Monthly Archives: January 2020

Honestly…Puzzling It Out

I have some thoughts about something Mr. Trump said;

“Honestly, we have all the material.”

Something struck me as curious when I heard it.

There’s the obvious; his use of the word “honestly.”

There are trigger phrases for me like;

“To tell the truth”

“I can honestly say”

“Believe me.”

In my life experience any statement that begins with one of these three phrases is inaccurate (or a flat-out guess), a deliberate lie, and an attempt to do something unpleasant to someone…often me.

Also, I can’t recall ever hearing Mr. Trump use the word “material.” For sure, it’s not a difficult word, but Mr. Trump uses so few words and repeats his favorites so many times, it’s arresting when a new one breaks into his lexicon.

Thus, my attention was caught and my curiosity piqued. To whom was his statement meant? To exactly what material was he referring? Why?

I’ve heard two explanations proffered by the press;

  1. He was responding to a question about his impeachment and reassuring his supporters of the inevitability of the impeachment failing since he had control of all the witnesses and the documents. Sounds reasonable.

Of course, that would be a public confession of the very obstruction of which he’s been accused. But as long as he can completely corral the Republicans in the Senate…

  1. Rachel Maddow’s blog suggests another theory. She posits Mr. Trump was referring to material as the general strength of the case on his side and the good job his defenders were doing…in his opinion.

Of course, that’s simply and glaringly not true. But hubris and mendacity haven’t stopped him in the past.

I wonder though…might there be a third, albeit more sinister explanation?

Suppose he’s not messaging the press, his base, or his supporters. Suppose the message is intended for Republican senators suspected of possibly wavering in their Trumpian devotion who might need to be firmed up, or even Democratic senators who might be personally dismayed by the “materials” in Mr. Trump’s control.

Suppose those materials have nothing to do with the Ukrainian fiasco.

In the 60’s, it was rumored that FBI head J. Edgar Hoover had compromising files on many important people and used his possession of those files to maintain his intelligence empire for decades.

Today, Mr. Trump has all the resources of the Justice Department and the intelligence community in his control. He has demonstrated that he will reach around the world, imperil other countries’ security, and bandy about billions of dollars to get dirt on his political opponents. How much easier might it be to obtain that dirt (kompromat?) from just down the street, from someone you appointed, from a department you rule?

Who knows how many “Steele Dossiers” are out there…on a variety of elected officials…waiting to be released…………or not.

It’s not a happy surmise, but it would go far to explain the curious total capitulation of the Republican members of Congress.


I am completely open to the thought that this is all just a morbid speculation on my part, but what if it’s not? And after a week of increasingly erratic tweets from Mr. Trump, hearing his voice urging the firing of a US diplomat with the phrase “Take her out”, the implied threat to Rep. Schiff, the threat against republican senators (heads on pikes?), and the juvenile name-calling, who knows the limits of what’s possible with this president?

It is curious, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, the track record of this administration has been such that “curious” usually more than rhymes with “spurious.”