On Wednesday afternoon we saw a fascinating dichotomy play out in real time on social media. Respected reporter Brian Karem tweeted that someone close to the Manhattan DA’s office had just told him to “Beware the Ides of March” – a clear reference to next Wednesday, March 15th – and then star witness Michael Cohen retweeted the whole thing. It was the clearest signal yet that not only is Trump being indicted, he’s being criminally indicted as soon as next week.
Yet even as this Karem-Cohen thing was playing out on Twitter, one of the top trending topics on Twitter was “Indict Trump now.” Was this a celebratory trending topic, based on this news that Trump is now expected to be indicted as soon as next week? No, quite the opposite. If you clicked on the trending topic, it was chock full of people angrily insisting that we’re all doomed because Trump will never be indicted.
Many of these defeatist tweets were posted after the news surfaced that Trump is apparently being indicted next week. If only these folks weren’t so busy yelling so obsessively about how Trump will never be indicted, they wouldn’t have missed the news about his imminent indictment. But then that’s always been the problem with these types.
I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time documenting every bit of reported progress that the various criminal probes and grand jury indictment processes against Donald Trump have made. It’s been a slow steady march, but that’s how this process works. These details have made it clear all along that Trump has indeed been on track for indictment all along. There was never a point in any of this where the developments that were taking place pointed to him somehow not ending up indicted.
Yet even as this factual and documentable reality has played out, there’s also been an alternate reality playing out. We have a whole industry of media and pundit types, everywhere from MSNBC to Twitter on down, who have built their entire brands on the premise that 1) Trump will get away with it all no matter what and 2) you should feel defeatist outrage because of it.
These types of pundits have told you to ignore all the facts that have been coming out all along about the grand jury processes, and have instead used emotional manipulation to make you feel hopeless about the prospect of Trump ever being indicted or facing any sort of justice. That way they get you so addicted to feeling defeatist outrage, it’s all you want to feel – and you’ll keep coming back to them over and over again for more of it.
This means these types of pundits don’t ever have to provide any insight into anything that’s going on, and in fact don’t ever even have to be right about anything. They can be proven wrong at every turn – ludicrously, intentionally wrong – and all they have to do is spin that into some new arbitrary reason why Trump will still magically get away with it all no matter what.
We’re seeing that process play out right now. The pundits who fomented defeatist outrage by insisting we’d never be able to get Trump out of office, then tried to cover for being wrong about that by insisting he’d never be indicted. And now that everyone is starting to see that they were just making that up, they’ll cover for it by insisting that the indictments don’t matter because he’ll never be convicted. When he’s convicted, they’ll once again cover for being wrong by insisting he’ll never be imprisoned, or whatever new defeatist narrative they need to keep their outrage-addicted audience coming back for more defeatist outrage.
And so even on a day when someone close to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and the star witness in the case are tweeting news that appears to confirm Donald Trump will be indicted next week, we still had an army of defeatist zombies tweeting en masse about how Trump will never be indicted and we’re all doomed.
One suspects that even after Trump is indicted, those defeatist zombies will still be tweeting about how he’ll never be indicted. Why let reality get in the way now? In fact, that’s sort of the point. If you’re so lost in life that your only goal each day is to convince yourself that your side is doomed no matter what, any news to the contrary is something that must be actively drowned out. If the facts start to seep in and you’re forced to accept that maybe you’re not doomed after all, how will you get to keep feeling the maximum possible amount of defeatist outrage?
And this is the scourge that arguably harms our side more than anything else. Far too large of a chunk of the “activists” on our side have instead been sucked into sitting around loudly and lazily spewing defeatist outrage all day instead of doing anything to try to win. They’re so far gone, they don’t want to win, because getting to feel outrage is the goal and winning gets in the way of that. These are people who are supposed to be helping us put in the work to win the next round of elections, and instead they’re busy trying to turn the rest of us on our side into defeatist zombies.
We’re at the point where the defeatists on our own side are now trying to drown out the news that Donald Trump is being indicted, so they can go on angrily foaming at the mouth unabated – and at this point the vast majority of the media and pundit class is catering to these types by offering them the kind of defeatist spin that allows them to keep feeling outrage.
If we don’t find a way to fight back against this scourge on our own side and rise above this, what are we doing? How are we going to fight and win any political battles, if our side is dominated by defeatist zombies who want to lose and want us to believe we’re going to lose? At this point the addiction to defeatist outrage on our own side is a bigger threat to our side’s success than anything that Trump can say or do. He’s being indicted. Things are being done to remove him from the table. But what’s being done to remove the defeatist outrage addicted zombies on our side from the table? Remember: these types want to lose.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report