To hear certain mainstream media pundits tell it, Donald Trump pulled off an evil genius coup yesterday when he fired Dan Coats, a brilliant saint who all this time had been heroically and single-handedly stopping Trump from carrying out Very Bad Things, and replaced him with John Ratcliffe, which will magically allow Trump to instantly get away with Very Bad Things. The thing is, these pundits are talking about some alternate reality that doesn’t exist on this planet.
Let’s talk about the facts here. Dan Coats seemed to be, relatively speaking, one of the good guys. If nothing else, he occasionally spoke out against Donald Trump’s love of Russia, albeit in the kind of tepid way that allowed Coats to remain on the job this long. Trump clearly wasn’t relying on Coats for anything, or allowing Coats to do anything, and it had clearly been this way for some time. The notion that Coats was somehow stopping Trump from conspiring with Russia these past couple years is laughable.
More to the point, John Ratcliffe is an incompetent idiot. In fact he just spent the Mueller hearing proving to everyone watching at home that he’s an incompetent idiot. William Barr is a fairly smart and competent guy who was able to come in and get some evil things done for Donald Trump, while screwing up some of it due to his hubris. But Ratcliffe is the kind of buffoon that you and I wouldn’t put in charge of guarding a ham sandwich, for fear he’d find a way to screw it up. The notion that Ratcliffe is going to come in and actually be able to help Trump in any way? That’s even more laughable than the notion that the long-ago-neutralized Dan Coats was single handedly holding our government together.
Donald Trump did accomplish what he set out to do yesterday when he replaced Coats with Ratcliffe, which was to bait the media into spinning doomsday fantasies about a nothing story, thus wiping out media’s coverage of Trump’s racist attacks on Baltimore, and the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment inquiry. Trump’s one and only talent in the political realm is that he knows how to feed the media the kind of ratings-friendly nonsense it feasts on.
The mainstream media pundits who are hysterically insisting that Donald Trump is about to magically win every battle by replacing Dan Coats with John Ratcliffe? These are the same mainstream media pundits who just a few weeks ago were hysterically insisting that Trump was about to use the census question to magically overthrow the Supreme Court. Trump concocts these non-stories because he’s playing the media for the ratings chasers that they are. The two stories that mattered this weekend were the Trump impeachment inquiry and Trump’s racist meltdown. The media just threw them both away in order to feed us a bunch of bullshit over a non-story. This will only stop when we learn to stop falling for these ratings-friendly false narratives, once and for all.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report