Over the past two weeks we’ve been documenting how Matt Gaetz is trying to use the Trump playbook to get himself out of his current scandal. The idea is to muddy the waters as thoroughly as possible, by accusing the criminal investigators of conspiring against you, and making up conspiracy theories about the media, until everyone is too confused to remember what the original scandal was.
The Trump playbook didn’t even work out particularly well for Donald Trump, who lost reelection and is now sulking in near-isolation while awaiting indictment. But Gaetz is having an even worse time of it, both because he lacks even Trump’s one dimensional level of cunning, and because Gaetz is caught up in the kind of scandal that he can’t simply BS his way out of. But he’s trying nonetheless.
Gaetz has latched onto a conspiracy theory about CNN targeting him with its reporting, to the point that it’s almost all Gaetz is tweeting about these days. Now Politico says that Gaetz is preparing a six figure television ad buy so he can promote his conspiracy theory about CNN. No really, he’s doing this.
Matt Gaetz still seems to believe that this scandal is something that he can survive by yelling around and hurling nonsense at the wall. Sorry, but this isn’t some garden variety political scandal. This is a federal criminal investigation into alleged underage sex trafficking. If Gaetz is guilty, he’ll rot in prison for years – and nothing in the Trump playbook is going to change that.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report