William B. Turner
For some time now, Republicans have been promoting two items: their recent tax cut and the Nunes memo.
Being good Republicans, their misrepresentations of both are essentially lies. If you hear Republican hype, you can bet some gross misrepresentation, or lie, is coming down the pike.
Paul Ryan tweeted, then deleted, a boast about how happy a woman was with her $1.50 per week pay increase that resulted from the IRS rejiggering withholding in order to move up the effects of the recent Republican tax cut. Never mind that she may end up not having enough withheld during the coming year and getting a rude surprise next year when she has to pay more in federal income taxes. This from a man who used to complain about “sugar high economics.” He is the supposed intellectual titan of the Republican Party.
It seems likely that Ryan and the rest of the Republicans will have to put a lot of effort into lying to the country about the supposed benefits of their tax cut in the hopes of preserving their majorities in Congress in November, so get ready for a parade of lies on this topic.
And Ryan continues to leave the one man who looks even more stupid than he does, Devin Nunes, in his position as chair of the House Intelligence Committee.
This is the same Devin Nunes who proved his stupidity not quite a year ago by obtaining information about alleged surveillance of Trump campaign staff and running to the White House with it, which was not the right thing to do. He has been carrying water for the ridiculous assertion that President Obama deliberately spied on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
Nunes is a good “conservative.” He does what the boss tells him to do, and he likes the idea of always having an enemy around to keep people in fear. He’s pretty pathetic.
Since smart, sane people still operate in other places inside the federal government, Republican former FBI director Robert Mueller is now engaged in investigating the Trump campaign and its likely unlawful cooperation with Russians during the 2016 election. Trump and his toadies are desperate to stop that investigation, and the only way they can see to do that now is to show that it rests on false premises, so they sent the trusty idiot, Devin Nunes, out to spend weeks claiming that a memo he and his staff had written would show that the FBI had lied to the federal judge who approved a warrant to listen to the communications of Carter Page under the Foreign Intelligence Suveillance Act, which Congress passed to assert control over how the FBI listens to communications that otherwise are off limits for constitutional reasons.
The chorus had all the usual singers. There was Seb Gorka, Romanian fraud. There was the so called president himself, of course.
And there was little Devin Nunes, trying to play conductor. Paul Ryan called for the release of the memo, despite strong reservations by the FBI and the Justice Department, because he’s suddenly a champion of “transparency.” That rationale, of course, requires for the sake of consistency, which doesn’t usually much trouble Republicans, but others will bring it up, release of the memo that Representative Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, wrote explaining why the Nunes memo is nonsense.
Not that we much need anyone to bother explaining that any more than they already have. Various sane people have now looked at the Nunes memo and shrugged. Turns out it did not contain any particularly interesting claims or evidence, certainly nothing that should give anyone any pause about the Mueller investigation.
The one person who had high praise for the memo was, unsurprisingly, the so called president. He tweeted “This memo totally vindicates ‘Trump’ [sic] in probe.” The point of the quotation marks around “Trump” is not at all clear. What is clear is that the Donald, in his usual solipsistic fashion, has come up with an interpretation of the memo that suits his image of himself, but is completely divorced from the reality that any sane, intelligent person can see.
One of many ways in which the Donald is a good Republican is that he is perfectly happy to lie to anyone, including himself.