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A Conspiracy of Idiocy

Democrats would rather believe a conspiracy elected Trump than admit Clinton was a terrible candidate.

Many people love to concoct grand, elaborate conspiracies to explain the world around them. Instead of realizing they made bad decisions, it must have been some malevolent force out to get them. Instead of recognizing they are surrounded by incompetence, there must be some mysterious force pulling the strings working several steps ahead.

Many people sleep better at night convinced of a malevolent conspiracy of sinister forces running government than realizing government is composed of incompetent bureaucrats protecting their turf. Wouldn’t it reassure you to know your government functions at the hands of an evil genius pulling strings than that really it is an idiocracy with no planning just trying to keep afloat?

That brings me to the Russians and our election. We know from various text messages from FBI agents that they felt it their mission to investigate and find evidence to stop Donald Trump from becoming President. For those who dismiss the idea of partisanship, look no further than the IRS, which worked to block conservative groups from getting non-profit status. An internal investigation did reveal partisan motivation.

There were partisans involved at the FBI. The question is how much partisanship was involved and here, both Democrats and Republicans have a vested interest in muddying the water in favor of conspiracies. Democrats believe the Russians stole the election from Hillary Clinton. It is far more convenient for them to believe in an elaborate conspiracy to steal the election than to acknowledge they bet on a horse that should have long ago been sent to the political glue factory.

Republicans also believe a conspiracy theory. They want you to believe the Christopher Steele dossier was the trigger for a host of attacks on and investigations within the Trump campaign paid for and orchestrated by Democrats. It is far easier to believe that than acknowledge the guy who claims to only hire the best people hired a bunch of people in bed with Russians who did not have America’s best interests at heart.

Barack Obama surrounded himself with people who have so much contempt for their political opponents every time they made decisions about furthering investigations into Donald Trump, they presumed the absolute worst about their political opponents and made decisions accordingly. Now, Donald Trump has surrounded himself with people who have just as much contempt for the left as Obama’s advisors do for the right. The Trump team presume the worst about the FBI, the DOJ, and anyone and everyone else. Both sides have reached peak conspiracy.

The truth is that our intelligence community had signal intelligence clearly showing the Russians wanted to interfere in our electoral processes. Our intelligence officials looked around and saw Paul Manafort and Carter Page were working with Trump and both had ties to Russians. They drew conclusions based on that intelligence. Along came Democrats with a dossier of information suggesting Trump was working with the Russians or being blackmailed by the Russians and the Obama political team overseeing the intelligence community drew the worst possible conclusions by presuming the worst they could about Trump.

Manafort and Page did not stay with Trump through the campaign. It is not really believable that they orchestrated a plot within the Trump team to steal the election. There is no evidence they went outside the campaign to execute the plan. But concurrently, it is true that Donald Trump, Jr. was happy to meet with a Russian for dirt on Hillary Clinton. That is not illegal, but is unethical. The Trump team believed the worst about the Clintons and surely believed the Clinton team would pull out all the stops too.

We are where we are because both sides believed the worst about the other. The Democrats never thought Trump would win and would rather believe a conspiracy theory than believe Clinton was a terrible candidate. Likewise, the Trump fans would rather believe the FBI was really out to get Trump than believe he made some staggeringly stupid hires and people around him made staggeringly unethical decisions. Forrest Gump was right. Stupid is as stupid does.

Not sure why the FBI would tell an organization (e.g., the Trump campaign) who they suspected might be involved in a conspiracy that they had connected some of their employees to the same conspiracy... That makes absolutely no sense... Warn a suspect that they suspect them of criminal activity so that they stop the criminal activity?! Dear lord...

@phantonym First, "the Times" regularly lies, so I am not going to take their word for anything. I have not heard that anywhere else, so until there is some proof, I am not believing it just because the Times said so. I find it near impossible that this would not be shoved in Trump's face constantly if it were true. Secondly, because it is a campaign for the Presidency, not a sting to collect evidence against some two-bit wanna be. What is more important, catching Russians trying to influence our elections, or keeping it from happening at all. They have a definite moral and likely legal obligation to warn the Trump campaign. On top of that, you just said that the FBI investigated after they found out they had met with them. But then you asked why would they warn a suspect. Which is it? Both of those can't be true. Preserving the integrity of an election is far more important than gather evidence of a future criminal activity. That is unless you want the crime to occur, not uphold the law.

@etbass -- I think you need to do a bit of light reading. Those points from the Times are incontrovertible facts. Every single point has been corroborated extensively -- there is nothing controversial in that statement. I assume you don't like it because it punches a number of holes into all manner of arguments we've been seeing for months...but it's still just more smoke -- there's been no fire discovered so no need to panic. You're also misunderstanding the point -- a poster above stated that they thought the FBI had misbehaved because they didn't tell the Trump campaign about the surveillance of their staffers. Obviously, they didn't tell them because the campaign itself was also suspected of potentially misbehaving given their ridiculous behavior after being warned about the threat. It's a fair argument that maybe the FBI should have prioritized protecting the sanctity of the election itself rather than chasing bad guys -- I suspect they wanted to do both. That said, scapegoating the FBI for Trump misdeeds isn't going to solve anything.

@phantonym. First it's reported, not confirmed. Second, the reported date is after they began investigating and after the contacts occurred. Third, it was reportedly the standard schtick they gave Hillary and McCain in 2008 (that his people don't remember).

You keep saying they told them, then they didn't. Which is it?

Trump is careless and arrogant and responsible for hiring criminals like Manafort. That doesn't mean the FBI gets a pass for not warning Trump about specific threats that they knew about.

If you suspect someone is a rapist, then observe what appears to be headed toward rape, should law enforcement wait for the rape to occur so they can charge the rapist, or do they stop it even if the suspect hasn't yet given hard evidence? Obviously, stopping rape takes precendence over an investigation. Preserving our election integrity takes precedence over their investigation also.

@etbass -- Of course it's been confirmed, come on. Every single intelligence agency involved has said on record the campaign was informed and warned. The memos were written, the teams briefed, Trump personally briefed -- it's entirely SOP. It's weird that this bothers you...

I think you're just not reading carefully. I've only said they informed the campaign and Trump. Full stop.

I don't necessarily disagree with your sentiment that stopping a crime is paramount or important. It certainly can be, but there are numerous instances when stopping a crime is detrimental to a larger case -- that's the line you're dancing on. Regardless, that does not excuse the misbehavior from Trump. They were warned. They still misbehaved. How badly? Who knows...

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