THE IL …

As I type this, FBI director James Comey, has just been fired by president Donald Trump. If you’re reading this years from now, that will be an important fact.

The firing of Mr Comey has set off a fire storm of innuendo and speculation about a certain theory. The theory is that Donald Trump conspired with the Russian government to hack into the DNC email servers, in order to release private emails to the world that would show Hillary Clinton in a bad light …thus swaying voters to vote for him. I think that’s about the gist of it.

As of yet, this theory has yet to be proven. We do know the Russians tampered. We just don’t know why. But if the collusion theory ends up being true I would find that an incredibly risky move on Mr Trump’s part. After all, you don’t really know what’s in those emails. And if they just turn out to be yoga schedules and pasta recipes you’ve broken a bunch of serious laws to get that information. I personally would never take a risk like that. But that’s just me.

Conversely, the “the-world-got-to-see-first-hand-that-I-was-liar-and-that’s-why-I-lost-an-election” defense is certainly an interesting one by Mrs Clinton. The world also got to see that Mr Trump was a misogynist and yet he won. Personally, I think the reasons for who won and who lost are a million miles away from leaked emails and leaked Hollywood Reporter interviews. But none of that is the real interesting part to me.

The interesting part to me …is the infamous “il.”

According to the DNC the “hack” wasn’t as much a hack as it was a phish. Someone sent John Podesta a phishing email. Before opening it, he texted his IT guy asking if the email was legitimate. The IT guy says he meant to text, “the email is ILLEGITIMATE.” But spell check turned “ILLegitimate” into “Legitimate.” And he didn’t catch it until he read back over the texts later and realized what had happened. By then, it was too late. And through Mr Podesta’s email, dozens of other people’s emails were hacked …including Mrs Cilnton’s.

I’ve dubbed scenarios like this “the IL theory.” That’s the idea that the course of history gets changed by two letters. I think that’s just about right.

The battle of Gettysburg happened because a Union scout found Confederate battle plans wrapped in three cigars, that had fallen off some general’s horse. Three cigars changed the fate of millions of people. Wrapped around three cigars was the balance of power on planet earth, the future of slavery as an institution, the life and death of thousands of men, and the ultimate question of how the United States would continue as a nation. Three loose cigars fell off a horse …and changed every moment from that day to this.

If you study enough history, you find “ils” everywhere. Someone shoots the Archduke Ferdinand and starts WWI. Then, during that war, someone has a clear shot at a young, private Adolph Hitler …but his gun jams. How many little “ils” had to happen for that particular gun to jam at that particular time? In that one gun jamming incident hung the fate of six million Jews and millions more allies. One gun jamming. The “il” theory.

I don’t know how all this Trump/Clinton/Comey stuff will play out. It all feels like a reality show to me. Those who supported Trump still defend him. Those who hated Trump still hate him. If you thought he rigged the election, you think it even more now. If you thought Mrs Clinton was corrupt, you probably think it even more now.

NONE of that is interesting on any level. That’s all predictable and kind of a yawn. What isn’t predictable is what “il” is going to show up and turn the whole thing on a dime.

The “il” is the human folly in every endeavor of life. It’s the tiniest detail that brings down an empire. The “il” is the accidental cough, at just the right time, that keeps someone from hearing the operative word in a meeting …then they go do the opposite of what they were told to do.

The “il” is the cat’s tail that knocks over a coffee cup that stains a dress that then has to be taken to the cleaners before it normally would. And the wife, taking in the dress at the earlier time, happens to see her husband’s shirt with lipstick stains on the collar laying in a bin.

The “il” is the thing we cannot account for. It’s the maddening (seemingly) random event that can be our doing or our undoing.

And in this current climate, more than ever, the “il” is what I watch for.

 

R

20 thoughts on “THE IL …

  1. The Comey Firing

    Posted May 10th, 2017 @ 9:41am in #Comey #Trump

    What do Bernie Sanders’ hair and CNN have in common today? They are both saying, “Comey” every time you look at them.

    The news coverage of Comey’s firing has become excellent entertainment. This is the biggest cognitive dissonance cluster bomb we’ve seen since election night. This one has everything.

