There is a kind of deflection-play that is being used by the GOP when it looks like a scandal is going to go "Boom!", you know? Paul Waldman described it pretty well, using the childhood comeback "I know you are but what am I?" Republicans have been using this tactic for years. I don't know how long I've been watching iterations of "You can call this Republican policy racist when Senator Byrd was in the Klan?" or "Yeah we're climate change deniers but Al Gore takes airplanes" or just randomly shouting "Chappaquiddick!" when some shit comes up, I dunno, like the Foley intern thing or Hyde, Livingston, and Gingrich, affairs, or Dennis Hastert being a pedo, or Larry Craig's airport bathroom cruising, or Bob Packwood's (really--that name is too on the nose for satire) sexual harassment or whatever. David Vitter in a diaper. We're supposed to believe Democrats are equally as bad as, because, "Squirrel!"
What I'm saying is, we're not supposed to notice that many of the major scandals in American politics, like Watergate and Iran/Contra and ignoring the intel on al-Qaeda, and invading Iraq without real proof of WMD and Abu Ghraib and whole entire nomination and election of Donald Trump at all given the outlandish quantities of dirt thereupon, are GOP productions, because "what about" Whitewater, the saga of the Travelling Clinton Johnson, the nonsensically and disrespectfully-attributed deaths of Vince Foster and Seth Rich, and, for some dumb reason, a uranium company deal that had very little to do with Hillary Clinton and a tired twiddly two-step about whether the DNC can actually pay money for opposition research.
It gets old. If someone wants to debunk the Russian investigation, besides coming up with completely plausible and innocent reasons why Jared Kushner, Jeff Sessions, Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort, not to mention Donald Trumps Jr. and Sr. would have connections to Russia either face to face, in email form, or financially, that they lied about or omitted discussing when confronted with straight questions from responsible and duly authorized representative of the US government--surely they can stay on topic without to deflecting to what some other, wholly uninvolved person or persons have done, right?
I mean, you would think? Except the denial that there's really any "there" there starts to erode when you start thinking about how and why there are a few congressional investigations and a Special Counsel. And now that there's news that charges have been filed in the Mueller investigation and that arrests may be made as soon as Monday. This seems very much like there is a, well, there.
Also, consider the "We don't see no collusion because our eyes are closed" argument that has been made for Donald Jr. It doesn't stick--he himself shared with all of us on Twitter the email that basically says "We represent the Russian government and are here to help you with the 2016 presidential campaign by providing juicy oppo". His cover story, because all Trumps are apparently stupid, was to talk about sanctions, because mentioning the quid that the quo is for is obviously how you pretend the quo never happened. Except it totally did. Because Cambridge Analytics seems to have somehow got the idea that they could index the Clinton emails for WikiLeaks like girls doing each others' hair at a sleepover. And because the lawyer who was so pretend-not associated with the Russian government--totally shared her talking points with the Kremlin.
For reasons for which we are supposed to Oh Look! A Squirrel! pretend we don't see? No-because take a look at every back-issue of these Trump-World Grab-Bags. People who might know what was up between Russia and the Trump campaign are still being questioned. There are still questions being raised and answers to be had. I thin we have not seen the end of anything yet.
And that isn't even talking about the obstruction of justice thing. I wonder whether trying to deflect in the court of public opinion might also look a little "obstruction-y", and whether trying to submit counter claims that are frivolous, can be seen as the insult to the public intelligence it actually is.
I have no idea who is being charged or for what. Flynn and Manafort both seem to be the most "in-deep" folks. But my attention is wholly raised.