Sunday Shows: Sinking To A New Sekulow

Hello Wonks! It's your Sunday show roundup!

After a few weeks of the worst lawyer ever, Rudy Giuliani, we focus on the other member of Trump's legal "Dream Team": Jay Sekulow, a man who could teach Donald Trump how to grift!

Appearing on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Sekulow had to explain the complete destruction of his defense of the infamous Trump Tower meeting:

Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics - and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2018
But Sekulow looked at that insanity from his client, told it to hold his beer, and proceeded to evoke ... actual literal foreign agent Michael Flynn as Martin Luther King.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you suggesting it wouldn't be a problem if the president pressured James Comey to let the Flynn investigation go after knowing that Michael Flynn was under criminal investigation?

SEKULOW: Well, I want you to understand something. I mean, I know this sounds remarkable to a lot of people but there were investigations going on Martin Luther King Jr. -- and do you think if President Kennedy would have gone to J. Edgar Hoover and said stop that, that that would have been an obstruction of justice claim? Of course not.

Let's try to follow this logic by replacing the players with their current counterparts, according to Sekulow. Donald Trump (JFK) was perfectly valid to ask then-FBI Director James Comey (J. Edgar Hoover) to drop the investigation of Michael Flynn (MLK). Well, there are some problems with this analogy:
  1. Donald Trump is NO John F Kennedy in any way, shape or form. From his distinguished military service, wife, kids, presidency ... Trump is everything antithetical to Kennedy. Hell, Kennedy's affairs were even better (mainly because they didn't involve payment, bribery or straight assault).
  2. Michael Flynn is NO Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. King, you may have heard, had "a dream"! (That every child would grow up Republican, according to idiots.) Flynn is a confessed liar and criminal who at best was willing to just kidnap a US citizen for a dictator ally. At worst, he actively worked with our geopolitical adversary to subvert democracy and install a puppet as president.
  3. Had Trump been president during Kennedy's time, there is no doubt that surveillance would have been the least of the things done to MLK.
  4. Considering J. Edgar Hoover's propensity for collecting blackmail to use against every opponent, there is no doubt that Trump would have been as beholden to Hoover as he is to Putin now.

Also, Sekulow let fly with a New Ziegler for our times. But instead of "that statement is no longer operative," it's "our information was bad because the president's a huge fuckin' liar." (Direct quote, probably.)

Next up, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway. Appearing on CBS's " Face The Nation" via satellite from her home in New Jersey, Conway attempted to clarify Donald Trump's unhinged tweets and running theme of villainizing the press after this latest tweet vomit thread:

Margaret Brennan begins by asking a simple question in between Conway filibusters:

BRENNAN: We will talk about some of that with one of the people handling some of the investigation there ahead in the show. But I do also want to ask, since I know you speak to the president, can you clarify some of his statements in the past 24 hours, particularly on Twitter? He's not the only president to have an adversarial relationship with the press. But his language really seems to have escalated, today saying that the fake news media cause war and they're very dangerous and sick. What wars have journalists started?

CONWAY: Margaret, I think the president's entire point is this, that we do have a news media that includes some reporters. So this should not be a broad brush by any statement. I said that before.

She continued and clarified her "point" later:

BRENNAN: And you don't believe that journalists are enemy of the people?
CONWAY: No, I don't believe journalists are the enemy of the people. I think some journalists are enemy of the relevant...

That's very rich coming from the creator of alternative facts and the Bowling Green Massacre, as well as someone who has worked with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz! That's like bowling perfects strikes in lying. In fact Conway's ability to sell a shit sandwich to rubes is her greatest strength, as exemplified by this old Jimmy Kimmel clip with Samantha Bee:

I know this seems a bit harsh but I'm not much for passive aggressiveness. Although someone very close to Conway is:

At this point we're certain George prefers the couchFrom George Conway's Twitter Feed

