Wednesday, November 1, 2017
As Russia meddling plot thickens, focus on what matters most
Now it gets complicated.
On Monday, special counsel Robert Mueller III named former Trump campaign director Paul Manafort and his associate, Rick Gates, in a 12-count indictment related to laundering Russian money. An hour later, George Papadopoulos' guilty plea, for lying to the FBI about his relations with Russia, was unsealed.
Cue the timelines and relationship charts.
Those of us old enough to remember Watergate — sigh, the scandal in the early 1970s that brought down the Nixon administration — recall just how labyrinthine this kind of thing can become, a sprawling opera buffa with an enormous supporting cast of bagmen, functionaries and tangential-yet-important lowlives.
Nixon — Richard Nixon, the president — was forced to resign as even his supporters began recognizing his guilt in 1974. I assume people of today know that, but then again, assuming Americans know stuff, whether history or science or current events, is not a winning strategy anymore. Assuming it ever was.
Knowing stuff is hard. Life is complicated, which is why people prefer to dream up conspiracy theories and simple pat explanations for complicated situations, or distract themselves from news they don't like with shiny objects — "What about Hillary?" — little snow globes they can give a shake. Will any investigation, no matter what it finds, lure them out of their hall of mirrors?
That question will be answered down the road. Before we get lost in the minutia of the investigation, waiting for the tide of prosecution to start lapping at the steps of the White House, assuming it's not there now, we should remember to look at the big picture, and always keep in mind the most important thing.
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