The Politics Of Impeachment: Nixon’s Lost War Against Establishment Was Not In Vain

The Politics Of Impeachment: Nixon’s Lost War Against Establishment Was Not In Vain

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I’ve seen this movie before. As one who wasn’t born in time to have witnessed the trials and tribulations of Nixon’s presidency, I grew to consume the facts of the story voraciously later in life. There is no sufficient sole source account of Nixon’s odessey. You must commit yourself to a deep and comprehensive exploration of all available accounts and form a consensus from the collective works. If you undertake such an academic journey, you will see a pattern; a pattern of subversive and insidious attacks waged by the establishment on the presidency. I don’t mean to imply merely attacks on the president, Nixon himself, but the entire executive branch. The war plan was executed with brilliant and reckless abandon, creating a pressured environment designed to force Nixon into falling prey to his own fears and insecurities. His battle may have been lost almost exactly 43 years ago today, but his testimony is alive and speaking soft words of caution to this day.

Ellsberg, Rosenberg, Rodino, etc. The names are different, but the games are the same. Congressman Drinan was every bit the crackpot moron in 1973 that Maxine Waters is today. The semblance is only shattered by the persistence of a single James Brown-esque wig. Like Trump, Nixon was also riddled with issues within his own administration. Henry Kissinger routinely violated Nixon’s trust by running to the NY Times, leaking information to undermine Nixon and raise his own profile. Ever wonder how Kissinger has maintained his beloved media status, despite being entrenched in clandestine planning to bomb Cambodia and dispatch false narratives about ending the Vietnam War for political purposes? Well, I’ll tell you: He earned his keep by leaking to the media. A practice to this day he espouses. My word of caution to President Trump, don’t trust that your conversations with the aging and manipulative Kissinger are confidential. And the cantankerous news reporter Dan Schorr, remember him? He swore before Congress that Nixon was deliberately undermining the press and challenging the credibility of the media. He bemoaned this was dangerous to the 1st Amendment. Phooey. Where have I heard that line recently? What is old is new again.

Trump and Nixon share a great deal in common, sure. Both are American idealists. They think in terms of big achievements, and abhor the resistance of bureaucracy. However, they are drastically different people who come from starkly different backgrounds. Nixon was a dirt poor Quaker from agricultural California, his modest upbringing stayed with him until the end. It was a nagging voice of uncertainty in the dead of night, it made him mean and cynical. It also drove him to always, always, take stock of his enemies and their motivations against him. Contempt of the press and the establishment aside, Donald Trump is a different story. We know his story, and we know his motivations in life were not to assume the highest political office in the land. Yet here he is, and here he shall stay.

There is no comparison to the series of bad decisions, conspiracy to obstruct, and other things that led to Nixon’s resignation. Frankly, were I to list them, it would only serve to further impugn Nixon’s character. Suffices to say, they, in summation, bear no resemblance to anything in our current news cycle regarding President Trump. The game plan deployed by the opposition is the only common thread. This time, however, they are missing even the appearance of criminality. It simply isn’t there. There will be no John Dean testimony or explosive Butterfield revelations. In fact, if anything, Democrat voters may be incensed by the deliberate hyper-billing of wrongdoing by Trump that doesn’t exist.

Bobby Mueller is no Archibald Cox, but he’s pretty darn close. Just like Rod Rosenstein is no Elliot Richardson, or is he? This, you see, is the real symmetry to be found in the curious cases of the establishment v Nixon/Trump. Remarkably, Nixon’s acting Attorney General, Richardson, solicited the insanely liberal Solicitor General for Kennedy, Archibald Cox, to be the special prosecutor. It was an incredible development, one largely ignored by history. The hypocrisy was stunning, and the agreed to order was even more so, stating the scope would cover “all offenses arising out of the 1972 election … involving the president…” Like Trump, Nixon was publicly forced to coldly embrace Cox. Behind the scenes, was a different story. Nixon was beside himself. He was quoted as saying, “If Richardson searched specifically for the man whom I least trusted, he could hardly have done better.” History, meet your new Richardson: Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein.

