Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Donald Trump Jr., Patriot and TrustBuster

Published yesterday at The Daily Caller.

After a week of calls for Donald Trump, Jr. to be impeached for meeting with Russians promising opposition research, as well as calls that he be tried for treason, a few have some defenses.

To be fair many Republicans, and others, have watched Democrats and their media allies with mixtures of shock, contempt, and amusement.  These are the people who supported a candidate, Hillary Clinton, who helped transfer control of American uranium to Russian controlled firms, and the people who in the past idolized the late Ted Kennedy, who tried to involve the Soviet Union in campaigns to defeat Ronald Reagan's re-election.

Jonathan Turley has argued that no crime was committed, that there is only unwise nepotism.  Congressman David Brat has argued that everyone in D.C. colludes.   This weekend on Megyn Kelly's new NBC Sunday show, Trump advisor Michael Caputo said that the meeting was a mistake but that “There was no collusion. Do you think that place was organized enough to collude with the lunch counter across the street?  It just wasn’t.”

Caputo's assessment actually comports with what Democrats have been telling us for months.  Democrats claim that the Trump White House is so disorganized it hasn't achieved anything (other than undoing Obama Executive Orders, appointing a Supreme Court Justice with a long shelf life, proposing a balanced budget, and keeping Democrats off balance and losing every election). Democrats also claimed that the Trump campaign was disorganized and ineffective before the election - even as the Hillary data science and marketing mandarins fought turf wars with each other that kept her campaign paralyzed and flailing.

I think all these people miss the mark.

Donald Trump Jr. is a patriot.  And a trust buster.

The United States has a media oligopoly, and it's a partisan oligopoly that colludes and tampers with American elections.

One could view the (formerly) socialist Russians involvement (if any) in bringing the emails of Hillary, John Podesta, and the DNC to light as a correction of the market failure of American journalism.  Something liberals should approve of, since they like socialist corrections of market failures.

(Of course liberals always like it when the socialism is for them - NPR, opera funding, law school student loans - just as they like free markets - Uber drivers, charter schools, Handy, TAKL, and TaskRabbit servants - when they need something at a cheap price.)

One could argue that the American Democratic media monopoly (Rush Limbaugh now argues that the media is the actual ruling party, and the Democratic Party merely a cover for their campaigns) isn't a product of the market.  Libertarians have long argued that monopolies aren't a product of markets, but of government barriers to entry. (They are actually adopting the work of a celebrated socialist historian, Gabriel Kolko, who argued in books like The Trump of Conservatism that Progressive Era and New Deal expansion of regulation were usually done to protect big business from new competitors).

Americans like to think of our media as being one area of life that is unregulated, thanks to the First Amendment.  But this fails to see how it is connected to the whole of our very regulated economy, to see in Frederic Bastiat's phrase not just what is seen but what is not seen.

And what is not seen is that CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other major components of the Democratic media oligopoly are Political Action Committees.  They donate billions of dollars to favored candidates in like kind services and free advertising.  And they do it in part because PACS and their campaign spending are regulated.  Except for t ! he loophole of doing it through media corporation instead of through a corporate PAC.  A system of regulation that distorts markets and leads people like Jeff Bezos to buy the Washington Post for $300 million (even as he earned $600 million from an Amazon contract with the CIA) since he is not allowed to donate $300 million to a party or candidate.

In this environment - where media largely ignore and downplay Hillary's pay for play schemes, like the one that transferred a huge chunk of U.S. uranium to Russian controlled corporations - Donald Trump Jr.'s looking for opposition research is just old fashioned Rooseveltian trust busting and the height of patriotism.  And prissy hectoring that he should have reported the proposed meeting to the FBI and DOJ - the former run by the erratic James Comey, who was rewriting the law to keep Hillary out of prison, the latter by Loretta Lynch, who was secretly meeting with presidential campaigns at airports and granting special waivers to Russian honey pots trying to entrap the Trump campaign in scandals - are ridiculous.

The swamp has no moral authority to lecture Donald Trump Jr. on how he could have behaved better.

Off with their heads

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