David Brooks & Dilbert come out as Collusion Skeptics An investigation of an investigation is not an investigation at all.

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Jun 21, 2017 No Comments ›› admin

By Lynn Woolley

I’m not saying that the moderate columnist for the New York Times – and Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert collaborated. I’m just saying that they seemed to be on the same wavelength this week.

Scott Adams (Photo: Ben Margot, Associated Press)

Dilbert had already been on a collision course with his pointy-haired boss over a software project, when Brooks came out with a column ridiculing the notion of Trump Campaign collusion with the Russians.

Dilbert’s boss accused him of colluding with Elbonian competitors and Dogbert accused him of obstructing justice.

Over in the real world, Brooks was saying that the current inquiry by special counsel Robert Mueller has become an investigation about the investigation.

In the comic strip, Dilbert proclaims his innocence and is accused of obstruction. In the newspaper column, Brooks says the “politics of scandal” is driving a wedge through society.

Brooks said in his column what Scott Adams said in three panels.

Adams has a way with words. Three panels. Four word balloons. And if Robert Mueller read the strip, he should be concerned. Adams, through Dilbert, nailed what Mueller is likely to do. In the first panel, there’s the set-up. The second panel is the fake investigation; the third panel illustrates what Brooks called “an investigation about itself.”

I typically am lukewarm on Brooks. But this column is right on.

I was a newly minted talk show host during the Clinton administration and I did hours of radio talk about all the Clinton investigations – starting with Whitewater. Did I, and others, overdo it? Brooks was op-ed editor at the Wall Street Journal at the time, and he reflected on the amount of ink spilled on Whitewater and compared it to this latest “scandal.”

In retrospect Whitewater seems overblown. And yet it has to be confessed that, at least so far, the Whitewater scandal was far more substantive than the Russia-collusion scandal now gripping Washington.

Failing a big revelation that we don’t yet see, Brooks thinks the current situation is out of hand. It has become a textbook case – a caricature – of special counsels that may not even be needed due to the absence of an original crime.

This is, as Yuval Levin put it, an investigation about itself.

What Levin and Brooks are saying is that without there really doesn’t seem to be anything to investigate – except Trump’s responses to the investigation. If he hadn’t fired Comey, and if he hadn’t blown up the twitterverse – there would be nothing to look into.

But Brooks goes a bit further with his disdain for the entire affair.

David Brooks of the New York Times

There’s just something worrisome every time we find ourselves replacing politics of democracy with the politics of scandal. In democracy, the issues count, and you try to win by persuasion. You recognize that your opponents are legitimate, that they will always be there and that some form of compromise is inevitable.

His point is not arguable. Perhaps Republicans did this during the Clinton years. Democrats are certainly doing it now. The entire strategy of the Dems in Congress is to block the Trump agenda – some of which, like deregulation, have already been accomplished and are having excellent results in the marketplace.

Finally, Brooks dumps on cable news – likely with CNN and MSNBC in mind:

The politics of scandal is delightful for cable news. It’s hard to build ratings arguing about health insurance legislation. But it’s easy to build ratings if you are a glorified Court TV, if each whiff of scandal smoke generates hours of “Breaking News” intensity and a deluge of speculation from good-looking former prosecutors.

MSNBC is an openly left-wing network. They do what they do and few people who disagree tune in. CNN is another story, openly Trump-hating and biased while claiming the mantle of trusted new source. “Russian Collusion” has become their latest obsession. Brooks nailed them and rightfully so.

It’s time for Robert Mueller to take a page from Dilbert and David Brooks.

An investigation of an investigation is not an investigation at all. End it. We have a country to run.

lynn@BeLogical.com

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