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Now that NO QUID PRO QUO! has given way to QUID PRO QUO, BUT THE GOOD KIND!, the GOP is casting about for something to distract from President Crimetime's one million felonies. What they need is a villain! Someone for the public to blame besides Donald Trump, the guy who did all the crimes. So they've settled on the whistleblower, the good samaritan who risked his career to call 911. It's a tricky maneuver, since every single witness has confirmed his account and Donald Trump himself released the transcript of himself extorting the Ukrainian president. To sell this storyline, they're going to need someone with a light touch, someone charismatic and trustworthy. Someone with really good hair.

Unfortunately, all they've got is Rand Paul and Don Jr.


Rand Paul, who formerly advocated for the rights of whistleblowers and even received an award in 2013 from the Make it Safe Coalition, a whistleblower advocacy group, has executed a full face-turn. Now he insists that the media is obligated to out whistleblowers because CONSTITUTION.

Jamie will be around to lawsplain you why this is absolute horseshit in a hot second. But the short version is, you only have the right to confront your accuser in a criminal trial, and then only if that accuser's testimony is being relied upon in court. Impeachment isn't a criminal proceeding -- how many times in the past two years have we been reminded that YOU CAN'T INDICT A SITTING PRESIDENT? -- and the House isn't relying on the whistleblower's account because they have the transcript and the testimony. And, by the by, it's pretty fucking rich for the White House to make process complaints when they have systematically obstructed Congress by refusing to allow anyone to testify or provide documentary evidence against the president.

"I'm not convinced his identity is important at this point, or at least important enough to put him at any risk, or to unmask someone who doesn't want to be identified," New York Times editor Dean Baquet told the Washington Post. "Pretty much everything has now been discussed or confirmed on the record, multiple times, by others in the administration. So I'm not sure I see the point of unmasking someone who wants to remain anonymous." Which is also pretty fucking rich coming from a guy who insisted that the Times absolutely had to publicize this guy's gender and half his CV for for its apparent news value.

But we digress!

Fixating on the whistleblower's identity serves only to endanger him and his family and to discourage anyone else from coming forward. (Dean!) But witness intimidation is very on-brand for the GOP, so of course the entire Republican establishment, minus Chuck Grassley, is now howling to put the whistleblower on national television and prove he's a Democratic operative.

Countdown until Fox goes back on its reported ban on outing this guy in 3 ... 2 ...

Now come's the tricky part. Your Wonkette has to talk about the GOP efforts to out the whistleblower, but without further endangering this person -- whether they have it right or not! -- by repeating his name. Because we are not A ASSHOLE. So forgive us the oblique references and lack of links, please and thank you.

The wingnut media has been fixated on a particular CIA agent for weeks, despite the fact that this person left the White House in 2017 and the timeline makes no goddamn sense. We're tempted to speculate that they named an obviously wrong person in some kind of attempted reverse jujitsu mindfuck to get Democrats to say NUH UH, IT'S REALLY THIS OTHER GUY! OOPS HAVE WE SAID TOO MUCH?, which Democrats ... would never fall for. (And we're pretty sure the great majority of elected Democrats still don't know who it is!) But then we remember that these GOP morons think that Soros buried the DNC server in some oligarch's backyard in Ukraine. So, according to Occam's Child Safety Scissors, the stupidest explanation -- that they really believe their own nonsense -- must be right.

After two weeks of damning witness statements and with public testimony scheduled for next week, the GOP has hit the panic button. Now they're all flogging the shit out of a story on the purported whistleblower by Real Clear Investigations, the ahem "non-profit" arm of RealClearPolitics. (Is that like the Daily Caller Foundation? Safe bet.) Paul tweeted the article, and Don Jr. tweeted the name this morning. (Again, not linking.) They want to out this guy, and RUSSIA, IF YOU'RE LISTENING, they want it now.

That's a little joke. Russia is always listening, right Daily Beast?

Shortly after Sen. Paul tweeted out an article that speculated in considerable detail about the identity of the whistleblower—with a photograph, a name, and details about the purported political history of a CIA professional—Russian state media followed suit.

As if on cue, the Kremlin-controlled heavy hitters—TASS, RT, Rossiya-1—disseminated the same information. But unlike Rand Paul, one of the Russian state media outlets didn't seem to find the source—Real Clear Investigations—to be particularly impressive, and claimed falsely that the material was published originally by The Washington Post.

So, just to be clear, Rand Paul, who spent years hollering that the Obama administration UNMASKED Michael Flynn when he got picked up having secret conversations with the Russian Ambassador, is now GRRRRR SO MAD that the US media won't unmask the suspected whistleblower. But the Russian media has no such scruples, and is disseminating it far and wide. Except they know Real Clear Investigations is a shit source, so they're pretending that their big scoop came from the Washington Post.

Hooboy, that's enough stupid for one article. Wonkette OUT.

[Daily Beast / WaPo]

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