"Backed up against a wall of confusion/Caught up in endless solutions/Living a life of illusion"
I’ve always admired the guitar work of Joe Walsh, and though most recognize him as more a technical virtuoso than a great lyricists, songs like "Help Me through the Night" always showed his more poetic side. And yesterday, when I read the transcript of Rod Rosenstein’s latest foray into the life of illusion, I couldn’t stop humming one of the lesser known Walsh compositions—the appropriately named Life of Illusion.
Earlier this week I made a case for impeachment. I’m not looking for a lot of support, but Rod Rosenstein’s latest string of half truths and lies just strengthens my argument: if nothing else, either we hit back at statements like his and their source, or we gaze blankly as the whole principle of truth-telling evaporates. Meanwhile we watch the American concept of the presidency continue its Trump-driven—and seemingly inexorable—drift toward absolute monarchy.
And Rosenstein, heretofore a sometimes sympathetic character, is in it up to his eyeballs. On Friday he blamed the Obama administration for the Russian hacking that skewed the 2016 presidential election:
“The previous administration chose not to publicize the full story about Russian computer hackers and social media trolls, and how they relate to a broader strategy to undermine America."
Rosenstein left unsaid the fact that Republicans in Congress urged Obama to soft-pedal the Russian interference during the election so as not to express favoritism. Obama acquiesced. It was a mistake: we're paying for it.
Rosenstein then turned the firing of Michael Flynn into a he said/she said routine in which the accuracy of James Comey—everybody's favorite fall guy—was called into question. Rosenstein, having cherry-picked through the report, conveniently forgot to mention that Comey is listed as a credible witness in the Flynn fiasco.
And then, perhaps to add a bit of humor to his routine, Rosenstein praised Trump's support for the rule of law.
"We govern ourselves in accordance with the rule of law rather than the whims of an elite few or the dictates of collective will."
I'm told he said this with a straight face, perhaps recalling the deadpan humor of Steven Wright and other stand-ups. Of course since Mr. Rosenstein oversaw the investigation himself, he (1) was regularly briefed on Mr. Trump’s attempts to impede it, and (2) witnessed those efforts himself, according to the report itself.
He also droned on about how lawyers care only about facts while politicians and journalists do not. The goal of discrediting journalists' analyses of the report was obvious, but would have been more effective had we not been bombarded by the daily asininity of "lawyers" like Rudy Giuliani.
But maybe we've already arrived at the point where truth elicits from us nothing but lip service, that it comprises only what the president says or tweets. If so, why should a person tell the truth in a court of law, or when applying for job? And why should parents be assailed for cheating their kids into college? On the other hand, if we continue to place such a high value on truth, then it’s time to call out the liars. Until Friday I hadn't included Rosenstein in the catalogue, but he belongs there, front and center, nestling comfortably with Trump and Barr, Miller and Kushner, Sanders and Mulvaney...
"...caught up in endless solutions/Living a life of illusion."