Now we move on from simple lies to the more advanced course from former senator, CNN Senior Political Commentator and perfect example of white male privilege/failing upwards Rick Grindelwald Santorum. Appearing on the panel discussion for CNN's "State of the Union with Jake Tapper," Santorum tried to deflect the valid criticism of Trump insulting LeBron James and Don Lemon in another racist tweet:

FORMER CLINTON CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISER KAREN FINNEY: To me that's how the LeBron piece sort of played out. He says something racist and despicable. He really has to stop insulting the intelligence of African-Americans, it's getting -- it's really getting a little tiresome and it's really -- you know, this narrative of him as a racist is only deepening. So this goes to the second point, Jake, and you and I were talking about this, you know, this goes to so much of his strategy, which is about dividing us as a country, which is about, you know, along racial lines, along ethnic lines, attacks on Muslim Americans, Mexican-Americans, African-Americans, journalists, and then exploiting that fear and division in ways that are helpful for him and frankly they actually also remember help the Russians.

: All I can say is the Democratic Party has been doing that for decades. I mean, you even saw it. You know, Kamala Harris defending the dividing -- divisive politics. The Democratic Party -- the party has been -- has been divided along race and class in every other thing you can -- and I understand you guys don't like it. I understand --

: Let me run -- let me run that sound bite that he's referring to, Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat from California spoke at the Netroots convention in New Orleans. She's also possibly running for president and she did talk about those who criticize identity politics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA: I'm aware that some people would say that what I just said is playing -- quote -- "identity politics." But I have a problem, guys with that phrase, identity politics. Its purpose is to minimize and marginalize issues that impact all of us.

END VIDEO CLIP) TAPPER: Do you think that that's a problem, that she's doubling down on that?

: Look, the Democratic Party has been a party that has focused on different voter groups, whether it's blacks or Hispanics or whether -- you name it, and they have tried to divide this country along those lines, along class warfare, it's been a warfare game for them. Trump is taking them at their own game.

Santorum seems to be confused in what the difference is between division and representation. Dividing people or performing divisive politics would be something like what Trump has done since his announcement he was running for office. Representation is to make sure the different people all get heard and that representation from elected officials reflect those views and concerns. For people like Santorum, the fact that we are now listening to marginalized or typically underrepresented people somehow is a bad thing. But here is a secret, Rick: That is the strength of the Democratic Party. What you see as division, it's actually unity. What you see as class warfare is actually understanding the socio- and economic decisions that have brought us here. This understanding is how we make positive changes and fix things. That's why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Conor Lamb and Stacey Abrams have had success. Because representing ALL of the people is better than just the ones with low melanin.

In fact, earlier in the discussion Santorum actually stumbled into this realization but was too idiotic to comprehend it:

TAPPER: That was President Trump in Ohio last night sent in the state in a last minute push to rescue a Republican House seat that is suddenly up for grabs in a special election. The latest polling in Ohio's 12th district has the race down to one point. Let's discuss. So first you saw the polling, Monmouth Ohio 12th, Balderson 44 percent, that's the Republican; O'Connor 43 percent, that's the Democrat; undecided 11 percent. This is a seat that Republicans have held for decades. It's Governor John Kasich's former congressional seat. Why is it up for grabs?

: Well, a couple of reasons. Number one,it's a district that has a lot of suburban areas and that's an area that we've seen. I mean, in my district, where the, you know, Conor Lamb now --

TAPPER: Right.

: -- you know, Rick Saccone did really well in the outside areas and really did poorly in the near suburbs. In this case the district is more a suburban district than it is even -- and our candidate is from the rural area. So you have -- and their candidate is from where the people are in the suburban area.

In essence the Republican Party does well with isolated rubes in underpopulated areas. But once you have suburban, multicultural and educated areas, Republicans are at a loss. Why? Because insulting a good portion of your constituents to motivate a racist and soon to be a minority base is not a winning strategy, now or in the future.

Until next week

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Michael Mora

Your friendly neighborhood Puerto Rican Political Freelance Writer for @wonkette. Pop Culture observer, Amateur Movie reviewer & Comics fan. Former Active Duty Marine. All opinions are mine only.


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