It’s painfully obvious now, to myself and the president, that a series of miscalculations from seemingly loyal cabinet members can lead to uncomfortably hot water. How did we get here? We are here because Attorney General Jeff Sessions put us here. There is no debate, no rational excuses to cover this brazen fact. It may not have been purposeful, but if it wasn’t, then it was ineptitude. Like Hillary might say, “what difference does it make?” It doesn’t. We are here. We are stuck with the ultimate establishment swamp warrior in Bobby Mueller. If a man will lie before Congress to justify a war resulting in the killing of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of American military, he will lie about this investigation. If he insists on violating the scope of the executive order by investigating things that have nothing to do with the past election, and everything to do with financial dealings and tax returns from a long time ago, then must be fired. Come what may, letting Mueller play Dick Tracy for a year into the dealings of the president, his entire campaign team and family, is not an option. Mueller is breaking the law. Comey has broken the law. Obama’s entire White House staff has broken laws. And Jeff Sessions, he merely broke our hearts.

Historians love to flippantly refer to Nixon’s demise as “it wasn’t the crime, it was the cover up.” Not so. A cursory perusal through the transcripts of the WH tapes reveal a litany of criminal conspiracies. There is no need for a cover up without a crime. Ultimately, my advice to President Trump would be to give no safe harbor to enemies who would break laws to ensnare you in establishment traps. You have committed no crimes in connection with this election and Russia, sir. In that vein, you are free to govern the investigations accordingly. Should they steer outside of the fold, fire them. It is the lesson of history that tells us: the power of the executive is in the application of its authority. Excise this cancer, sir, before it becomes a metastatic monster that consumes your agenda.

Nixon is speaking to us from beyond the grave. He’s telling us it’s not personal, it’s business. He messed up, and he knew it. You haven’t, and we all know it. In the absence of a crime, only supposition reigns. In such confusion, our enemy thrives; in such shadows, they multiply. History is our roadmap, and our enemies are counting on us to ignore that and forge ahead into the unknown. But we know better, don’t we? We know the longer this drags on, the worse it will get. Fiction becomes fact without the benefit of scrutiny. Who among our media, or among congress, will be so discerning? None.

Mark Felt was Deep Throat. He was a crooked FBI executive who sought only to bring down the president. He made literary heroes out of two lazy journalists, whose only apparent job was to solicit illegal leaks from Felt in parking garages. Felt would later be convicted on multiple charges of violating the civil rights of Americans in the course of his FBI duties. He was a hack, a derelict and a leaker. He was Deep State personified. Has this story been told? No. Is FBI counsel James Baker our current Mark Felt? Is he peddling lies, instead of facts? Is Comey, or McCabe? The Deep State is alive and well, lo after these many years. As we approach the anniversary of Nixon’s resignation, we vow not be victimized by the swamp again.

Impeachment is not imminent. That being the case, it changes little in the way this “investigation” should be handled… Move swiftly, move purposefully and move strategically. Use history as a guide, use it wisely. Most importantly, remember Nixon’s final words to his staff 43 years ago, “always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.”

Adam Gingrich

Founder of Wick Media Productions. Worked for Donald Trump's Campaign, overseeing the Pennsylvania region, Adam has been a Political Consultant for most of his adult life.

“Comey was a metastatic growth of injustice allowed, if not, encouraged by President Obama.”

“Comey was a metastatic growth of injustice allowed, if not, encouraged by President Obama.”

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I know titling an article with an anonymous quote is a blatant violation of journalistic standards, but in the modern traditions of the Washington Post, we’ll chalk it up to “when in Rome…” Specifically, when in Rome while it burned and Nero fiddled; that would be more apropos, perhaps, when describing Post standards. Nonetheless, I think it accurately and succinctly sums up my short interview with a friend who is a former Department of Justice appointee and current Law Professor.