    For starters, the topic is too complicated for the public, and even the pundits. That creates a situation in which we’ll all invent our own version of the movie in our heads. Where there is confusion, complexity, and emotion there is usually lots of cognitive dissonance. We got all of that.

    My cursory understanding of the topic is that Trump’s critics say he fired Comey to put a chill on the FBI’s investigation of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. This theory sort-of-almost makes sense, in a hypothetical and indirect way. I could see how taking out the top dog would make the underdogs at the FBI worry about going hard at the President. On the other hand, the people doing the actual investigation are professionals, and there would be too many witnesses if they did a bad job. So that doesn’t pass my sniff test. But I can’t rule it out, either.

    President Trump’s official reason for the Comey firing has to do with a loss of confidence over his handling of the Clinton email investigation. The beauty of that official explanation (true or not) is that it is making heads explode with Democrats and the Opposition Media. *How dare President Trump fire the person we publicly demanded he fire!*

    Now we have a bizarre situation in which both sides (Demcrats and Republicans) wanted Comey fired, but they had different reasons for wanting it. Democrats were upset that he might have torpedoed Hillary Clinton’s campaign by talking about the Weiner laptop discovery of additional Clinton emails close to Election Day. And Republicans hated Comey for not pursuing a criminal case against Clinton for her email server misdeeds. That’s the perfect set-up for cognitive dissonance. I’ll explain:

    Democrats and the Opposition Media reflexively oppose almost everything President Trump does. This time he gave them something they wanted, badly, but not for the *reason* they wanted. That’s a trigger. It forces anti-Trumpers to act angry in public that he did the thing they wanted him to do. And they are.

    Trump cleverly addressed the FBI’s Russian collusion investigation by putting the following line in the Comey firing letter: “While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”

    That one odd sentence caused every media outlet to display the quote and talk about it, over and over. And when you focus on something, no matter the reason, it rises in importance in your mind. President Trump, the Master Persuader, made all of us think about the “*not under investigation*” part over, and over, and over.

    The trick here is that members of Trump’s campaign might be the ones under investigation, not Trump himself. But that’s where the complexity of this topic is useful to the Master Persuader. The viewing public won’t make that distinction. All they will hear – over and over – is the “not under investigation” part.

    I’ve taught you in this blog that the right amount of “wrong” is what captures our attention and creates a memory. Trump’s odd inclusion of the “not under investigation” line is just wrong enough that we can’t move past it. It is persuasion-perfect.

    The best explanation I have heard for the timing of Comey’s firing is that it comes soon after the Assistant Attorney General was confirmed, and he is Comey’s official boss. You need a proper boss for a proper firing. And it came right after Comey embarrassed himself by getting some facts about the Clinton email situation wrong in front of Congress. There is no perfect time to fire a person, but this was *close* to perfect.

    My favorite part of this firing – from a persuasion perspective – is that it is such a strong move. The pure dominance of the play is what will stick in our minds. This was some ballsy Presidenting. That’s the lasting takeaway. You’ll remember the boldness long after you forget the timing and the details.

    I’m also fascinated by how quickly the media turned on Comey after he was out of office. Apparently lots of people were afraid of him. No one mentioned that fear BEFORE he was fired, so I assume they really were afraid of him. Now people on both sides can’t stop yammering about how scary he was. Clearly it was a good firing for the country, regardless of the timing and the details.

    My opinion of Comey’s handling of the Clinton email issue remains the same. I believe he sacrificed his career and reputation to avoid taking from the American voters their option of having the leader of their choice. If Comey had pushed for Clinton’s indictment, the country would have ended up with a President Trump without a “fair” election. That was the worst-case scenario for the country and the world. Comey prevented that disaster while still making it clear to the American public that Clinton was not guilt-free with her email server. He let the voters decide how much weight to assign all of that. In my opinion, Comey handled the Clinton email situation like a patriot. The media is spinning the situation as “making it all about himself.” That’s true in the same sense that a Medal of Honor winner who jumped on a grenade to save his buddies is “making it all about himself.” I don’t disagree with the characterization that Comey was trying to be the “hero” because that’s how it looks to me too.

    I once heard a story about a guy who pulled a woman out of a car that was on fire. He got burns on his arms doing it. He saved her life, but I don’t like him because he was trying to be a hero. That guy made it all about himself.

