Note: I have C. S. Lewis’s level of interest and knowledge of day to day politics. Despite having written so much of what might be called political observation, Lewis didn’t know who his own local representatives were. In a like manner, I typically concern myself (for whatever that’s worth) with big picture, long term stuff, but am hardly someone you’d go to for tactical stuff. That said:
I think if Trump can be said to have made a fatal error, it would be underestimating the level of M.A.D. * among our elites. That’s certainly what the rapid, simultaneous folding of so many of his political ‘supporters’ looks like. The swamp creatures were very reluctantly willing to back Trump as long as his presence in office provided some degree of protection from retribution. Their constituents demanded it, so they put on a show.
BUT – if people high enough in the racket started going down, all those public officials further down or one or two levels up from the target suspect all the sudden were guaranteed M.A.D. Imagine someone on Dragon Lady’s team gets caught dead to rights in something seriously illegal, say, selling out to China or having people killed, and manages to avoid getting Epsteined. Even if that guy doesn’t make like a canary, the implications of being associated with him will be bad. (This, BTW, is why control of the FBI is so critical. Crimes are not outed when investigations just don’t happen.)
If this seems far-fetched, look at the career of J. Edgar Hoover. The FBI was set up as a temporary step to deal with the organized crime that flowered under Prohibition. You all get *why* they needed Untouchables? Because so many people, and some important people, and local cops, and local judges, and so on, weren’t about to stop drinking just because some Puritanical Karens had gotten a law passed. It quickly became a religious war: those who thought it was their sacred right to use the force of the state to fix other people’s problems, versus ‘scofflaws.’
Scofflaw Was Created for a Contest
In 1924, a wealthy Massachusetts Prohibitionist named Delcevare King sponsored a contest in which he asked participants to coin an appropriate word to mean “a lawless drinker.” King sought a word that would cast violators of Prohibition laws in a light of shame. Two respondents came up independently with the winning word: scofflaw, formed by combining the verb scoff and the noun law. Henry Dale and Kate Butler, also of Massachusetts, split King’s $200 prize. Improbably, despite some early scoffing from language critics, scofflaw managed to pick up steam in English and expand to a meaning that went beyond its Prohibition roots, referring to one who violates any law, not just laws related to drinking.From Merriam-Webster:
The FBI needed to keep their investigations secret, because if very many people knew, a scofflaw was likely to be among them. Once you throw in an Al Capone or three, who provides key links in the black market supple chain, makes a lot of money doing it, and doesn’t shy away from using force to protect his interests, you will need Untouchables, men who can’t easily be bribed or blackmailed. Every local cop, every local judge, every mayor, alderman, or civic leader was at least potentially a weak link, a scofflaw who would, at best, thwart your investigation, or, at worst, get you killed.
BUUUT – now you’ve set up a Bureau that conducts secret investigations. What could possibly go wrong? J. Edgar Hoover, founder and until his death in 1972, director of the FBI, liked his position of power. The Oracle Wikipedia states:
Later in life and after his death, Hoover became a controversial figure as evidence of his secretive abuses of power began to surface. He was found to have exceeded the jurisdiction of the FBI, and to have used the FBI to harass political dissenters and activists, to amass secret files on political leaders, and to collect evidence using illegal methods. Hoover consequently amassed a great deal of power and was in a position to intimidate and threaten others, including multiple sitting presidents of the United States.
“…in a position to intimidate and threaten others, including multiple sitting presidents of the United States.” Got that? A federal employee used his access to information and a large, sophisticated investigative apparatus set up to be outside the ready review of anybody to, essentially, blackmail *sitting Presidents*. In other words: MAD: he goes down, you go down. That’s how Hoover managed to keep his position until his death; that’s what Trump was up against.
Of course, after Hoover died and all this stuff came out, Congress, at the urging of the President, abolished the FBI, citing the obvious threat to democracy that having a bureau with huge, secret investigative powers inevitably presents.
Ha ha ha, I’d slay me, except I’m already slain, having made the same joke about Fred Roti a couple posts ago. Nope, hearing were held, a little muted outrage was expressed -and the people in power under J. Edgar kept right on keeping on, for the most part, and the FBI continued growing in power to this day. I wonder how they pulled that off? You want a definition and poster boy for what sane people mean by the Deep State? There it is.
In a sense, Biden is their Incitatus .
*n For you youngsters: Mutually Assured Destruction, the strategy (successfully) followed during the Cold War and mocked in Dr. Strangelove, of making sure all the nuclear powers understood that there was no way any one of them could strike hard enough to prevent a counterstrike from destroying them.
8 thoughts on “M.A.D.”
I like the post, but I had to copy the text into a separate window to read… couldn’t get past the blinky GIF in my peripheral vision.
oh. I can change that. thanks.
On the other hand the ordinary run-runners were key in signals security in WW2.
You mean gin-runners? I don’t think I understand.
No. Rum 😉. Here you go: https://www.usni.org/magazines/naval-history-magazine/2020/february/busting-smugglers-breaking-codes
And the ‘scofflaw’ worked SO well…
…that a cocktail was named Scofflaw, to mock it.
1 oz rye whiskey
1 oz dry vermouth
3/4 oz grenadine* or, alternately, green Chartreuse
3/4 oz lemon juice
2-3 dashes orange bitters
* REAL grenadine, not that Rose’s dyed fructose-water garbage.
Cool! Not only am I going to make some of those up, I actually have my own homemade grenadine. I made a bunch of pomegranate syrup from our own pomegranates, and my son pointed out I was making grenadine. So, almost using moonshine! At least, my cocktail will be using something cooked up in my kitchen.