Every new development or revelation is a "blockbuster" and smoking-gun proof that "this is bigger than Watergate." Every new dot is connected seamlessly and instantaneously to fit a mosaic of outrage.
For those out to get the president at all costs, the scandal is a moving target -- Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, the president's mental competency, etc. For those out to protect the president at all costs, the scandal is more stable -- a conspiracy to destroy the president orchestrated by the Deep State, abetted by the media and Democratic lawmakers.
The only way to sustain the hysteria is to denounce the un-hysterical as complicit bystanders to the alleged scandal. Lack of outrage is itself an outrage. It's a Beltway version of the old Marxist crime of lacking revolutionary zeal.
The report last week that the president wanted to fire special counsel Robert S. Mueller III last June (something we already knew) was greeted by many "resistance" types as indistinguishable from actually firing him. Never mind that -- as a matter of law and logic -- being talked out of obstructing justice isn't the same thing as obstructing justice.
But the resistance types aren't wrong that there is a shameless and demagogic campaign to derail and discredit Mueller as well as the agency he once directed, the FBI.
There are four distinct story lines here. The FBI's investigation into
One of these things is not like the others.
Now, I actually believe that Clinton's handling of classified material was outrageous. I am largely persuaded by the case laid out by my
I think the texts between FBI agents
As for the surveillance court, I have no idea what the full story is. Some allege that the Obama administration used the so-called Steele dossier to get a warrant to monitor the machinations of
But here's the thing, so far none of this has anything to do with whether Mueller can do his job properly. For all the phonus-bolonus about Strzok's Deep State skulduggery, you'd think Strzok was secretly running the Mueller investigation. He was there for a little more than a month last summer. And Mueller dumped him once he heard about the texts and the affair.
Mueller, a man appointed to the FBI by a Republican, has a sterling reputation -- even according to the president's praetorian guard, before partisanship forced them to change their story. And he was in private practice during all of these other events.
But such facts don't matter when fog and outrage are your most reliable weapons.