresspeople by throwing their idiotic questions back at them.

The television networks covered the Judiciary Committee hearings breathlessly. They were waiting for the moment when Lewandowski would say something, anything that would make Trump look bad. And that would help them pursue their impeachment mania.

And yet, one day later the House Oversight Committee interviewed the Inspector General of the Justice Department, one Michael Horowitz. As the department prepares his report on 2016 election malfeasance, most of it committed by Democratic operatives in the FBI and the Justice Department, Democrats on the Oversight Committee did everything in their power to ignore Horowitz.

Clearly, they know that his report will make them and the Obama administration look very bad indeed. Apparently, Horowitz is a man of unimpeachable integrity, and we can’t have that. So they are trying to make it all go away. The television networks and the mainstream media dutifully complied. They ignored the hearing.

Strassel correctly called it “a tale of two hearings.”

Beginning with the Nadler circus:

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler held another spectacle of a hearing Tuesday as part of his impeachment dramaturgy. Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski testified to a thronged hearing room and was grilled on Russia interactions and Oval Office discussions. The day produced no new information, yet cable stations broadcast it live and newspapers ran breathless coverage.

But then there was the Horowitz hearing:

A House Oversight subcommittee held its own hearing Wednesday. The room was almost empty; all but a few Democratic members didn’t even bother showing up. Apart from Fox News and a few conservative publications, news organizations ignored it. The featured—and substantive—witness: Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

So, Strassel continues, it’s all about the theatre. Democrats do not care about the truth. They do not care about discovering the facts. They want to put on a show, a show that will appeal to their mentally challenged voters:

This is today’s Washington: theater upstaging truth. The headlines go to a long debunked “collusion” and “obstruction” narrative that liberal and media partisans refuse to quit. A press blackout is meanwhile imposed on those investigators—including Mr. Horowitz—who have rooted out gross misconduct by the officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation who first spun that narrative.

Democrats are selling a narrative. They are not even trying to persuade you to believe it. They have gotten over their willingness to respect other people. They want to force you to believe it. If you do not they will shut you up and shut you down. As for being informative, they could care less:

In contrast to the Lewandowski moment, Mr. Horowitz’s testimony was informative and significant. And in contrast to former special counsel Robert Mueller’s vague testimony, the inspector general demonstrated a whip-sharp command of facts.

The Oversight Committee hearing emphasized the serial derelictions of former FBI Director Comey and former acting Director, McCabe… both of whom are facing possible indictment:

The real merit of the hearing was to bring home the magnitude of the leaking and lying offenses by former FBI Director James Comey (as detailed in an August 2019 inspector-general report) and former acting Director Andrew McCabe (as detailed in a February 2018 inspector-general report). It was momentous to hear Mr. Horowitz acknowledge that his office found enough wrongdoing to require criminal referrals to the Justice Department for two successive heads of the FBI.

Horowitz stated the guiding principles clearly:

“Our concern,” Mr. Horowitz said, “was empowering the FBI director, or frankly any FBI employee or other law-enforcement official, with the authority to decide that they’re not going to follow established norms and procedures because in their view they’ve made a judgment that the individuals they are dealing with can’t be trusted.”

Put another way, Mr. Comey wasn’t entitled to leak sensitive FBI information simply because he didn’t like Donald Trump. Mr. Horowitz later repeated that such behavior was “completely inconsistent with department policy.” And he went out of his way to remind the committee that a 2018 inspector-general report had also “criticized [Mr. Comey] for usurping the authority of the attorney general to make prosecutorial decisions.”

And yet, the news media has made certain that no one will pay much attention to the inspector general of the Justice Department. They were burned badly by the doddering Mr. Mueller. They are certainly not going to take a risk with the brilliant inspector general, a man who will not say what they want him to say. :

You might think an inspector-general report that excoriates the former head of a powerful agency might be worthy of bipartisan attention. Think again. Democrats avoided Comey questions Wednesday, and Mr. Horowitz told Mr. Jordan that neither the Oversight nor the Judiciary committee has asked him to testify on the August report. Mr. Horowitz was also unaware of any request for testimony on his upcoming report on FBI surveillance.

Strassel concludes:

Democrats talk a lot about their dedication to “oversight” and “truth.” And the media keep promising not to let democracy die in darkness. This week’s tale of two hearings proves otherwise.


Sam L. said...

Lewandowski reallllly nailed the Dems to the ground. I laugh, Ha Ha! (Bad me.)

Horowitz scared them somethingless. BIG TIME.

Anonymous said...

Dude! Love your stuff, but ... it's "could NOT care less" or "couldn't care less" -- not "COULD care less" (which means he cares!) Not meaning to be grammar Nazi, but that misuse makes me cringe as much as when I hear someone use "google" when they mean "look up." (It's a brand, not a verb, I always say.)

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Look up the word "ellipsis" in your dictionary... if you have one.