    I’m sure Comey had his flaws. But I don’t think his handling of the Clinton emails was among them. I assume historians will think otherwise.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Good post. As I’ve said many times over before election…”if Trump lost it was primary his own doing; if Hillary it was primarily her doing.” There are other elements…but Hillary should never been a candidate. DNC hedged their bets and lost. While dems may have some gripe about whatever…they simply have too much baggage and shit in their own house to clean up…and need not point to others messy house. Same for repubs…but dems house is off the chain.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Excellent analysis but I do take issue with you calling Trump a misogynist. The term is overused by the left, like racist. The infamous pussy tape indicated Trump is a horney arrogant assh*le but the key part in his disgusting little diatribe was “let you” as in he at least perceived consent was involved mostly because he s rich and women were after his money. There is a lot of truth in that for a lot of women. Also his record in hiring women for senior CEO type positions in the 1980s also does not speak to misogyny. The women who worked for him said he was a bastard but they also said he was that way with everyone regardless of gender. Yes he was a misogynist by lefty standards which are “We don’t like you therefore we will find distort the situation by using words that don’t literally apply but sound really bad.” The only true misogynist in the literal sense to the word that I have seen in all this was the rapist Slick Willy Clinton and maybe Huma’s “Send Your Weiner by Text” ex husband.

    As for Comey, I sat and watched Comey with my mouth open while he said all those horrible things about Hillary’s handling of classified information yet declined to charge her! He did this during a time when a young sailor was being tried and jailed for essentially sending his mom a few selfies of himself beside a submarine considered classified. Hilary Clinton should be in jail for her extreme carelessness. Comey sent Martha Stewart to prison for a whole lot less. Comey tried to play both sides of a polarized situation and ending up pleasing no one. During the election I often said I was looking forward to “You’re Fired, White House Edition.” I have not been disappointed.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’m always so happy when I have a notice that you’ve written a new piece. I love reading your blog and appreciate that you are either able to say what I’m thinking in a way that makes sense; or that you give me the opportunity to look at and think about things from a different perspective, even if I may not always agree. I wish we could have more of that in our current times.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “ils” … love it!

    And you can trace that back to a bunch of programmers sitting in a room many years ago thinking up new ideas for the iPhone … like “what if it corrected the words you typed with the words we thought you were trying to type”.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Interesting insight. I would call it the hand of God but then I’m an evangelical Christian and proud Deplorable who voted for Donald J. Trump. The things we do in secret come to light when God is in the mix. Personally, I would like to see the evidence used to determine the Russians did it. Not really sure it’s a foregone conclusion they did in fact hack into John Podesta’s email. Even if they did, perhaps Mr. Putin truly dislikes Mrs. Clinton enough to do this himself without any prompting from anyone. At any rate, the “il” could be the result of human error coupled with the pesky spellcheck or the hand of God. Take your pick.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m with you on the “who.” We only THINK it was the Russians as far as I know. Could’ve been the CIA. Could’ve been some rogue agency. MY hunch is it was a seventeen-year-old somewhere trying to impress a girl.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Good post, but I don’t find the IT guy’s claim credible. Who would say, “The email is illegitimate”? No one. You’d say, “It’s a scam — don’t open it!” or “No, it’s a phishing attempt — delete it ASAP.”

    For that matter, I’m skeptical of Podesta’s claim, too. I’m one of those people who actually writes words out in texts and uses punctuation — but even I would have written “Is this legit?” mostly because “legit” is such common shorthand for “legitimate.”

    As in: nothing in this story sounds legit to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I find it very interesting that the DNC asked the FBI to check their email system that had been hacked; after the FBI indicated it was “THE RUSSIANS”, the DNC refused to allow the FBI to investigate further. Meantime, Good Citizen Hillary sold off 20 percent of our nation’s precious and rare Uranium mines to … “THE RUSSIANS” … and she and BillyBoy got a pretty penny for it, too. Nothing to see here, folks; move on… Oh, as for Trump and the infamous grabbing the P audio tape, did anyone ever find a video actually showing him doing that? In this day and age of video, simple audio is sooo passé. And talk is cheap.

    Liked by 2 people

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