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Gingrich appraises Mueller

[ by Charles Cameron — fwiw my first name, charles, translates to churl ]

I am far from the only one to have noticed this juxtaposition:

I read the first of these as a simple statement of the concensus as to Mueller‘s character, what is generally known of the man after years of pubic service. I think of it, in other words, as a statement of received opinion, which Newt Gingrich is presenting for the record. I imagine I could find similar endorsements of Mueller from the Democratic side of the aisle.

The second tweet strikes me as of a diFfferent sort altogether. This one I believe I could find echoed in other statements from aides to Trump — it’s a talking point.

I know politicians lie. I imagine I could find instances of Joe Biden, or Hillary Clinton, making similarly opposed statekents. I take Bill Clinton‘s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” to be the Lie Direct in Jacques’ terms. But this —

I don’t believe Gingrich has changed opinions, I believe he has simply changed hats. I think, in short, that he still takes Mueller for a man with an impeccable reputation for honesty and integrity — but in his second tweet, he’s parroting a party line, not his actual opinion.

Dylan: But what’s the sense of changing horses in midstream?

Maybe Jacques would classify this as a Reply Churlish. Gingrich, you’re a Churl.

11 Responses to “Gingrich appraises Mueller”

  1. Michael J. Lotus Says:

    New facts change opinions. Mueller is staffing-up with Clinton and Obama supporters. This indicates that he cannot be trusted.
    Keynes was right, when the facts changed, you have to change your opinions.
    Gingrich was wrong in the first tweet. He was correct to correct himself.

  2. Charles Cameron Says:

    We’re both looking at the same situation, each, I believe, in general respectful of the other’s processes, and yet here we are, coming to opposed conclusions. Which raises the question of polarization.
    That’s something I hope to address in a forthcoming post to be titled The physics of politics.

  3. carl Says:

    Charles, what if the reverse is true, that in the first tweet Mr. Gingrich was parroting the company town, inside the beltway party line and the second tweet is his actual opinion? I think that is more likely. Newt still lives and works in the DC area and is probably still in many ways a company man in a company town. When a company bigshot gets a new gig and another company town man is asked to immediately comment, the most natural thing is to say “Yes, fine fellow. Salt of the earth type.” Then later when you learn the guy is actually out to zero your budget for the next year and forever, things change a bit.

  4. Charles Cameron Says:

    Entirely possible — has Gingrich in fact seen his budget slashed?

  5. zen Says:

    I think the facts will speak for themselves but it is hardly the case that the *only* attorneys capable of getting to the facts are Hillary’s defense attorney in a civil suit over emailgate (Rhee) and a bunch of lifelong Democrats. C’mon. Imagine the howling if an all-GOP team were investigating President Clinton.
    I’ll give Mueller a pass on the one who is his law partner but a politically partisan team will discredit his report before he begins. Some of these ppl need to go or be balanced out by other lawyers with GOP ties.

  6. Charles Cameron Says:

    I need to look more deeply into this. I agree, the team should be above bias, left or right.

  7. carl Says:

    Charles: What I meant by “zero your budget” is removing Mr. Trump as President. You can get a good idea of where Mr. Mueller wants to go by looking who he is hiring. If you say you are going to inspect a building and the first people you hire are demolition experts perhaps you aren’t being completely honest.
    I have said this before and I say it again, this whole thing is extremely dangerous for our country. If the inside the beltway crowd, on both sides of the aisle along with the GS 3 digits of whatever agency, are perceived to have removed a duly elected President in order to preserve their ways of life, 50-60 million people, their relatives and friends are going to be very put out. They will be put out because they will believe, correctly I think, that their votes mean nothing and therefore they really have no conventional way to exercise their political will. Mark Steyn has made this point which I think valid and it scares me.

  8. Charles Cameron Says:

    Ah/ Yes, I’m afraid of a similar result, no matter how biased or unbiased the team, pererrty much whichever way the decision comes down. I fear we’re prepped for violence on both sides at this point, not a happy state of affairs.

  9. Charles Cameron Says:

    Hm. NYT:

    “It’s early in the game to begin to impugn the prosecutors,” said Philip Allen Lacovara, a Watergate prosecutor and a Republican. “It’s a pre-emptive nuclear strike. If you’re afraid of what the prosecutors are going to find out, you try to debunk anything they might come up with in advance by attacking them.”

    What in particular should I read from the “right” side?

  10. carl Says:

    A very quick google search shows Mr. Lacovara has recently made a number of public statements along the lines of “this is as bad as Watergate if not worse.” So I conclude that the NYT quote is a “pre-emptive nuclear strike” by an inside the beltway player to turn the tables on future critics before the game gets underway. No surprise it is a NYT story. And no surprise that every time Mr. Lacovara’s name is mentioned the next breathe is used to utter something along the lines of ‘of Watergate fame’. As soon as that is uttered I suppose we are supposed to hear distant in the background and Angelic Choir singing a hosanna of heavenly approval.

  11. Grurray Says:

    If you’re interested, Power Line has had a week long series on whether Trump should fire Mueller
    The nightmare scenario is something like the Scooter Libby case. He was convicted of obstruction of justice because reporter Judith Miller testified incorrectly about a conversation she didn’t recall two years earlier. The prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald knew she was wrong, but he didn’t say anything in order to allow her damaging testimony to stand. Fitzgerald had no case against the real perpetrator in the investigation. Libby was Dick Cheney’s top aide and thus was an attractive mark. The hope was Libby’s mistakes would lead to his boss, or Libby would give him up to save himself.
    Once the fishing expedition gets going, the net can reach pretty high snaring all the misstatements and mis-rememberings and backstabbings. That’s obviously why Kushner is under so much scrutiny now. They picked the person who they think will be the easiest to break. They took one look at him said, “Let’s see how much young Mr Orthodox really loves his family if he’s staring at 5 years in the federal pen.”

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