I emailed him several times recently, trying in vain to put some perspective on some of the finer nuances of Mr. Comey’s wild ride into infamy. Eventually, I learned my friend was evaluating papers and was annoyed at the prospect of having to discuss the illogic and anti-intellectualism of Jame Comey while trying to maintain his legal reasoning. It was a fair point. I tried a different angle: Explain it to me like you were at dinner party with intellectual, but not politically or legally inclined guests. My attempt at creating an interesting new perspective was greeted with the blunt rejoinder, “that’s why I hate [expletive] dinner parties.”

Eventually, my friend agreed to entertain one or two questions. I’ll call him “John,” who was his favorite boss at the DOJ. Below is the content of our exchange.

Me: Put yourself in Rod Rosenstein’s shoes when the WH asked for a memo on firing Comey. How would you have handled it differently?

John: “Rod’s a good guy. I’m not taking issue with his memo. It was soundly written. Hit the main point the media refuses to cover. Comey used the Obama administration’s politically charged atmosphere to make elemental and disruptive changes to protocol. When [Loretta] Lynch took that visit from [Bill Clinton] BC on the runway, the Obama DOJ should have initiated a chain of command containment protocol ASAP. A deputy should’ve reigned in Comey and demanded an immediate debriefing on [Hillary Clinton] HC email matter. Instead they let him run with it. Jim got his wires crossed. Went into his old prosecutor mindset. That’s not FBI territory. It’s in the [expletive] mission statement for [expletive] sake. Once he gave that ridiculous press conference it was over. He was done. He should’ve been done anyway. He paralyzed the admin though. So much so when he did the Weiner announcement, I knew guys in the DOJ, I’m talking career guys here, who wanted out. They figured HC was going to rain hell on the DOJ for letting Jim call the shots publicly. And you know what? She would have. There would have been no mercy for anyone deputy and under who didn’t resign in protest of Jim’s actions.”

Me: So obviously you didn’t know anyone over there who thought Trump could even win?

John: “No. That was the last thing on the minds of the guys and gals in the halls at Justice. They were prepping to go on defense for an onslaught of HC congressional inquiries and partisan court filings. Next thing they know wham! Trump is the honcho.”

Me: I still don’t get it. If the Rosenstein memo was solid, why didn’t he stand by it?

John: “Rod is a lifer type. He’s not going to stay in bath water that goes from warm to piping ass hot. He’s just not. And it’s not his job to play Atlas while the AG pushes him out front of 42 democrat senators that just confirmed him a week before. If that’s what the WH had in mind for Rod they picked the wrong spot for him. Again, the memo was sound and defensible in fact. Comey sidestepped protocol, procedure and tradition. Investigators investigate, prosecutors prosecute. Anyone off the streets who has seen the opening of law and order episodes can tell Jim jumped a firewall or two.”

Me: Ok, last question. What if there are tapes?

John: “I’m going to assume there are no tapes. If there are tapes and WH counsel office knows about it, half of them would fake terminal illness to get out of the WH before the tapes did. It would be a disaster. Total [expletive] disaster for everyone involved. Forget about a legislative agenda, forget about market stability. This is already the worst relationship I’ve ever seen between a sitting honcho and the media. Tapes? Tapes would make the current [expletive] all mess look like paradise. And I don’t care what’s on them. Every Justice suit with a brain and a retirement plan wishes Trump would have never brought it up. Anytime you get a sanctimonious [expletive] like John Dean back on cable news shows, you are doing yourself no favors. None.”

Me: That’s really how you would explain it to me if I were a doctor or an engineer at a dinner party?

John: “If I took the time to explain it to a curious MD I’d tell them Comey was a metastatic growth of injustice allowed, if not, encouraged by President Obama. That’s the truth of the matter. He wanted it to be HC’s problem and her revenge. He had 100% cause to fire Jim after the first press conference. He didn’t. I suspect he didn’t for more than just bad PR for HC, but he probably knew Jim would look to the Lynch handling of the emails and BC meeting. This testimony and poor me routine was always going to happen. Didn’t matter if it was Obama or Trump that fired him. This is Jim Comey. This is just who he is. That’s all I got.”

