A few thoughts that have been rumbling around this old head:
Thought the First. You know, it was bound to happen, and we’re just lucky that it took this long. We’ve had a string of 45 employees over more than 200 years, and this is the first with obvious mental problems. We just hadn’t thought out the policy on how to handle such cases.
Thought the Second. Let’s look closely at President Trump’s charges, in a logical fashion. We begin by asking not whether Obama wiretapped him, but was he wiretapped in the first place:
- Wasn’t Wiretapped. Than this issue is moot, and we’re just dealing with a delusion.
- Was Wiretapped. If he was wiretapped, then the question is: who ordered it. It could have been President Obama, but there are also other possibilities:
- President Obama ordered it. This would be direct personal order, which is against the law. Still, let’s assume he broke the law. He’s not the one installing it, so who would install it. Not Radio Shack. Most likely the FBI or the NSA — and both the FBI and DNI heads have indicated this hasn’t happened. Further, supposed this had happened. To what purpose would the information be used? Not to help Clinton — we can all see how she lost — and how she couldn’t get any traction on her claims against Trump. So she didn’t anything juicy, even if it was there. Releasing it publicly would be admitting guilt, and there is no public release. So there’s no real motive here.
- A FISA Court ordered it. This is the legal way it would be done — recall the Patriot Act Rules for domestic surveillance. But this would require there be sufficient evidence. It is also plausible: there were two prior applications to FISA to investigate Russian interference before the election, which were turned down. A third application with sufficient evidence could have worked. It would also tie with the known facts that the FBI was investigating Russian interference.
- Some other entity ordered it. This would be a foreign government or a business competitor looking for actionable information for an advantage. That advantage could be leaking it so as to make President Trump look bad.
So if we use Occams Razor, what is the most plausible explanation? A FISA court ordered this, meaning there was sufficient evidence to convince them. That’s not good for Trump. (PS: A joke I saw going around says that Obama didn’t order a wiretap, he ordered a baby monitor).
Thought the Third. I was thinking today about how far are we rolling back the clock. After all, all the EPA and other regulations weren’t always there: this country treated its people and the environment pretty bad in the 1800s. So if we look at all the regulations Trump is rescinding (for no laws have been passed by Congress — to my knowledge — so far), what is the earliest one? My guess, right now, is we’re back to the 1950s at least.
Thought the Fourth. Leprechauns from Ireland keep stealing me Lucky Charms. Why aren’t they subject to extreme vetting?
Thought the Fifth. There is a distinction between Un-American and Illegal. There are many things that we may believe are against the American ideas of equality and freedom, but for which out laws have not caught up. Our challenge is to enshrine our ideals in our laws, and ensure they are enforced. The problem is that our laws legislate ideas that we now feel are outmoded, dated, or discriminatory.