When it comes to declaring victory, if the Trump team can’t declare it outright, they move the goalposts, pick up the ball, and call it a win. Or they blame someone else.
Revolving Goalposts And 'The Midnight Ride Of Devin Nunes'
Credit: The Daily Beast
March 31, 2017

When it comes to declaring victory, if the Trump team can’t declare it outright, they move the goalposts, pick up the ball, and call it a win. Or they blame someone else.

This strategy only works on not-very-bright folks who don’t already think you’re lying constantly and consistently, albeit unconvincingly. In other words: FAUX News viewers.

Many, many goalposts get relocated around Trump’s childishly incomplete grasp of the English language. He will say or tweet something which is clearly nuts, a lie or a nutsy lie. His toadies then screw themselves into the ground trying to reinterpret his statement as broadly and generously as possible in order to prove that the President of the United States is not an infantile, nutsy liar.

The latest revelations about the Midnight Ride of Devin Nunes provide the most glorious example of this.

Lost in the impropriety and incongruity of White House aides spoon-feeding the House Intelligence Committee Chair of information which he turned around the next day and reported back to the White House Drumpf is this: the story is rooted in a desperate attempt to parse Trump’s most outrageous Twitted claim, forcing the Administration to change THEIR story on it, yet again.

First, Don Don twittered from the golden throne that he was wiretapped by the previous President.

Everyone in the Trump Crime Family immediately scrambled around (once again) re-interpreting the meaning of – you know – those word thingies.

“I was wiretapped by Obama” was so patently ridiculous on its face that the story quickly morphed into “Members of the Trump Team were surveilled by the previous Administration.”

As soon as that blew up in Nunes’ own committee hearing last week, the legend changed again, becoming instead “We were incidentally picked up on surveillance aimed at other targets by the previous Administration.”

So Nunes went swanning around the White House grounds (aka the Eisenhower Executive Office Building) in the middle of the night, “investigating.” The two WH aides, it is now known, bought him a clue, patted him on the head, and aimed him at a microphone, with a side trip to inform the President of his total rightness and magnificence, due to accidental incidental surveillance that somehow was still was maliciously aimed at Trump and/or the Trumpettes.

But these latest revelations prove even that generously broad interpretation is now inoperative. According to reporting, the surveillance targets were overheard discussing attempts to reach out to the Trump team for collusion: talking ABOUT, not talking TO.

It’s as if two Mob guys were overheard talking about ordering a pizza, and the delivery guy claimed to have been wiretapped by Obama, all the while denying he actually delivered the pizza.

So let’s recap the revolving door of goalposts that is this particular pile of Donarrhea:

  • Don Don was not wiretapped
  • Obama had nothing to do with it
  • There was no surveillance aimed at anyone in the Trump Crime Family (yet!)
  • There was no surveillance aimed at anyone else that picked up a member of the Trump Crime Family.

I have a feeling that they will still try to cling to the latest version of the legend, claiming that Trump’s tweet is indeed borne out by Nunes’ story, planted by the White House in Nunes’ pea brain for him to breathlessly parrot back the next day.

They almost have to, for “I was wiretapped by Obama” cannot be vindicated as the semantic equivalent of “Russians were surveiled and they talked about me.”

Because real words have actual meanings, and the goalposts of reality are fixed in the end zones, far, far out of Dat Guy’s short-armed reach, much less his tiny grasp.

Crossposted at juanitajean.com

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.