I had to sit back and read then re-read my friend’s input before it struck me: maybe when dealing with a personality like James Comey, there was no other way for this to go. Obama fires him and the press says he’s trying to save Hillary’s campaign. Trump fires him on January 20th and the press is told he is interfering with an ongoing investigation. Trump fires him after yet another fruitless and error-prone testimony before Congress four months in, and we still find ourselves in a cacophonous quagmire of Comey’s own making. Lost in all the debate, is that somehow James Comey finds a way to get the AG and DOJ out of his way so he can be judge and jury. He did it deftly with Loretta Lynch, and he even had the audacity to testify he knew in advance AG Sessions would need to recuse himself “for a variety of reasons.” Wow. Once you open your eyes to who Comey is and how he operates, none of this is shocking or even surprising anymore.

James B. Comey is not a man of integrity. The damage, when all is said and done, to the Bureau’s credibility will be substantial. I can write that with a great degree of certainty without even broaching the walking horror show who goes by the name Andrew McCabe.

God Bless America. And if it’s not too much trouble, can You fix the FBI, too? Amen.

Adam Gingrich

Founder of Wick Media Productions. Worked for Donald Trump's Campaign, overseeing the Pennsylvania region, Adam has been a Political Consultant for most of his adult life.

Folding Before the Flop: Trump Sizes Up DC

Folding Before the Flop: Trump Sizes Up DC

Feature Posts, Healthcare, Media, News, Opinions, Politics

So you think you’ve got Donald Trump all figured out, huh? As John Wayne would say, “not hardly.” In fact, if the Duke were alive today, I doubt there would be a bigger fan of the president. Certainly there’s a machismo shared by these two American legends, if nothing else.

While most of Washington buzzes in a self-obsessed flurry of analysis regarding the health care legislation getting pulled, some of us can detect a clear Trump maneuver in the mist. After all, not everything can be learned about Donald Trump by reading the Art of the Deal. That was business, this is politics. The differences are as telling as they are necessary. For instance: some enemies identify themselves at the door, others must be flushed out. Hence, the great health care bill debacle of 2017…

At first glance, you might render the opinion that the president waded into the depths of murky congressional waters, such that he wasn’t prepared to navigate. That would be a critical error in judgement, if you ask me. What better way for Trump to assess the playing field, then to allow Speaker Ryan to roll up his sleeves and fire up his PowerPoint? Make sure it’s called “Ryan Care,” which it was, and make sure your much maligned chief-of-staff knows it’s his job to push the bill. If you’re Trump, do just enough to create the illusion you want this bill, but never allow it to be conceptualized as anything that could taint the “Trump brand.” Then, stand back and watch as all your enemies show their hands, while others blow precious political capital on a clunker of a bill.

Trump has set up a scenario where democrats are happily cheering on the sidelines for an imploding policy failure that America hates and cannot afford. What’s more, he’s identified republicans that will defy him openly to the media, and for the encore: he exposes Paul Ryan’s soft, yellow underbelly as Speaker. Not bad for a few rough news cycles, huh?

Yes, the health care bill failing will limit our ability to cut taxes. Yes, it will limit the scope and ambition of our tax reform package. And yes, this inaction will lead to a regionally applied and catastrophic failure of Obamacare within 12 months. The markets will get jittery, and pension funds nationwide will slide back into red as quickly as they began to recover. Hell of time for a Primary election, don’t you think?

By the Fall, health care premiums will be in the stratosphere, more insurance carriers will be pulling out altogether, and states that adopted Medicaid expansion will suffer tremendous budget deficits as federal subsidies…well, subside. It’s a nightmare scenario for any incumbent facing a Primary challenge; of which, there will be plenty.

When that time comes, they will all crawl to the president for assistance. “Help us,” they will say, oblivious to the irony of it all. 2018 is your judgement day, congress. President Trump will live to see another fight, regardless of what majorities look like in Congress. Of course, republican voters nationwide are again reminded what a useless luxury majorities are anyway. Call on him, they will: “you must be presidential and do what’s best for the country!” And when that moment comes, the masters of the Beltway will be faced with the reality that the “rookie” president saw it all coming from a long way out. Humble pie will be served a la mode, after a healthy serving of crow.

