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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Despite media claims the voters care about taxes, not Flynn’s FBI problem

If you’ve ever been plagued by an invasive red ant colony in your backyard you know it doesn’t take a lot to get them riled up. Similarly, if you were unfortunate enough to step on the noxious mound it engenders a nearly instantaneous reaction from its inhabitants – as if by collective intuition the ants irritably scramble around in all directions like shoppers after an overdue sale announcement on Black Friday.

If you’re wise you’d beat a hasty retreat away from them and leave the curiosity to someone else. Those things Trump GOP tax billare nasty!

Angry red ants came to mind last Friday when it was announced that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pled guilty to one count of lying to the FBI. As usual the mind-controlled media, thinking Flynn’s admission was a potentially a game-changing big deal, acted like someone had inadvertently disturbed their “colony” and hurried off every which way to spin the news as though it were somehow toxic to President Donald Trump and the greater GOP’s efforts to pass their agenda -- particularly tax reform.

Not so fast. Even to the casual observer there’s less here than meets the eye. Andrew C. McCarthy wrote at National Review, “While initial reporting is portraying Flynn’s guilty plea as a major breakthrough in Mueller’s investigation of potential Trump-campaign collusion with the Russian regime, I suspect the opposite is true…

“[F]or all the furor, we have a small-potatoes plea in Flynn’s case — just as we did in Papadopoulos’s case, despite extensive ‘collusion’ evidence. Meanwhile, the only major case Mueller has brought, against former Trump-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and an associate, has nothing to do with the 2016 election. It is becoming increasingly palpable that, whatever ‘collusion’ means, there was no actionable, conspiratorial complicity by the Trump campaign in the Kremlin’s machinations.”

In his article McCarthy explained Flynn pled guilty to a simple process crime (lying to the FBI) rather than a major conspiratorial transgression. Not only is there no “fire” behind the smolder, there’s really only a wisp of smoke there in the first place.

For those who don’t remember (and still care about the Russia thing) Flynn was fired a few weeks into the Trump administration for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations he’d had with the Russian ambassador during the transition. McCarthy said the subjects of the conversations themselves would not have constituted any basis for criminal action – they were perfectly legitimate topics for a National Security Adviser-to-be – but Flynn ran into problems when he fabricated what was discussed to federal law enforcement.

Just like when we were kids we didn’t get in trouble for what we’d actually done -- we earned the ire of our parents for lying about it.

The always out-to-get-Trump media will bring up the matter continuously to serve as a foundation for their ridiculous Trump “collusion” claims (if you don’t believe it, just check out MSNBC these days) but the public will likely view Flynn’s capitulation for what it was – a minor blip on the news cycle radar screen that won’t result in any jail time for Flynn.

Why should it? The man was framed by the outgoing Obama administration and accused of doing something he didn’t do by a Justice Department searching for a reason to chastise him. It was politics at its ugliest.

Despite the blatant political nature of the charges, some said the news concerning Flynn overwhelmed what otherwise turned out to be a pretty good week for President Trump. Sarah Westwood of the Washington Examiner wrote, “Former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s guilty plea on Friday to one charge of lying to FBI agents eclipsed a week of relative successes for President Trump and raised questions about how the White House would respond to the first criminal charges against someone who once worked in the West Wing.

“During a week that saw President Trump win a legal battle over control of a federal agency, successfully advance one of his top legislative priorities, and score an optics win by hosting a Christmas party that some reporters boycotted, Flynn’s indictment on one count of making false statements to investigators still emerged as the most explosive story of the past five days.”

Is she serious? Westwood’s reporting on the Trump administration is usually solid though it’s doubtful many would agree with her on this one. With the GOP Senate finally passing the tax reform bill early Saturday morning, by far the biggest news in Washington circles is the looming struggle between House and Senate conferees to try and hash out a compromise tax bill that can pass both chambers of Congress.

In the end Trump-bashing loser Sen. Bob Corker was the lone Republican to vote against the GOP bill, mumbling something about how it would increase the deficit. Corker even proposed the equivalent of a huge tax increase which conservative stalwart Sen. Ted Cruz subsequently thwarted. In doing so Corker cemented his legacy as a turncoat and a certain inductee into the political sore loser hall of fame. Maybe he should be expelled – or impeached.

