Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON THE THOUGHT OF KARL MARX. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for Robert Paul Wolff Marx."





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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

BACK TO OBSESSING ABOUT TRUMP


Despite my efforts to appear above the fray, au courant, sophisticated, a deep Marxist philosopher absorbed by underlying structures and world-historical movements, a veritable zeitgeistnik, the truth, as I suppose is obvious, is that I am totally enmeshed in the minutiae of the daily political catastrophe.  The latest source of fluttering heartbeats and heavy breathing is Andrew McCabe’s book tour through the talk shows.  [I shan’t explain who Andrew McCabe is.  If you don’t know, you won’t care about the rest of this post.]

Everyone on cable news is obsessing about McCabe’s recounting of the meetings at Justice in which Rod Rosenstein brought up the 25th Amendment as a possible way of getting rid of Trump, but that is not, to my way of thinking, the real news in McCabe’s insider account.

According to McCabe, very shortly after Trump was inaugurated, the FBI received information that raised the possibility that Trump was acting as an agent of Russia, and so a counterintelligence investigation was launched [this is not the real meat – wait for it.]  Then – and this is the important tidbit – he went to a meeting of the super clued in group of members of Congress known colloquially as the Gang of Eight to brief them.  The Gang of Eight consists of the Senate Majority Leader, the Senate Minority Leader, the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Ranking Minority Member of that Committee, the Speaker of the House, the Minority Leader of the House, and the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee.  Regardless of which party is in the majority in either chamber, this is by construction a committee of four Republicans and Four Democrats.

Let me make two points about McCabe’s account of the meeting.  First, it is certainly, necessarily true.  Why?  Because if it were not, as soon as McCabe said it on national TV, at least one of those eight people would have immediately contradicted him.  But none of them has.  Trey Gowdy, who was not in that room and is no longer in Congress, has just stated that he does not believe it.  But not one of the three Republicans still in Congress [Paul Ryan has retired] has backed him up.

Second, according to McCabe’s account, the Committee did not explode, erupt, call for hearings, demand that he resign, charge him with treason.  Think about that.  The Republicans have just, against all odds, won the presidency and both houses of Congress, and the FBI is launching an investigation to find out whether the man just inaugurated is a Russian plant, a real live Manchurian Candidate!  AND AFTER HEARING THE EVIDENCE, THEY JUST SIT THERE AND TAKE IT.

I suggest that this is the most explosive single piece of news to come out of this entire affair.

Stay tuned.



7 comments:

Christopher J. Mulvaney, Ph.D. said...

I had the same reaction. The non-reaction of the Gang is telling. Another tidbit I found interesting, but unsurprising, was that Devin Nunes, then Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, was in the briefing even though he had been compelled to recuse himself from the intelligence committee's investigation of "L'Affaire Russe'' due to his prior misconduct.

howard b said...

Trump's their quarterback even if he's throwing the game. He is the one in charge, the boss, and that's how American authoritarianism works- plus he's a gift that keeps on giving, plus they don't really care about America or the American people, they just care about American power and Jesus and the flag and USA, USA- you do as the boss tells you, there are no conscientious objectors in that lot and I doubt they have a conscience worth mention- plus these are high stakes and they assess they can play and handle the situation- yes it's alarming, but we shouldn't expect anything more from today's Republican establishment

Chris said...

Maybe I'm missing something, why is their non-reaction a big deal? Wouldn't it imply the evidence wasn't compelling, or what am I missing?

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Chris, think about it. The FBI opens a counter intelligence operation with the PRESIDENT as a target. Never ever happened before. Unimaginable. If the evidence had been less than compelling, all hell would have broken loose! The Republicans on the committee, including the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader would have been calling for the FBI to be shut down!!!!

Chris said...

Ah, okay, that makes sense.

Although, just as an aside, are we sure " Never ever happened before." is true? Maybe it's true that it's the first formal and proper investigation, but ol J Edgar investigated literally every president and every politician of clout.

Matt said...

but ol J Edgar investigated literally every president and every politician of clout.

There is a difference between "investigated" and "had dirt on", between a formal investigation and having kompromat on an official. The later is what Hoover is typically believed to have.

Chris said...

Right, which is why you shouldn't have left out the first half of my quote beginning before 'but'.