“But the NY Times said Trump suffered a devastating blow!” Oh, really? How will it play out for Schumer and Pelosi when states like Ohio and Pennsylvania have exploding Medicaid costs, adding to already substantial deficits? Wonder how Sen Brown in Ohio will feel next year? I’m really, really curious what Gov Wolf and Sen Casey will think in PA. I doubt anyone of them can be saved now. It’s a political equation I’ve already solved after this week.

A reminder to everyone in the Beltway, republicans and democrats, establishment media, etc: Trump has one major weapon in his arsenal none of you have and that is us. We, the army of patriots who elected him, stand ready to dismiss those who obstruct the agenda. By any measure, any metric in politics, that’s what I call a “Trump card.”

Adam Gingrich

Founder of Wick Media Productions. Worked for Donald Trump's Campaign, overseeing the Pennsylvania region, Adam has been a Political Consultant for most of his adult life.

Revolution ’18 – The First Fork in the Road

Revolution ’18 – The First Fork in the Road

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If there is one thing I learned from my recent trip to CPAC, it’s that the fickle fringes of the Republican Party are coming together. Some grudgingly, some enthusiastically, but almost all embracing the notion of “winning,” over personal litmus tests for their own brand of puritanical conservatism. It was a pleasant and enduring surprise to witness in person, punctuated with a dazzling and inspiring speech by President Trump. It was a well deserved moment, too, for all of us to pat each other on the back and dole out kudos, where they were warranted. As fulfilling as the experience was, it will need to be a cemented mentality going forward, or we will have one hell of a short-lived victory dance.

For all the harmony I noted above, there was also an obvious lack of congressional vocals in that harmony. A full month into the Trump presidency, here is what we know for certain: The media and the democrats have joined together to form a cacophonous blob of opposition, and the congressional republicans are, well, they’re not quite sure what to do. They remind me a lot of the players on those interesting New York Yankee teams in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Bear with me…

If you recall, their fiery and bombastic owner, George Steinbrenner, would repeatedly chide his players publicly when the team struggled. The players, by and large, would grumble quietly and try to up their game for fear the fans would isolate them as one of the Steinbrenner’s targets. Others, like Reggie Jackson, would push back and use the media to deflect and grow their own narrative. Most congressional republicans, for this comparative exercise, are the run-of-mill players on the roster who only care about one thing: staying employed. Others, like John McCain, are 80 years old and newly elected for a final term in office, with nothing to lose. All apologies to Reggie Jackson, who actually had talent, but most registered republicans wish Trump had the option Steinbrenner had and trade away McCain for something even remotely useful.

The point of the metaphor is to paint the portrait as it exists today politically. The only relevant parties on the political field today are the republicans in Congress and Trump. The media are the same tool of ire and conspiracy they always were, in sports or politics. The fans are us; we are the ones that can swing the hammer of opinion to the players or the owner. Who’s the boss? In exactly 12 months, the process to determine just that comes into play in the form of Primary Elections. Chances are, this will need to be another reckoning. If these elected Yankees on the field can’t do the job for our elected Steinbrenner up in the box, it’s our job to trade them for better options. It shouldn’t come to that, but it probably will and we need to plan for it, regardless.

It’s called Revolution ’18, and it should have every republican Senator up for re-election, ahem Jeff Flake, nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Every Representative in a Trump won district should find the line and toe it, because we are not bluffing. We want results. We don’t want your excuses, or your qualifiers on parliamentary hurdles, just the results we were promised when we delivered you along to DC to help President Trump. You are not independent review mechanisms to check and balance our executive vote, that’s not why we put you there. Repeal Obamacare, pass tax reform and build the wall. Do it, get it started by next year, or risk being replaced. It’s up to us, not you, and certainly not the media or paid town hall protesters.