With Corker as the only defector it means even usual holdout Senators Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and John McCain all voted “yes.”

That’s a heck of a story on its own – much greater than any potential political fallout from a possibly embarrassing but non-consequential controversy over a long gone Michael Flynn. He’s old news. The Democrats – and the media – think the Flynn matter is some sort of sign from the corruption gods that the public will see special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s work as worthwhile now – but far from it. If anything, it means debate will heat up in the coming months on whether President Trump should terminate the whole thing by firing Mueller.

This is all they have despite a team of Democrat attorneys snooping around full-time and having wasted millions of taxpayer dollars to investigate the matter?

Make no mistake: Democrats would do everything they possibly could to distract from GOP victories in the tax realm. The congressional vote victory margins may not be impressive but the moment a completed bill reaches President Trump’s desk it will become law when the president signs it. Will people still be talking about Michael Flynn after that day?

Even Hillary Clinton had something to say about it – the tax part, at least.

Katie Leach of the Washington Examiner reported, “Hillary Clinton said ‘we all need to get to work’ after the Senate passed the Republican tax reform bill that she warned is ‘only going to get worse as people learn more about it.’

“’Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do after a loss. Not this time,’ the former Democratic presidential candidate tweeted Saturday.

“’This tax bill is only going to get worse as people learn more about it. There are 6 GOP Senators that have to run on it & 2 open seats in 2018. We all need to get to work,’ she continued, alluding to the 2018 midterm elections.”

Having Crooked Hillary parrot the same rubbish Democrat leaders were mouthing about the GOP tax effort only helps the Republicans, for several reasons.

First, it reminds everyone (again) that Trump won the election last year and hardly anyone is talking about him being “illegitimate” because of Russian interference in the election anymore. Second, it keeps Hillary in the game; the specter of the Clintons won’t fade away no matter how much the party leadership wishes it otherwise. Not even all the recent sexual harassment allegations against liberals and Democrats has resulted in Hillary humbly keeping her Twitter trap shut.

Third, it’s another reminder the Democrats don’t offer any new ideas for improving the tax system in this country or suggestions to help the economy grow so tax revenues would rise. All Democrats promote are their tired old gripes of “the Republicans aren’t including us in the process,” and “tax cuts will only benefit the rich” and lastly, “the budget deficit will balloon if we cut tax rates.”

Finally (on this point), Hillary’s bloviating keeps her in the conversation for another run in 2020. Republicans should hope the Clintons will keep commenting on everything political – it’s the best way to ensure success not only in 2018, but also for Trump’s reelection prospects in 2020.

The Clintons don’t have just a closet full of skeletons yet to be revealed. For them they’ve got a whole housing complex full of bones to conceal. Keep talking, Hillary – it truly is good for the country.

For his part President Trump wasn’t about to let the disparity between Flynn’s and the Clintons’ treatment at the hands of the FBI go un-commented upon.

Katie Leach reported at the Washington Examiner, “President Trump reignited the ‘Crooked Hillary’ attacks in a series of tweets calling attention to what he views as a double standard between how Hillary Clinton's email scandal was handled versus the controversy surrounding former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to lying to the FBI.

“’So General Flynn lies to the FBI and his life is destroyed, while Crooked Hillary Clinton, on that now famous FBI holiday 'interrogation' with no swearing in and no recording, lies many times...and nothing happens to her? Rigged system, or just a double standard?’, Trump tweeted.”

The fact is the more Democrats harp on the Flynn story the greater the chance of their own bugaboos being exposed to fresh air. If the media won’t do its job and point out the obvious contradiction between the way Flynn and Hillary were handled -- Trump himself will do the honors via Twitter.

Trump also hit the Justice Department in his Sunday morning tweet barrage, but his special ire was saved for the FBI. Trump tweeted, “After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters - worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness.”

One can only speculate whether the FBI is so far gone that it can’t be salvaged; but Trump will try.

The controversy surrounding Michael Flynn will no doubt prove to have little staying power with the public. The GOP’s upcoming battle in conference committee over the tax bill will dominate the headlines. Media “ants” will continue their wayward scurrying but the public knows what really matters.

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