It reminds of a story when I was teaching my daughter to use the potty. “Daddy, where does the kitty-cat poop?” In a box, I replied. “But doggies poop outside?” That’s right, I said. “Where do birdies go poop, daddy?” On my car, usually, I told her. “But people use the the potty, right, daddy?” Yes, dear…everyone but congress, where they tend to do it right in their beds.

My wife has since taken over the toilet training. Win, win.

#Rev18

Adam Gingrich

Founder of Wick Media Productions. Worked for Donald Trump's Campaign, overseeing the Pennsylvania region, Adam has been a Political Consultant for most of his adult life.

The Russians Are Coming? Uh, No…

The Russians Are Coming? Uh, No…

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Well, the media has officially jumped the shark. They spent their weekly political capital cash cow, the Sunday talk shows, which I refer to as the “left express,” chattering like nervous monkeys about the ubiquitously cited Trump/Russian investigations. Calls were made for AG Sessions to recuse himself from an “investigation” the FBI has already classified in the “BS file.” It’s absurd theatre and one that will continue to exacerbate the divide between the propaganda press corp and the White House.

Let’s be honest, this is a snipe hunt. There is no Russian connection to be found, never mind one that could influence our incredibly diverse and balkanized election process. Where is the evidence? What exactly are these 17 “intelligence agencies” telling the press and NOT showing us? I can answer that for you: nothing much. It’s a nothing-burger with a side of rumor. The media continues to purge themselves from the encumbrance of reality and run freely through their fertile imaginations.

After years of American influence in other nation’s elections as part of our official CIA protocols, our national propaganda media is bemoaning and decrying the possibility of Russia poking their noses in ours. Irony aside, how did they do it? Influence our election, I mean. Again, we know they didn’t access a single voting machine, a fact conceded by all parties. We know they have no direct responsibility for the DNC hacking, a fact backed up by the confirmation of independent phishing scams of which John Podesta and various DNC staffers fell victim. So, as Julian Assange keeps asking: how exactly did Russia interfere in our elections? They didn’t. They couldn’t, even if they wanted to. That’s the real fact of the matter.

Belied by a paranoid and insipid media, Russia has little in the way of real assets to disturb our chaotic and self-involved national elections. Lost in the clamoring and clumsy media requests for a full account of President Trump’s non-existent financial dealings with Russia, is the fact that Russia offers very little in the way of financial rewards, clandestine or otherwise. Just what is it that anyone thinks Trump has vested in their oil-propped, junker of an economy any way? It’s ludicrous and insulting to the American people to infer anything otherwise. Russia produces nothing but: oil we already have, guns we already sell ourselves and some uranium of which Hillary already sold our portion of back to them. Good lord, the opposition party has lost their collective minds. So rattled and shook by the election result, they are literally conjuring a mass delusion to calm themselves and disturb the agenda of our new president.

The only people, ironically enough, happy with this development are the Russians themselves. Putin is trolling the American propaganda machine because he knows how to do it like no one else on earth. Spy ships on our shores, fighter planes buzzing our Destroyers; silly propaganda bait that our little bottom feeders in the alphabet soup go chasing on command. Putin knows the game, he practically invented it in its modern form.

The best practical joke of all, is the one you keep expecting and it never comes. Putin knows this and he is laughing hysterically as our propagandists and congressional dullards hold hearings into the impossible. It’s an old axiom in politics: “when did you stop beating your wife?” How do you answer? How can Trump quell concern about something that not only never happened, but couldn’t really have happened in the first place.

Putin has sent America’s elite into the largest snipe hunt of all time. It’s hard not to appreciate the subtle genius of making our media look this stupid. My only grievance is that our president is forced to dignify the insanity with a response.

All of this changes nothing. Trump must fight on, and we must join him in this open rebellion against Fake News. And, no, the sky is not purple, rocks do not talk, and the Russians did not influence the presidential election in the United States of America. If you argue with any of these former statements, you must be willing to argue them all.

Adam Gingrich

Founder of Wick Media Productions. Worked for Donald Trump's Campaign, overseeing the Pennsylvania region, Adam has been a Political Consultant for most of his adult life.